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[school-discuss] Linux Distro Launching From MS Windows

I'm looking for a fairly recent but *STABLE* distro that can
be installed as a file/directory in a Microsoft Windows XP Pro
system and then booted using a CD-ROM, DVD, or other
removable media. I want to make sure that my current MS-Win
setup doesn't get messed up; unfortunately, it's still required.
Dynebolic has an in-MS install, but I don't want to mess with
their current 3.00 beta offering--please remember that I'm
aiming at *STABILITY* ahead of all other considerations.
My experience so far with multi-boot configurations and the
like doesn't give me any confidence in them. The distro needs
to run with *high* reliability and reasonable speed on a 2.6Ghz
Celeron and 384 MB of available system RAM. It should also
support scanning and printing with a Kodak ESP-3 multi-function.
In addition, I have an old Iomega 100MB Zip drive attached.
Maybe setting this up would be good experience for some
hot-shot high school geek, but please do *lots* of debugging
before you tell me its ready. Thanks in advance for any help.