- no worries about viruses, spyware, etc
Well that really depends on how you wish to do it.
Most of the Linux Distributions have a "Live Disk" option - whereby you put a disk in the drive, restart the PC and you get "Linux" with access to all your old files on all partitions etc so you can copy them over.
Then once you've copied over what you want the live disk gives you a full install option which will repartition your HDD(s) and bye bye windows.... or of course you could do dual boot (again an option on most installs)
Linux Distro's are designed to be ultimately configurable and they really are! its an in depth topic but the basics of it all is: if there is a system you want setup in exactly a particular way, there is going to be a way to do it quickly and easily with Linux.
Oh and don't worry too much about the time it takes either. I installed "Ubuntu" linux on my 3rd laptop the other day, took about 20 minutes end to end and detected all my hardware without issue. Even came with Open office and Firefox and Thunderbird on it! I was writing my first email on this list on it 35 minutes after putting the disk in!
Peter Dodds wrote: