I've tried the free stuff available on the web and found it very difficult to use.
When it happened to me, I tried the free stuff and gave up - then I tried the above software and have stuck with it for the last 8-9 years.
I've had (very quick!) success with MBRWork for drives with lost partitions in the past, some years ago I used RecoverMyFiles 2 or 3 times, it was $60 then, I think - not uncomplicated to choose the correct scanning method for the problem in hand the first time around though but once you get the right scan, that's all forgotten. Hopefully the help will be a little clearer by now.