This is actually a two part problem.
1. I wanted to install a new version of XP(SP2) on a brand new disk currently showing as L: (don't ask). My installation disk downloaded some files and rebooted. I'm sure I checked the box where it said to ask where to install the new O/S. At that point I got cold feet and didn't want to continue the "installation".
I would like someone to confirm whether it is possible to perform a complete installation of XP on a disk that isn't hd0. I have seen some sites that say it isn't possible without mounting the new drive as hd0. Is this correct?
2. Now when I boot, I got a screen that offered the option of XP or Windows Setup, with setup as the default. I was advised to edit boot.ini to remove the Windows Setup line. I have done this and now I still get the same screen but the second line now reads 'windows (default)'. How can I get rid of this so it just boots as Windows?

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edit the boot.ini again removing any text beside the word windows. or use this niffty utility vistabootPRO, it was made for vista but workes with xp also

edit the boot.ini again removing any text beside the word windows. or use this niffty utility vistabootPRO, it was made for vista but workes with xp also

This is what boot.ini contains

[Boot Loader]
[Operating Systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn

vistabootPRO gives too many errors/warnings on XP for me to be happy with it.

see below for a sample for xp. notice the default is diff from yours. thats y u are getting the (Default) beside the name of the operting system. teher is also a newer version of vistabootPRO. give it a try it works fine on my xp pro.

This is a sample of a default Boot.ini file from a Windows XP Professional computer.
[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

Your version for boot.ini worked for me.
The version of vistabootPRO I downloaded was, which seems to be the very latest. It still doesn't seem very user friendly to an XP system, and I can't even do a backup.

Now back to installations. Can it be done without mounting the new drive as hd0?

If it's possible, just restore your pc to an earlier date. It will set your boot file to default. Otherwise, I think it's possible to do it without mounting it as hd0 (let me check that...).

It seems I haven't had any further response to this thread, so I want to close it, and restart as a single question - the install xp one.

Use the XP boot file, it works. And Xp will install onto any partition [on any drive, disk], which is why setup asks where you wish to install it. Why did you panic and back out? these things are removable..
Just a point... L:? - it is obviously not a primary partition so you will not be able to mark it as active, therefore you will need to keep the boot files on some primary partition.. eg, C: and so you will not be able to format C: later.
If you were to do a fresh installation of XP on C: it would not overwrite any data files.

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