HDD not recognized after changing drive Letter

I changed the drive letter of an external 2.5' HDD (from F to D).

Then for some reason I suddenly can't use the drive anymore.

Now when I plug it, the error message is on Win7 is "You need to format the disk in drive"
The error on Win XP is D:\ is not accessible

which is quite weird.

The drive is not used much, it never had surface problems, etc.
Of course I don't want to format it because I have some info there.

Any ideas about what the problem could be...?

Thanks
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  1. Thanks for the advice. I'd go for the data recovery solution only as a last resort. There's always a possibility of erasing the data.
    Besides, you can use such software only with drives that are seen by the computer.

    Here's some more info:

    The HDD is SATA; I can't rename it back because the computer doesn't see it, even in Disk Management.

    The optical drive is E, there no drive assigned with D letter.

    I tried it on a couple of different computers but same result.

    Of course, any HDD can fail, but this problem coincided with changing the drive letter, so it's quite a low probability that the cause is different.
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