Dual booting and formatting hard drive questions

I got a few questions about dual booting. Im going to try out ubuntu 11.04 along side windows. I have a spare 40gb hdd that is relatively old, i would say 2 years since i last used it, its not formatted and it has windows xp with the files from before...

problem is i KNOW it has alot of viruses because i remember that when i last was using it i had all these popups of viruses that i just coudlnt be assed to get rid of as at that time my new hard drive was arriving so the effort would have been wasted then, i guess not though.

anyways, i got the sata cable, and i can plug my hard drive in right now, i am currently running windows 7 64 bit, my specs you can see if you click on my profile.

I want to install linux on my other hard drive, and im also going to run windows 8 developers edition along side my windows 7 on a seperate partition of my current hard drive but thats for later.

Anyhow. So here are my questions.

How do i go about formatting my other spare hard drive without risking the chance of getting a virus spread to my current hard drive. Old hard drive = 40gb. Current hard drive= 500gb.

When i want to switch from one type of boot to the other type of boot, do i have to change the booting order in the bios or will it tell me or let me choose which one i want to boot into?
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More about dual booting formatting hard drive questions
  1. just use plug it in and format it. You could also dual boot unbutu along side windows on the same hd. When you install ubuntu it will ask what drive and how much of it you would like to use. You can also uninstall it in windows when you are done with ubuntu. You might have to change boot order using 2 drives I am not sure cause I just installed on my c drive. If you just install it on your 500 gig along side window when you boot it will ask which one to start instead or messing with your boot order. Good luck hope this helps in some way.
  2. Real Simple, No problems with Viruse, No software Boot managers to mess you up.

    Disconnect your windows HDD. Connect the Old HDD up.
    Power up like you where going to install windows 7. Select Custom install mode, on display that ask where to install select advanced to delete ALL partitions. BYE - BYE virus
    Exit the install. remove wind disk, and power down.

    Intsall your ubuntu.
    When done power of and reconnect the Windows HDD. Set boot order to the Windows HDD. You can use the "Select which drive to Boot from" menu to select which operating system to boot to. This is normally done by Hiting a Function Key durning the post (Ie F12 on my gigabyte MB and F11 on my Asrock board). This does NOT change boot order in Bios.
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