Try a "Live CD"
You can try Linux for real without even needing to touch your
hard disk, without needing to do anything to your existing Windows !
This is possible with "Linux live CDs". A live CD works the
following way :
- Download a CD image from the web (this will be an .iso
file, about 650 MB).
- Burn it onto a blank CD.
- Put the CD in your CD drive, and reboot.
- Your computer will boot on the CD instead of booting on the
hard drive (where Windows is), and will not touch anything :
don't worry about Windows and your data, they'll still be there when you
reboot again without the CD.
- If your computer still boots Windows (the CD doesn't seem to
have any effect), then your BIOS configuration is faulty: you need to
ask it to first scan the CD drive for an operating system, and then the
hard drive. You can usually access the BIOS by typing "Del" or "F2"
while booting (if you don't feel comfortable with this, get some
- And voilà, Linux runs on your system, you can test it and see
how you like it! Don't worry if the system seems a bit slow right
now: it takes some time to load everything from the CD. Your Linux
system will be much quicker once actually installed on your hard disk.
So, where can you download those CD images ? There are a lot of
Linux Live CDs available on the web ! You could try one of these for