Try Mint as a live-cd...
Download and burn a copy of Linux Mint 14 Cinnamon. Remember to burn it as an ISO image file. Boot the live-cd, then try things out, seeing what functions with linux without any further effort on your part.
Then open a terminal and use the command "sudo lshw" which will generate a list of the hardware as it reports itself with relevant details.
linux generally configures devices with kernel modules. That is, in opposition to Windows, there are no separate drivers to install. As an exception to this, a webcam or a wi-fi chip may require its own driver or a piece of firmware from the company that makes the chip.
Note the information for the devices that are giving you trouble and use the Internet for information on how to get them working if they supported in linux or if something is not supported and you have an real problem using linux on your HP.