I'd recommend Linux Mint 13 MATE 64 bit: http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=104
- Linux Mint 13 because it's the long-term support release, with support till April 2017 (meaning you get security fixes for all your installed software till then);
- MATE because it is somewhat similar to Cinnamon, but unlike Cinnamon doesn't require a good graphics card driver to work smooth. It will probably be faster. The other editions (KDE, Xfce) don't have a Windows installer.
- 64 bit because although the 32 bit edition also has the Windows installer, you can read in the release notes that on the 32 bit edition this doesn't work right and you are informed to use only the 64 bit edition when you want to use the Windows installer.
You can install from DVD or USB stick (how to put the ISO on a USB: http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/744
If you can't boot from USB stick, you can use Plop Boot Manager (which you can put on a CD, or add to your Windows install). Plop will allow you to boot from USB stick even if your BIOS doesn't support that: http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanager/index.html
If you asking this has as reason the USB booting problem, I'd recommend you use Plop Boot Manager instead of using a Windows installer to install a Linux distro. Do a real installation, it will be safer and faster.