Originally posted by otp_ggc
Also, is it possible to install Linux into an existing Windows partition? (I am willing to erase any data on my second Windows partition i.e. D:\)
Yes, it's possible. Your 'scenario' is pretty similar to mine, that is, I installed Linux on my second partition. When you're running your setup, you simply have to specify that you want the Linux native on the second partition.
The setup will format that partition with the ext2 file system, and you're on your way.
As for your first question, someone much more able than I will answer that.