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My PC crashed for some unknown reason, and I am still working on what caused that. However, I pulled my main (windows) drive from my computer and hooked it up to my roommate's machine and was able to pull the data I needed off of it (i.e. the drive is good).

I hook up his drives as they were, I had to turn off his machine and unplug his secondary drive to hook mine up, boot his machine and there is no second drive available in windows explorer. I opened Device Manager to see if for some reason it's drive letter got un-assigned, but there is nothing listed in there except his primary hard drive, his optical drive and one other optical drive which I believe is the virtual drive Daemon Tools made. The drive shows up in the BIOS, however after I restarted his machine again it sits on the "Entering setup....." screen at the load window.

The only thing I can think of is that may have messed with stuff is I used this tutorial to create a bootable XP install on a USB drive to install XP on my machine (I am 99% certain that the optical drive in my PC is broken) and maybe it used the other hard drive's letter for the USB drive for some reason, which doesn't make much sense since it was recognized it as a different drive letter before I started the process. It is possible that it used the secondary hard drive's letter for it's work, but once again I am uncertain.

Where should I go from here? He his bound to wake up within the next several hours and will probably flip a lid if I cannot get some sort of handle on this. Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

PS: Anyone who helps me get this situated has a beer or two on me, as long as you are in the greater metro Detroit area, or don't mind traveling a bit!

EDIT: I never did figure out this problem 100%, but I believe the motherboard got fried some how. I did determine that one of my old sticks of RAM was bad, so I ended up buying a new CPU, Motherboard and RAM a month or so ago. After gutting my case and replacing everything, I am happy to report that it is running just fine.

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Be careful with everything you do, that is, if i were you'd I'd do a full data backup, and a Windows restore point before doing anything at all.

I may not be of much help, but seems you've run out of solutions now... This happened me long ago, I remember one time I fixed digging for certain registry key...But that's really dangerous to do. In other case, I remember I went to hardware devices list, expanded the optical dvd etc units, "uninstall" them, did so also with all USB devices,then... just right clicked My Computer desktop icon, "manage", then , disk manager. There, I changed drive letters of the units. If you have a network drive or something, you may try to put it in a higher letter, and see if it solves it. BTW, did you create the partitions with partition magic? ..that's another thing... Anyway, these kind of issues happen to me more when dealing with USB storing devices...And often when the messed drive is a boot one, or should be...

Do anything just after you have secured data and the restore point... Much luck, I really wish could help more here..

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OK I'll give those things a whirl, and no there was no Partition Magic used on any of the hard drives. Originally my hard disk was 2 partitions, but I deleted both on his computer through device manager. His hard drives are both single-partition. The application in the tutorial I linked may have done some sort of partitioning on the USB drive, but I am not sure beyond that. – Anders Apr 17 '10 at 14:32

Double check your connections to the hard drive, drive letters will not have anything to do with it, windows assigns those on every boot.

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