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HDD not recognized after changing drive Letter

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@Who Am I Really
I have two objections to your post.

Static electricity
You are exaggerating the dangers of static electricity.

Do you not think that the designers of the actual disk drives have not worked hard to resist static electricity.

Yes external drives will just fail. They are commodity products, mass produced, always seeking lowest cost to manufacture. Cooling is often marginal. Time and heat (added by dust) take their toll. Components weaken. One day the surge of power up becomes too much and a component fails.
These fail on power up have led to the debate between "never power off" and "power off when done"
Is static electricity the great destroyer of external drives. I don't think so.

Safely Remove is not needed
The requirement to use "safely remove" is incorrect old advice.
External drives, by default have write caching disabled.
Once a few seconds have passed after the last activity the drive can just be unplugged.

In order to see the setting...
In windows explorer right click the drive -> properties -> Hardware (tab) -> in the list select the disk and click Properties -> Change settings -> Policies (tab) -> and you will see...

Removal Policy
(*) Quick removal (default)
Disables write caching on the device and in Windows, but you can disconnect the device safely without using the Safely Remove Hardware notification icon.

This is the default even for external disks that are NTFS formatted