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Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Reset Windows 8

  1. #1
    Reset Windows 8

    Reset Windows 8
    How to Reset Windows 8 and Windows 8.1
    Published by Brink is online now
    15 Sep 2011
    Default Reset Windows 8

    Published by


    Brink's Avatar
    Administrator

    Join Date: Jul 2009
    Posts: 20,434

    How to Reset 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 reset your PC to completely start over back to default to remove all personal data, apps, and settings from the PC, and reinstall Windows. This is like doing a factory restore/recovery on a purchased computer or clean install, but a little faster.

    Resetting your Windows 8 PC works like this:

    • The PC boots into the Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE).
    • Windows RE erases and formats only the hard drive partition on which Windows 8 and your personal data (user folders) reside.
    • Windows RE installs a fresh copy of Windows 8.
    • The PC restarts into the newly installed copy of Windows 8.


    You must have an administrator account on the computer to be able to reset Windows 8.

    Note   Note

    Which files will be affected?

    When you reset your PC, the drive will be completely reset, and all your apps and files will be removed from it. Windows 8 will be reinstalled, and you'll need to change any settings and reinstall any apps that you want to get back after resetting. If you know if any files that you don't want to lose, then you should back those files up before starting the reset.

    What if I have multiple drives?

    You can choose whether to reset all hard drives or just the one with Windows 8 installed on it. Any drive that Windows 8 doesn't recognize, such as those with non-Windows operating systems, will not be affected.

    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.






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

    1. Boot to the System Recovery Options using the same type of Windows 8 installation DVD or USB thumb drive, or ISO file if in a virtual machine that you currently have installed, and click/tap on the Reset 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 and click/tap on a listed administrator account to sign in to it. (see screenshot below)
    NOTE: Standard user accounts and domain accounts on the computer will not be listed.

    Click image for larger version

    A) Type in the password for the selected administrator account, and click/tap on Continue. (see screenshot below)
    NOTE: If you need to change the keyboard layout (language), then do so before entering your password so it will be the same language that the password was set in and match.

    Click image for larger version

    4. If prompted, select the OS (ex: Windows 8) you want to reset. (see screenshot below)

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    5. If prompted, select if you would like to remove all files from all drives or only the Windows 8 drive. (see screenshot below)
    NOTE: You will only see this if you have more than one HDD or partition with a drive letter.

    Click image for larger version

    6. If prompted, select if you would like to repartition the drives (remove all files) or keep the existing partitions. (see screenshot below)
    NOTE: You will only see this if you have more than one partition on your Surface.

    Click image for larger version

    7. Select how you want to have your personal files deleted in this current installation of Windows 8. (see screenshot below)

    Note   Note
    Just remove my files = Quick, but your files might be recoverable by someone else since they are only marked as deleted.

    Fully clean the drive = Thorough, but this can take several hours since it does a secure erase to overwrite your files so that they can't be easily recovered.


    Click image for larger version

    8. Click/tap on Reset. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    9. Windows 8 will now start resetting. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    10. Enter your Windows 8 or 8.1 product key number below, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    11. Check the I accept the license terms for using Windows box, and click/tap on the Accept button. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    12. From this point on, the steps are the same as doing a clean install. Go to and start at step 10 in the tutorial link below to finish resetting Windows 8.






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

    1. While logged in to an administrator account in Windows 8, insert or connect the same type of Windows 8 installation DVD or USB thumb drive, or ISO file if in a virtual machine that you currently have installed.

    2. Do step 3 or 4 below depending on which option you would prefer to use.

    3. 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 5 or 6 below. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    4. Open PC settings, and do step 5 or 6 below for the Windows 8 you have installed.

    5. 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 Remove everything and reinstall Windowssection on the right side, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version


    6. 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 Remove everything and reinstall Windows section on the right side, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

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


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

    Click image for larger version

    9. If prompted, select if you would like to remove all files from all drives or only the Windows 8 drive. (see screenshot below)
    NOTE: You will only see this if you have more than one HDD or partition with a drive letter. If you like, click/tap on the Show me the list of drives that will be affected link to see them.

    Click image for larger version

    10. Select how you want to have your personal files deleted in this current installation of Windows 8. (see screenshot below)

    Note   Note
    Just remove my files = Quick, but your files might be recoverable by someone else since they are only marked as deleted.

    Fully clean the drive = Thorough, but this can take several hours since it does a secure erase to overwrite your files so that they can't be easily recovered.


    Click image for larger version

    11. Click/tap on Reset. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    12. Windows 8 or 8.1 will now start resetting. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version


    13. Enter your Windows 8 or 8.1 product key number below, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    14. Check the I accept the license terms for using Windows box, and click/tap on the Accept button. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version


    15. From this point on, the steps are the same as doing a clean install. Go to and start at step 10 in the tutorial link below to finish resetting Windows 8 or 8.1.



    That's it,
    Shawn


  2. #1


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    Nice one, Shawn.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #2


    Posts : 20,434
    64-bit Windows 10 build 10166


    Thank you Ray.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #3


    Hull England
    Posts : 209
    Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Sp1/Windows 8 Release Preview x64


    Thanks Shawn, some nice features in the repair console.

    Danny
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  5. #4


    Posts : 20
    Win 7 Pro, Win 8.1 Pro x64


    Nice tut Shawn, bookmarked.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #5


    Posts : 520
    Windows 8, x64, DP8102 - Win7 Ultimate x64, Dual Boot


    That's what I love about this forum! Thanks, Shawn!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #6


    Posts : 20,434
    64-bit Windows 10 build 10166


    You're welcome guys, and thank you.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #7


    Posts : 29
    Windows 8 Developer preview


    Shawn,

    If you have already reach the product key step, it may asked you to enter this product key that can used on all users:
    See the link below for product key.

    Windows 8 Product Key, When Resetting, Reinstalling
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #8


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,516
    Vista and Win7


    It seems to work like a reinstallation under the covers - hopefully without Windows.old.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #9


    Posts : 20,434
    64-bit Windows 10 build 10166


    Quote Originally Posted by engtianxi View Post
    Shawn,

    If you have already reach the product key step, it may asked you to enter this product key that can used on all users:
    See the link below for product key.

    Windows 8 Product Key, When Resetting, Reinstalling

    Hello Engtianxi,

    There's no need to enter the product key number in Windows 8 Developer Preview since it's built in. I just did a reset again without entering a key number by clicking on Skip to double check, and it was still showed as activated afterwards.

    Click image for larger version
    Last edited by Brink; 04 Oct 2011 at 10:54.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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