|Recovery software "may" get some of them back; and I hope t does to whatever degree.|
it manages to recover - save it to dvd and/or another external hard drive - not on the drive itself.
And make it your normal habit to regularly save all personal files off the computer itself. Then if "anything"happens - as already has... - there will be saved copies elsewhere. This is a learning call for you...
Easus.com also make recovery software; which I have tested successfully.
Most of the software allow a trial/test - to see it can/will recover anything.
The important thing just now is NOT to install anything more on the hard drive as it is now. Although unless you can remove the hard drive from where it is installed now and connect to another working system (usb adapter), and run the recovery software on that computer..., you will likely have to install the recovery software on the current drive. Again anything you manage to recover - save if off the drive in question.