A friend of mine bought an Acer Aspire E 15, which came with Windows 10. What I was surprised to see it didn't come with was any sort of product key--no sticker on the bottom like I was used to with Windows 7, no little mini-manual, no CD or DVD of any kind.
I went into the disk manager, and saw that besides C:, there were two partitions: UEFI (100 MB) at the beginning and what appears to be a recovery partition at the end...but it's only 500 MB. Isn't Windows 10 a DVD-sized affair, i.e., couldn't possibly fit into 500 MB?
1) Suppose we want to partition the computer into a dual-boot setup. If I get a stock OEM Windows 10 image online and install it, how can I activate it without a product key? Do the good folks at Microsoft already have this laptop's hardware signature in their database, and they'll activate it for me automatically online without any trouble? I read that now it's stored in "UEFI firmware"...does that mean if I repartition and wipe out the UEFI partition, that I cannot activate a newly reinstalled copy of Windows? What if I wipe it but I first obtained the key using something like ShowKeyPlus?
2) Suppose we don't need a dual-boot, but the system gets corrupted and needs rebuilding. How does the recovery work given it's only 500 MB and this is Windows 10?
3) In case either of the above scenarios is trouble, is there any way, as in the not-so-old days, to burn a system recovery DVD or make a USB stick (specific to this laptop), and would it then help us to avoid Windows activation trouble after a recovery? (The user's data is all loaded on the system so it's too late to forget any Acer-specific tools and just do a clone myself.)
So what happened to the recovery ecosystem? Having gone from CD to DVD to recovery partition and now to...something that doesn't seem to add up?