If you are queasy about touching the Wxp drive, then put your boot onto a floppy, or install linux onto the 13gb and put the boot loader also onto the 13gb drive. This will be a hassle though, because assuming your BIOS has the option, you will have to enter the BIOS every time, and select from which drive to boot.
I can only give you my experience. I have loaded Mandrake 10.0 and 10.2 onto many combinations of single and dual drive setups, some with all Windows NTFS partitions, some part NTFS part FAT32, master- slave HD combos, etc. I can say that Mandrake has an excellent installer and has NEVER screwed up an install for me. I always put LILO onto the MBR of the Windows partition.
IF you decide to put linux on the 160gb drive, make sure you defrag, and BACKUP-BACKUP-BACKUP. If you put it on the 13gb drive, this will work, just select hdb for the OS install and put the bootloader on MBR of hda so you don't have to enter BIOS every time. You can also install a third HD onto the slave of the secondary IDE channel (if your bus speed is slow and the hd is old you can get away with the old IDE ribbon cable, if not, upgrade to 80 wire), but you will still have to enter BIOS if you don't put LILO on MBR of hda.
I believe linux sees NTFS and FAT 32 and writes to FAT but apparently writing to NTFS is possible but not totally safe yet. I don't think Wxp can see linux partitions. (Correct me if nec.)
liamoboyle is correct about using a FAT share. I normally divide a HD into thirds. 1/3 NTFS WIndows, 1/3 FAT32, 1/3 linux.
Last edited by Trio3b; 12-24-2005 at 11:36 PM.