Thanks @srs5694 for the useful links.
Also, following links from there, I've discovered the amazing world of windows help forums, populated by a great amount of people concerned by the ability to rightfully backup the preinstalled win8 os, should the hdd die.
There, among the prepackaged answers from the moderators, I've discovered more amazing things, such like:
- this UEFI thing stores the M$ Product ID in encrypted form so OEMs "will buy the right amount of licences" (if you didn't notice, that there's no more a win sticker carrying that xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx number, a very useful embellishment for toilet seats so far), implying that you can't trasfer the os to any other computer as it is permanently tied to the BIOS.
- the suggested (3rd party) tools to extract that numbers report different results (tried it myself).
- if you buy the "pro" version of the os, it will also be tied to that motherboard as the Product Id extraction process from the BIOS is "trasparent" to the user during the online purchase as well during the installation process itself.
- if the os goes crazy your only resort is the recovery (partition), it will wipe all data but who cares.
- should you wipe the os and the recovery partition, you're stuck: buy the os again (see above) (or install linux
- the installed os isn't your at all, you're just licenced to use it (dear linux fellow, from now on you can't claim money back for unused os, shouldn't the previous draconian anti-claim measures be enough).
Last but not least, I've found a new field appearing into the BIOS reporting the (wrong) purchase date that wasn't there the first day.
A unique id embedded into my machine and who knows what other personal data that I can't read but someone else can without me knowing is a surveillance dream that makes RMS absolutely right.
Personally speaking, because in one case the external hdd I used wasn't NTFS (it has personal data and I didn't want to completely wipe it in the process), or because I got severals errors codes from the tools (M$ or Samsung supplied) supposed to backup the thing to DVD or usb memory stick, the best I've accomplished is a mere DVD with ~300Mb on it (!) and a _very useful_ stick that will recover from the partition on disk exactly like using that partition itself.
Given the actual state of the situation I believe the best thing for me could be to buy another hdd to put into the notebook, install linux (CSM BIOS) on it and live happy (as I've been since 1995), eventually reverting to UEFI with the externalized original disk for the rare cases "when Wine is not enough" (
) and swap it back before reselling.