I believe the best way to do it is to buy a second hard drive (2HD) and install Linux on the second drive. That way you shouldn't have to touch XP. Remember that linux cannot ( with good certainity) write to $S XP reading XP is fine "NO write XP". Repartition the second HD with a small $S ME (or W98) partition to use for file transfers back and forth between systems. HD's are real cheap nowadays and one can't find anything less than 60/80 GBs.
The next decision that you need to make is your boot program. Read about using a boot floppy, GRUB, LILO, etc. and carefully weight the differences and advantages between them. I am beginning to think about using a boot floppy, an older but reliable way to boot, as a better choise. Just installed a floppy in my system so as to do just that.
Remember opinions are like noses . . . . . everone has one or two :>)
Hope I've helped.
Last edited by paul_e_t; 10-23-2005 at 09:34 PM.