The one thing that I do need to know in advance is where to put the program that loads linux when I turn on my computer.
typically, you would D/L a ISO, check that the MD5 checksum is ok, & burn that to a DvD,
- don't just 'copy' it to the disk - that won't work.
- depending on your windows version, you may need a ISO-burner program.
once that is done, boot from that disk & not from the hdd,
- you may need to change some settings in bios, to achieve this ..
there is usually a 'install' icon on the 'nix desktop, to start the install process.
- don't use the option, to erase the 'whole hdd' - use the option to install 'side by side'
the advanced boot_media_option, is to use a flash stick, instead of the simpler DvD,
- this is created with something like UNetbootin.
if you do install to a external hdd, then that will always have to connected to the PC,
or the PC may fail to boot properly ..