Thanks for the welcome and reply
I have two HDD:
Drive "A" : Two NTFS partitions: Bootable Windows XP installed on first (primary), second is logical XP 'swap' file.
Drive "B" : Four partitions. Primary is NTFS with bootable Windows XP installed* [hdb1], remainder are logical - linux [hdb5], linux swap [hdb6] and FAT32 [hdb7], respectively.
* I have bootable XP installed on both as I purchased a new HDD (drive A) but made the previous one the IDE slave as a backup just in case I needed to boot into XP because the first became faulty.
What I want to do is to have a bootable Linux installation on Drive B using the partitions I've created. But, I want to set drive B up so that, if I boot from it (either via the bios or by swapping the drives), I can choose whether to boot XP or Linux.
Now, I could be misunderstanding this but it's better safe than sorry.....
First try, made hdb5 and hbd7 FAT32 (hdb6=swap) and copied the live linux Slax to hdb5. I then followed the instructions on their site to get this drive to 'dual boot' to either XP or Slax.....that worked OK. When I booted from drive B, I got a Lilo menu asking to boot XP or Slax....
I then found (maybe incorrectly) that I could only use Slax as root and didn't like the implications of this. So, I decided to install Vector Linux to the second HDD. This meant "changing", via CFDISK, hdb5 to Linux, hdb7 to Linux before installing VL. When VL had installed, it gave me some choices about overwriting the MBR etc...which I took to meaning it would be overwriting the MBR on hda...which I didn't want.
Anyway, I had a load of trouble with VL and my GF4Ti4200 card (it wouldn't allow a config of other than 800x600 except in Vesa mode...) so that has come off the disk, too.
What I'd like to achieve is the following:
a. Bootable Win XP untainted on hda.
b. Bootable Win XP on hdb.
c. Bootable Linux (don't care what it is) on hdb.
d. Shared data area that both Windows and Linux can see (and write to) as one of the partitions on hdb (FAT32?).
I'd also like to be able to set linux up as dual boot without having to swap HDD's around etc. I'm not sure if that's any clearer but....