This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
Have you read the Red Hat 9 Installation Guide? They have a special section on dual boot with windows. Also, are you aware that Red Hat 9 is no longer supported by Red Hat? More details here. If you want to stay current with updates and fixes you may want to consider a different distribution.
Easiest to do would be to save all the data you have in the 2nd partition(not the one with the windows system folders).
When you start installing linux, delete that 2nd partition and recreate it as a Linux partition, and install linux there. Most of the Linux distributions have some sort of partition manager that is run during installation.
Also a lot of people recommend having multiple linux partitions, but if you are just trying it out, I suggest you only have two partitions, a root partition and a swap partition.
But, I am not Linux expert, so if there is any important data on your laptop, I'd suggest that you back it all up before you try anything.