Data HDD not working since re-install...

Hi all,
I'm a newbie at posting here, but a frequent reader. I've searched all over the 'net, but can't find an answer to my specific guys might know "what's up"!
My home-built system had: C,D,E,F,G drives: 160GB Samsung with OS and apps (Win7 pro 32-bit); generic CD/DVD; 320GB Hitachi (Data) PLUS; 2 x 1TB drives, installed months ago, formatted NTFS, but unused. A month ago, I moved a few Gigs of data—all my photos, docs, music, etc, from E: to to G: and used F: for system back-ups. I bought another new, 1TB drive a couple of weeks ago, but did not connect it to the system at the time. Everything was working beautifully.
A few days ago, I was 'forced' to abandon my original OS drive (which I'd been planning to clone to a larger, newer drive for a couple of weeks now, anyway) and to do clean install onto a different drive…BUT ( because of a long story...Win Mem Diag Tool!) my OS drive became unbootable, despite having rescue disks, Win7 DVDs, etc.
I unhooked the 160GB OS drive and installed the brand-new, un-formatted 1TB drive on the same SATA cables as the original C: drive, hoping to install Win 7 there. The install seemed to work OK, but was unbootable. Second try, I installed Win7 to the older (now empty) 320GB drive and everything was hunky-dory. That is, until I tried to access my data. Situation now: Newest drive has ZERO on it; other drive has (inaccessible) backups from about 9 Sept and the 1TB ‘DATA drive’ is now recognized as “8.00GB unallocated.” Nothing that I’ve tried works—I always get I/O error messages. I haven’t yet tried unplugging all of the drives and randomly attaching them the the MoBo SATA slots. Would it help?
Did Windows somehow go against my instructions and try to install on my valuable data drive? Honestly, if I can’t recover my data, or if it costs me a fortune to recover, I’m switching to iMac or iPad and will use Linux 100% on this desktop clunker!
Any advice gratefully received and best wishes to all!
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  1. sounds serious...the silence is deafening...(R.I.P to my data, I suppose.)

    I printed out a great set of instructions for cloning the OS a week ago. I remember the author saying that you MUST disconnect ALL extra drives from the MoBo before cloning from an external USB drive to the target...I wish I'd followed that piece of 'good' advice...

    Thanks very much for reading, anyway! As always, best to all!

  2. You don't need to disconnect hard disks to clone from an external drive; you only need to know which drive is the target unit.

    On the other hand, you should disconnect all hard disks except the one where the OS will be installed; otherwise you'll run into issues if the installation hard disk isn't the first one.
    I haven’t yet tried unplugging all of the drives and randomly attaching them the the MoBo SATA slots. Would it help?
    It should have been done before installing Windows 7, but it certainly can't hurt if you do it now. Unfortunately you'll have to recover your data either by using tools (they'll hopefully work for you) or from external backups if you have them. I don't like backups on internal hard disk as they dosn't offer enough protection when something goes wrong with the system.
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