If you want to run Linux and XP and don't care where Linux is as long as it works, may I suggest this?
1) boot xp
2) scandisk thorough (need to reboot)
3) defrag thorough
4) partition your 80GB HDA to be
20gig - ntfs - xp
10gig - ext2 - linux
50gig - fat32 - my doc
5) install linux on /dev/hda2
check for bad sectors, no
Sorry 250mb doesn't cut it. You'll need 5gig+. 5 will be filled up if you plan on installing extra software. 10 will be good enough for a long while. Save your Linux & Windows files on my_doc (50gig).
Partition Magic will partition for you for a price. Very easy to use under Windows.