Windows doesnt care for dual booting, install it first. Only the linux drive youll install to should be ext3, the rest could be fat or ntfs. Fat is easier on linux, but recently programs like captive and ntfs-3g are showing that some day, we could have full ntfs support. Captive works exteremely well, and writes 100% of the time. As a downside, installation is decently painful to the n00b. ntfs-3g is a bit easier, and now part of the linux-ntfs project. it works quite well, but it isnt the perfect file writer. 50% of the files actually end up on the harddrive, and the other 50 dont, they are never written(Rejected because attempting to write would courupt the hd.). Its read access is perfect tho. If you need to access your linux drive from windows, google around for an ext3 driver for windows. i used to have one. lost it
For the sake of windows, you should probably configure like this:
C drive: WINDOWS ntfs
D drive: GAMES fat32
L drive: LINUX ext3
G: drive: Storage(windows) fat32
H: drive: Strogate(Linux) fat32 (if you plan to get an ext3 driver for windows, use ext3 here)
I recommend openSuSE linux HEAVILY. Getting the latest beta isnt the best idea, because there are sp,e few known annoyances... but if you can take them, then you can expeirence the coolest linux eye candy with Xgl (but it does take a little bit of setup for xgl, you could mess with it later)
So, why am i worried about being able to access the harddrives from each os? its not my computer.. its yours. But the odds are some day, youll either need, or want to access each hd from eachother. You may laugh now about this, similar to how i did, but you never know
So heres the deal:
Choose your distro of linux, i recommend suse but i always here about people liking ubunto. your choice man
Burn your distro to CD
Install windows. Now would be a good time to install drivers too(excluding ext3.. its setup will search for hds with ext3 and set them up for you)
Install your linux. If this is the first time using linux for you, note that everything on any harddrive on your computer will be somewhere under /. / is like C:\ except for the fact that it is the linux drive, and other harddrives will be in a folder under /. In SuSE linux, it will reconize windows drives and set a Mount point during setup to where you can access them
thats one more reason why i recommend it.
Note that ntfs drives can be mounted readonly in linux with no tools, but you can only read files and not write them. Blame microsoft.
IF YOU HAVE NEVER USED LINUX BEFORE:
When installing your distro, youll probably be confronted with a choice between Window Managers to use. Gnome KDE, and maybe some small ones. I'll go over them. KDE is nice for beginners, and gnome is for almost anyone... Gnome is just as configurable as KDE, but KDE is much easier to configure at various points like menu items.
Good luck. hope i told you everything.
How will installing work?
Quite nicely! Most installers are intensly friendly for beginners but leave options for those who know what there doing too. PLEASE NOTE: SuSE installers and possibly others will attempt to automatically set up partitioning by itself. During suse install, Youll be on a screen with a few items in a box and one will be partitioning. Youll click it, and try to make it to expert partitioner. I believe you need to click partitioning, and select create partition settings from scratch and select expert partitioner. Now, select you linux partition in the list. Select edit at the bottom of the screen, and in the mount point box set "/" from the combo box list. You can set the mount points for the rest of them manually. PLEASE NOTE: remember/write down these mountpoints! all of them except for / need to be created if they dont exist. They will not automatically be created. now go threw with the installation. Now when you go back to the screen with the box with items in it, click Software. Now, it will have a list with checkboxes. Ensure that gnome and kde are both check. then, ensure that you have C++ compiler checked(Notice that it is listed slightly differently.) Now, you will have a KDE/Gnome installation with all harddrives enabled
follow threw with installation. NEVER ABORT EVER DURING FILE INSTALLATION. if it freezes up, wait atleast 5 minutes and if an error pops up, ignore it. Its ok, there should not be any of these. it notes usually a disk error occuring. After installation, you will be booted into kde or gnome. If you log out, you can select Session Type as KDE or gnome, and just select your user and enter your password. There. Hope ubunto is easier, i dont know how well it installs.
How will booting up work?
If you do windows first then linux, linux will take over and you will see GRUB. Grub shows a menu with all operating systems listed. At this point, you can select windows and windows will boot up normally. Selecting linux will do exactly what you think
both Ubuntoo and SuSE are graphical in there boot processes i believe.
how do i burn onto a cd?
Get an iso burning program. Case closed. Of course, some are confusing; IsoBuster can do the job and its free. You could use its help feature to find out more quickly how to burn, but its pretty simple. Just open the iso, and hit the burn button. If your drive is known to create generally bad cds, getting an internet installation cd is much better for you
how do I get kde installed?
Unfortantally for ubuntoo, i dont know. Apoligies. However, i mentioned how to do this on the suse installer above. Your pretty solid with ubuntoo, so im not going to say anything bad (Infact, alot of people recommend it, i will try it as soon as i get some cds some day)
How to get to program what work this windows but not for linux to work for linux
One word describes it: Wine.
Heres what you need to know.
First off, alot of people complain about linux not having alot of programs. Thats when google is your friend... and thats when you have to relize that most linux programs are free and you don't usually by them at a sofrware store. But its not impossible to run some of your current windows programs.
Every platform has an instruction set. An executable format is a way to contain an executable and all of its instructions. Windows uses its very own format, PE. Thats portable executable format. Linux uses ELF. thats Executable and linkable format. So great, all we have to do is write a program that loads PE executables? well no.. Windows has DLLs were Linux has .SO files. There both libraries, but for different OS'es. And to make it worse, windows is completely different with these files. They have alot of these that come with windows to make it easier to program on. So does linux, but linux and windows both have completely different ones.
So heres what wine does: not only loads a pe executable, but contains it with its windows dll replacements (Better called .dll.so, because there linux code designed for wine to read and let windows programs use them under wine). Of course, thats alot of code.
Ok, so wine emulates windows on all of the aspects required. since of course windows is very undocumented, and wine is still in development alot of programs dont run. Wine used to be BSD licensed, so there were no restrictions on distributing the code and binaries. 2 Companies took advantage of this. Codeweavers and transgaming.they made enhanced copies of wine and sold binaries. transgamings "cedega"(formerly winex) was a free game geared wine enhancement that became pay but there cvs has most of the source code (Copy protection and some microsoft installer components arnt included due to legal issues) but you could always modify wines current kernel code to compile with winex for some level of copy protection. Codeweavers Crossover supports a large amount of apps but they only list some. They also give source code but cost money(they give fullsource.). Both give internal wine source code, but neither source packages include the gui where programs are installed with. You must do it by hand with the source, If you plan on playing games, subscribe to cedega. If you plan on running programs, get crossover. Both are well worth it, and cheap. 5 dollars a month for an updated cedega copy (according to somebody recommending it) and crossover is 30 bucks for a personal edition (Great value.)