I have an HP DV6 2005AX laptop, which came pre-installed Windows 7 Home Premium. It has two partitions C: and D:, the latter is a backup partition to restore the laptop to the factory default state. The restoration can be started by pressing some key at startup.
I desperately want to install Linux distros side-by-side, but I'm scared that I may lose that backup partition when I install it. I don't have any Windows installation disk. All I want is my genuine Windows, nothing else. How should I proceed? (I am prepared to re-install Windows if required). Is it enough if I just know my Windows keycode?
Also, any advice on how I should partition my disk in case of a multiboot configuration would also be appreciated.