Part of the answer may lay in what the specs are of the machine being used.
We could start there, if you wish.
I agree with trying live distros first, also that Debian-based is as stated (for when you actually load onto hard drive).
I like slackware-based distros on old PCs, Debian- or Fedora-based 64-bit on newer ones. peraonal preference only.
Only as suggestions to start, lacking info on your machine, are:
Lucid Puppy Linux 5.0.1
if one doesn't mind spending a little to avoid having to go online and download, for whatever reason, openSUSE and its repositories can be purchased via vendors like www.osdisc.com
, who has treated me well.
Many choices, only guesses without knowing more.
Welcome! Hope you stay.