I absent-mindedly deleted the partition header for the single NTFS partition on my external Firewire drive during the Windows XP installation. I did not format this partition. What is the best way to recover this data?
Ideally you need Partition Recovery software. But there is a File Recovery package called GetDataBackNTFS that might do the job well. It works by allowing you to copy all the data it finds to another drive as a backup. Then you re-prepare your drive and put its data back.
You have to pay for this third party software. However, their website works in an interesting way. You can run their software on your drive and it will show you all the data it can find and recover. It even allows you to open and inspect files to verify them. IF you decide the package will do the whole job for you, you pay their price and it completes the job right away. You now own the software installed on your C: drive, and have a copy of the data from the failing disk. BUT if you decide this is not right, you simply don't pay and back out, and your drive is left unchanged so you can try another tool.