well.. I've got it working just fine. I guess the problem wasn't the MBR after all. I initially didn't think it should be the problem, since windows would get all the way to the desktop and just not load explorer. If the MBR was on the other drive, wouldn't it just not even boot windows?
I think what was causing the problem was that when i took the IDE drive out i changed my IDE cable arrangement at the same time, and probably had a jumper wrong. even though I didn't change the sata cable or settings, I guess that my other IDE drive (not the one i was talking about before, but a completely diff IDE hdd) or one of the cd drives was causing the whole thing to go retarted. sound possible?
i put the cables back to original when i put the windows ide drive back in
im gonna format the IDE drive (the windows boot drive) tomorrow, so any other suggestions would be appreciated before I lose that boot drive for all time.