Haven't got the faintest idea about actually answering your question,
but I dual boot on a single hard drive, using mandrake 9.1.
The install is pretty straightforward, if you have already got a windows install, then mandrake can resize it (I believe). I already had a linux partition so I just put it there. Also I have the luxury of partition magic 8.0 so I can meddle with the partitions easily, and have already set some disc space aside so I can try debian in the near future.
I should say that it would depend on your knowledge/experience levels, but if you try mandrake, download it (I would say all three disc images, but I think that you can actually get away with just the first one - or maybe two), burn the ".iso" images to disc, then just put the first disc in and follow the prompts and you should be up and running.
Just make sure that when the installer asks you about bootloaders, tell it to put it in the first section of the MBR, it WILL overwrite your windows mbr with the default of lilo(again, if you know what you're doing anyhow then you might choose grub). Also, it usually makes mandrake linux the default OS, but you can change that in the mandrake control centre in the system>boot option.
As usual, the only snags you might experience will probably be your net connection (unless you've already got a NIC and external modem/router - then it's only a case of setting the correct IP address etc), but if you have only done windows stuff before, then you should look into "winmodems" to make sure what kind of modem you've got - some winmodems can be configured if you can get the drivers, most of them can't.
Again, sorry if I can't give you a nice "techie" type answer to your question (I'm a truck driver, not a techie) but the above should be enough to get you up and running.
Hope it helps
p.s. hope my post doesn't sound too much like "teaching Granny too suck eggs!"
Last edited by bigjohn; 07-22-2003 at 04:10 AM.