Well, no linux distro to the date can run on an NTFS partition. You can always grab a program that emulates a fat32 environment so you can run linux within windows, but that is as close as your going to get. All that is possible is to create a RAM disk to push the operating system through without installing it on its own partition, which is what distro's like Knoppix do.
Unfortunetely, if you want practice with a modern distro, the systems for those live distro's need a lot to get up and running with the advanced hardware detection scripts, plus, it is pulling everything off the cd so it can become quite the bottleneck. Remember, you can grab any of those modern live distro's like Ubuntu or Knoppix and tell the kernel to boot to a straight tty session without x and that usually configures a lot faster then with X.
If anyone else has any better options, go ahead and give them because that is the best answer I can come up with for the time being.
I would suggest trying out a distro like Damn Smalll Linux. It boots from the cd and then runs from the memory (if not mistaken) and it will be fast and provide u with everything that u need (except KDE or Gnome:))
Here's a list for all the LiveCDs available to download:
Hope i helped
vmware is the best option for you.It can b installed on ur windows machine and will give u a whole linux redhat or other platforms interface while you can switch back n forth in windows and in linux at ur will.