riki wrote:If only I could remove W8 altogether (I don't want it) and install LM like I've done in the past but the firmware annoyingly introduced by Microsoft makes it impossible.
What makes you say this? Just erase all the partitions on the hard disk and Windows will be gone. You can then boot any other EFI-bootable medium and install using that. (You'll need either a Secure Boot-enabled OS or you'll need to disable Secure Boot in the firmware.) If there's a reason this isn't working for you, please elaborate.
In some cases, converting from a GUID Partition Table (GPT) to Master Boot Record (MBR) and installing in BIOS mode rather than in EFI mode works better. This is supported by most or all modern EFI-based computers, although some require (sometimes hard-to-find) firmware settings to be changed to do the job.
At the moment my laptop is just sitting there without being used but hoping that a solution will be found in the not too distant future to scrap W8. Robbed!
If you're really having serious problems with a computer because of firmware limitations, RETURN IT!!!!
That is the single most effective way to communicate your displeasure to a company about a bad product. It's not like there's a dearth of choices available to you as a computer consumer, either; once you return one cruddy product, you can find another in about five minutes at a major retailer like Best Buy, and with any luck it will be better than the one you returned.
drbjerkaas wrote:You can "nuke" the hard drive using DBAN Hard Disk kill.
There's no need to use DBAN, which wipes every byte on a hard disk; just erase the disk's partition table and start from scratch. Using DBAN won't do any harm, except in the sense that it will waste time (and therefore also electricity) and add a trivial amount of wear to the hard disk and other components.
riki wrote:Are you saying that by using DBAN it would "clean" completely the HD removing the firmware or chip that recent W8 machines have ex factory? Until now I have understood that the W8 HD setup cannot be altered without a secret key.
Wiping either the partition table or the entire hard disk won't affect the firmware. Your last sentence suggests that you're concerned about Secure Boot. Just
wiping the hard disk will not affect Secure Boot; but if a computer ships with a Windows 8 logo, Microsoft requires that you have the ability to disable Secure Boot by setting a firmware option. Alternatively, you can install a distribution that supports Secure Boot, such as Ubuntu 12.10 or Fedora 18. (Unfortunately, Mint doesn't yet support Secure Boot.) See my Web page on the topic
for more information.