I currently own a Dell Vostro 3446 Laptop that came with Windows pre-installed. After a year of using Windows 8.1, I am thinking of switching over to Linux (most likely Fedora). My friend has Ubuntu installed on his laptop. I like the interface and am comfortable with it. I also have the Windows recovery disk that came in the box. So I am pretty sure there shouldn't be a problem if something goes wrong. But still, I want to know what are the risks if I install Linux on my laptop (clean install/overwrite Windows)?
If you are unsure perhaps try VirtualBox. This allows you to run the OS on a sandbox virtual computer. It is not exactly the same as having it installed on your computer but it might flag any potential compatibility issues e.g. I have known incompatible drivers that might stop you using certian input devices.