Data Recovery From Formatted Hard Drive

I recently got a data recovery task. My co-worker asked me to see if I could get some files off his Seagate 160GB hard drive. Before, he took his netbook to the computer shop and he specifically told them to back his data up. Well, the computer shop never backed his data up, instead they entirely wiped the hard drive and his data is gone. I know there is some software out there to retrieve the files from before hand. What software is capable of that? The hard drive is in perfect health right now. I would like to get his pictures at the very least. I can only use free software, but I heard Kali or Backtrack can possibly do what I need to do? Any help will be grateful!

I have used Photorec with some success but it will find every single image with in the drive even useless ones that belong to the system files and gui. As long as they didn't wipe the drive and overwrite it like 20 times with random data it should be able to recover the images easily. Good luck.

In kali (or any linux distro (usually)) you can use dd_rescue to take an image of the drive and then foremost to try and pull what it can out of the image. There's a few videos of this floating around.

Linux is probably the better option but on the windows side there is Recuva from Pirifrom. The same company who make CCleaner and Defragler. I have used it but never for anything in depth. I did look around a "Blank drive" and found quite a lot but like above it was mostly system GUI elements.