If it were me, I'd go buy another hard-disk drive for my laptop. Take the existing one out, put it in a safe place.
While you're at it, buy a USB 2.0 enclosure into which you can put that "old" disk-drive. Now, you have a blank, pristine new drive upon which to install Linux, and
the contents of the "old" drive are not far away. Who knows, you might change your mind, or simply need to grab something. For a couple hundred bucks you can do
Ain't no sense throwin' out the baby with the bathwater!