How do I install Linux on a dell notebook/laptop that is currently running Windows XP?

I’ve been running windows xp alone on my notebook for the last two years. I know almost nothing about linux but I want to give it a shot. I downloaded the unbuntu live cd and used gparted to create two partitions on the hard drive. (there are two other tiny partitions on the hard drive that linux lists but windows doesn’t).

Currently the two smaller (hidden) partitions are formatted FAT and FAT32, the two larger partitions are both formatted NTFS.

What do I need to do to install ubuntu, or any other gnu/linux distro onto one of the partitions, without effecting windows on the other partition? Will I also need to install an additional boot manager?
thanks I d I realized that my problem was just that I should have left one partition unformatted until I installed ubuntu. I deleted the empty partition and used “guided install (largest available free space)” to install ubuntu, worked well, simple and automatic…now if I can just get my network card to work.

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