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Repair Install Windows 8

How to Repair Install Windows 8 and 8.1 without Losing Anything

information   Information
Windows 8 introduced the option to refresh and reset your PC to repair or reinstall Windows 8 with as needed. These new features are great for what they are intended for, but there are some drawbacks to them.

When you reset your PC, it will basically give you a clean install (retail) or factory recovery (preinstalled OEM) of Windows 8 afterwards. You will lose everything from your current Windows 8 installation.

When you refresh your PC, this basically repairs Windows 8 by reinstalling it while keeping your files, Store apps, most of your settings, etc..... However, all installed 3rd party desktop apps will be removed. If you like, you could create a custom refresh image to not lose anything, but this will require creating new custom refresh images every so often to keep it updated to not lose anything since the last image was created.


This tutorial will show you how to do a repair install (aka: in-place upgrade install) to fix your currently installed Windows 8 without losing anything. For example, desktop apps.

You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do a repair install of Windows 8.

Note   Note
Settings that will be Preserved when doing a Repair Install
  • 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.
  • All installed 3rd party desktop programs will be kept.
  • Mobile broadband connections.
  • BitLocker and BitLocker To Go settings.
  • Windows Firewall settings.
  • Drive letter assignments.
  • File type associations set per user.
  • Metro apps settings per user.
  • Display settings.
  • Personalization settings such as lock screen background and desktop wallpaper.
  • All users' PC settings will be kept.
  • 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, but usually will remain.
Settings that will be NOT be Preserved when doing a Repair Install
  • Installed Windows Updates will be removed.
  • Some drivers may or may not be removed, but usually will remain.
warning   Warning

  • You will only be able to do a repair install from within Windows 8.
  • You will not be able to do a repair install at boot or in Safe Mode.
  • You must have at least 8.87 GB + what is currently being used of free space on the hard drive/partition that Windows 8 is installed on. You may need more if you have a larger installation.
Be sure to back up anything that you do not want to lose before doing a repair install just to be extra safe. For example, if you lose power in the middle of doing the repair install.



Here's How:

1. Start Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, and sign in to an administrator account.

2. Disable any 3rd party firewall, antivirus, or other security program to avoid it from possibly preventing the repair in-place upgrade installation of Windows 8.

3. Do step 4 or 5 below depending on what you would like to use to do the repair install with.

4. If Using a Windows 8/8.1 DVD or USB to do a Repair Install with

Note   Note


A) Insert/connect and open the DVD or USB, and go to step 6 below.​

5. If Using a Windows 8/8.1 ISO file to do a Repair Install with

Note   Note

  • The ISO you use must be for the same language as the Windows edition you currently have installed.
  • If you have Windows 8 installed, then you must use a Windows 8 ISO.
  • If you have Windows 8.1 installed, then you must use a Windows 8.1 ISO.
  • If you have Windows 8.1 Update installed, then you must use a Windows 8.1 Update ISO.
  • If you have 32-bit Windows installed, then you can only use a 32-bit Windows ISO.
  • If you have 64-bit Windows installed, then you can only use a 64-bit Windows ISO.
  • If you installed 64-bit Windows with UEFI, then you can only use a 64-bit Windows ISO.

B) Open the mounted ISO from This PC if it didn't automatically open, and go to step 6 below.​

6. Double click/tap on the setup file to run it. (see screenshot below)
Windows_8_Repair_Install_Windows-1.jpg

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

8. If this is for Windows 8 Enterprise, then click/tap on Install now. (see screenshot below)
Windows_8_Repair_Install_Windows-1A.jpg

9. If prompted, select (dot) Download and install updates, and click/tap on Next (Windows 8/8.1 or Windows 8/8.1 Pro). (see screenshots below)
NOTE: If any updates are found, then they will be installed, and installation will restart and continue on to step 10.
Windows_8_Repair_Install_Windows-2.png
Windows_8_Repair_Install_Windows-2B.jpg

10. Enter your product key that matches the installed edition of Windows, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)

Note   Note
The product key you enter must match what you are installing, or it will not work.

If you have a Windows 8 product key with Windows 8 installed, then you are good.

If you have a Windows 8.1 product key with Windows 8.1 or Windows 8.1 Update installed, then you are good.

If you have a Windows 8 product key with Windows 8.1 or Windows 8.1 Update installed, then you would need to enter a generic key below to install with, and change the product key later on in step 24 below to activate with your Windows 8 key instead.

If you have Windows 8 Enterprise, Windows 8. Enterprise, or Windows 8.1 Update Enterprise installed, then you would need to change the product key later on in step 24 below to activate since Enterprise editions do not ask to enter a key at this step.

  • Windows 8 (core): FB4WR-32NVD-4RW79-XQFWH-CYQG3
  • Windows 8 Pro: XKY4K-2NRWR-8F6P2-448RF-CRYQH
  • Windows 8 Pro with Media Center: RR3BN-3YY9P-9D7FC-7J4YF-QGJXW

  • Windows 8.1 (core): 334NH-RXG76-64THK-C7CKG-D3VPT
  • Windows 8.1 Pro: XHQ8N-C3MCJ-RQXB6-WCHYG-C9WKB
  • Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center: GBFNG-2X3TC-8R27F-RMKYB-JK7QT
  • Windows 8.1 Enterprise: MNDGV-M6PKV-DV4DR-CYY8X-2YRXH OR FHQNR-XYXYC-8PMHT-TV4PH-DRQ3H
KMS setup keys (8/8.1): Appendix A: KMS Client Setup Keys


Windows_8_Repair_Install_Windows-3.jpg

11. Check the I accept the license terms box, and click/tap on Accept (Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro) or Next (Windows 8 Enterprise). (see screenshots below)
Windows_8_Repair_Install_Windows-4.jpg
Windows_8_Repair_Install_Windows-4B.jpg

12. If this is for Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro, then select (dot) Keep Windows settings, personal files, and apps, click/tap on Next, and go to step 14 below. (see screenshot below)
Windows_8_Repair_Install_Windows-5.jpg

13. If this is for Windows 8 Enterprise, then click/tap on Upgrade: Install Windows and keep files, settings, and applications. (see screenshot below)
Windows_8_Repair_Install_Windows-5B.jpg

14. Windows 8 will now check for compatibility issues to see if you'll need to do anything to get your PC ready for Windows 8. If anything is found, you will need to take care of them before continuing. (see screenshot below)
Windows_8_Repair_Install_Windows-6.jpg

15. If this is for Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro and no issues were found from step 14 above, then click/tap on Install. (see screenshot below)
Windows_8_Repair_Install_Windows-7.jpg

16. Windows 8 will now start to install. The computer will restart a few times during this. (see screenshots below)
NOTE: This will take a while to finish.
Windows_8_Repair_Install_Windows-8.jpg
Windows_8_Repair_Install_Windows-8B.jpg
Windows_8_Repair_Install_Windows-9.jpg

17. When Windows 8 is finished installing, select a color you like, and click/tap Next. (see screenshot below)
Windows_8_Repair_Install_Windows-10.jpg

18. Click/tap on Use Express settings. (see screenshot below)
Windows_8_Repair_Install_Windows-11.jpg

19. Do step 20 or 21 below depending on if your primary administrator account is a local account or Microsoft account.

20. If you have a Microsoft Account
A) Go to step 22 below.​

21. If you have a Local Account
A) Enter the password for the displayed account, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)​
Windows_8_Repair_Install_Windows-12.jpg
B) Click/tap on Skip, and go to step 22 below. (see screenshot below)​
Windows_8_Repair_Install_Windows-13.jpg

22. Windows 8 will now startup signed into your administrator account. (see screenshots below)
Windows_8_Repair_Install_Windows-14.jpg
Windows_8_Repair_Install_Windows-15.jpg

23. Use Disk Cleanup to delete at least the Previous Windows installation(s), Setup Log Files, Temporary Windows installation files, and Windows upgrade log files items to free up the large amount hard drive space that they take. (see screenshots below)
Windows_8_Repair_Install_Windows-16.jpg

24. If you have an Enterprise edition or needed to use a generic key to install with from step 10 above, then you will need to change the product key to be able to enter the product key and activate it. (see screenshots below)
Change_Product_Key-Enterprise.jpg

25. Check for and install any available Windows Updates.

26. If needed, refresh or update you Windows Experience Index (WEI) score.


That's it,
Shawn


 

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Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
It would need to be at least for the same version of what you currently have installed to have the option to keep everything.
 

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
    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

avada

Member
Member
Hi!

So I got pretty screwed today trying to install AMD chipset drivers (got BSOD lost usb ports) and this doesn't work for me, I get a "very helpful" I "installing windows 8.1 unsuscessful" message. So I think I need to start over.

How can I keep at least my account if I install windows normally?
Are they "keep personal files" and "nothing" options likely to work? (What do they do exactly? Does "nothing" erase my user account?)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Ryzen 5 1600
    Motherboard
    Asus Prime B350-PLUS
    Memory
    G.SKILL Trident Z 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 3000MHz F4-3000C15D-16GTZB
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 (Asus ENGTS450)
    PSU
    500w FSP

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
Hello avada, :)

If you like, you could refresh Windows 8 to keep your accounts and personal files. However, all 3rd party installed apps will be removed.

:arrow: Refresh Windows 8
 

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
    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

avada

Member
Member
Hello avada, :)

If you like, you could refresh Windows 8 to keep your accounts and personal files. However, all 3rd party installed apps will be removed.

:arrow:Refresh Windows 8
I'd rather install with the win 8.1 I got from the microsoft store (which supposedly has all updates), but I definitely want to keep my account, I hate having to mess around with ntfs persmissions...
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Ryzen 5 1600
    Motherboard
    Asus Prime B350-PLUS
    Memory
    G.SKILL Trident Z 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 3000MHz F4-3000C15D-16GTZB
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 (Asus ENGTS450)
    PSU
    500w FSP

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
It'll refresh to same Windows 8.1 you currently have installed.
 

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
    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

avada

Member
Member
It'll refresh to same Windows 8.1 you currently have installed.
You mean the new disk I have, which I want to use? Is that with the "keep personal files option"? (So does the "nothing" option mean a reset?)

(I of course know that the refresh feature does in the installed version. Not sure if I have the disk for it though)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Ryzen 5 1600
    Motherboard
    Asus Prime B350-PLUS
    Memory
    G.SKILL Trident Z 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 3000MHz F4-3000C15D-16GTZB
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 (Asus ENGTS450)
    PSU
    500w FSP

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
Correct "nothing" would do a reset, and "keep personal files" would do a refresh.

You would only be prompted to "insert media" (Windows 8.1 DVD/USB/ISO) if your recovery partition is not available.

:arrow: Download Windows 8.1
 

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
    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

Tripitaka

New Member
What a fantastic tutorial, wish I had found this years ago.

Your tutorial worked on an oem pc using the windows 8.1 iso, clicked setup.exe at 11pm and was running Disc Cleanup 1 hour later.

Only glitch I had was windows error reporting kept crashing the control panel, disabled it in services and all is good.

Cheers Brink
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
What a fantastic tutorial, wish I had found this years ago.

Your tutorial worked on an oem pc using the windows 8.1 iso, clicked setup.exe at 11pm and was running Disc Cleanup 1 hour later.

Only glitch I had was windows error reporting kept crashing the control panel, disabled it in services and all is good.

Cheers Brink

Great news, and welcome to Eight Forums. :party:
 

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
    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

anion

New Member
I want to try this because my Windows 8.1 install seems to be malfunctioning. Question though, is it still possible to cancel if I'm already at steps beyond step 11?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
I want to try this because my Windows 8.1 install seems to be malfunctioning. Question though, is it still possible to cancel if I'm already at steps beyond step 11?

Hello anion, :)

Step 15 would be your last chance to cancel before clicking on the "Install" button.
 

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
    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

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