OK--we are getting closer, but you will still have to be more specific in what you are doing.
Do I understand correctly that you are able to boot and run the live CD if you do it from VMWare? Regardless, lets save that option for later.
Booting from live CD is not installing---the computer will only read from the CD into RAM (memory) and will not **install** anything on the hard drive.
Installing Linux means to copy it to the hard drive (in its own partition), and can be done AFTER booting from a live CD, or after booting from a CD that is designed for installation only.
Can you boot the computer from a live CD? If not, tell us in detail what happens. (Don't use VMWare for now.)
Regardless of how you INSTALL Linux, you will need to re-size your Windows partition (the big one). If the computer has been used a lot, you might need to de-fragment also. I think the best way to resize the partition is using a tool like GParted. This very well may be on one of your live CDs, or it is available as a standalone CD.
You won't get far with any of this if the computer won't boot from a CD---so we need to fix that first.