So if I completely wipe and reformat my main hard drive (the 1TB) and I want to do a side by side install of windows 8 and ubuntu, can I use the iso from the microsoft website and it should activate fine with the bios? I realize I will be sacrificing the "OneKey Recovery"
As long as your computer was preloaded with windows 8 it contains the OA3 activation key on the systemboard and you do not need to enter the product key for windows 8. However, the version of Windows 8 must match. If you upgrade to Win 8 pro, the built in key for Win 8 will not work.
Please note, before you wipe out your HDD, there is a recovery drive partition that is hidden on your hard drive.
You can create your recovery media which includes the OS from it.