Originally Posted by chartreuse
I am most worried about ending up with a computer where I can't load windows, or can't load anything at all. Thanks in advance for any advice (or reassurances...).
There is NOTHING you can do that is not recoverable (well, almost nothing...
1. backup important data
2. make sure you have Windows install/rescue disk
3. create empty space on the drive** don't try to create linux partitions in Windows--with Part. Magic, etc.
4. boot from Linux install CD and follow directions
Typically, you will have two choices on where to put the bootloader--mbr and floppy. In either case, it should see the Windows install and automatically set you up for dual-boot.
Putting the bootloader on floppy avoids having to fix windows if something goes wrong. Not a huge issue since windows is easy to fix (see step 2)
**My ideal setup:
partitions for Linux and Windows OS +apps: ~10GB each (a bit less is OK, depending on how many apps)
balance of the drive in a FAT32 partition for data--easily shared between 2 OSes.