To retrieve the files from the PATA hard drive you should be able to change the boot order set in BIOS to boot from the SATA drive first. In the even that you have an odd BIOS that won't let you change the boot order properly, you should still be able to set it to boot from CD and boot a live CD, mount both hard drives, and copy the files that way.
You should also have the option of a one-time boot menu, frequently F12 at start-up but I've seen other keys mapped to launch it (it's F8 on the machine I am using right now, for instance). Using the one-time boot menu you could select the SATA drive with the PATA drive hooked up, and run normally. Again, if your BIOS doesn't have this option a live CD should still be a workaround.
About the login issues, that I am less certain about. The sleep/suspend issues you mention make me want to ask for specifics of your swap file setup.