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would putting a 2nd drive with XP on it on SATA ch2 mess with the boot drive on SATA ch1?

I have replaced a dying hard drive in XP and want to use the old drive as a scratch disk for non-critical things. The old drive still has the full XP install (although it won't boot). What's the best way to wipe it out so I can use it as a secondary internal drive? I understand that there can only be one active partition. Does this mean per disk or per PC? If I were to just put the old drive in on the 2nd sata channel without changing it in any way, would it muck things up?
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1 per pc and no it wouldn't muck things up.  After you add it you could save the data to another disk or drive and then format it in windows then copy the data back and use it as extra storage space.
Hi RickNCN,

Firstly, if the HD is dying then it's not a good idea to store data on it..

To wipe the drive to be used for storage do the following:

1. Install Windows XP onto the system (with the new hard disk)
2. Once you have been able to boot up into Windows on the new HD shut the computer down
3. install the old hard disk into the computer on a different IDE or SCSI cable socket to the new HD
4. boot up the computer & log into windows

5. if the drive is still functional you should see another drive letter in Windows Explorer (aka My Computer)
6. Ensure that you have backed up all the data off the old Hard Disk ("HD") as the following will completely wipe the drive

7. Click Start, click Run, type compmgmt.msc, and then click OK
8. When computer management starts, On the left hand side, Under "Storage" click on "Disk Management"
9. On the right locate the OLD hard disk, right-click on the old hard drive that you want to format, and then click Format
10. Type in a name for the HD, this will be the name of the HD after it has been formatted (eg, "Data")
11. Follow the remaining prompts to your preferences & then wait until it displays the HD as "Healthy"

Hope this helps.
Just to clarify, you are booting up off the NEW Hard Disk in point 4.
You can't format a drive that you are running Windows from.
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If you want an even easier way, you can buy HD USB adapters/cases, so you connect the external drive to Windows via USB, but this costs $ and is also much slower to format.
Here are some examples from my local supplier of HD USB cases:
before using the disk again, test it with the manuf's utility, to be sure about it's status,before using it :

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