Zorin looked like a fun tool to try until I read this link which describes how to dual boot. Can it really be this hard to do? I didn't need to do anything special with Ubuntu.
I found it easy and that's saying a lot. If I can do it, any one can.
I used EASEUS Partition Manager to re-size my Windows Partition.
I absolutely backed up everything and anything I did not want to lose onto an external hard-drive.
The only thing that could complicate it is if you are trying to install it on a secondary hard-drive and do a dual boot that way. Windows 7 , for whatever reason, will no longer see that second hard drive. THere is a program called EASYBCD that is supposed to help with that but I had no luck with it.
I chose to resize my Windows Partition.
Here is a link that is for installing Zorin8 that I used. http://www.everydaylinuxuser.com/2014/02/zorin-os-8-more-like-windows-7-than.html
I cannot find the link to the page that explained how to resize my Windows Partition, but I recall it was very easy and the program does it for you taking out the guess work. It told you the maximum space you needed to for the Windows PArtition, than I went ahaead and made my Zorin partition leaving anough space for a storage partition. http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-2004816/shrink-windows-partition-losing-data.html A lot really depends on how much stuff you have on your PC to begin with.
I have 320GB HD. I kept 120GB for Windows 7, 37GB of which is still free. Then my partitions are as follows
11.7GB (My Windows recovery partition)
83.8 GB (Zorin 9) which is MORE than plenty. YOu only need 5GB for the OS, the rest is gravy. You WILL BE ABLE to mount your Windows partition as a drive and access everything on it from Zorin. (Music, videos, etc.)
44.9GB for whatever.
I will look and see if I can find the stuff I followed. I am usually a bookmark-aholoic, but for some reason either forgot to save it or can't remember where I saved it.
The scariest part for me was condensing the Windows PArtition and reading threads like the one you found. That one is almost 3 years old and the installation has become easier and less complicated since then. I'll get back in a day or two or sooner when I find the info. If you look at the that first link, it's easy. There are also quite a few videos on youtube as well.