Re: Installing debian???
I would strongly recommend not to use Debian on your first try of GNU/Linux. The installation process is hell to a new guy. Go with distros like Fedora Core 3 or Mandrake or Suse. Easy, graphical installations.
1) i386 should work on an AMD Athlon. What do you mean by "not work"? What happened when you started the installation?
2) You can install GNU/Linux the same way you install Windows. In fact, it might even be much easier and nicer too, depending on the distribution. Just change the boot order to boot from CD-ROM first, insert the install cd and follow the instructions. Very simple.
3) Installing on a clean seperate drive will make the install process much easier. All available hard disks will appear during the partitioning part of the installation process. Just select the one you want to install GNU/Linux on and partiton it. And don't worry about the dual-boot thing. All GNU/Linux distributions come with bootloaders, either GRUB or LILO or both, although GRUB is the mainstream one these days. Unlike the Windows bootloader, these will automatically detect all other OSes on all your hard drives and give you the choice to select one. Again I'll recommend not to use Debian. Try Fedora Core 3. It'sreally easy to use. Everything is graphical.
Install GNU/Linux and be Free!