The very first thing I did when a machine running 7 came at home a pair of years ago, was to run Clonezilla from a Live USB (the machine is a netbook) and cloned the whole disk through ssh towards another machine to save it as "disk image" (it looks more like directories and files, but it is compressed). Later, I had once to restore the bootloader : I chose the option to restore it all, and that went fine too. (The Clonezilla program is in text mode, and all is written very clearly at each step: it was the first time I was using it, and also reading in English requires a special effort from me because it is technical, and because my native language is not English, however I didn't find it too difficult to use, I just had to take the time to read carefully).
The problem can arize from the bootloader, or may not arize. It may not depend entirely of Win7, but depend of how the constructor has arranged the install (the little netbook has I don't know how many partitions, but more than 2, I can say... ).
So once you have a safe copy of the hard drive with all the partitions in it, you can try to shrink the Win partition where there is space, and install PCLinuxOS with Grub in the MBR to manage both. Or you could use a non free, but free to use well known multiloader for Windows... the name is EasyBCD. I think the boot is particularly hideous with it, this is why I had to use the safe copy... I decided after test that it was too ugly and removed it. /o\
Are the sizes sufficient?
My / is installed in spaces varying from 5 to 12 GB. Then it depends how you manage your programs, do the cleaning... 5 is a bit tight sometimes, 40GB for a / partition seems gigantic to me. But that's me.