Hang on, did you install a boot partition of 16MB?
There are three basic parts to a linux installation, whatever the distribution:
/ root partition (ext3fs/ext2fs) - your files go here
/boot boot partition (ext3fs / ext2fs) - makes root partition bootbale
<swap> swap partition - usually twice you system RAM up to 128MB.
All new distributions should walk you through installation with very little need for tweaking or guesswork.
Your Linux OS was free but I strongly suggest spending the equivalent on books! You can have a free lunch as long as you sing for it
Learning Red Hat Linux