Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Using the REFRESH WIN8 option. Quick Tutorial.

  1. #1


    Manchester CT
    Posts : 693
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit GA

    Using the REFRESH WIN8 option. Quick Tutorial.


    Win8 REFRESH Tutorial

    After having trashed my Metro interface, I needed to reload WIN 8 CP. Rather than start from bare metal, I used the REFRESH option. Here is how I did it, how it ran, what it changed, and how it worked.

    To run REFRESH there are two ways to find the button. In Metro, win+q brings up search and refresh is found under SETTINGS. On the desktop, go into control panel and search for RECOVERY. Refresh will be one of the options.

    WARNING! Refresh starts without a lot of button pushing or dire threats. 3 button pushes and you are on your way.

    WARNING! You WILL need to have a bootable ISO of WIN8 Consumer Preview DVD as it will need it to get info off of the disk. Leave it in the drive until everything is done.

    WARNING: I was able to get through this without losing any data or backups and REFRESH creates a backup of stuff that it replaces. SETTINGS of stuff may not be so lucky. Try to have a backup of settings like Outlook and Firefox profile backed up. Never hurts to be safe
    .
    WARNING: REFRESH creates a backup of three primary folders on your boot drive, Programs, Programs (x86), and Windows. If these folders take up most of the room on your drive, you MAY NOT be able to have room for them to be backed up. For me, no big deal but other may need some data in these folders (game saves for instance).

    Refresh acts like a Metro type of program, lots of blue and only one button to press at a time. Really dumbed down.
    Put your Win8 disk into a DVD drive, push the three buttons

    AND… we’re off. Once started, it will take a half hour or so with NO input needed.

    WARNING! THERE WILL BE TIMES like it looks like it is crapped out as the screen will be blank for a good 10 minutes, the counter stops counting, and it hangs forever in the welcome loading screen (but you can hear the disk drive chugging like hell). Keep your itchy fingers away and let it do its job! I did try to log in on the login screen but the computer pretty much ignored me and kept loading… and loading… and loading.
    FINALLY, the computer reboots for the last time and you can log in. Here is what you get:


    1. The computer will look pretty much like a new install of Win8 CP. All of your programs will NOT BE INSTALLED. Only the programs that come with Win8 will be in the two Programs folder.
    2. The Windows folder will also be reset to pristine condition (along with the registry).
    3. Win 8 will remember your Windows live ID information and the settings that you first installed with (e-mail, password, computer name, network settings, etc.)
    4. ALL of the information starting from your user name out is kept intact! So your documents, music, pictures, etc. will be right where they were before.
    5. There will be a folder called WINDOWS.OLD that will have a complete backup of the three folders that were changed during the REFRESH. So your old Programs, Program(X86), and Windows will be there.
    6. The Metro interface is a mixed bag. SOME of the changes you made will be there but some will not. The stuff I accidentally uninstalled were still not pinned to the interface BUT are now recoverable by searching the apps and pinning them back into place.
    7. Now it’s time to start ONCE AGAIN to load all those utilities and games all over again. Heh. At least it was faster the second time around. Windows Office was gone so I had to reload that again.


    Bottom line? REFRESH WORKS! It is only one step above a bare metal install but it does seem to preserve most if not all your data. I did not lose a thing.

    PS. I had a VERY STRANGE experience moving folders around. My Steam folder was completely write protected and damn if I could change the permissions. All the usual ways failed and even some exotic ones did too. I finally had to resort to the reg hack “TakeOwnership.zip”, run it on the Steam folder THEN was able to allow my user to change permissions to read/write. Be warned!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 75
    Windows 8 Consumer Preview


    Refresh caused way more problems for me than it solved... tread lightly.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by Drybonz View Post
    Refresh caused way more problems for me than it solved... tread lightly.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    I think the best way to do a refresh is creating a "Custom System Image" with:https://www.eightforums.com/tutorials...tem-image.html
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Adelaide
    Posts : 1,338
    Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), Linux Mint 17.1 MATE (64 bit)


    Be careful not to chose the other option.

    I checked the info it offered and discovered that it was planning to obliterate EVERY partition on my PC (~4.5 TB of personal files).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Manchester CT
    Posts : 693
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit GA


    Quote Originally Posted by brummyfan View Post
    I think the best way to do a refresh is creating a "Custom System Image" with:https://www.eightforums.com/tutorials...tem-image.html
    This sounds more promising but has anyone TRIED this with the new Win8 consumer preview? What were the results? Are all your program folders still intact? Is Windows and the registry reset? Is your user data still safe? The tutorial gives some vague assurances about everything being intact but to me that is NOT THE PURPOSE OF A REFRESH.
    Last edited by johnpombrio; 05 Mar 2012 at 21:31.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Manchester CT
    Posts : 693
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit GA
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 681
    Windows 7 Pro x 2/Windows 10 Home/10 Pro/Windows 10 TP


    Just tried out Brink's tutorial https://www.eightforums.com/tutorials...html#post69917 and posted my results.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Using the REFRESH WIN8 option. Quick Tutorial.
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