Thank you for this useful post. It helped a lot as my USB flash drive was mistakenly formatted. After using some free data recovery tools like 4Card Recovery, Recuva, TestDisk and more, I just re-accessed all my stored photos successfully.
I am really happy to find this thread.
You got really lucky. Running all those data recovery programs is very risky. None of them have write back blocks. I've had quite a few clients come in with data recovery cases that they tried to run recovery software on them just like you, but half of their data was overwritten from their attempts. It's never safe to use FREE data recovery software, but if you like playing Russian Roulette it's your choice!
I had to add this with all the wise individuals suggesting to use data recovery software, please educate yourself of the Dangers of Using Data Recovery Software
before losing your important data.