|And I gave you good advice with those goals in mind. If you want to be back in the same position again then DON'T keep backups of your personal files.|
Did you read #14 above? You can have the files back on the laptop, just not now.
It was already explained that writing to the drive now will overwrite the files you currently see for recovery.
I guess you need more of an explanation. Once you formatted ALL the files on the drive were marked as erased. Evidently you used Quick format, which doesn't actually overwrite the files but just removes the location of that file from any file allocation table.
So, what you perceive to be available space, may in fact be the same space where the original files are currently residing. There is no way to know if any of the original files would be included in any new partition your created. Nothing is currently keeping track of the location of those files.
You have been advised to copy them elsewhere. If you don't want to do that then go ahead and try it your way.
The cheapest way is to always have a copy of your personal files. That way you don't ever need to spend time and money on recovery.
Hard drives will eventually fail. Even before they do fail other calamities may happen. Someone may inadvertently format the drive, as an example. Had you used the full format process, you wouldn't be seeing any recoverable files.
Do you have any idea how many MB of personal files you had? A single layer DVDR holds 4.4GB of data. Buying DVDR in 25 or 50 packs cost less than a quarter a piece. A decent sized USB external drive can be had for way under a hundred bucks. Some USB drives come with software that automatically back up your data on a schedule. Smart and cheap investment.