I tried to do a complete reset for my computer to revert back to factory settings but after loading for a few seconds Windows tells me that its missing some files, and even after inserting my original Win 8 DVD into the optical drive, it comes back saying that I have the wrong media inserted. The only option after that is to cancel.
I built this computer from scratch nearly four years ago, never did a system restore or anything like that since then. The last few months the computer has been getting increasingly slow and sluggish and I am suspecting some malware may be involved. Despite my AV and malwarebytes showing clean, I tried running an Avira Rescue Disc and it ended up finishing prematurely saying that the "repair service has exited unexpectedly" and "some threats were found but your system could not be repaired."
So after some googling around I found the option to create a win 8.1 installation media package, which I am assuming will allow me to reset the computer back to its original state. However, I have a few concerns:
1. Since this is an 8.1 package, will my Win 8 product key work during the re-install process or will it tell me I don't have an 8.1 key and cancel out?
2. This is the first time I will be 'resetting' a computer with more than 1 drive, so I am unsure of what to do with my other 2 drives. The OS is currently on my 128GB SSD, but I also have a 500GB HDD and another 500GB SSD. Should I format those 2 drives now and clear them of all data before I attempt to use the 8.1 reinstall package? Or will the reset process clean all the drives? The last time I reformatted a computer was my old Dell Inspiron laptop with 1 crappy 100GB HDD, and that was with Win XP back in the day.
3. Lastly, I have been tinkering with the idea of throwing Windows in the garbage and just using Linux as an OS. I have pretty much stopped playing computer games and am largely just using the computer to learn front-end development and build basic websites and apps using VS Code. Out of curiosity, how much different (and easier to use) is the newest Linux OS compared to Win 8.1, and would it be easier to just do a clean install of that over my current 8.1 OS?