Originally Posted by dunnery
What specs should I look for? And once I get it should I run Ubuntu or mint for web based things and hard drive repair? As you no doubt know, the Linux lingo is a bit difficult sometimes so please bear with me. I'm doing the best I can.
You probably have a few more decisions to take than you realised when you wrote this. The one that comes to mind is which GUI you will use.
If you get at least 2G of RAM, you could consider KDE or Gnome, but if you go much lower, it will probably crawl if you try to do much at once. That would then leave you the choice to make from things like XFCE, LXDE. Now, my advice would be to get a 'live DVD' or few with some candidates on them, plug them in, try them out and see which you like.
Primarily, if you like the GUI, you'll probably be ok with the Distro, almost irrespective of which you choose (well, I wouldn't advise, say, Gentoo as being the easiest place to start). Another way of going forward would be to choose one of the 'big, do everything' distros (Debian, openSUSE, for example) which would allow you to install several GUIs at the same time, and select when you log in. This would, of necessity, use more space on disk, so probably isn't a good route if your computer is short of disk space, but if you get a, eg, 160G disk, that probably wouldn't be an issue. (Still, using the Live CD/DVD, probably is less messing about before you know what you are doing, so is less likely to leave unnecessary rubbish on the hard disk in your experimentation.)