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Hello, First of all, the programs made for windows can't be run on Ubuntu because Linux based operating system don't execute *.exe files. Messenger programs like Pidgin, skype are already added in the repository of Ubuntu. You can select from the software management menu and install. Besides, you can also download the sources (tar balls) of various other messengers written fir Linux distributions, compile them and install. You need just to search on Google for all available messengers for Ubuntu. It is advisable that you download a Debian package of the software because it is just like Windows .exe file to install it. Just, a click. Let me know if you need any other help regarding installation of softwares on Linux. We are always available for your help.
The WindowsXP setup program will hang when it tries check hardware at the beginning of setup. It won't recognize the linux file system as a legitimate drive and freeze. You'll need to either format the drive and lose all the linux data, or buy a second drive to install Windows on and make the windows drive the primary drive, and temporarily disconnect the linux drive. After you install Windows you can reconnect the linux drive as secondary. You can check the forums for your version of linux and find help on setting up a dual boot system so you can boot from Windows and linux. You'll just have to make adjustment to the linux bootloader config file. Linux is a great operating system, but is not for the faint of heart. Good Luck Fnshman