Recommend a distro to do a specific job
I currently have a windows XP SP3 four pc network at home run off a D-Link 524 router - part wireless, part wired. One of the pc's runs a moderately complex set of back ups, shifting them between locations on two USB 1 TerraByte drives.The pc running the backup - it does nothing else bar housekeeping - is supposed to be on permanently year in year out. Some years ago on an earlier version of this setup I got fed up with the back up system dropping off in various ways and tried use Linux instead, using Ubunto 8.1. After around 20 to 30 hours of experimentation and following advice from various forums, I gave up and went back to XP. The problem was that I never got the network running fully. Sometimes the Ubunto pc could see the XP pcs, but we never got the XP pcs to see the Ubunto pc's USB drives (maybe not the Ubunto pc at all - I forget now). Since the data is pushed by the XP pcs onto one of the backup pc's USB drives, clearly this did not work.
Soooo, my question is, which Distro should I try now to meet the following criteria -
1. Run on an Acer 5000 laptop, and see the USB drives.
2. Must initially run from CD, then preferably dual boot with XP and finally replace XP.
3. Must network readily into an XP workgroup
4 Must be easily set up to do a series of different cloning operations at specific times between the USB drives, depending on the day of the week.