I tried to dual boot Vista and Linux on the laptop but the linux install will not even start, let alone run. I boot to the linux CD and the instll menu comes up, i start the install and it gets about 10% of the way through and stops. The CD drive stops making noises and nothing happens.
I have tried 7 different linux distros and the same thing happens. Its as if this laptop does not want to install linux.
many Linux Live CD's appear to be doing nothing during an "investigation" phase of loading. To be honest, it's a criticism I have of most Live CD's because if only there were something on the screen to let you know it's still "happening", you wouldn't wonder what on earth was going on.
At that time, it's looking at your hardware and trying to determine the best settings to load and run the system. Think of it this way, a live CD is just like a brand new installation every time you run it.
The fact that you have tried seven different distro's and suffer from the same symptoms suggests to me, you simply may not be giving the system enough time to sort itself out.
The systems that are most likely to run are:
PCLinuxOS, Ubuntu/Kubuntu, Linux Mint, SuSE, Knoppix.