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Refresh or Reset Windows 8 without Installation Disk


MrShowdown

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Refresh or Reset Windows 8 without Installation Disk
This tutorial will show you how to be able to refresh or reset Windows 8 without an installation disk.
Published by MrShowdown
#1
Category:
ByLine
How to Refresh or Reset Windows 8 without Installation Disk
Synopsis
This tutorial will show you how to be able to refresh or reset Windows 8 without an installation disk.
How to Refresh or Reset Windows 8 without an Installation Disk

information   Information
You may already knew by now that Windows 8's infamous Refresh and Reset feature requires an installation media ready. It may be a major hassle whenever your PC starts to act up while you don't bring your installation media in hand, like when you're travelling.

This tutorial will show you how to be able to refresh or reset Windows 8 without an installation media.

To get started, you will need:
-Install.wim file from Windows 8 installation media.
-Windows 8-based PC.

warning   Warning
If you already set a custom refresh image, then it is recommended to not do this tutorial. By using a default install.wim file, any 3rd Party programs will be uninstalled.

Note   Note
Substitute C: with the drive where Windows is installed.

Note   Note
As of now, it does not work with Windows 8.1. When a workaround has been found, the tutorial will be updated accordingly.



1. On the C: drive, create a new folder named Refresh. If prompted, click/tap on Continue.
Create new folder.PNG

2. Insert/Connect your Windows 8 installation DVD/USB, or mount your Windows 8 ISO file. Navigate to and open the sources folder. Search for the install.wim file.
Sources then search install win.PNG

3. Select, then copy the install.wim file.

4. Go back to the C:\Refresh folder.

5. Paste the install.wim file into the Refresh folder. If prompted, click/tap on Continue.
Copy install wim.PNG

6. Open an elevated command prompt.
Admin.PNG

7. Copy and paste the command below, and press Enter.
reagentc /setosimage /path C:\Refresh /target C:\Windows /index 1
command line.PNG
Reverting Changes:
Credits to wins for finding out how to revert the changes made on your PC.
1. Run notepad as an administrator.

Screenshot (1).png

2. Click/tap File, then Open. Navigate to:
C:\Windows\system32\Recovery

3. Change the File type to All Files, then select the ReAgent.xml file
NOTE: It is highly recommended for you to make a copy of this file before proceeding.​

4. Scroll to the right until you find:
OsInstallLocation

5. Change it to this:
<OsInstallLocation path="" id="948075900" offset="0" guid="{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}" index="0"/>
notepad.PNG
NOTE: Leave the id and guid intact. Don't make changes to id and guid.​

6. Save the file.


That's it.
Now you can Refresh/Reset Windows 8 without install disk.


 
Last edited by a moderator:

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MrShowdown

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#2
Feel free to post critics and suggestions to improve my tutorials;)
 

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wins

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#3
Thanks for the tutorial !


How do we make it again Refresh/Reset from install disk ?
 

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MrShowdown

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#4
You're welcome!

I'll post how to revert to install using Media when i got back to windows 8.:)
 

My Computer

System One

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    OEM Lenovo
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    4GB DDR4-2400
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Hopachi

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#5
Nice option!

Useful when we don't have USB's or DVD drive around. :)
 

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    Intel i7-3630QM
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    HP, Intel HM77 Express Chipset
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    16GB
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    Intel HD4000 + Nvidia Geforce 630M
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MrShowdown

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#6
Hmm, i still don't find the way to revert it.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo Y520
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 7300HQ
    Motherboard
    OEM Lenovo
    Memory
    4GB DDR4-2400
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 (2)
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    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Seagate 1TB 5400 RPM
    Keyboard
    OEM Lenovo
    Mouse
    Logitech G502 Proteus Core
    Internet Speed
    100 Mbps
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Other Info
    PC:

    AMD Athlon X4 760K
    8GB DDR3-1866
    AMD Radeon RX 460
    Seagate 500 GB 7200 RPM

wins

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#7
C:\Windows\System32\Recovery\ReAgent.xml


I think it may revert if we copy this xml file before changing to custom location and replace it back later in the same folder.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 x64
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    Home built
    CPU
    Intel Core2 Quad Q8400 2.66GHz
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    Intel
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    4GB
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    ( WD Black 1TB ) x 2

MrShowdown

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#8
C:\Windows\System32\Recovery\ReAgent.xml


I think it may revert if we copy this xml file before changing to custom location and replace it back later in the same folder.
How about deleting it?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x64
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    Lenovo Y520
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    Intel Core i5 7300HQ
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    4GB DDR4-2400
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    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
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    PC:

    AMD Athlon X4 760K
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Hopachi

Polyhedric Stellation
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#9
Hmm, i still don't find the way to revert it.
Sorry if I'm adding a silly post maybe, but does it appear on the boot menu by chance?
Than we can remove it from msconfig by deleting its entry.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 x64
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    HP Envy DV6 7250
    CPU
    Intel i7-3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP, Intel HM77 Express Chipset
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD4000 + Nvidia Geforce 630M
    Sound Card
    IDT HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15.6' built-in + Samsung S22D300 + 17.3' LG Phillips
    Screen Resolution
    multiple resolutions
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 250GB + Hitachi HDD 750GB
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    120W adapter
    Case
    small
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    laptop cooling pad
    Keyboard
    Backlit built-in + big one in USB
    Mouse
    SteelSeries Sensei
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    slow and steady
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    Chromium, Pale Moon, Firefox Developer Edition
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    That's basically it.

DavidY

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#10
If I've created a Custom Refresh Image (which can't be used to Reset the PC) but want to also have something prepared in the case of a Reset, would this still work? Or would it mess up Custom Refresh?
 

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Brink

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mvp
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#11
Hello David,

This tutorial is to allow you to be able to do a refresh or reset without having to connect your Windows 8 installation media. It basically creates an image of your installation file on the hard drive to be use instead.

Your 3rd party programs will not be included anymore.
 

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DavidY

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#12
Hello Shawn,

Thanks for that. The reason I was asking is that it says this in the tutorial.
Warning
If you already set a custom refresh image, then it is recommended to not do this tutorial. By using a default install.wim file, any 3rd Party programs will be uninstalled.
So I wondered if there were any other consequences.

I'm thinking that I could follow this (to make an image for Reset) first and then set my Custom Refresh image as Active again using this tutorial?:
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/9310-refresh-windows-8-set-custom-recovery-image-active.html

So I'd hope to end up with Reset pointing at the factory image and the Refresh pointing at the custom image.
Would that work?

Thanks,
David
 

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Brink

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mvp
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#13
It appears that it only does a normal refresh when this tutorial is used instead of your custom refresh image.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
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    PC/Desktop
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    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

MrShowdown

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#14
Tutorial Updated for the revert.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x64
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    Laptop
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    Lenovo Y520
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    Intel Core i5 7300HQ
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    OEM Lenovo
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    4GB DDR4-2400
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mokujin

New Member
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#15
Do we need to activate the system again?
Thank you for your usefull tut :)
 

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MrShowdown

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#16
For refresh, no.
For reset, yes, because you need to enter the key again
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo Y520
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 7300HQ
    Motherboard
    OEM Lenovo
    Memory
    4GB DDR4-2400
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 (2)
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    1920x1080
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    Seagate 1TB 5400 RPM
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    Logitech G502 Proteus Core
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    PC:

    AMD Athlon X4 760K
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    AMD Radeon RX 460
    Seagate 500 GB 7200 RPM

vraicha

New Member
Posts
1
#17
I dont have install.wim file. Instead I have install.esd, which I believe is the encrypted version of it?
Will install.esd work instead of install.wim ?
 

My Computer

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MrShowdown

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#18
I dont have install.wim file. Instead I have install.esd, which I believe is the encrypted version of it?
Will install.esd work instead of install.wim ?
If you upgrade your system from Upgrade Assistant, there is no need to do this tutorial.
The ESD automatically registered by Windows by the time of upgrade.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo Y520
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 7300HQ
    Motherboard
    OEM Lenovo
    Memory
    4GB DDR4-2400
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 (2)
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Seagate 1TB 5400 RPM
    Keyboard
    OEM Lenovo
    Mouse
    Logitech G502 Proteus Core
    Internet Speed
    100 Mbps
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Other Info
    PC:

    AMD Athlon X4 760K
    8GB DDR3-1866
    AMD Radeon RX 460
    Seagate 500 GB 7200 RPM

floepie

New Member
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Posts
42
#19
I came across this thread to determine the difference between resetting a PC with an OEM recovery partition and resetting a PC without one. I assume that a Reset on the former has its path preset to the install.wim (or whatever it may be called) on the recovery partition, and a Reset on the latter would prompt for install media unless you follow this tutorial. Would that be a correct assumption?

It makes me wonder how the Reset from a bootable recovery drive would function on a machine with an unreadable C drive. Would it prompt you for media, or would it allow you to browse to a *.wim file somehow on a hidden recovery partition?
 

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    Windows 8.1 Core
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    Asus UX302LA

MrShowdown

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Jakarta, Indonesia

Posts
1,048
#20
I came across this thread to determine the difference between resetting a PC with an OEM recovery partition and resetting a PC without one. I assume that a Reset on the former has its path preset to the install.wim (or whatever it may be called) on the recovery partition, and a Reset on the latter would prompt for install media unless you follow this tutorial. Would that be a correct assumption?

It makes me wonder how the Reset from a bootable recovery drive would function on a machine with an unreadable C drive. Would it prompt you for media, or would it allow you to browse to a *.wim file somehow on a hidden recovery partition?
For number 1; Yes, it is correct. If the PC came pre-installed with Windows 8 with Recovery Partition, it usually already has its path preset by the OEM (maybe in the BIOS?).

For number 2; ....I don't think reset would even work if C drive was unreadable, you may have to do a Clean Install.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo Y520
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 7300HQ
    Motherboard
    OEM Lenovo
    Memory
    4GB DDR4-2400
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 (2)
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Seagate 1TB 5400 RPM
    Keyboard
    OEM Lenovo
    Mouse
    Logitech G502 Proteus Core
    Internet Speed
    100 Mbps
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Other Info
    PC:

    AMD Athlon X4 760K
    8GB DDR3-1866
    AMD Radeon RX 460
    Seagate 500 GB 7200 RPM

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