Pretty much! I will offer a technique that will avoid a potential problem. Because your BIOS will report to XP that there is a second hard drive, XP will try to read it during boot up. It can't and will try until it times out. If you have ever tried to access an unformatted floppy and lost your computer for what seemed like forever while it figued out what you already know, this could happen at every boot up. Win2K is notorious for it and XP is pretty much Win2K in drag!
Anyway, the technique is to put a Windows identifiable partition at the beginning of the Linux hard drive--about 250 MB. Use XP's fdisk to put a FAT32 partition there and leave the rest of the disk blank. While you have fdisk up, make sure the primary XP partition has a name--anything you want, such as Windows or XP. When you install Red Hat and use a Linux boot program, it won't recognize the partition as a bootable one without a name.
Then tell Red Hat to install in the unused space. Set your BIOS to load from the CD-ROM and Red Hat will walk you through the install process.
Your next decision is to decide on which boot loader to use. Red Hat will want to use Grub by default. Seventy five percent of the folks here use LILO--an option Red Hat will let you select instead of Grub. Finally, there are paranoids like me who say use XP's NT loader.
XP is an NT system and earlier versions (NT 4.0) had a bad habit of checking the Master Boot Sector for the Windows NT boot loader. If it didn't find it (it found Grub or LILO), it would refuse to boot, suspecting a virus. Most XP users have never had this problem and will use Grub or LILO.
For a beginner, tho, you should probably keep it simple. Go with Red Hat's approved solution and put Grub in the MBR. If Grub gives you problems, change to LILO (they identify boot sectors differently--when one has problems, quite often the other will work great).
This should give you a system that dual boots (make sure both work), but neither will read the other's drives (except the small one at the beginning of your second hard drive). This is because Windows cannot read Linux partitions and Red Hat does not include NTFS (the NT file system) support. You can download the package to add NTFS read-only support from here: