I've had this problem before, it has to do with the 2nd Linux system and Grub being installed on the 2nd HDD. If you haven't completely given up, you can try this:
Install Mint 11 on the 2nd HDD and, on the bottom of the partition selection screen, change the Grub installation directory to your / folder for Mint 11. Also, I wouldn't bother setting up a 2nd swap partition, LM11 should be able to use the LMDE swap partition, even if it's on a different HDD. After installing Mint 11 and installing Grub to its / partition, reboot into LMDE and run:
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Grub.cfg should be rewritten to include the LM11 install. I've had success doing this in the past.