I suggest you use mandrake. Its like windows, but a thousand times better. I just recently switched over from Xp and 2000. I got so tired of virus' attacking my system every day. Service pack 4 for win2k? Wtf is that? Oh i get Microsoft, there is over 400 updates to fix all the holes in your OS. Now really, Mr Gates, how can you charge me $500 for a piece of software that to this day still isn't even complete or secure? Sorry about the rant. lol. Anyways, Mandrake linux, amazing OS! I'd pay twice as much for this OS as I did for Windows 2000 except I ended up paying nothing cause linux and opensource is frikin amazing, so I plan on donating money. So yes.
Download ISO CD Images from mandrakes website.
Burn the Images onto CD's using your fav burning software.
Back up any data you currently want to save on the xp machine.
Zero your hard drive (optional really, just a good idea me thinks in order to make your system run a bit smoother)
Install Xp and during the Xp install partition your harddrive into drives giving 50/50 space, assuming that 50/50 will give 10Gb+ to each drive.
Finish the Xp install and update it right away to avoid having MS Blaster and like 2 billion other virus' from destroying your machine.
Then reboot with Mandrake Install CD in drive, run through the install, let it autodetect that you have windows and a bunch of free hard drive space on the other drive, and it will automatically set up the boot loader for you. When you turn on your laptop a boot menu will appear and ask you which os you want to use. after about a week of asking questions in here to understand and learn how to use linux, you will never go back to xp and you can remove it off your computer and be Ms free.
Let me know what you think.