Missing hard drive

I need help answering a friends question:

My Dell Dimension 8300 has a primary hard drive "C" on which I have the Windows XP Home Edition OS and various program files and applications, as well as a second hard drive "F" on which I have all my important data, documents, folders, Word and text files and Internet web sites/pages (URL's).

After recently reloading XP Home Edition with Dell's telephone technical support and disconnecting the "F" hard drive ribbon cable while I performed the reloading, when I reconnected the "F" hard drive ribbon cable after the reloading, I now can not find the "F" second hard drive. While it doesn't show the "F" hard drive on My Computer page, System Information, Device Manager and other parts of the system shows the F drive is present and working. Also, Drives "A", "D" and "E" are fine, and everything else in the computer is functioning okay.

How do I find and access the "hidden" "F" hard drive without reformating it and thus deleting all my data, documents, folders, Word, text files and Internet web sites/pages (URL's) on it. Dell and Microsoft have been unsuccessful in solving my hidden hard drive problem.
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More about missing hard drive
  1. what type of file system are you using on the drives? If you formatted your c drive with a FAT32 file system, and your other drive is NTFS, then you won't be able to read it.

    why did dell tech support tell you to unplug the other drive while you were formatting your c drive?

    who ever has the most ram when they die wins!
  2. The way I read the question the F: drives is usable and shows up everyplace except in My Computer.
  3. You could try making sure that the hard drive with the missing partition drive letter is correctly identified in the BIOS ... and you could also attempt to delete the IDE channel in the Device Manager where the hard drive is connected, so that the channel is reinstalled after a reboot.

    Give this a shot, and if it doesn't work, we'll try something else.


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  4. the determining factor of whether or not you can read ntfs drives isnt what system your c drive is using, if its nt, 2k, xp or above it will read ntfs.

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