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Refresh Windows 8

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  1. #1
    Refresh Windows 8

    Refresh Windows 8
    How to Refresh Windows 8 and Windows 8.1
    Published by Brink is offline
    14 Sep 2011
    Default Refresh Windows 8

    How to Refresh Windows 8 and Windows 8.1


    information   Information
    This will show you how to use a new feature in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 to refresh your PC to keep all personal data, Metro style apps, and important settings from the PC, and reinstall Windows.

    If a recovery image provided by your PC's manufacturer is present, Windows 8 will use that image when you refresh your PC. Otherwise, Windows 8 will use your installation media when you refresh your PC.

    This refresh feature is something close to like what doing a repair install in Windows 7 and Vista was for, but made a lot easier, faster, and safer to do now in Windows 8.

    You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.

    Refreshing your PC goes like this:

    • The PC boots into Windows RE (Recovery Environment).
    • Windows RE scans the hard drive for your data, settings, and apps, and puts them aside (on the same drive).
    • Windows RE installs a fresh copy of Windows.
    • Windows RE restores the data, settings, and apps it has set aside into the newly installed copy of Windows.
    • The PC restarts into the newly installed copy of Windows.


    Note   Note
    Which Settings will be Preserved

    • All user accounts.
    • Files in all users' C:\Users\(user-name) folders. (ex: Desktop, My Documents, My Music, etc...)
    • Wireless network connections
    • Apps from the Windows Store will be kept.
    • Mobile broadband connections
    • BitLocker and BitLocker To Go settings
    • Drive letter assignments
    • Personalization settings such as lock screen background and desktop wallpaper
    • Choices you made during Windows Welcome, such as computer name and user accounts, will not change.
    • Network, Libraries, and Windows Update settings will not change.
    • Customer Experience Improvement Program settings will not change.
    • Windows Error Reporting settings will not change.
    • Some drivers may or may not be removed.

    Which Settings will be NOT be Preserved

    • File type associations
    • Display settings
    • User settings
    • Windows Firewall settings
    • App settings
    • All installed 3rd party desktop programs (not Store apps). A list of removed apps will be saved on your desktop after the refresh is finished to let you know which programs were removed.
    • You PC settings will be changed back to their defaults.
    • Installed Windows Updates will be removed.
    • Some drivers may or may not be removed.

    Tip   Tip
    If you create a custom recovery image, a refresh will also contain the desktop apps you've installed, and the Windows system files in their current state. If you would like to be able to refresh Windows 8 with a custom recovery image, then you would need to create and register a custom image first.

    Refresh Windows 8 - Create and Use Custom Recovery Image

    OR

    Refresh Windows 8 - Set a Custom Recovery Image as Active

    warning   Warning
    If you set UAC to Always notify me, then you will not be able to use the refresh and reset Windows 8 features. These features require UAC to be set to the default or lower level to work.


    If you have an OEM PC that came with Windows 8 preinstalled and updated to Windows 8.1, then when you refresh Windows, it will restore Windows 8. Afterwards, you will need to update to Windows 8.1 via the Store again.

    Click image for larger version






    OPTION ONE
    How to Refresh Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 at Boot

    1. Boot to the System Recovery Options using your Windows 8 installation DVD or USB thumb drive, or ISO file if in a virtual machine, and click/tap on the Refresh your PC option. (see screenshot below}

    Click image for larger version

    2. Click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    3. If prompted, select the Windows 8 or 8.1 that you want to refresh. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    4. Click/tap on Refresh. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    5. Windows 8 or 8.1 will now start to be refreshed.

    6. When it's finished, you can now log back on to a refreshed Windows 8 or 8.1. (see screenshots below)

    Name:  Refresh-8A.jpg
Views: 141972
Size:  65.3 KBClick image for larger version


    Note   Note
    If any apps were removed during the refresh, you will find a Removed Apps.html file on the desktop detailing what it removed and at what time.

    You will also now have a Windows.old folder that has been placed in the root directory of the Windows 8 or 8.1 drive that contains a copy of the previous Windows 8 or 8.1 installation before it was refreshed. This folder can be quite large in size, so the tutorial below will show you how to delete it if you like.

    How to Delete the "Windows.old" Folder in Windows 8








    OPTION TWO
    Refresh Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 from within Windows 8 and 8.1

    1. While signed in as an administrator in Windows 8 or 8.1, do step 2 or 3 below depending on which option you would prefer to use.


    2. Open the Control Panel (icons view), click/tap on the Recovery icon, click/tap on the If you're experiencing problems with your PC, you can refresh it in PC settings link, and go to step 4 or 5 below. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    3.
    Open PC settings, and do step 4 or 5 below for the Windows 8 you have installed.


    4. If you have Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1

    A) On the left side in PC settings, click/tap on Update & Recovery. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    B) On the left side in Update & Recovery, click/tap on Recovery, click/tap on the Get started button under the Refresh your PC without affecting your files section on the right side, and go to step 6 below. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    5. If you have Windows 8 or Windows RT

    A) Click/tap on General on the left side, click/tap on the Get started button under the Refresh your PC without affecting your files section on the right side, and go to step 6 below. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    6.
    If prompted by UAC, then click/tap on Yes.

    7. If prompted to Insert media, insert or connect your Windows installation DVD or USB, or ISO file if in a virtual machine.

    Click image for larger version

    8. Click/tap on Next. (see screenshots below)

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version

    9.
    Click/tap on Refresh. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    10.
    Windows 8 or 8.1 will now start to be refreshed.

    11. When it's finished, you can now log back on to a refreshed Windows 8 or 8.1. (see screenshots below)

    Name:  Refresh-8A.jpg
Views: 141972
Size:  65.3 KBClick image for larger version


    Note   Note
    If any desktop apps (programs) were removed during the refresh, you will find a Removed Apps.html file on the desktop detailing what it removed and at what time.

    You will also now have a Windows.old folder that has been placed in the root directory of the Windows 8 or 8.1 drive that contains a copy of the previous Windows 8 or 8.1 installation before it was refreshed. This folder can be quite large in size, so the tutorial below will show you how to delete it if you like.

    How to Delete the "Windows.old" Folder in Windows 8




    That's it,
    Shawn



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  2. #1
    moinmoin's Avatar

    Member

    Join Date : May 2011
    Germany
    Posts : 31
    Win 8 x64
    Germany


    Under General you have also the option "Refresh your PC"
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #2
    Brink's Avatar

    Administrator



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    64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise (RTM)
    USA us texas


    Thank you Moinmoin. Added.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #3
    theog's Avatar

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    Join Date : Mar 2010
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    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
    UK uk england


    Nice one, Shawn.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #4
    Bill2's Avatar

    Member


    Join Date : May 2010
    Posts : 224


    On mine, Refresh and Reset never worked. Failed reset (probably successful one too) created a folder called $Sysreset at the root of C: , consisting of another folder called logs which contained an .etl file. It also created an etl of a different name (sysreset_exe_BootUX.etl) inside C:\recovery\Logs. Opened this etl in event viewer but the error is exotic, the online help thing doesn't work.

    The reason I was tinkering with reset/refresh was iso's are not seen as disk images so the mount option doesn't come up.

    Will do some more research.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6.   

  7. #5



    New Member

    Join Date : Oct 2011
    Posts : 1
    Windows 7 Pro, Windows 8 Pro RTM
    USA us arizona


    Just as I have come to expect from you Shawn; another informative tutorial laid out in a manner so that all users can benefit. For friends that I've helped or referred (to the forum sites), as well as myself - Thank You. Now I've a question for you. As the copies of Windows I've had have either came on the computer itself or an upgrade was purchased online, I have never had an installation disk. If I wanted to refresh 8 do I have to create bootable media from the original ISO? Will this work for 7? (it's repair not refresh there, isn't it?) I've re-installed 7 (vista & xp too) a couple of times on several different pc's always using a downloaded Microsoft ISO (never have seen an actual installation disk). I should just make the media and see for myself and find out first hand, true? Most likely, that's what I'll do; however, I'd like to here what you've got to say about this matter.
    Thanks again Shawn.
    Steve
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #6
    Brink's Avatar

    Administrator



    Join Date : Jul 2009
    Posts : 16,632
    64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise (RTM)
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    Hello Steve, and welcome to Eight Forums.

    Yes, doing a refresh will require having the Windows 8 installation media (DVD/USB) connected. Using the ISO to create it would work just fine.
    Yeah, this will only work with Windows 8 and not Windows 7.

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
    Last edited by Brink; 17 Oct 2012 at 10:14 PM. Reason: link
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #7



    Power User

    Join Date : Feb 2011
    bangalore
    Posts : 598
    Windows 8.1 professional x64 + WMC
    India


    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    Hello Steve, and welcome to Eight Forums.

    Yes, doing a refresh will require having the Windows 8 installation media (DVD/USB) connected. Using the ISO to create it would work just fine.
    Yeah, this will only work with Windows 8 and not Windows 7.

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
    Brink,will the upgrade installation usb work for the refresh option?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #8
    Brink's Avatar

    Administrator



    Join Date : Jul 2009
    Posts : 16,632
    64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise (RTM)
    USA us texas


    Yes.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  11. #9



    Banned

    Join Date : Dec 2012
    Persian
    Posts : 2
    WINDOWS 8
    Iran


    Hi
    I'm sorry because my English is not so good.
    Does the new Windows 8 software like office or antivirus programs, and will be removed?
    Thank you so much

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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