testdisk for recovering partition tables, photorec (part of testdisk) for recovering files. Both are on System Rescue CD.
For safety, use dd to make an image of the disk and run the tools on that to avoid further corruption.
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dd if=/dev/sdN of=buggereddisk.img
Thanks for the responses:- As you suggested, I used PhotoRec which is indeed contained within the rescue CD recommended by the others, although I downlaoded it directly as a standalone. PhotoRec's name is somewhat misleading as it suggests that the program will only recover photos - in fact it is a lot more powerful than that and 'knows' about hundreds of different file formats including office documents, all of which it will try to recover.
The interface is typically bare-bones but it did manage to recover quite a bit of the lost data along with a lot of broken files which may simply be broken because they were on the stick and intentionally deleted / overwritten by the owner prior to his saving the files he wrote and then lost due to corruption.
What was recovered included quite a few JPEG images which are obviously of a familiy nature and so I am sure the owner of the stick will be very pleased that they have been recovered,
Thanks for the info about making an image with DD- I'll follow that up as well - maybe I can recover more if I allow testdisk to try to fix the image - I didn't dare try it on the original.
Anyway: Windows 0, Linux 1