|Thanks so much for your suggestions. I appreciate.|
Truth be told, I already did the installation of XP last night, before I received the two messages. I decided to be brave and try booting from the XP installation disc, labeled "XP Pro Vol". I'd never had the pleasure of installing an OS before, so it was a bit of an adventure, but I decided to do it.
I had firstly formatted both the second and third partitions in NTFS, from the disc management, administrative tools area of W2000. I right clicked on each partition in turn, and chose "format", and "NTFS" as the choices came up.
Then, having done so, I turned off the system, and popped the CD into the drive and booted. It gave me the choice of where to install XP, so I chose the second partition, which it renamed "E", rather than "D". In XP, it is now recognizing the second physical drive as "D", and the two virtual drives on the first physical drive as "E" and "F". "F" is still empty, so I may, instead of W7, try a variant of Linux there, just for fun.
It was an uneventful install for the most part, and went smoothly. Now, when I boot up or restart, there is a choice of which OS to boot to, XP or 2000.
It's funny, but I actually like 2000 a bit more since I haven't yet gotten used to the look of XP, or how things work. But I'm working on it. I think my familiarity with 2000 makes it feel like I have more direct control over the computer there.
I installed my favorite browsers, FF and Chrome, on XP (2000 wouldn't accept Chrome), and my present favorite free antivirus, Avast, and Malwarebytes as well.
One thing I noticed is that in XP, the edges of my screen are "bowed in", and I haven't yet found out how to make them straight, vertically. It may have to do with screen resolution, but I'm still using an older model monitor, a CTX CRT from somewhere back in time. I may just have to get used to it.
One thing about the possibility of installing a Linux distro on the "F" drive is that as far as I recall, I read somewhere that it's more difficult to install Linux after installing Windows than vice versa. Something about the bootloader. Any suggestions? Or maybe I should ask that question in another subforum,,
Oh, forgot to mention,,
The first thing I did after the installation was to download all the Windows updates, of which there were around an hundred. I don't know if "service pack 3" was included in that, but I'll check it out. Thanks.