Ok, in re reading your original post, I see this started suddenly. I assume (don't like to assume) the system and drive worked properly
before the McAfee notice and the freezing.
This being the case, I would move the Hard drive cable from one connection on the motherboard to another just to check the serial port connections.
This may also fail.
In your last post, are you saying that even if you remove the Hard drive the system still will not see the IDE drive?
If so, then either your motherboard has a problem, or the BIOS has been corrupted. Yes this is possible from a rogue virus/Trojan..
The newer flash BIOS makes this possible, I have received security warnings about this over the last couple years.
its incredibly hard to do, but, who knows the mind of people.
I think I would download the latest BIOS information from the Mfg's site save it to a floppy or USB drive,and then remove power and the battery from the motherboard.
Once that's done I'd boot from the floppy/usb and re-flash the BIOS.
I have a Intel Motherboard D975 (known as the Bad Axe) that does a similar thing with IDE drives, but, it did it from the beginning and the solution was to replace
CD with a SATA model.
Maybe that will help...