so i want to install Ubuntu on an extra HDD i have because I've been curious about Linux for awhile. I've tries doing it unsuccessfully, so i was wondering if you guys could help me start fresh and show me the way. I downloaded Ubuntu 13.10 ISO file from a torrent site and i have a 8gb thumb drive.
Have you read this? http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/create-a-usb-stick-on-windows
Also, keep in mind that any problems that you encounter with Ubuntu will probably be non-existent with other linux distributions. There are more than 600 linux distributions, make a mental note to try at least one or two of them before making up your mind about linux.
"I downloaded Ubuntu 13.10 ISO file from a torrent site"
Don't do that, download it from Canonical, use the torrent links if you want but be sure they're the officially released one
Get it from Canonical and then go and search for "pendrivelinux". This is software that makes creating a bootable Ubuntu usb really quick and easy.
will it automatically boot when its in my computer
unetbootin for all you usb iso needs
is there a program i could use to install Linux (Ubuntu) while in windows?
Win32 Disk Imager is best, use Gparted when the OS is installed and working to clean the drive after.
You can use Ubuntu installer for Windows also, this is easy but it does not have the performance of bare metal.
Ubuntu does have an installer for within Windows, but it with fairly minimal reading you should be able to figure out how to do a proper install on a separate partition or hard drive. If you use pendrivelinux you can create a bootable USB that will load the Ubuntu installer on machine startup (providing your bios/uefi is configured that way). From there you will be given a few options. If you want to install Ubuntu alongside Windows on the same drive then it gives you an option to do that. The other option is to replace Windows, which I don't think you want. There is also a third option 'something else' which is a bit more fiddly, but useful if you want to put Ubuntu on another hard drive without messing with the partitions on the drive that Windows is on.