I've never done it before, so If you have the time and don't mind, could you explain to me how to do it? Do the shrink and upload the Linux? Can I load the Linux on the disk drive before I add it to the hard drive? I would install it from the disk and not have to worry about setting up separate folders and have it to reinstall if I screw up, which is a high probability, lol.
Welcome jeffreyamangold to the Linux forum.
Here's a site that will give you step by step instructions for dual booting Vista and Linux.
Please read them carefully, and be willing to spend some time digesting what you need to do.
That's a good article that 70 Tango Charlie posted so I suggest you read it.
Basically you go into "Disk Management" and shrink your Windows partition in half to make room for your Linux installation.
Than you download the .iso image of whatever Linux distro you want to install and verify the integrity of the .iso file. Don't skip checking the integrity of the file, this step is really important.
To view Linux distro's go to Distrowatch.
Use Rufus to make a usb flash drive bootable with the Linux .iso or burn the image of the Linux .iso onto a CD/DVD.
Once the usb flash drive has been made bootable or you have the image of the Linux .iso on a CD/DVD you can proceed to install Linux on your pc.
All Linux distributions come with an Installer that will walk you through step by step to install the distro of your choice.
If the flash drive or the CD/DVD won't boot it's most likely that the boot order is set to the hard drive so you will have to go into your BIOS on your pc and set the boot priority to either usb or CDROM in order for the installation to start.
Rufus is a small application that creates bootable USB drives, which can then be used to install or run Microsoft Windows, Linux or DOS. In just a few minutes, and with very few clicks, Rufus can help you run a new Operating System on your computer...