Did you have an OS on the F drive?
You will probably have to check the status of the F drive.
Using Partition magic you can do this from a 'Window'
The drive might be 'Hidden', if so Unhide it.
You might also want to (If you do not intend to install win98 or Linux or some such on it)
convert it to a 'Logical Drive'
You will then be able to assign a drive letter to it.
I would think that your pics are safe as long as the copy procedure went well with no errors showing at the time.
I must admit though, I did lose quite a bit of data once while moving stuff about and re-formatting, but the data still showed up, unlike yours, but it was damaged and unreadable.
Good luck with the wife!