and not a sailing ship or cabbage in sight.
When you say that the master drive is "beyond economic repair" how do you know - has someone told you that? Just because an operating system crashes it doesn't necessarily mean that there's anything wrong with the drive - did you try to run in safe mode?
Presumably all your data files are on what you call the 'dead' hard drive. Not to worry though, you've always got that backup to CD, or to the other drive that you make routinely haven't you? You have, haven't you...............?
If you didn't back anything up, and the drive is really dead you've seen the last of your files - unless you fancy paying a data recovery company a small fortune to retrieve the files for you.
My advice is to format the other drive - which you have presumably now set as the master on the primary IDE cable - and start afresh. And don't forget to back up your data files to CD - often.