I have various programs such as BadCopy Pro and PC Inspector and a few others- that will recover deleted files, also files from formatted disk that have not be overwritten too much. Question is Can it be done to my active drive whilst it is running, Can I with little or no risk look into my own 'C' drive?
The answer to both your questions is Yes and Yes. The secret of more positive recovery is to immediately stop everything with the HDD in question when you become aware of a loss. It should then be mounted as a Slave and your recovery programs run from another Master HDD. If this option is not practical or is unavailable, recovery programs should be run ASAP - more HDD activity beforehand means less chance of recovery. If you are just wondering/trying/experimenting etc, like a lot of us do: see the "Are you a Tinkerer" thread, then go ahead, you won't break anything. You may even find something you thought you had lost :-)