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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
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The sysinternals program listed on this page is a free download, and sysinternals usually has some very good stuff. However, it recovers ext2/ext3 from Windows, not from Linux. So your drive has to be accessible from a Windows system.
You can also get yourself a Live CD like Knoppix and enter command: 'photorec' to recover many common formats. Depends on what kind of data it was, which format. Foremost data carver should be on it also.