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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.

8-1refresh.png






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}​
Refresh-1.jpg
2. Click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)​
Refresh-2.jpg
3. If prompted, select the Windows 8 or 8.1 that you want to refresh. (see screenshot below)​
Refresh-3.jpg
4. Click/tap on Refresh. (see screenshot below)​
Refresh-4.jpg
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)​
Refresh-8A.jpgRefresh-8B.jpg

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.

Note   Note

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.​









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)​
Recovery.jpg
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)​
Windows_8.1_PC_settings-1.jpg
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​
Windows_8.1_PC_settings-2.jpg
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)​
General-reset.jpg
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.​
Refresh_Insert_Media.jpg
8. Click/tap on Next. (see screenshots below)​
Refresh-5.jpg
8-1refresh.png
9. Click/tap on Refresh. (see screenshot below)​
Refresh-6.jpg
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)​
Refresh-8A.jpgRefresh-8B.jpg



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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Last edited:

jipr1217

Member
I googled Macruim free version. Looks good with the exception that it does not perform File and Folder backup so I guess you just use it for disk cloning (DR).
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavillion g7
    CPU
    AMD A6-4400M
    Memory
    8.00 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Raedon 2.70 GHz
    Browser
    IE 11

Peter2

New Member
Power User
macrium images files and folders

It has both the regular Linux rescue disc and the more advanced WinPE disc; Win PE 4.0 and Win PE 5.0.

Linux is the easiest and Macrium makes it for you. There is nothing to figure out.

It backs up files and folders as well as whole opersting systems.
If you install the program, just choose to image all the discs on the pc and after that you can search for files and folders. Don't forget to unmount after a search. Just go to 'This Pc' and you will see the back up. Right click and it will give you the chance unmount after you have searched.
You have to play with it. it is very easy and the most popular, especial for free.
I am sure guys here will help if you have questions.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x 64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 8300, Dell Inspiron 15 R N5010
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia GE force 420
    Hard Drives
    1TB
    Browser
    Edge, Chrome
    Antivirus
    Defender, MBAM, Router

jipr1217

Member
Got it. Once i get the Win 8.1 OS loaded on the new drive, I'll download Macrium Reflect free. You say "It backs up files and folders as well as whole opersting systems" yet i saw that the files and folders option was not checked off in their comparison chart, but I'm not going worry about this feature. I can always use another backup app for that.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavillion g7
    CPU
    AMD A6-4400M
    Memory
    8.00 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Raedon 2.70 GHz
    Browser
    IE 11

Peter2

New Member
Power User
When you want to find a file are folder all you have to do is a search and you will find what you are looking for. Then you unmount.
Where were you looking for this information?
You should be installing the program and learning from it.
It is the same thing as looking through your Windows File Explorer. Open computer then continue opening the branches until you find what you want as in documents.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x 64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 8300, Dell Inspiron 15 R N5010
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia GE force 420
    Hard Drives
    1TB
    Browser
    Edge, Chrome
    Antivirus
    Defender, MBAM, Router

jipr1217

Member
I was not necessarily looking for any information. Your original post read "Don't forget to image your operating system when you first install it or at least when it is running well. I use Macrium free and it is easy". I then googled 'Macrium' and went to this url: Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download This is where I saw the comparison of the various Macrium versions.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavillion g7
    CPU
    AMD A6-4400M
    Memory
    8.00 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Raedon 2.70 GHz
    Browser
    IE 11

Peter2

New Member
Power User
Have you tried to install the program and try it.
I am not familliar with the cart but am with the program.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x 64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 8300, Dell Inspiron 15 R N5010
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia GE force 420
    Hard Drives
    1TB
    Browser
    Edge, Chrome
    Antivirus
    Defender, MBAM, Router

jipr1217

Member
I have not. I first need to re-install 8.1 on the new drive and then follow up with all the apps I had installed on my 1 TB drive. Macrium will now be on the list too.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavillion g7
    CPU
    AMD A6-4400M
    Memory
    8.00 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Raedon 2.70 GHz
    Browser
    IE 11

Peter2

New Member
Power User
Macrium

If you can get the iso file for 8.1 you can burn it to disc then use it to install 8.1 directly. You have to find the generic key to install first then use your own key to activate. It's a good short cut.

If your pc is new, you should have a disc or the discs you made when to you got it to start from scratch.

How are you reinstalling 8.1?

Anyway, I have done a lot of reading and if you Google the issue you will find Macrium can find files and folders easily. I have used Acronis and others an this is the best. Acronis is the elite as you can schedule send emails etc. but for the average guy I think Macrium does a great job.
Importantly, every time I have had to reinstall I have used a Macrium image without fail - not once.

An image is my life boat.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x 64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 8300, Dell Inspiron 15 R N5010
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia GE force 420
    Hard Drives
    1TB
    Browser
    Edge, Chrome
    Antivirus
    Defender, MBAM, Router

jipr1217

Member
I have 8.1 on a USB and will be installing it fresh on the new drive i bought. The laptop is 1 year and 4 months old and did not come with any OS installation discs. I'm definitely going to download Macrium.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavillion g7
    CPU
    AMD A6-4400M
    Memory
    8.00 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Raedon 2.70 GHz
    Browser
    IE 11

Peter2

New Member
Power User
Good going.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x 64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 8300, Dell Inspiron 15 R N5010
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia GE force 420
    Hard Drives
    1TB
    Browser
    Edge, Chrome
    Antivirus
    Defender, MBAM, Router

jipr1217

Member
Question for you. On the Create a Backup tab my hard drive is broken down into 4 sections (see attached) (its not a partitioned drive). I have the option to deselect some of them. Would I need to image all 4 of sections?

Reflect Screenshot.jpg
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavillion g7
    CPU
    AMD A6-4400M
    Memory
    8.00 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Raedon 2.70 GHz
    Browser
    IE 11

Peter2

New Member
Power User
step one

After opening Macrium Reflect 5.3 and checking for any updates, you should see a page similar to my attachment.
Choose to 'image selected discs on this computer'. This is the SOURCE. I check all as nothing takes sup too much space + to be sure.

[Also, I use a cd-rw disc to create the rescue disc as it changes often with updates. Create both Linux which you will use the most and easiest and also a disc for WinPE -if you have Win 8.1 choose 5.0.]

Next you will click on destination or where you want to create the backup. First go to This PC in your pc and look in your external drive for the letter of the drive or book. Remember this drive letter then open the external drive destination and see if there is a folder there yet. . If there is no folder, just create it when you set up 'destination'. I usually include the date. I will send a pik of my destination when you are ready. Yours may vary a bit but will be about the same.
I know it sounds sticky now but once you walk through it, it is ez.

Ask when you are unsure before forging ahead and getting confused.

step 1.png
 
Last edited by a moderator:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x 64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 8300, Dell Inspiron 15 R N5010
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia GE force 420
    Hard Drives
    1TB
    Browser
    Edge, Chrome
    Antivirus
    Defender, MBAM, Router

Peter2

New Member
Power User
attachment

My attachment did not seem to post so I will try again.

step 1.png
 
Last edited by a moderator:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x 64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 8300, Dell Inspiron 15 R N5010
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia GE force 420
    Hard Drives
    1TB
    Browser
    Edge, Chrome
    Antivirus
    Defender, MBAM, Router

Peter2

New Member
Power User
attachment trouble

I've done this a zillion times but seem to be having trouble with this attachment.
 

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My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x 64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 8300, Dell Inspiron 15 R N5010
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia GE force 420
    Hard Drives
    1TB
    Browser
    Edge, Chrome
    Antivirus
    Defender, MBAM, Router

Peter2

New Member
Power User
basic uploader

I tried the baric uploader to see if that would help.
I may have to talk you through this if the piks don't work.

Brink are you around to help, please.
Peter
 

Attachments

  • step 1.png
    step 1.png
    46.6 KB · Views: 47

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x 64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 8300, Dell Inspiron 15 R N5010
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia GE force 420
    Hard Drives
    1TB
    Browser
    Edge, Chrome
    Antivirus
    Defender, MBAM, Router

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    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
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    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 3
    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

Peter2

New Member
Power User
Brink, thanks a lot. I cannot believe I could not replicate what I have done so many times.
We appreciate your help.
I am having trouble with the paperclip idea although I know what you mean by it. I have never used t to create an image, only to open one.
When you post with an attachment you should be able to see it shouldn't you?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x 64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 8300, Dell Inspiron 15 R N5010
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia GE force 420
    Hard Drives
    1TB
    Browser
    Edge, Chrome
    Antivirus
    Defender, MBAM, Router

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
Only if you attach the uploaded image in the post, otherwise you wouldn't see it when posted.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    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
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    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 3
    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

Peter2

New Member
Power User
Thank you sir.
Peter
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x 64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 8300, Dell Inspiron 15 R N5010
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia GE force 420
    Hard Drives
    1TB
    Browser
    Edge, Chrome
    Antivirus
    Defender, MBAM, Router

jipr1217

Member
Peter, I was able to see the embedded screen shot in your first reply! I do have questions on what you wrote, so I'll break them out below.

Also, I use a cd-rw disc to create the rescue disc as it changes often with updates.
Do you create the rescue disc via Macrium? If so where do I find is this option in the applicaction?

Create both Linux which you will use the most and easiest and also a disc for WinPE -if you have Win 8.1 choose 5.0
I do not use a Linux OS so I'm confused why your're mentioning it; unless, of course, I'm misunderstanding this step. As for the WinPE; I do have Win 8.1. By "choose 5.0" do you mean create a WinPE 5.1 for Windows 8.1 as described here: WinPE for Windows 8.1: Windows PE 5.1

Next you will click on destination or where you want to create the backup. First go to This PC in your pc and look in your external drive for the letter of the drive or book. Remember this drive letter then open the external drive destination and see if there is a folder there yet. . If there is no folder, just create it when you set up 'destination'. I usually include the date.
Do you save off the backup to an external drive that will hold a copy of your internal drive (the 900+GB in your screen shot)? That's a big external drive.

I will send a pik of my destination when you are ready. Yours may vary a bit but will be about the same.
I know it sounds sticky now but once you walk through it, it is ez.

Ask when you are unsure before forging ahead and getting confused.
Sorry for all the questions. I want to be sure I understand this before I undertake it.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavillion g7
    CPU
    AMD A6-4400M
    Memory
    8.00 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Raedon 2.70 GHz
    Browser
    IE 11
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