I do believe you can still burn through a LiveCD. I have never actually tried it, but I would suspect it still allows the ability to download and install things.

The common way this step is done is via Windows, which is what I had to do; reinstall Windows, convert the disk (above links explain how), reboot a few times, turn off, press power button, unplug, plug back in and then power back on into the Ubuntu installation so that I could finally install. I think your recovery of Windows 8 failed because you installed over it, so nothing could be recovered. I would suggest reinstalling Windows 8 and then following this guide;


If "reinstalling" is not possible (e.i if you never got a Windows 8 disc for this purpose) then definitely return the computer for a new one and then follow the links given to properly convert to basic disk for installation.