Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Refreshing PC with Windows 8.1

  1. #1


    Posts : 7
    Windows 8 Pro

    Refreshing PC with Windows 8.1


    I am running Windows 8.1. Originally I had Windows 8 installed on my machine and I updated to Windows 8.1. I have files that are corrupted and I intend refreshing my PC but the process involves inserting the installation disk. But the installation disk I have is for Windows 8. Does that mean, after refreshing my PC, the operating system will be back to Windows 8 and I will have to download Windows 8.1. all over again? And would all my settings, documents and e-mail folders all be wiped out? If so, how do I make backups of these? Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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  2. #2


    Posts : 22,584
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello Mike, and welcome to Eight Forums.

    Unless you created a custom refresh image sometime after updating to Windows 8.1, then yes it'll refresh back to Windows 8.

    If you are using a Microsoft account, then your personal settings are synced by default, and will be restored afterwards. Your user account and files in your "C:\Users\(user-name)" folder will not be affected by a refresh. Here's more details on what would be affected by a refresh.

    Refresh Windows 8

    What email program are you using? It would be a good idea to back up anything for it to be safe.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 7
    Windows 8 Pro


    Hi Brink : Many thanks for the prompt response. I have previously not created a custom refresh image but is it OK to create one now and then proceed with the refresh? Alternatively is there any way to reinstall the missing or corrupted files without having to insert the installation disk? I am using Windows Live Mail as my desktop e-mail client and in addition to my Microsoft Account, I also have a pop account as well as a Yahoo and Gmail Account. How do I backup all the respective e-mail folders?
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  4. #4


    Posts : 22,584
    64-bit Windows 10


    It wouldn't do any good to create a custom refresh image now since it restores back to the time the image was created, and just be back to where you are now again.

    If you have your Windows Live Mail set to keep a copy of your email messages saved on the email server, then you won't lose them. It's set this way by default unless changed.

    The tutorials below can helps with backing up Windows Live Mail.



    What files are missing or corrupted? If system files, then you could run a SFC /SCANNOW command to hopefully repair them.

    SFC /SCANNOW Command - Run in Windows 8
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 7
    Windows 8 Pro


    Hi Brink : Thanks again for the prompt response. The information is most valuable.

    I have run both SFC andthe DISM tool and it appears that any missing and/or corrupted files have allbeen fixed as the following messages appear:
    “Windows Resource Protectiondid not find any integrity violations”.
    “The restore operationcompleted successfully. The component store corruption was repaired. The operation completed successfully”.

    Yet when I try to runRefresh PC, it says: INSERT MEDIA : Somefiles are missing. Your Windowsinstallation or recovery media will provide these files”. To compound matters, File History does notwork. When I click on File History, thismessage is displayed: “File History does not recognize the drive. New Volume (E) Unknown Error”. That’s when I thought the problem could be dueto the missing files.

    My File History driveis a SATA 500GB Hard Drive and is connected internally to a SATA port on themotherboard. The hard drive has beenchecked and checked and there cannot possibly be anything wrong with it. Even changing the drive letter makes nodifference whatsoever. When I connectedthe drive the first time, File History did work but as from the following day itno longer worked. Is there anyway topinpoint the missing or corrupted files and fix them manually without having torefresh the PC? I would prefer not torefresh the PC and now only as last resort would consider doing so in view ofthe outcome.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 22,584
    64-bit Windows 10


    For File History, check to see if reselecting the drive to save to may help.

    File History - How to Use in Windows 8


    For Refresh, that's normal to get the "insert media" message indicating that you need to have your Windows 8 installation media connected if you didn't create a custom refresh image. If you create a custom refresh image, then it will be used instead of asking you to "insert media".
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  7. #7


    .se
    Posts : 33
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


    Oh wow I wish I knew about this before I started to install all of my apps after a clean install.
    And I dont feel like doing it all over again. But when and if I will reformat I will try to remember all of this.
    Very useful information. How often , would you say , for the regular user do you need to reformat a Windows machine?
    On Macs it is rarely ever needed, but it seems like on a windows machine it is different? (from what ive read so could be wrong)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 22,584
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello eCh,

    You would only want to reinstall Windows as needed. Usually when Windows gets borked.

    How often has to many variables per person and system for that. Personally, I average about every 4-6 months or so, but I do a lot of testing and tweaking that do not always go so well.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    .se
    Posts : 33
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


    I see. Thank you, Brink!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there
    Note you CAN download updates to local HDD for using later -- use the Ms Update Catalog

    Microsoft Update Catalog

    If you have a load of PC's saves re-downloading a load of updates every time.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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