The present study aims to accurately localize epileptogenic regions which are responsible for epileptic activities in epilepsy patients by means of a new subspace source localization approach, i.e. first principle vectors (FINE), using scalp EEG recordings. Computer simulations were first performed to assess source localization accuracy of FINE in the clinical electrode set-up. The source localization results from FINE were compared with the results from a classic subspace source localization approach, i.e. MUSIC, and their differences were tested statistically using the paired t-test. Other factors influencing the source localization accuracy were assessed statistically by ANOVA. The interictal epileptiform spike data from three adult epilepsy patients with medically intractable partial epilepsy and well-defined symptomatic MRI lesions were then studied using both FINE and MUSIC. The comparison between the electrical sources estimated by the subspace source localization approaches and MRI lesions was made through the coregistration between the EEG recordings and MRI scans. The accuracy of estimations made by FINE and MUSIC was also evaluated and compared by R2 statistic, which was used to indicate the goodness-of-fit of the estimated sources to the scalp EEG recordings. The three-concentric-spheres head volume conductor model was built for each patient with three spheres of different radii which takes the individual head size and skull thickness into consideration. The results from computer simulations indicate that the improvement of source spatial resolvability and localization accuracy of FINE as compared with MUSIC is significant when simulated sources are closely spaced, deep, or signal-to-noise ratio is low in a clinical electrode set-up. The interictal electrical generators estimated by FINE and MUSIC are in concordance with the patients' structural abnormality, i.e. MRI lesions, in all three patients. The higher R2 values achieved by FINE than MUSIC indicate that FINE provides a more satisfactory fitting of the scalp potential measurements than MUSIC in all patients. The present results suggest that FINE provides a useful brain source imaging technique, from clinical EEG recordings, for identifying and localizing epileptogenic regions in epilepsy patients with focal partial seizures. The present study may lead to the establishment of a high-resolution source localization technique from scalp-recorded EEGs for aiding presurgical planning in epilepsy patients.