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New Dell laptop with Win10 - How to save Win10 for a later clean install from Linux

Guest JWK1

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Hey All, I've been researching this for awhile and am really frustrated. I have not messed with my own Windows installation since I made a computer in 2004 when I had bought the XP myself. So everything is different now (no discs come with laptops for later clean installation). Everything I come across is about upgrading from Win7 or Win8, or doing a clean install from the same.

So what I want to do: Start up my new Dell laptop that came with Win10, save Win10 on a DVD or flash drive, Install my new Linux Mint17 (which of course wipes out everything on my hard drive - no dual boot system wanted) and use that until I want to go back to Win10 or sell the machine. In either case, I want to do a clean Win10 install without the Dell bloatware.

What about the "product key"? What happens to that after I install Linux? Is it saved at Microsoft somehow? Is it much preferable to use a USB flash drive over a DVD for the saving and clean reinstall?

I haven't fired up my new Win10 laptop yet and only have another laptop that I've been using with Linux Mint13. I went to the installation media link at Microsoft, but it wouldn't let me download since I was not on a Windows machine. I want to make sure I do this right before I go and load Linux so that I can get back to Win10 without any problems.

Can someone tell me the best way to do this? Thanks for any help.

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