I've decided to update my HTPC-fileserver and run Linux rather than Windows. I've gotten to the point now where I am comfortable enough with easy to use Distros (Mint / Ubnuntu, openSuse). I have a few raid disks with TB of data that I want to ensure interoperability with (and I want to ensure the safety of the data), and will be networking with Windows machines.
What's the best way to get started with this migration? Currently I am running Vista 32.