Well, I decided to install Ubunti 12.04's installation directly onto my primary hard drive, on a small partition I have. Booted, was greeted with an install or test-drive option, so I installed it onto my second hard drive. Easy, right? Did all that, swapped the secondary drive into the junked machine (I say junked because the following are broken: left hinge, battery (completely incapable of holding a charge at ALL), internal wireless (so we have a D-Link USB nub) and CD-ROM drive (so we have an external drive, but apparently, you can't boot the machine using that).
Moment of truth: boot the junk machine. It fails to boot from the drive, but that was me forgetting to enable the HDD from BIOS. Redid that, boots up. I'm greeted with five options - Ubuntu, Ubuntu recovery, two mem-test options and a Windows 7 option, which puzzles me. Select Ubuntu. Fails out, it seems to think that I need the primary hard drive (that is sitting in my good machine) in order to work.
I boot my main machine. Does not give me the option of selecting Windows or the Ubuntu installation. and it tells me that the boot manager is missing (because that's in the second drive, sitting in the junk machine). Run Windows 7 install to wipe that partition out, problem solved.
It was a fun evening - now all I have to do is fix the install on the junk machine, hopefully without ripping the HDD out again.
Happiness is zero-gee with a sinus cold.