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scratch build.....need a little help here please

I'm using my full allocation of 75 points from my sign up to ask this question since I really need someone to gimme a hand here. This is my first scratch build project, I've done cpu, memory upgrades and installing second and third hard drives before but nothing like this. My problem is as follows:

 I am hoping at the end of my build to have a dual boot system, with separate NEC DVD-R and CD-RW drives. I have two hard drives, one for each system. One hdd is a 40Gb Maxtor 7200rpm and I propose to install Red Hat Linux 8.0 on to there, the other hdd is a 180GB IBM 7000rpm on which I will install my main system, Win XP Pro. Now I'm know ones gotta b the slave, so thats will be the 20GB, and I'll install Red Hat Linux onto there...somehow. Anyway, my real problem is my two cd/dvd drives. I have a floppy drive on my new build machine as im aware I need to install MSCDEX.exe from a floppy to get the CD drive to be recognised, but I dont have ANY knowledge of how to do this, OR even if its necessary for me to do the exact same with the NEC DVD-R drive. Basically, I guess you could say I'm looking for a step-by-step (or close enough to one) guide to "Right, I've built this beast, now i just plug it in and...oh, now what?" so in laymans terms, what should I do after putting all the components together, cecking all connections and plugging it in.

Any help you guys n gals can give me would be so very well recieved!

Just for informational purposes, heres my system so far:

* Micro-star International KT4 Ultra MS-6590
* AMD Athlon 2600+ (266MHz FSB)
* 1.5GB PC2700 DDR RAM
* Gainward Geforce4 Powerpack! Pro/600 Tv /AGP 64MB DDR Mx-440 Chipset With Tv-out
* Creative Soundblaster Audigy 2 PCI
* Sony 52x24x52X CD-RW
* Sony 3.5" Floppy drive
* 40GB Maxtor 7200rpm
* 180GB IBM 7200rpm
* Basic 56K .v92
* 10/100T LAN card.
* Win XP Professional on one HDD and Red Hat Linux 8.0 on the other.

If anybody has any comments on my system, in terms of compatability/sweetness etc please post away!!

thanks for your time :)
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1 Solution
You can download a boot disk from www.bootdisk.com.  When you create a floppy with the image from there you will be able to boot and access your CD drive for installation purposes (and others).
You may want to use a boot manager (from Partition Magic, maybe) or you may want to keep these completely separate and use a hardware solution.  One of these is called TriOS and is available from www.tigerdirect.com
It will give you a switch to physically change the boot hard drive.
SiMi_2k3Author Commented:
Thanks for the quick response slink9, like i said before im a novice to this, so which boot disk should i download, one for DOS 6.2, or the one for Win XP. Does XP even need DOS 6.2 installed to BE installed!?! lol...dont mind me, im a n00b. What about Linux? i got that for free from http://www.linuxiso.org/ 
I haven't had much success with Linux.  Probably the best boot disk is Win98.  It will download a disk image with which you create a boot disk.
If you have an XP CD and a bootable CD you should be able to go into the BIOS and tell it to boot from CD.  It will then fire up XP when you boot it with the CD in the drive and allow you to partition and format from there.  No boot disk needed.
SiMi_2k3Author Commented:
Thanks again Slink9, im still a BIT confused. The boot disk (any Windows boot disk??) will make it possible for me to install the MSCDEX.exe and having that installed will mean that I can directly install Win XP Pro OEM (im gunna c if i can purchase a copy with my motherboard, cos i havent seen it in any shops) if not will the Retail version of XP Pro install disk b bootable, if not im stuck right?
There is no need to install anything IF you have a 98 or 2k or XP boot disk and a BIOS and CD drive that will handle booting from CD.  You set your BIOS to boot from CD and you are off and running.
If you don't have a CD yet you can download a 98 boot disk image and create the disk which will allow your system to boot with CD access.  There is no longer a need to install MSCDEX or other CD drivers as long as you have an ATAPI CD drive (anything no more than four or five years old should fit this category).
You are not legally able to download a bootdisk if you do not have a licensed OS to go with it.  This stems from a discussion we had here about downloading from Bootdisk.com.  I was proven wrong because I thought these were basically in the public domain since they are available to everybody.

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