@jargos, chances are your machine only boots from the hard drive, or you copied an iso file to a usb. In either event, it won't work that way. So let's try some alternatives, okay? I feel responsible, since it seems you're now interested in Linux due to something I said in some other thread. So more than normally, I want to help.
So who's the manufacturer of your machine? If Dell, then to learn about BIOS, do this:
1. As soon as you hit the power button, keep hitting F12 key until you see something called a 'boot menu'. Look for 'Setup'. That's shorthand for BIOS setup. Think of Bios as meaning 'Bootup Instructions (for Your) Operating System'. So it's like a traffic cop ruling on which 'car' (operating system on your machine) may drive. So, there is a 'menu' of settings that tell the cop, which car gets to drive.
NOTE: if not Dell, then maybe you don't keep hitting F12, but instead F10 or Alt-F10 or sometimes even F2 key. But the ideas are the same.
2. So go through all those menu settings, read them carefully, and be sure to change the one labelled 'boot sequence'. The 'boot sequence' tells the BIOS 'cop' where to look for the 'car' (operating system) in the 'garage' (your computer's peripherals like CD, usb, etc). For freedom's sake, you want the 'cop' to first look at your CD drive or usb port to allow that one to 'boot' (operate) your machine. Thus you have up to three different 'cars' (operating systems) you can use. So 'boot sequence' means which system gets to run; if no system is in the CD, then it looks on the usb; if none are in the usb, then it goes to your hard drive. This matters, for if Windows won't boot, you'll want a CD or floppy or usb selected first, then the others next, and your hard drive last (ignore 'NIC', that has to do with networks). This gives you the freedom to repair or restore Windows, and to even learn if you'll like Linux. Can't learn it, if you can't run it.
Now, re Linux..
3. One of those 'cars', is a 'Linux'. My suggestion is that you just flat go to Amazon and buy a Linux stick for a 'test drive'. The ones I like the best are sold out, but here's one (click here) that's inexpensive, will reach you in two days, and you'll probably like it. I have that one. You can make it immediately for free instead, but right now maybe it's best to just simply buy it. You can always make a free one, later. Best of all, the one you bought will be VERY handy if you need to use someone else's computer, or fix your own. For the stick or CD, does not alter the internal hard drive. It's like a computer-within-a-computer. So you can't be wasting money.
4. Now when the stick arrives, if you changed the 'boot sequence', you can just plug the stick or CD into your machine, turn on the machine, and you'll have Linux. (First time it boots, takes maybe 10 minutes, for it sets up the drivers your machine needs.) It can read your Windows drive and files, yet leave them alone. If you need to, you can have Linux copy your Windows files and even write them to another external drive or DVD (which Windows itself, doesn't do well -- Linux does it much faster and better). Moreover, Linux uses Firefox, so you can sync with your Windows Firefox browser, and immediately surf. (Same with Chrome, if you use Chrome). Same for Adobe and many other programs you use in Windows. But not all.
5. So once you're 'driving' Linux, keep clicking on that lower left corner like you do in Windows (Linux has a Start Menu too, this one in the lower left corner as well): explore the menu options, see what you like. For every program in Windows, there's a similar one in Linux. For the programs Windows does better, you can find a way to RUN those programs via Linux. But, let's not get into all that yet. For now, just see what's familiar to you as a Windows user. For you never have to give up the Windows you know. Linux is Windows' best friend. Especially now, with Windows 10 being so problemmatic.
6. So now look at your Linux desktop: in the middle of it, is an icon which says 'Install Mint'. If you like what you see and want this 'Mint', you can install it to an EXTERNAL DRIVE other than the stick you just bought. For the stick you bought, just enables you to test drive, or buy the 'car'. And you don't have to touch the Windows 'car', either.
7. So if you want to also buy the Linux car (for free, okay) then follow one or the other of my posts, here. Essentially, all you do is click on that 'Install Mint' icon and make sure it installs on some OTHER external drive/stick you also plug into your machine. That other drive becomes a car you customize as you please, carry anywhere you go, plug into any machine you want (well, if it has at least 1 GB of RAM), and .. drive.
Does this help? Yell at me if not.
Edited by brainout, 01 August 2015 - 05:28 AM.