Good suggestions all...
Checked the BIOS and made sure they were on Auto-detect.
Installed the chipset drivers.
As for drive letters...last night before I went to bed I did another fresh install of XP. I disconnected the data drive for this install to ensure that only the applications drive would be recognized. I made two partitions on this drive, a Windows (boot) partition and an Applications partition. The install was successful with the Windows partition designated as the C: drive and the apps partition as the D: drive.
I connected the data drive and...same as it ever was.
After installing the chipset drivers, I got "Found hardware" messages for the two optical drives and also the data drive (hope, hope, hope). Went to Disk Management and what to my eyes appears?
Data drive with no letter and all the same attributes as stated before.
Thanks for all the good advice, can I just go dump this in Bill's lap and tell HIM to fix it?