Hi, to mount partitions, the command is "mount".If your drive is /dev/sda (and has a partition number 1) you create a mountpoint (here /mnt/gentoo) and the whole command would be : "mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/gentoo". ("man mount" to see the manual of the mount command).
You say your machine would randomly freeze with Ubuntu and
WinXP? You should seriously check your hardware (begin with memtest86+ and move up from there).
And would someone recomend a good book or class to take to help speed up the linux learning process
What kicked me off was following the Gentoo install guide
(Which you should follow from the beginning if you want to use Gentoo). There I understood some basic concepts.
A really great book is 'Unix Power Tools' from O'Reilly Media. That taught me so much about the shell. But the best way is to try to do something, and having to figure out how.