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I've bought a new Toshiba computer a few days ago, and I'm not pleased by Windows 8. Since I want to be able to sell the computer for a fair price in the future, I'd like to know how I do to be able to install Windows 8 again when I want to get rid of my computer. My plan is to install Windows 7 and dual boot with Ubuntu and do a complete format of my disk.

My ideas & questions:
Save the key - Does Microsoft allow me to just remove my operating system and then use the key again on another installation (same computer)?
Use my recovery partion - Since I have a 128 gb SSD I don't really want to have 10 gb reserved for a recovery partion. But if saving the key doesn't do it, will the current recovery partion give me a complete windows 8 from scratch, with factory default setting?
Some other way - If nothing of these solves my head-scratching, what should I do?

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I think Windows 8 OEM activation no longer requires a key. If you can get hold of a copy of the installer, you can install it again at any time. The key is stored in your computers firmware. – Nov 17 '12 at 14:03
Where do I get an installer? And if I format my drive, is the firmware affected? – Kim Kling Nov 17 '12 at 14:10
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Option 1: You can create a "system image" using Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Windows 7 File Recovery. Then you can use a system repair disc to restore the image to the harddrive.

Option 2: You can download an OEM Windows DVD image from the internet and install from that. You'll need to install the drivers again, but you don't need a key to activate. (You may be able to get a system restore DVD from your laptop's vendor if you spend some time with their customer support.)

Option 3: Use tools like Norton Ghost or Clonezilla to copy the entire Windows partition.


The firmware is stored in a chip on the motherboard that is separated from your hard disk and you cannot normally overwrite it. It used to contain BIOS code, but now probably includes UEFI.

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Sounds great, thank you! I'll probably go for option 2! :) – Kim Kling Nov 17 '12 at 17:25

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