Most users never think about data-recovery software until they need it--like, say, after a corrupted hard drive has cost them years' worth of family photos.
Make like the Boy Scouts and be prepared: get a recovery tool now and keep it at the ready.
From now until December 25, iCare Data Recovery 4.0 is available absolutely free. Regular price: $69.95. To get it, follow the "Steps to get registered iCare for free" instructions, making sure to run the program as an administrator and then pasting in the provided code. (FYI, you must activate it before the 25th.)
iCare promises to rescue data from any number of common calamities, including drive failures, corrupted Master Boot Records, bad boot sectors, deleted partitions, virus attacks, and even messed-up Norton Ghost images.
The software supports internal and external hard drives, flash drives, and memory cards (like the kind used by digital cameras). It's compatible with Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and 7, and even Windows Server.
CNET hasn't reviewed iCare Data Recovery, but a couple glowing user reviews at Download.com suggest the program works as advertised--and can really save your bacon. So grab this valuable utility while it's free.
Thanks to my pal Dave for sharing this deal!
Bonus deal: Calling all teachers and educators! I'm a monster fan of Tales2Go, which streams children's audiobooks on-demand to iOS devices. From now until January 15, 2011, you can sign up for a free six-month Tales2Go subscription for your school or educational program.
Bonus deal No. 2: In the mood for some holiday tunes? If you're willing to cough up your e-mail address, X5MusicGroup will give you 10 free Christmas piano songs in MP3 format. Great stuff.