I’ve made some posts, but I want to clarify a few things. I am a computer USER. I am past 50 years old and while I have worked “with” computers all my life, the complexities of the issues I’ve dealt with pale in comparison to many others here. Once about 25 years ago I had the brilliant idea to get a static IP number for my business and set port forwarding on the router to direct traffic to the internal office server (which had password protections in place). It worked (ftp connections were the best!). But I did that as a small shop manager, a guy who worked on budgets and sales and office efficiencies over IT issues (we had like 10 employees, so I was basically IT).
Story time over. I know how to do a few cool computer things, but I have spent most of my time just using computers. In my Linux phase, I have worked to install various incarnations of Linux on 3 laptops I have. I have said before and say again, I am running Pop! OS (Gen 8 i3, 8GB RAM), Zorin (full version) on a Gen 8 i7, 8 GB of RAM, and the one I am typing on… Solus Budgie (Gen 4 i3 with 12 GB RAM).
I have exclusively used USB drives for my distros. This means you 1) have to download a distro in your current OS, 2) Burn the ISO image to a thumb drive you have in your possession (most need to be about 8 GB+), 3) Boot to the computer BIOS to change boot order and 4) run the distro from the USB drive or install it permanently either partitioned alongside your current OS or erasing your current OS and moving totally to the new distro.
I don’t care how you do it, and I am not affiliated with ANY links I am sharing. I’ve just used them and found them helpful compared to others I have used and have NOT found helpful.
I like this method: How to Install Linux on Windows 10 : HelloTech How
Note: basically works the same way with Windows 11.
I also like this if you’re a Linux Mint fan. NOTE: I’ve tried the flavors of Mint and Cinnamon is the one I like best. YMMV:
If you’re on Linux already:
I have used Zentoy (good) and Balena Etcher (better if you ask me) and both work fine. Some Linux Distros come with software that will create an ISO image from a downloaded OS already without Etcher or Zentoy. Here are some resources. Note Mint allows you to create a bootable USB from what is already in the system:
So here’s where we are. You have 1) downloaded the new distro and 2) downloaded and/or launched an ISO imaging app and 3) Used that app to load the ISO distro file onto a USB stick to make it bootable.
The final trick is to learn how to work in the BIOS. Problem: different computers use different commands to enter the BIOS. One of my Dells requires me to tap F12 at boot (if I remember right) while my ASUS requires me to tap Escape at boot. Another Dell requires me to press and hold F2 at boot. So… tap, hold, Escape, F2, F12 (F8 for some)… it varies.
I can’t solve your problems here, but if you Google how to enter the BIOS on your particular computer model, you should be able to troubleshoot your way to a solution. Once in the BIOS, change the boot order so that the USB stick is the FIRST selection. Save changes and exit. I can’t go through every computer here and how it works, but a search engine is your friend and even if you stumble here, it can be done. Stay calm and work through it. Ask on some forums. Somebody will be able to help you.
Once booted from the USB stick, decide if you like the look and feel of the distro. If so, install it. It’s an easy thing to do. Poke around and the option will be in plain sight. I ALWAYS suggest running it alongside your other partition at first until you’re comfortable cutting the cord. Remember to always back up your data if you play with this stuff and have priceless files. Cloud storage/backup is my recommendation, as no matter what hard drive fail occurs, you can get to your data.
I know this probably won’t help, but I hope it can. Stay calm. Don’t fear the Terminal. Use Google a LOT. Go slow and steady. Ask questions if you get stuck. It’s not hard, but it may take some time and tweaking to get your system where you want it. But you CAN get there.