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First of all you need to install Vista on the 1-st partition. After done you can install linux on the free partition choosing manual instalation. The bootloader should be Grub, that works fine with Vista.
You need to partition your Hard drive to however much you want reserved for the Linux OS. You need to get a live CD of the Linux distribution you want and after you have partitioned your Hard drive, you need to boot from the live CD and install Linux onto the Partitioned part of the hard drive. DO NOT install Linux onto the regular partition, this will mess up your current operating system
What have you recently plugged in as new hardware ? this F1 response indicates that a piece of hardware is not properly configured to run , and F1 is the offered option to go to CMOS to complete the installation.A most likely item will be a USB powered piece of hardware.