I'm not sure which forum to post this in, but here goes. With support ending for Windows XP soon, and receiving an error message most times I boot the computer, I decided to purchase a new computer. I have a nice Gateway with Windows 8.1 which I don't know how to use. I would like to restore my old computer, and maybe put a linux system on it. It is a systemax with dual core 500 gb HD, 2GB ram, and 2000 gh speed. I have a few questions , on what I need to do to do, and what is possible. I'm told I can partition add linux, and use both systems, being careful not to have windows up while I'm online. Will that protect windows (I will have a virus protection, probably avast)? Can I keep my files and programs while I am running my recovery disk to correct some of my programs. .net framework1.1 has been partially overwritten and can't update, I believe that is why some of my other's can't be updated recently also, like adobe flash, and active x, and a couple others. I haven't even got windows 8.1 learned yet, so I don't want to jump into too much yet. Is there a tutorial for any of these, I can't seem to find any. Can I network linux with windows, when I figure out how to set up a home network, there will be 4 other computers in the house? I've used computers a fair amount, but a novice about working on them. A heavy equipment operator by trade. Or am I biting off too much. Retirement is in 3 months, so I should have a bit more time. Thank you for your help.