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 distributions". A live distribution works the
following way :
- Download a disk image from the web (this will be an .iso
file, usually around 700 MB).
- Copy the image onto a USB stick (don't just copy the file, individual
distributions should tell you how to do you).
- Plug in your USB drive, and reboot.
- You will need to tell your computer to boot from the USB drive instead
of booting from the
hard drive (where Windows is), and when it does it will not touch anything :
don't worry about Windows and your data, they'll still be there when you
reboot again without the drive.
- If your computer still boots Windows (the drive doesn't seem to
have any effect), then your BIOS configuration is faulty: you need to
ask it to first scan the USB devices 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 drive. Your Linux
system will be much quicker once actually installed on your hard disk.
So, where can you download those drive images ? There are a lot of
Linux Live distributions available on the web ! You could try one of these for