Ok, here's the story in short-
Me and my friend are fairly knowlegable about computers, but not extremely. We aren't complete morons, but we certainly aren't pros, and that's why I've been frantically searching the internet for help, since Dell did nothing for us. My friend has a Dell Dimension desktop from 2002, with decent specs (over 2 GHZ I think, etc.) It's nothing fancy, but it isn't ancient. Anyway, we were editing a very important movie that's due soon, using Adobe Premiere Pro. He has Windows XP Home Edition and has an added Drive (F
that he had installed recently. That's where we save all the files for the movies- the F: Drive.
We were editing today, he left Adobe open, we went out to go do something, came back, and some error message came up and Adobe closed down. We restarted the computer, and it couldn't find the F Drive. The icon was gone. All the shortcuts stopped working. So it was basically as if the drive completely vanished. So we flipped out, and tinkered around a bit. We restarted, then the C: Drive wasnt accesible. We tried going into system utilities, and the system didnt recognize with drive as anything, it just said "unkown". Eventaully we got windows and the C: Drive back, but still no F:. At one point, we got the computer to recognize that F was indeed a hard drive. Then a warning from Dell came up saying that that particalur hard drive was working out of it's parameters or something similar, and that I should back up my files and replace the hard drive. So we restarted again, and went to view My Computer, and for some reason the computer started to recognize the F: Drive as a DVD drive, and we couldnt do anything with it.
So, I know that's vague, and I'll probably get yelled at for being vague, but I'm tired, desperate, and need answers.
Why would a perfectly healthy hard drive just fail? Is all my data gone? Does it sound like a virus or a physical problem? I don't care if the computer or drive is screwed, I just need to know that I can save those files, because they are incredibly important to me. If anyone is willing to help, I'll answer as many questions as needed to try and solve this problem. Please, somebody give me some half decent news... please...