I have been asked by several people recently, both through here and privately, about the steps involved and the decisions to be made in converting a PC running Windows to Linux. After repeating the whole thing a few times, I decided to put it here for reference. These are based on my own experiences - anyone who has different, better or additional ideas should add them in the comments.
- First, especially if you are starting with a new PC, make sure that you have complete Windows recovery media. This is even more important (and potentially tricky) today than it has been in the past, because a lot of new systems today do not come with Windows installation CD/DVDs included, they only have a "recovery partition" on the hard drive. In this case make sure that you use whatever the manufacturer's "recovery media creation utility" might be to create yourself a set of disks - it will usually be about 3-5 DVDs.
Rest here