I had been meaning to install linux on my computer from even before I bought it. The computer came with Vista Basic preinstalled and it took a while before I could free up a secondary hard drive. Having said that, I managed to get a copy of Feisty Fawn installed and did not torch the Vista operating system in the process.
I noted a couple odd things about the process. One, if I booted off the CD, it tended to launch with a resolution of only 800x600. That would have been fine, but when I attempted to install, the windows used were larger than that, and I could not get to the actual buttons at the bottom of the screen. Eventually I figured it out by using tab to cycle through but that was almost a deal breaker. One nice thing though is that most everything is automatically detected and configured. Gone are the days of setting up internet, etc.
Of course, once I had installed (on my second drive) and rebooted, nothing happened. Of course, the computer was reading the boot record off of the first drive and totally missing the fact that linux was ready to go on the second. Like I said, I really did not want to mess with the Vista drive so I decided to check the bios settings on my computer. Thankfully they had evolved as well. Both drives had been detected in bios, and there was a setting which let me specify the boot order. This worked, which meant I would not have to try copying boot record files and stuff over to the other drive.
Additionally, when I booted from the installed version of linux, it correctly guessed my resolution and things appeared to be working. But then I discovered that I also am affected by the 'Black Windows bug for nVidia cards'. I haven't had time to sort through those instructions and update my computer yet, but at least now I know where to begin.
Next up will be to start customizing it.