I am using a 250gb SATA Drive for my main XP Pro 32bit OS, But i want to test Windows 7 beta. I don't want to dual boot on my 250gb drive because it is already nearly full. I do however have a spare 40GB IDE drive. Would it be possible to install 7 on the IDE drive leaving my XP installation intact?
That's what I did on my test system. My primary boot disk has XP Pro and the other one has Windows 7. I configured the disk on which I wanted to install Windows 7 as the boot disk and then I intalled the OS. Once the installation was complete, I set the disk containing XP Pro as the boot disk. If I want to boot Windows 7, I press F8 at POST to select the disk on which it's installed. Several motherboards allow the selection of the boot unit at POST.
Alternatively, instead of messing with the BIOS, just select the 40GB drive as the target when you install Windows 7 and it will set up a menu allowing you to boot into "Windows 7" or "Older versions of Windows" (i.e. your XP installation).