I'm sorry I've been so absent. Not only has my hand surgery held me back, but my computer hasn't been working properly for most of the year. Hubby has checked everything, renewed all sorts of bits, reinstalled, deep cleaned, scanned and rebooted (should be as in booted out a window!) without finding the source of the problems. :( and this last week it went really crazy and was freezing up for about 5 minutes, then working for about a minute... freezing up again.
My dad suggested it might be the cable connections and re-crimped all the wiring/cables. So far... it seems to be working.
Each time this has happened, each time I've "lost" a drive, I've also permanently lost things like emails, documents, photos/art I was working on. So it has been a very slow frustrating time, but hopefully I'll be back more often now.