... but would like to free up the slot.
You still need a slot for the XT-IDE card. The reason why I replaced the original software for the HDD with the XT-IDE's one is because I have a weird idea: using the original HDD connector to attach the IDE drive. And that is not just the matter of another cable. Most of the hardware used on the XT-IDE board has to be used here as well. But so far it is only an idea. First I have to figure out what the hardware window of this connector is. If it is 16 bytes, fine. If it is 8 bytes, doable. Less: forget it.