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How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Taylor Gibb is a professional software developer with nearly a decade of experience. He served as Microsoft Regional Director in South Africa for two years and has received multiple Microsoft MVP (Most Valued Professional) awards. He currently works in R&D at Derivco International. Read more.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

We have already shown you how you can use the new refresh and reset features in Windows 8 instead of formatting your PC, the problem is that you are required to insert your Windows DVD every time you want to use the features. Here’s how to do it without the DVD.

Refresh or Reset Your Windows 8 PC Without the DVD

The first thing you need to do is create a new folder on the root of your primary drive and call it “Windows8Files”

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Now insert your DVD into your PC, or mount the ISO File and navigate to:

Copy the install.wim file off your DVD into the Windows8Files folder we just created.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Next we need to launch and administrative command prompt, so move your mouse to the bottom left of your screen and right-click then select Command Prompt (admin) from the context menu.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Now we need to run the following command:

reagentc.exe /setosimage /path C:\Windows8Files /target C:\Windows /Index 1

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Now you can refresh or reset you PC as normal, except it wont ask you to insert your DVD.

Taylor Gibb is a professional software developer with nearly a decade of experience. He served as Microsoft Regional Director in South Africa for two years and has received multiple Microsoft MVP (Most Valued Professional) awards. He currently works in R&D at Derivco International. Read more.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

We have already shown you how you can use the new refresh and reset features in Windows 8 instead of formatting your PC, the problem is that you are required to insert your Windows DVD every time you want to use the features. Here’s how to do it without the DVD.

Refresh or Reset Your Windows 8 PC Without the DVD

The first thing you need to do is create a new folder on the root of your primary drive and call it “Windows8Files”

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Now insert your DVD into your PC, or mount the ISO File and navigate to:

Copy the install.wim file off your DVD into the Windows8Files folder we just created.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Next we need to launch and administrative command prompt, so move your mouse to the bottom left of your screen and right-click then select Command Prompt (admin) from the context menu.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Now we need to run the following command:

reagentc.exe /setosimage /path C:\Windows8Files /target C:\Windows /Index 1

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Now you can refresh or reset you PC as normal, except it wont ask you to insert your DVD.

Last Updated on December 6, 2021 by admin 16 Comments

Microsoft has introduced two interesting and very useful features in Windows 8. Refresh PC and Reset PC are the two new features that help you fix all Windows issues by refreshing settings or resetting everything. These features allow you to set your Windows 8 settings to their defaults, or reset Windows 8 to factory settings (original settings) by deleting data and installed apps.

If you are not familiar with these features, Refresh PC lets you restore all Windows settings to their defaults without deleting your documents, music and other files, and Reset PC reinstalls Windows and wipes out everything, including your files.

The only catch is that you may be asked to insert Windows installation or recovery media during Reset PC or Refresh PC operation. When you launch Reset or Refresh PC function, you may get “Insert media: Some files are missing. Your Windows installation or recovery media will provide these files” message.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Though most of us have the Windows 8 installation media, it’s always a good idea to make necessary changes to the default settings so that you can Reset Windows 8 without inserting the installation or recovery media.

Users who would like to perform Reset PC operation without using the bootable media can follow the given below instructions. Thanks, Alex.

Reset or refresh Windows 8 without DVD/USB

How to prepare your Windows 8 to start Reset PC operation without the installation media.

Step 1: You first need to create a folder named Win8 in the root of Windows 8 drive. That is, if your Windows 8 drive is “C”, then you need to create the folder under “C” drive.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Step 2: Now, insert your Windows 8 installation media, browse to the Source folder and then copy install.wim file to the previously created Win8 folder in your Windows 8 drive.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

NOTE: If you have Windows 8 ISO file, simply right-click on the file and then select Mount option. You can then browse to the Source folder to copy the install.wim file.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Step 3: Launch elevated prompt. To do this, type CMD in Start screen and then simultaneously press Ctrl + Alt + Del keys to launch Command Prompt with admin rights. Refer to our how to run a program with admin rights for additional information.

Step 4: In the elevated prompt, execute the following command:

reagentc.exe /setosimage /path C:\Win8 /target c:\Windows /Index 1

Step 5: Close the Command Prompt. That’s it! Follow the instructions given below to start Reset PC or Refresh PC operation.

How to Reset or Refresh Windows 8 PC without the installation media.

Step 1: Launch Metro Control Panel or PC settings. To do this, you can simultaneously press Windows + I keys followed by Enter key.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Step 2: Here, in the left pane, click on General to see Reset your PC and Refresh your PC options. Click on Get Started button under Reset your PC or Refresh your PC. You won’t be asked to insert the installation or recovery media message this time around. You can follow our how to use Reset PC feature in Windows 8 guide for step-by-step procedure to Reset Windows 8 PC.

Prepare your PC to perform Refresh PC operation without installation media.

This procedure involves creating a custom Windows image to Refresh your PC. That is, we are going to create a system image backup of your current state of Windows, including installed apps and custom settings, so that this custom image can be used for Refresh PC operation.

Procedure:

Step 1: Create a folder named Win8Image anywhere on your HDD where you want to save the custom image. Make sure that the drive has enough free space before proceeding to the next step. The space required to save the image depends on all the applications and other files in the Windows drive.

Or, you can create the folder from the command line by entering mkdir D:\Win8Image command.

Step 2: Open Command Prompt as administrator and execute the following command:

recimg –CreateImage D:\Win8Image

D:\Win8Image refers to the location that has previously been created to save the image file.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

That’s it! You can now visit PC settings (Metro Control Panel) to start Refresh PC operation. When you perform Refresh PC operation this newly created image will be used as a base image and will be used for the task.

How to reset Windows 11 factory settings guide might also interest you.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Have you ever refreshed or reset your Windows 8 PC without inserting a DVD? If not then this guide will certainly help you out. By accessing the control panel – Metro style or classic – you can refresh and reset your personal computer. You may also want to know how to refresh or reset Windows 8 without formatting disk.

When you have to refresh or reset your Windows 8 PC the DVD has to be inserted. But there is a method which has been given that you can either refresh or reset your PC with Windows 8 operating system, without inserting a DVD.

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Instructions

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On the root of your primary drive, create a new folder and name it “Windows8Files”.

Either insert the DVD into your PC or mount the ISO file.

From the viewed wp-content/uploads navigate to D:\sources.

The Windows8Files folder that was created earlier, copy it to the install.wim file of your DVD.

Next you will have to drag your mouse towards the bottom left corner of the screen.

Right click there and select the Command Prompt (admin) from the popup menu.

Next you will have to run reagentc.exe /setosimage /path C:\Windows8Files /target C:\Windows /Index 1 command.

This will allow you to refresh as well as reset your PC without inserting the DVD.

If you face any issues then start from the beginning and take your time so that you do not skip any step. If you need further assistance then you can also check the ‘Help’ section in Windows 8 or on the Microsoft website. Usually you will have better luck if you go online and visit some of the many different forums and websites that deal with Windows 8. You will find many expert users that are willing to give out some excellent tips and tricks to help you get your problems solved quickly. Make sure that you go over the posts as your questions may have been solved previously. If you are still having issues then you can also post a question on the forum and get further assistance. There are also very good video tutorials available online that will show you through screenshot the best methods of getting this job done.

You can also visit your local library or bookstore to find some excellent books on Windows 8. Check some out and learn as much as you can about this new operating system. Once you have gone through some books and have gained some knowledge then you can try out different tips or tricks to help streamline your operating system.

When your system has such a problem e.g slowing down and generates error messages, there’s only one solution to refresh windows 8 or start from scratch. A full installation is a time-consuming job, because you have to copy all your data somewhere, and then restore your data.

Windows 8, for the first time in Windows history, gives you a much better way. It introduces two related new features that are called Reset and Refresh. Both operate very similarly but have very different results. In this post we are going to share simple steps, how to refresh or reset a windows 8 computer.

Refresh Your PC

Refresh Your PC is similar to Reset Your PC but it preserves your Windows Store apps from the Windows Store, settings, and personal files. However, traditional Windows desktop apps are removed.

Reset Your PC

Using Reset Your PC is similar to a clean install of Windows 8. All of your applications, settings, and files are removed and everything is changed back to the default settings. The difference is that with Reset Your PC, you can just click a few buttons and everything is fully automated.

Refresh Your PC

1. Open the Start screen, type Refresh your PC without affecting your files.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

2. Win+C keys together to access it. Now click on Settings.

3. Click on Change PC settings option.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

4. Under Recovery option, Click refresh your PC without affecting your files option.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

5. Click Next to continue.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

6. Click on refresh option.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

7. Now wait while your computer restarts a couple of times and the PC Refresh completes.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Reset Your PC

1. Open the Start screen, type Remove Everything and reinstall Windows.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

2. Press Win+C keys together, Click Setting then Change PC setting.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

3. Click Remove everything and reinstall Windows under recovery option.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

4. Click Next to reset your PC option.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

5. Two Option available, Just remove my files or fully clean the driver, choose your selection according to your current situation.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

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Inevitably your Windows system will slow down over time. Or, sometimes your system can become so infected, corrupted and unstable a fresh installation is necessary. Windows 8 makes it easy to get the fresh fast system feel back with PC Refresh.

Windows 8 comes with many new features I’m excited about and the Windows 8 Refresh feature is one of my favorite. Basically the Refresh feature allows you to refresh your Windows 8 installation back to a vanilla, brand new install while preserving all your personal files. Windows 8 also includes a reset feature which is similar however resetting your install deletes all personal files so don’t select this unless you want a full system wipe.

Why a refresh is valuable

Inevitably your Windows system will slow down compared to when you first got it fresh out of the box. Daily use, installing and uninstalling programs, over time, leaves remnants of those programs and files in temp directories and the Registry — which causes your PC to slow down. Or, sometimes your system can become so infected, corrupted and unstable a fresh installation is necessary.

The best solution to this type of slow down in previous versions of Windows is to do a clean install of the OS. But that can be a long and arduous process – and who has the time? Now, in Windows 8, there’s a feature that lets you Refresh or Reset your PC.

Note: There’s a big difference between PC Refresh and PC Reset. If you want to keep your Personal Files and Settings, use the Refresh option. The PC Reset option will wipe everything clean.

Refresh Your Windows 8 PC

Refreshing your Windows 8 system will restore it without deleting any of your personal files, installed Windows apps or settings. There’s a few ways to get to the PC Refresh option, via the Metro UI or the classic desktop. To get started go to Settings > Update and recovery > Recovery.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

The Metro Control Panel Opens. Under PC Settings, select General, then scroll down to Refresh Your PC Without Affecting Your Files. Click Get Started.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Or, from the desktop, pull up the Power User Menu and select Control Panel.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Then select Recovery.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Refresh or Reset Your PC comes up. Under Refresh click Get Started.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

No matter how you get to Refresh and Recovery, you’ll see the following screen. It gives you bullet points of how the process works.

Note: Your files, setting and apps from Windows Store are kept. Third party apps will be removed. After refreshing your PC, using Ninite to reinstall third party apps is a solid solution.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

In this instance I’m running PC Refresh from the Metro UI. Click Refresh.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Now wait while Windows starts the Refresh process. Your computer will restart two to three times and it takes about 10 – 15 minutes, but each system will vary.

Windows copies your data to free space on your drive, wipes out Windows 8 then reinstalls a clean version.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

After the second reboot, Windows restores your personal files, settings and hardware drivers.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

That’s all there is to it. If your Windows 8 computer starts running sluggishly, or something isn’t working correctly, a good place to start is with a Refresh. If that doesn’t solve the problem, a PC Reset or clean install of Windows 8 might be necessary. I will be covering the PC Reset processes in a future article.

When your computer on Windows 8 or 8.1 becomes slow or Windows becomes unstable, you have the option of restoring its performance by refreshing your PC.
In other words, you will be able to reinstall Windows without touching your personal data and applications installed from the Windows Store.

1. Refresh your PC from Windows

To refresh your PC from Windows, place your cursor at the bottom right of the screen and click Settings.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Then, on : Change PC settings.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

In the PC settings, go to the “Update and recovery” section.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Click on the “Start” button in the “Refresh your PC without affecting your files” section.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

A message “Please wait. Preparing” will appear in the middle of the screen.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

If this message appears, insert the Windows 8 / 8.1 installation DVD (depending on your version of Windows).

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

As noted, the refresh will preserve files, personalization settings, and apps from the Windows Store.
But, the other apps and settings will be deleted.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Before the refresh, Windows will tell you which apps need to be reinstalled.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Click on Refresh.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

2. Refresh your PC from the recovery drive

If you booted from the recovery drive, you will need to select your keyboard language.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

If your keyboard language is not in the list, click “See more keyboard layouts” until you find yours.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Click on : Troubleshooting.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Click on : Refresh your PC.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

If this error message appears, follow this to resolve the issue : Resolve common errors with the recovery drive

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Once the above error is resolved, you will be able to choose the target operating system.
In our case, our installation of Windows 8.1 Pro.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

If the “Insert your Windows installation or recovery media to continue” message appears, insert the Windows installation DVD.

Note : although this message could be misinterpreted, it does not ask you to use the system recovery drive, but a media containing the Windows installation files.
This is because the system recovery drive contains only the repair tools.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

If you don’t insert the correct media, the “The media inserted is not valid. Try again” message will be displayed.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Once the Windows installation DVD is inserted into your CD/DVD drive, click Next.

Windows has a propensity to accrue digital dust and grime that can bog down the system, and reinstalling the operating system is a nice catch-all cure for anything that ails it.

Newer versions of Windows include a handy refresh option that lets you keep your personal files, but removes your apps and reinstalls Windows. This saves you from a lengthier backup and restore, and it cuts down on reconfiguring your device after you’ve reinstalled the OS—it just doesn’t always work.

Ironically, many of the issues that force users into trying a Windows refresh can also prevent it from working. I recently ran into this very scenario while attempting a routine refresh of my desktop, and I don’t seem to be alone. The annoying error message “There was a problem resetting your PC, no changes were made” seems to be common across many forums and Reddit threads.

I finally found the solution that worked for me after some trial and error, but that’s the catch: There are multiple solutions to the myriad causes behind the “There was a problem resetting your PC” error message, but none of them are cure-alls. You might have to work through multiple methods until you find the right one. To help with that process, I’ve combed through the various viable solutions on the internet and collected them here in hopes that it will ease the process for you.

Before we get to those, however, I strongly recommend you back up important files before trying the following recovery options. Even though a Windows refresh can save some of your personal files, it’s wise to back up your files elsewhere in case something goes wrong and you need to resort to a delete-everything-and-install-Windows-from-scratch opt ion.

You notice something’s wrong with your PC: It’s gotten sluggish or something isn’t even working: We’ll show you how easy it is to restore it to an earlier working condition.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

Sometimes you just want to go back in time. While in life, that’s not usually possible, Windows is a different story: System Restore lets you take your PC back to an earlier point in time, letting you restore your PC to an earlier state, in which programs and settings revert to the way they were in the past. Of course, the main reason for doing this is that you installed something that deteriorated the smooth functioning of the PC, and your aim is to restore the PC to a condition in which it runs well.

If your goal is more drastic: You want to clean out or restore the computer to mint condition, Windows 8 has built in tools for this. I explain these in How to Refresh or Reset Your Windows 8 PC. Just one update to that article is that in Windows 8.1, to get to these options, you go to Settings, and then choose in Settings | Update & recovery, and choose Recovery. From there, you use the Refresh and Reset tools as described in the earlier article.

But if you do indeed want to restore to an earlier state, the most important thing to know about restoring any Windows PC is that you need something to restore it to—a restore point. To create a restore point, you can see my article How to Create a Restore Point in Windows. By default, Windows’ System Protection feature automatically creates restore points a system updates and program installations. To make sure of this, got to Control Panel and navigate to System Properties | System Protection, and click the Configure button. The top choice in the resulting dialog shows whether System Protection is on and lets you disable or enable it.

One important thing to know is that System Restore doesn’t affect any of your documents, photos, or other personal data files.

So, assuming you’ve got a restore point to work with, here’s how you restore your PC to an earlier state:

1. From the Windows 8 Start screen, type “Restore.” The top result in the right-side Search panel should be “Create a restore point.” Even though that’s not what we’re doing today, that’s the choice you want to make. It opens the Control Panel to the Systems Properties dialog’s System Protection tab, shown below:

2. Tap the first button on that property sheet: System Restore. This opens a wizard-like dialog, the first page of which says “Restore system files and settings” as shown below:

Here you get another chance to see which programs will be lost and gained. Tap “Next.”

3. Next, you’ll see a dialog with a choice of system restore points, like the one below.

You’ll probably want to choose the most recent one, so that you don’t lose too much in the way of new updates, programs, and settings. If the PC isn’t fixed after this restore operation, you can always restore back to an earlier one. Another helpful feature is the “Scan for affected programs” button. This will show you everything you’ll lose by reverting the PC to the earlier state. It also displays the informative message “Any programs that were added since the last restore point will be deleted and any that were removed will be restored.” You might want to make a note of the software in this list, in case you want to do some re-install and uninstalling of wanted and unwanted programs.

Restore Win 8 Cont’d, Steps 4-6

4. Hit Next. Now you’ll see the “Confirm your restore point” dialog,” which lets you do exactly what it says. Note you can tick the “Show more restore points” box to do just that. You’re also prompted to save any open files and make sure your Windows Password works.

5. Click Finish. You’ll then see a final warning dialog telling you that once started, the System Restore cannot be interrupted, with another confirmation button for continuing the process. Click Yes.

6. Next you’ll see a progress timer saying Restoring System, after which a full-screen Windows Update-like screen will display, saying “Please wait while your Windows files and settings are being restored.” The process will run through initializing, restoring the registry, and then it will restart.

For my test PC, which didn’t have much installation and update history, the whole process only took a couple of minutes, but of course if you have installed a lot of software between the present and the date of the restore point, you can expect the process to take longer. Fortunately, despite the password warnings, I could still log into my test PC with my four-digit PIN. Note: this may not work if you’ve upgraded to the Windows 8.1 Preview; it didn’t for me.

After the procedure, on the desktop you’ll either see a message saying that the restore operation was a success or one saying that it failed. In either case, but especially in the latter, you can undo the restore operation—you see, Windows creates another Restore Point right before the operation. You undo the restore operation the same way you start a restore, using the steps above.

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Perform essential recovery and repair tasks on your Windows 8 PC with a USB recovery drive.

Ed Rhee, a freelance writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is an IT veteran turned stay-at-home-dad of two girls. He focuses on Android devices and applications while maintaining a review blog at techdadreview.com.

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  • How to use the new refresh and reset features in Windows 8
  • How to create a custom refresh image in Windows 8

A bootable Windows 8 recovery drive can help you repair or restore your PC if and when problems arise. Though you can create a recovery DVD, USB flash drives are much more convenient and are fairly inexpensive.

Here’s how to create a Windows 8 USB recovery drive for your PC:

Step 1: From the Windows 8 Start screen, type “recovery,” then choose Settings to see the search results under Settings. Select “Create a recovery drive” to begin the recovery drive tool.

Click to enlarge. Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

Step 2: When the recovery drive tool appears, check the box next to “Copy the recovery partition from the PC to the recovery drive” if you want the recovery tools that came with your PC to be included in the recovery drive. If the selection is grayed out, that means your PC doesn’t have a recovery partition. Keep in mind that if you do copy the recovery partition, you’ll need at least a 16GB USB flash drive. Without it, you can make do with just 256MB. Click Next to continue.

Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

Step 3: Make sure that the USB flash drive you’re using is empty and that it shows up in the list of available drives. Any data left on the flash drive will be deleted by the recovery drive tool. When you get to the end of the wizard, click the Create button and wait a couple of minutes for the drive to be created.

That’s it. Now you can boot the Windows 8 USB recovery drive and perform a refresh , reset, system restore, system image recovery, and an automatic repair.

How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

By Nazmus Shakib Khandaker ,
October 19, 2013 in Windows

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    If your Windows 8 PC isn’t running well you can try the new Refresh feature which cleans up Windows without touching your documents, music, photos and videos. For a proper cleanout and format, you can use the Reset option. Here’s how to reinstall Windows 8.

    Give your PC a free speed boost

    By Jim Martin, Executive Editor | 13 Mar 2014

    Microsoft has made it much, much easier to reinstall Windows 8 if anything goes wrong. In fact, there are now two different options – refresh and reset – which cater for two different scenarios. Here we’ll explain how each works and how you can reinstall Windows 8 quickly and easily, but be sure to back up you documents, music, photos and videos first.

    Words by: Edward Jones

    The speed at which my PC operates is important to me. Put simply I’m impatient, and waiting 30 seconds for a program to load is simply not an option. But we’ve all experienced this issue, then we take a look at our desktop and see what the problem is. Hundreds of programs, used only one then never opened again, left to rot taking up disk space and slowing down PC performance. It’s time for a re-install. or is it?

    How to reinstall Windows 8: an overview

    Historically, re-installing your Windows operating system is a complex and lengthy process, that is if you can even find the install discs and locate your product key. Windows 8 eradicates this issue with ‘Refresh & Reset’. It’s quick, powerful and easy to implement. Here’s how it works:

    Refresh: This option allows you to keep all your personal files and purchased Apps from the Windows Store, whilst removing all downloaded and installed programs such as Java, Adobe and Games. Your PC settings will also revert to default.

    Reset: As with smartphones and tablets, think factory reset. No personal files, programs, Windows Store Purchases will be kept and your PC settings will be returned to default. Your Windows 8 OS will be fresh an exactly as you found it on day one.

    Try not to mix the two up or you could lose all your family photos, personal files and those 1000s of MP3s and movies you purchased legally. Don’t worry too much though, Windows 8 does make the options clear at every step and there is an added layer of protection as you must be logged in with Administrative privileges to implement ‘Refresh and Reset’.

    So now, you know all about Windows 8 Refresh and Reset, here’s how to put it into practice. Click here to jump to Reset and find out how to reinstall Windows 8.

    How to reinstall Windows 8: Refresh

    You’ve packed your PC with every application you can think of including Skype, Adobe Reader, Photoshop and the last 20 versions of Call of Duty. It’s taking forever to start up and is nowhere near as responsive as it used to be. It’s time for a spring clean.

    1. Hit Win-C (Windows key and C together), or point your mouse to the top right or bottom right corner of your screen for the Charms Bar to appear. Then click Settings > Change PC Settings > General.

    2. Scroll until you see the option ‘ Refresh your PC without affecting your Files’

    3. Click Get Started. The following options screen should appear:

    4. Click Next and now it’s refresh time, this option can take up to 15 minutes so it’s time for a tea or a quick game of Call of Duty (on another PC, of course).

    5. Once that’s finished, your PC is ‘refreshed’ with all your documents and purchases intact. You even get a fancy document informing you of all the programs removed.

    How to reinstall Windows 8

    On the previous page we showed you how to refresh Windows 8. If that doesn’t give you the performance you wanted, you might need to use the altogether more serious Reset function.

    1. Hit the Win-C combination (Windows key and C together), or use your mouse to make the Charms Bar to appear. Then click Settings > Change PC Settings > General.

    2. Scroll down till you see ‘Remove everything and reinstall Windows’

    3. Select Get Started. Like before you should see a similar options screen as follows:

    4. Click Next and this time you will be greeted with two options:

    • Just remove my files- Everything is gone and Windows 8 is as good as new.
    • Clean the drive fully – This wipes the drive and reinstalls Windows 8.

    5. Last chance saloon, the point of no return, your certain you want to do this?

    6. Click Reset and the PC will be returned to default settings. It should be good as new, ’til you wreck it again, that is. The process will take several minutes.

    So there you have it, you can now ‘Refresh & Reset’ Windows 8 as and when you need to. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: make sure you select the right option. These options are nice, quick alternatives to scrabbling around in draws trying to find installation disks and access keys.

    About the author

    Guest author Edward Jones looks after community engagement and content creation for Firebrand Training, writing technical articles and industry news for the IT certification sector. Edward has experience with Windows Server, SharePoint and multiple Windows OS platforms.

    Note: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site, at no extra cost to you. This doesn’t affect our editorial independence. Learn more.

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    Author: Jim Martin, Executive Editor

    Jim has been testing and reviewing products for over 20 years. His main beats include VPN services and antivirus. He also covers smart home tech, home networks and electric bikes.

    How do I restore my HP laptop to factory settings without a disk?

    The first step is to turn your HP laptop on. You can also restart it if it is already on. Once it begins the booting process, keep clicking the F11 key until the computer boots to Recovery Manager. That is the software you will use to reset your laptop.

    How do I restore Windows 8 to factory settings without a disk?

    Refresh without installation media

    1. Boot into the system and go to Computer > C: , where C: is the drive where your Windows is installed on.
    2. Create a new folder. …
    3. Insert the Windows 8/8.1 installation media and go to the Source folder. …
    4. Copy the install.wim file.
    5. Paste the install.wim file to the Win8 folder.

    How do I force a factory reset on Windows 8?

    How To Perform a Hard Reset in Windows 8

    1. Hover your mouse over the right top (or right bottom) corner of your screen to bring up the Charms menu.
    2. Select Settings.
    3. Select More PC Settings at the bottom.
    4. Select General then select either Refresh or Reset.

    How can I Reset my HP laptop back to factory like brand new?

    Turn on your HP laptop, then immediately press the F11 key repeatedly until the Choose an option screen appears. Click Troubleshoot. Click Reset this PC. Select an option, Keep my files or Remove everything.

    How do I completely Reset my HP laptop?

    There are two ways to access the reset option:

    1. Click on the Start menu and choose the “Settings” option. This looks like a cog wheel, and it is where you will access all of the major settings on your laptop.
    2. In the search bar, type “reset.”
    3. From there, choose the “Reset this PC” option once the results have popped up.

    How do you master Reset a laptop?

    Navigate to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery. You should see a title that says “Reset this PC.” Click Get Started. You can either select Keep My Files or Remove Everything. The former resets your options to default and removes uninstalled apps, like browsers, but keeps your data intact.

    How do I restore my HP laptop to factory settings Windows 8?

    To do this, you need to open the Choose an option screen.

    1. Start your computer and press the F11 key repeatedly. …
    2. On the Choose an option screen, click Troubleshoot.
    3. Click Reset your PC.
    4. On the Reset your PC screen, click Next. …
    5. Read and respond to any screens that open.
    6. Wait while Windows resets your computer.

    How can I repair my Windows 8?

    To do so, follow these steps:

    1. Insert the original installation DVD or USB Drive. …
    2. Restart your computer.
    3. Boot from the disc/USB.
    4. At the Install screen, click Repair your computer or press R.
    5. Click Troubleshoot.
    6. Click Command Prompt.
    7. Type these commands: bootrec /FixMbr bootrec /FixBoot bootrec /ScanOs bootrec /RebuildBcd.

    How do I do a factory reset?

    How to perform Factory Reset on Android smartphone?

    1. Tap Apps.
    2. Tap Settings.
    3. Tap Backup and reset.
    4. Tap Factory data reset.
    5. Tap Reset Device.
    6. Tap Erase Everything.

    How do you delete everything on a Windows 8 computer?

    If you’re using Windows 8.1 or 10, wiping your hard drive is easy.

    1. Select Settings (the gear icon on the Start menu)
    2. Select Update & security, then Recovery.
    3. Choose Remove everything, then Remove files and clean the drive.
    4. Then click Next, Reset, and Continue.

    Why wont my HP laptop let me reset it?

    Try the following: Start the laptop and when it boots into Windows, force stop the laptop by holding the Power button until it shuts down. Do this 3 times in a row, i.e. start > boot > force shutdown > start > boot > force shutdown etc. On the 3rd attempt it should boot into the Windows Recovery Environment menu area.

    How do I factory reset my HP Windows 7 without CD?

    Method 1: Reset your computer from your recovery partition

    1. 2) Right-click Computer, then select Manage.
    2. 3) Click Storage, then Disk Management.
    3. 3) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and type recovery. …
    4. 4) Click Advanced recovery methods.
    5. 5) Select Reinstall Windows.
    6. 6) Click Yes.
    7. 7) Click Back up now.

    John Callaham Neowin @JCalmn · Oct 19, 2013 15:10 EDT · Hot! with 18 comments

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    The launch of Windows 8.1 on Thursday has not been completely trouble free. We have already reported that Microsoft has pulled the Windows RT 8.1 update for unknown reasons. Now there’s word that some people who updated from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 no longer have any refresh or reset options.

    The issue was first reported on McAkins Online, and it affects people who bought and installed a retail copy of Windows 8 on their PC, either electronically from Windows.com or from a retail DVD disc or ISO image. In very simple terms, installing Windows 8 creates a ESD file that allows users to refresh or reset their PC. Installing the digital download version of Windows 8.1 does not provide a new ESD file, and as such, the ability to refresh or reset the OS after it is installed is eliminated.

    Neowin asked Microsoft about this issue and the company sent over word that there are two situations where users will need some kind of media (an ISO burned to a disc or USB Flash drive) to enable refresh or refresh: “OEM devices without W8 PBR (very few)” and “Users that installed via DVD.” Microsoft added, “For Windows 8.1, users that upgraded to Windows 8 via online download (ESD), will need media when updating to Windows 8.1. Also, users that upgraded to Windows 8 via DVD then updated to 8.1, they will need to use their Windows 8 DVD to go back to Windows 8 if needed.”

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    However, according to McAkins Online, adding a Windows 8 disc or ISO image in a PC drive after updating to Windows 8.1 will not work, as users will see the error message above. Since there was no install media provided by the Windows 8.1 upgrade, users cannot refresh or reset their PC.

    While Microsoft has not provided an ISO image for the Windows 8.1 update from the Windows Store, McAkins Online points out that there is a 90 day free trial version of Windows 8.1 Enterprise with an ISO that anyone can download. The site offers a fairly complicated workaround to using those ISO files so that Windows 8.1 users can enable the refresh and reset options.

    If the CTI Navigator function currently incurring an error previously worked (within the last few weeks) on this computer, and all other approaches to fixing the error (see Menu of Error Fixes) have failed, you can use the Windows System Reset/Restore/Refresh function to reset Windows back to when everything worked correctly.

    Topic Index:

    Restore Windows 10

    1. Right-click on the Windows Start button and then select System
    2. On the left pane, select “System Protection“, and then click the “System Restore” button
    3. On the System Restore screen, select “Choose a different restore point” and then click Next
    4. Select a restore point for a time when Windows was working properly (i.e., before the problem occurred), and click Next
    5. Confirm the selected restore point, and click Finish
    6. Click “Yes” at the message “System Restore cannot be interrupted – Do you want to continue?”

    Undo System Restore in Windows 10 and 8.1

    System Restore in Windows 10 and 8.1 creates a new restore point before performing the restore process. This is to allow you to undo your actions by performing this same process and selecting that new restore point if desired.

    Reset Windows 10

    1. Left-click on Start and select Settings >Update & Security >Recovery
    2. Under “Reset this PC”, select “Get Started
    3. Under “Choose an Option”, either click on
      • Keep My Files” to remove apps and settings but keep personal files; OR click on
      • Remove Everything” to remove all your personal files, apps, and settings.

    Restore Windows 8 and 8.1

    Open the Windows Control Panel

    On any screen, press the Windows logo key + the X key, and select Control Panel; or

    In Tiles View, type “Control Panel” and click on Control Panel under Apps Results; or

    In Desktop view, open the Charms Bar, click on Settings, and select Control Panel

    2. Open System Restore

    In Icon View: click Recovery, select System Recovery, click “System Restore

    In Category View: select “System & Security”, click “ System”, select “System Protection“, click “System Restore” button

    3. Follow the prompts.

    To restore to a date earlier than the last displayed restore point, check the “Show more restore points” box on the bottom left of the list of restore points.

    To see what programs or drivers would be affected by restoring, select a restore time and date, and click the “Scan for affected programs” button on the bottom right of the list of restore points.

    System Restore is not available in Windows RT.

    In addition to System Restore, Windows 8 also includes functions to Refresh or Reset your Windows.

    • Refresh reinstalls Windows 8 and keeps your personal files, settings, and apps that came preinstalled in Windows or apps installed from Microsoft’s Windows Store, but removes apps (such as CTI Navigator Desktop) installed from other websites or other media (such as DVD or USB).
    • Reset deletes everything and then reinstalls Windows 8 and only those apps that came preinstalled with Windows.

    Refresh or Reset Windows 8:

    1. Open the Charm bar (by positioning your cursor in the top or bottom right corner of a screen)
    2. Select Settings
    3. Select “Change PC Settings“,
    4. Click General,
    5. Select either
      • Refresh your PC without affecting your files” (see Refresh description above), and click “Get Started”; or
      • Remove everything and reinstall Windows” (see Reset description above), and then click “Get Started”.
        Note: If you’re planning to donate, recycle, or sell your PC, use this option and choose to fully clean the drive. This might take an hour or two, but it makes it harder for other people to recover files you’ve removed.

    Restore Windows XP, Vista or 7

    1. Close all programs (including CTI Navigator)
    2. Click Start
    3. Select All Programs
    4. Click Accessories
    5. Select System Tools
    6. Click System Restore
    7. Follow the prompts
      • Example System Restore screens in Windows 7/Vista are:

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvdHow to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

  • Restore to a date when all CTI Navigator functions worked correctly.
    1. Open System Restore as described previously; or you can
      click Start > type System Restore > click on System Restore
    2. Click “Undo my last restoration” and click Next.
    3. Review your selection and click Finish.
    4. Your computer will restart once the undo has completed.

    General Notes for System Restore

    Note 1: System Restore does not affect data files. However, any device drivers, programs or program updates that were installed later than the Restore date will need to be re-installed.

    Note 2: If your system files have been infected by a virus, restoring Windows to a point before the infection occurred may help remove the effects of the virus. However, some viruses are not themselves removed by System Restore. (See the related article below, Security Cleanup Links.)

    Note 3: For Microsoft’s instructions on using System Restore, see the Help and Support function in your version of Windows, or click the appropriate Internet link in related articles below.

    Note 4: For Microsoft’s instructions on how-to uninstall and reinstall Windows, see the related article below.

    To Restore just the standard fonts for Windows, see the related article below, “Restore Windows’ Standard Fonts.”

    Related articles and Internet links:

    To return to CTI’s menu of Help & Tutorials, click here or use the back arrow at the top of your Internet browser. To go directly to CTI’s menu of Error Fixes, click here.

    Windows 10 comes with so many benefits including better technologies for recovering operating systems. One of them is named Reset your PC which provides resetting your Windows to factory settings with or without losing your data. The same technology is available in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 and it is called Refresh your PC and Reset your PC. If you want to run Reset your PC on Windows 8, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 you will need to access troubleshooting tools and run Reset your PC. The procedure is really simple, but sometimes the simplest actions can be complicated because of issues that occur.

    One of the problems which occur on Windows machines is an impossibility to Reset your PC because of error: Unable to reset your PC. A required drive partition is missing. Why this issue occurs? There are different reasons including corrupted boot configuration, not active partition, faulty HDD or SSD, and others.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    This issue occurs on Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. We created seven methods that will help you to solve the issue with Reset your PC. In the end, you will be able to Reset your PC. So, let’s start.

    Method 1: Mark partition as active

    There are two ways how you can manage your hard disk and partitions, including Graphical Unit Interface (GUI) and CMD (Command Prompt). As you know, Graphical Unit Interface requires a keyboard and mouse, and Command Prompt requires only a keyboard. For this method, you will need to use command-line tool named DISKPART which will help you to set your partition as active.

    You will need to access Command Prompt through Windows Repair mode which was described in the previous method. After that, you will need to follow the next steps.

    1. Type diskpart to run DISKPART command-line tool
    2. Type list disk to list available hard disks. In our example, there is only one disk, Disk 0.
    3. Type select disk 0 to select disk. 0 represents a number for the disk discovered by diskpart.
    4. Type list partition to list available partitions on your hard disk. In our example, there are two partitions, Partition 1 and Partition 2. Partition 1 is System Reserved partition and Partition 2 is system installation.
    5. Type select partition 2 to select partition 2. 2 represents a number of the partitions discovered by diskpart.
    6. Type active to mark partition to activeHow to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd
    7. Type Exit to exit diskpart
    8. Type Exit to exit Command Prompt
    9. Click Turn off your PCHow to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd
    10. Power on your PC

    Method 2: Rebuild the Boot record

    In the second method, you will need to rebuild the boot record. For this method, you will need a bootable DVD or USB, too. We will show you how to do it on Windows 10. The same procedure is compatible with Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. You will use the same bootable USB you created in previous methods.

    You will need to access Command Prompt through Windows Repair mode which was described in the previous method. After that, you will need to follow the next steps.

    We talked about rebuilding the boot record in previous articles, so please check https://appuals.com/steps-to-fix-winload-efi-error-0xc0000001/, by following method 2.

    If none of these works out for you, it’s recommended to re-install the Windows as it’s possible there are more corruption possible instead of this issue only. Here is the link to Media Creation Tool that you can use to re-install the Windows and fix any partition issues. If you don’t know how to proceed and do a clean install of your Windows you can follow our article for that (here).

    Windows 8 brings with it a cool option that allows you to refresh and reset your PC. It’s useful when your PC’s not performing well and you want to reload the OS data on it. While reset lets you remove all of the files from your drives and get a fresh copy of Windows installed on your PC. Here’s how you can do both:

    I. Refreshing your Windows 8 PC:

    1. Press the Windows Logo+I keys together and a menu will appear in the right-hand side.

    2. Click on Change PC settings option.

    3. From the left-hand side, click on General followed by Get started under the Refresh your PC without affecting your files heading.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvdClick General>>Get started

    4. The next screen will tell you what it’ll do to your PC. If it’s okay, hit Next.

    5. The rest of the procedure is a simple next…next…next procedure.

    Great! Your PC has just been refreshed and any issues you were facing before would have been solved now!

    II. Resetting your Windows 8 PC:

    1. Press the Windows Logo+I keys together and click on Change PC settings option given in the right-hand side.

    2. Click on General followed by Get started under the Remove everything and reinstall Windows heading.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvdClick General>>Get started

    3. Follow the on-screen instructions to get the job done.

    Brilliant! You’ve successfully reset your Windows 8 PC and it should now work as great as a new PC!

    It’s unavoidable, operating systems do slow down over time. There are many reasons for this, for example, installed programs and tools can affect a computer’s general performance after a while. Or perhaps you’d like to sell your computer and delete your personal files and data from the system before passing on the machine. In both cases, it can make sense to reset Windows 8.

    There are two ways of doing this: you can factory-reset Windows 8, or perform a partial reset in which case pre-existing files are kept. In this article, we’ll show you how to do both. We will also explain how to download an ISO file for the reset and how you can create an installation disk with it.

    1. Partial or complete reset: what’s the best option for me?
    2. Instructions for resetting Windows 8 without losing your data
    3. Create a data carrier to reset Windows 8
    4. Factory reset Windows 8

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    Partial or complete reset: what’s the best option for me?

    First, consider what you’d like to achieve by resetting your computer. If you just want it to run more quickly, then a simple reset will suffice. Performing a “refresh” will set up the system anew, but all your files and settings are maintained. However, all the programs and apps from the Microsoft Store that came pre-installed on the PC will be reinstalled.

    If you want to sell or give away your computer, though, you should opt for a full reinstall of Windows 8 so that none of your personal data is left on it. With this option, all programs will be deleted and all factory settings will be reset. Windows will then be reinstalled. However, bear in mind that doing so will delete all your data on the PC.

    Once you have decided on the right option for you, you can get started with the reset. In the following section, we’ll guide you through a reset step-by-step.

    Instructions for resetting Windows 8 without losing your data

    1. In desktop mode, press the key combination ‘Windows’ key + ‘i’ and then select the option “Change PC Settings” from the menu on the left-hand side.
    2. Click on “Update & Recovery” and then on “Recovery”.
    3. Now select the option “Refresh your PC without affecting your files” by clicking on the button “Get started”. The system will now first check whether there are any programs that can’t be restored. They will be shown on the desktop after the refresh.
    4. If the notification for missing files appears, insert the disk for the Windows installation.
    5. Follow the instructions on the screen.

    If you have previously updated your PC from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 and your PC has a Windows 8 recovery partition, the original Windows 8 version will be restored. You will have to perform an upgrade to Windows 8.1 after the reset. The same applies to Windows upgrades from earlier versions. If you reset Windows 7, the original version will also be restored. Possible upgrades must be installed manually afterward.

    Create a data carrier to reset Windows 8

    If you don’t have an installation CD for Windows 8, you will have to create your own installation medium. To do this you will need the installation file for Windows 8 and the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool that, though its name appears to suggest otherwise, also works for Windows 8.

    The installation file is an ISO file that functions as a copy of the operating system and contains all files relevant for the installation. You need to load this ISO file onto your PC and create a bootable USB stick or a DVD from it. You can then use this boot medium to reset Windows 8. Here’s how to do this:

    1. First, ensure that your internet connection is stable and that you have free storage space with at least four gigabytes of capacity available.
    2. Go to the Microsoft download website.
    3. Scroll down to the section “Select edition” and select your edition from the pop-up menu. Then, hit “Confirm”.
    4. The section “Select the product language” will become visible. Select your language from the pop-up menu and click “Confirm” again.
    5. The website has now created two links, valid for 24 hours, to download your ISO file. Select the right version (32-bit or 64-bit) and download the file.

    Next, you need the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool in order to create a bootable data carrier.

    1. Download the tool from Microsoft. Select the language “English” and click on “Download”. From the list, select the file “Windows-7-USB-DVD-Download-Tool-Installer-en-US.exe”, click “Next” and save the file on your computer.
    2. Open the file to install the tool. To do this, simply follow the instructions in the installation manager.

    You now have everything you need to create an installation/recovery medium for Windows 8.

    1. Open the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool.
    2. Select the ISO file you downloaded earlier and click on “Next”.
    3. Select the medium where you would like to save the file by clicking on “USB device” or “DVD“.
    4. Connect the USB stick or insert the DVD and click “Begin copying”.
    5. The data carrier will now be formatted and prepared for installation.

    You now have an installation medium that you can use to reset Windows 8 as described in the section “Instructions to reset Windows 8 without losing your data”.

    There might be many instances when your Windows installation is not working properly due to corrupted system files or any driver issues. With the release of Windows 8, Microsoft has added a very important and useful feature- Refresh PC. If you’re having problems with your PC, you can try to refresh PC option available in control panel. The good thing about refreshing your PC is that it only reinstalls Windows and keeps your personal files, settings, and any apps that came with your PC and apps that you installed from Windows Store.

    So you do not have to worry about installing apps again, only the Windows files are modified and reinstalled. Refreshing PC can be started in two ways, we will cover both of them.

    If Windows 8 is Booting:

    If you are able to boot Windows and log in, but facing crashes or issues, you can use this method. To start Refresh, one is to access the Refresh option from control panel. Press Win Key + C and from the Charms select Settings, and then tap Change PC settings. Under PC settings, tap or click General. Under Refresh your PC without affecting your files, tap or click Get started.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    Once you click this option, Windows will let you know what all will change when you refresh the PC.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    Once you click next, you will need to make sure that you have inserted the Windows 8 DVD with which you installed Windows. Now follow the on screen instructions and your PC will be refreshed.

    If Windows 8 is not Booting due to Error:

    If you are not able to boot into Windows 8 due to start up errors or you want to Refresh the PC, follow the steps below. First from the boot screen, select the “Change defaults or Choose other options” from the bottom of the boot screen.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    In the next screen, select the bottom option “Choose other options”

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    In the next screen, select the Troubleshoot option.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    Under the troubleshoot menu, you can see the Refresh your PC as the first option, select this.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    Confirm the process and Windows will start the refresh process.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    In the next step, it will ask you to select the account and enter the password for the account. This will start the refresh process, again make sure you have inserted the installation DVD for Windows 8.

    As much as I love my Mac computer and couldn’t think about living without it, there is still some tasks such as programming that I prefer doing on my Windows computer. Windows has a lot of things going for it, but it just isn’t up to par with Mac OS X in terms of stability. I can count the number of times my Mac computer has let me down on my fingers, as for my Windows computer, well I would start having to take a tally on my white board.

    Another thing that I found with Mac computers is that they don’t get bogged down as much as Windows PCs. I have always found that after about 6 months to a year of adequate use on a Windows computer it gets bogged down and sluggish. There are a lot of things that you can do when your computer gets to this point such as defragging or deleting unnecessary files, but I have found that doing a restore or factory reset is the best way to regain performance.

    If you feel like it has come to the point where you need to restore or factory reset your Windows 8 computer and have tried using the array of programs Microsoft includes with your PC such as Disk Defragmenter and Disk Cleanup then you are in luck. In this tutorial you will learn how to restore and reset your Windows 8 to factory settings.

    Step 1) – The first thing you will need to do is access the charms bar by moving the mouse to the right side of the screen or by pressing the Win Key along with the C key. Once the charms bar has been invoked click the Settings button.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    Step 2) – From the Settings menu click on the Change PC Settings button.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    Step 3) – Go into the general tab from the menu on the left side and scroll down until you see two options:

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    Refresh Your PC: With this option you can reset your Windows 8 computer to its default configuration and all of your personal files will remain. This option is really only if you played around with Settings you shouldn’t have and can’t seem to revert them.

    Remove Everything From Your PC: With this option you can actually reset your Windows 8 computer to its factory settings as you are essentially reinstalling Windows 8. This way you can start fresh and hopefully regain the performance you had when you first purchased your computer. Keep in mind that you will obviously lose all personal files so make sure you back them up on an external hard drive or to the cloud.

    Choose whichever option is applicable to your current situation and then proceed to following the brief on-screen instructions.

    Note: As long as there is an active Windows 8 recovery partition on your computer then this will work without any hassle. If your computer does not have one however, you will require the purchased Windows 8 installation media.

    As you can clearly see, Microsoft has made the process of doing a factory reset much easier than before and it will certainly be appreciated by its customers. Let us know if you have any further questions or thoughts regarding the Windows 8 restore process in the comments section below.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    With Windows 8, Microsoft has taken the need for improved backup and restore functionality to heart. A new utility aptly named “Refresh” is included with the upcoming operating system that is set to make those annual Aliens-style “nuke it from orbit” re-installations of Windows and applications as easy as possible.

    Out of the box, Refresh will allow you to easily reset the operating system to its original state without deleting your Metro applications, personal files, user accounts, or the settings configured during initial setup. Also saved are network connections, BitLocker (and BitLocker To Go) encryption settings, and drive letter assignments. On the other hand, desktop applications will be removed, and firewall settings, file type associations, and display settings will be reset to defaults. According to Microsoft’s Building Windows 8 blog, the refresh function does not keep the above mentioned data by default because it is the software most likely to cause performance or stability issues.

    At a basic level, Refresh is a differential image backup that keeps track of the data added to a base Windows installation. When run, the tool acts as an overhauled System Restore by re-installing Windows and then restoring the backed up data automatically to bring your PC back to its “default” state.

    How to save your desktop applications with Recimg

    Refresh can be further tweaked with a command line tool called Recimg. Using this utility, it is possible to create your own baseline image that Refresh will use to restore your computer.

    This would allow you to install Windows, run through the initial setup, create user accounts, install all of your favorite applications (both desktop and Modern/Metro), and configure/personalize the OS. Once you have your computer set up the way you like it, you can create a custom image that will preserve this state should you need to restore the PC. This functionality has been possible with third party tools for some time, but it is now built into Windows — and is much faster than doing a restoration of a full disk image using Acronis (or the like). The downside is that you need a Windows install in place before you can restore your image, so it becomes less handy if your hard drive dies and you need to restore to a new drive. You would need to install windows and then allow Refresh to re-install Windows plus your saved changes. Because of this, the Refresh image should not replace your normal backup strategy.

    Despite the limitations of the differential backup –including incompatibilities with some desktop apps (an issue Microsoft is working on addressing) — using Windows 8’s Refresh will have you up and running again in less than half an hour. Further, while it does involve using the command line to set it up, it only takes a few simple mouse clicks around the GUI to actually perform a restore, making it a boon for family tech support.

    Creating your custom baseline image

    After installing your favorite applications and getting the operating system set up the way you like it, you need to create a new image that will become the new baseline for Windows 8’s Refresh tool. Unfortunately, there is no GUI method to do this out of the box (there are third party Metro apps that can do it, however). Open a new Administrator command prompt by searching for “cmd” on the Start screen, right clicking the command prompt icon, and choose “Run as administrator.”

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    Now you will need to run a simple command to create the new image. Type the following command — recimg /createimage E:\BACKUPS\ — and hit the Enter key.

    The location “E:\BACKUPS\” in the above example command can be replaced with any directory of your choice. You can choose a directory on any connected drive and the Recimg utility will create the folder(s) for you as needed.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    After hitting Enter, the Recimg utility will write a new image file, and then register the new file with the Refresh program so that it will use the custom image rather than the Microsoft-provided default when run. Depending on the amount of data the tool will need to write for the differential backup, it could take a while to complete. Once finished, Recimg will display an operation successful message. As of the RTM release, the tool states the following when an image is successfully created: Recovery image creation and registration completed successfully.

    If you browse to the directory you used in the above command, you will find a new file named “CustomRefresh.wim.” The exact size will vary, but you can expect it to be at least several gigabytes in size. While Windows’ built-in zip/archive manager cannot open the “.wim” image file, 7-zip is able to open the archive (it cannot add items to it, however). Currently, the image file contains the following folders and files:

    • Documents and Settings
    • MSOCache
    • Program Files
    • Program Files (x86)
    • ProgramData
    • Users
    • Windows
    • bootmgr (file)
    • BootNXT (file)
    • hiberfil.sys
    • InstallRPLog.txt
    • pagefile.sys
    • swapfile.sys

    The inclusion of hiberfil, pagefile, and swapfile “.sys” files is curious, however it is otherwise a straightforward backup.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    The CustomRefresh.wim file created with recimg utility shown in Explorer and open in 7-zip (inset)

    That is all there is to the recovery-image creation process. It may be a good idea to include that CustomRefresh.wim file into your overall backup strategy. Should the original file be lost or damaged, you can place the backup in the same location and have it work. To verify, you can open a new command prompt window with administrative privileges and use recimg /showcurrent to display the currently configured image directory. To change this, you can use recimg /setcurrent E:\BACKUP\ to register the new location of the CustomRefresh.wim file.

    The restoration process is done using the new Refresh tool located in the “PC Settings” Metro application, or the Windows 8 recovery environment (if the PC is unable to boot into Windows properly). Either way, it is a straightforward process that can be completed without the use of the command line. Continue reading for details on the Refresh recovery and restoration process — and the current caveats.

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    Windows 10 allows you to refresh or reset PC from Command Prompt. This eliminates the need to dig through menus. Here’s how to do it.

    With Windows 10, Microsoft made it easy to refresh or reset PC with just a few clicks quickly. All you have to do is open the Settings app, go to the “Update and Security -> Recovery” page and press the “Get started” button under the “Reset this PC section.” Alternatively, you can also reset the PC from Command Prompt when needed. Basically, you issue a single command, and Windows will start the reset process. The good thing about this approach is that you don’t have to dig through menus to find the reset or refresh option.

    Difference between Reset and Refresh

    You might be wondering what the difference is between Refresh and Reset options on Windows 10. It’s straightforward, actually.

    Refresh PC: When you refresh a Windows 10 PC, Windows will refresh and/or replace all system files. Refreshing a PC doesn’t remove your personal files. However, Windows will uninstall all applications except the ones that come pre-installed, like the built-in store apps.

    Reset PC: Resetting is the more aggressive version of Refresh. That is, resetting a PC removes all installed applications and your personal files located in the Windows installation drive. i.e., C drive. Windows will not touch your files in other drives or partitions as long as you select appropriate options.

    Without ado, let me show you how to reset Windows 10 PC from Command Prompt. The same command works in PowerShell too.

    Before resetting or refreshing, close all the applications and backup any application settings and files. This allows you to restore them after the reset or refresh process.

    Reset PC from Command Prompt

    1. Open the start menu.
    2. Search for “cmd“.
    3. Right-click on the Command Prompt and select “Run as Administrator“.
    4. In the command prompt window, execute the below command.
    5. Select “Remove everything” option in the prompt window.
      How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd
    6. Select “Just remove my files” option.
      How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd
    7. Click on the “Reset” button.
      How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    As soon as you click on the reset button, Windows will start the reset process. It takes anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes to complete the resetting procedure. So, sit back and wait. Once completed, Windows will automatically restart, and you can start using it. Of course, you need to install all your favorite programs.

    Refresh PC From Command Prompt

    1. Open the start menu.
    2. Search for “cmd“.
    3. Right-click on the Command Prompt and select “Run as Administrator“.
    4. In the command prompt window, execute the below command.
    5. Click on the “Next” button in the Fresh start
      How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd
    6. Windows will show a list of all the application it will uninstall. In my case, Windows is uninstalling McAfee and a bunch of other apps. Click on the “Next” button.
      How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd
    7. Click on the “Start” button in the “Let’s get started” prompt.
      How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    That is it. Just like with the reset option, it can take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes to complete refreshing your Windows 10 PC. So, please sit back and wait till it is complete. Once complete, your system will automatically restart.

    As you can see, it is rather easy to reset the PC from Command Prompt. If you have any problems or questions, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible. Also, if you like this article, you might like to know how to change command prompt or PowerShell cursor size, color, and share and how to preview or open raw images on Windows 10. Do check them out.

    Like it or not, a OS crash is part and parcel of the Windows experience. Microsoft is aware of this, and that is why they included a “System Restore” feature to allow you to easily restore to a previous working version when the system goes down. Windows 7 came with an advanced feature called “Previous Versions”. In Windows 8, it goes a step further and added a “Refresh” feature that is able to repair and re-install Windows. Let check it out.

    Windows 8 Refresh Feature

    Windows 8 Refresh feature does only one task – resets the core of Windows to the default settings while keeping all your data and applications intact. Here is how you can make use of the Refresh feature:

    1. Go to Settings Search (Windows Key + W)

    2. Search for and select “Refresh your PC

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    3. This will start the full screen dialog of Refresh your PC.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    The screen explains what will happen if you continue with the refresh. Here are some of the points mentioned:

    • Your files and personalization settings won’t change.
    • Your PC settings will be changed back to their defaults.
    • Apps from Windows Store will be kept installed. Their settings will also remain intact.
    • If any apps need to be removed, a list of removed apps will be saved on the Desktop.

    4. When you press the “Next” button, Windows will prepare the system for the refresh

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    5. Clicking on Refresh button will actually start the process of Refresh.

    6. The PC will restart and continue with the Refresh process. You will be able to login after the final restart.

    Behind the scenes, the PC restarts into Windows RE (Recovery Environment), scans the drives for personal data, app settings etc. and saves them separately. Then a fresh copy of Windows core components is installed. After the installation, personal data and app settings are restored to their previous position.

    What exactly is preserved?

    In step 3, we have got an overview of what will be changed and what will be kept. Let’s go deeper and see which of the settings will be preserved.

    • Network and Wireless connection settings including their security keys etc. If the computer is a part of Workgroup or a Domain, it will need to be rejoined after refresh.
    • BitLocker and BitLocker To Go Settings
    • Personalization settings like Desktop wallpaper, logon screen etc.

    The following settings will not be preserved.

    • All Desktop applications including their data and settings.
    • File type associations
    • Display settings
    • Windows Firewall settings

    Customizing Windows 8 Refresh

    As you can see, all the Desktop applications and installed software except the Metro based apps are removed in the process. A fix for this is to create a baseline Windows 8 Refresh image. When we have created this image, Windows Refresh will revert to this image which will include all our required software.

    Please note that the baseline Windows Refresh image should be created on a new install of Windows 8.

    1. After Windows 8 installation, install all the applications and software that you think are necessary and will need even after using Windows Refresh.

    2. Open command prompt with administrative privileges (Windows Key + X + A)

    3. Issue the following command:

    4. This will start the image creation process. Please note that this process may take a long time to complete depending upon the size of your installed applications.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    5. This will create a Refresh image in “C:\RefreshImage”. You can change the directory as per your needs.

    6. After the image creation process is complete, the recimg utility will automatically register the latest snapshot as your current Refresh image. If it doesn’t register or if you have multiple images, you can select one of the images as current Refresh image by using the following command:

    Where “C:\RefreshImage” can be any directory path which has the refreshimage.wim file.

    Reset vs. Refresh

    There are two tools in Windows 8 which can be used to reset Windows 8 to a previous state. One is Reset feature while the other one is Refresh feature. They are quite different from each other even though their purposes are similar:

    • If you are having problems with your Windows 8 computer, you can use the Refresh function because it will preserve your application data and settings.
    • If you want to completely wipe out everything and start with a fresh installation of Windows 8, then you should choose the Reset feature. Reset feature is like re-formatting the Windows drive and then installing Windows 8 again. Nothing will be saved.

    The reset feature can be pretty useful in cases where we need to re-install Windows 8 which can be done without a DVD-ROM or a USB Flash drive using Reset.

    Windows 8 Reset Feature

    Using the Reset feature is similar to Refresh. Let’s go through the PC Reset process step by step:

    1. Open Windows Charms Bar (Windows Key + C) -> Settings -> Change PC Settings

    2. Go to General menu and scroll down to “Remove everything and reinstall Windows”

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    3. Click on the Get started button. This will take you to the Windows Reset screen.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    4. Clicking on “Next” will prepare your system for resetting. If you have more than one drive in your PC, you will be shown another dialog where you can select whether to wipe our all the hard drive or a selected drive only.

    5. The computer will restart in Windows RE mode and re-install Windows 8. You will get a fresh installation of Windows 8 when the process completes.

    My advice would be to take backup of all your data before trying out these processes. We have a long list of backup utilities and different ways to backup your data in any Operating System including Windows.

    I hope this guide will be useful for everyone. The ones who have just installed Windows 8 should pay particular attention to using the “ recimg ” utility to create a baseline Refresh image. What are your thoughts and experiences about these features? Do you find them useful?

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    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    Windows 8 lets you restore your computer back to factory default settings, regardless of who made it or if you have an install disc

    There are plenty of good reasons to wipe your computer and put it back to its factory default settings, including selling it and protecting your private information and simply clearing out the clutter. With Windows 7 and before, doing this would require a fresh install or using the manufacturer-provided disc image, which is a cumbersome and long-winded process. With Windows 8 things are a lot easier and the ability to wipe your computer back to factory settings, or simply refresh the install leaving your files alone, are built directly into the operating system.

    While it’s generally a very easy thing to do, the utility can run into problems if you upgraded from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. This is because the upgrade doesn’t refresh the files that Windows needs to restore factory default settings – annoying, huh? Fortunately, Microsoft has made it fairly straightforward to download and create your own Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 installation discs, so that you can get round this step. Of course, our guide tells you how. First, before you start, make sure that you have a backup of your computer and data, as following these instructions could delete everything from your computer.

    STEP 1 START THE RESTORE UTILITY

    Go to the Start Screen and type ‘Remove’ to bring up the search box. In the results that appear, you’ll see an option called ‘Remove everything and reinstall Windows’. Click this to start the clean-up utility, which you’ll use to flash your computer back to factory defaults.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    STEP 2 SELECT YOUR REFRESH OPTION

    The Windows 8 app that starts gives you two cleaning options. The first is a refresh, which will leave your personal files alone, but clears out your applications and settings; the second option removes everything and gives you a clean installation of Windows. This is the choice to make if you’re getting rid of your PC, or it’s so hopelessly slow and cluttered that you want to go back to day zero with it. Both work in roughtly the same way, so select the option that applies to you; the rest of this guide follows the ‘Remove everything and reinstall Windows’ option.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    STEP 3 FIX THE ‘SOME FILES ARE MISSING’ ERROR

    If you upgraded from Windows 8 to 8.1, you may find that you get an error message telling you that ‘Some files are missing’. It tells you to insert your Windows installation disc, which you mostly likely don’t have. Fortunately, there’s a way round this problem.

    First, follow our steps to download the Windows 8 or 8.1 installation media as an ISO file. Next, mount the ISO file by right-clicking it and selecting Mount. Now, re-run the Remove everything utility and you’ll no longer get the error message. If this doesn’t work, it’s just because the app doesn’t realise that you have an Windows disc installed, but this is easy to get round: reboot your computer, mount the ISO file that you downloaded and then run the Remove everything tool

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    STEP 4 CHOOSE DRIVES TO WIPE

    You’ll get a message telling you that all of your files and applications will be removed and that your PC’s settings will be restored to their defaults. Click Next to continue. If you’ve got more than one drive in your computer you’ll be asked if you want to clean Only the drive where Windows is installed or All drives. Select the one that applies to you. If you’ve only got the one drive, you’ll get straight to the next option.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    STEP 5 CHOOSE WIPE OPTIONS

    You’ve now got the option to ‘Just remove my files’, which deletes your files but not securely; or to ‘Clean the drive fully’, which performs a full secure wipe. The latter option takes longer, but is the right choice if you’re going to be selling your computer or throwing it away, as it stops anyone from recovering your private date. With the first option your files are just marked as deleted, but still exist and can be accessed on the hard disk by anyone using recovery software.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    STEP 6 RESET YOUR PC

    This is your last chance before your computer is wiped. Windows will tell you what you’re going to do; if you’re sure you’re ready, click Reset and your computer will reboot and reset itself back to factory defaults, ready for you to start from scratch or pass on to another person. If you’re using your computer, you’ll need to reinstall all of the applications that you need and copy and files that you need from a backup.

    Windows 8 and Windows 10 include two special refresh/reset features that make it easy for anyone, even those without computer knowledge, to start over with a clean slate and restore their computer to brand-new, clean install condition. Called Refresh and Reset your PC, these features are designed to make manually reinstalling Windows a thing of the past.

    The most destructive option is called Reset your PC and is effectively a fully automated clean install. All of the programs you installed and files saved will be deleted. Refresh your PC is slightly less destructive as it saves the Windows store apps and settings you installed (sorry traditional desktop apps). Your personal files are also saved. Let’s get started with Refresh your PC.

    Refresh Your PC

    Refresh your PC will only preserve any apps you installed from the Windows App Store and your personal files. Everything else, including traditional desktop applications you manually installed such as Microsoft Office, will be removed.

    Click on the Start Button, type Recovery Options and click on the settings option called Recovery Options.

    Under Refresh your PC without affecting your files, click the Get Started button.

    You may be asked to provide the Windows install DVD or recovery media provided by your manufacturer. When you insert the media, it is automatically detected and moves you to the next step if it is the correct media.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    Click Next on the Refresh Your PC screen.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    Click Refresh on the confirmation screen, and the refresh begins.

    Your computer restarts a few times and then display your logon screen when the refresh is completed. After you log in, all of your Windows Store apps are reinstalled automatically. A file called Removed Apps.html is placed on your desktop, listing all of the traditional desktop apps that were removed.

    Reset Your PC

    Reset Your PC is the most destructive of the two recovery features because it blows away all of your personal files, apps, and settings. Using Reset your PC is equivalent to a clean DVD install that restores everything on your PC to default factory condition. This is a true reset button for your PC.

    Click on the Start Button, type Recovery Options and click on the settings option called Recovery Options.

    Under Remove everything and reinstall Windows, hit the Get Started button.

    You may be asked to provide the Windows install DVD or recovery media provided by your manufacturer. When you insert the media, it is automatically detected and moves you to the next step if it is the correct media.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    Click Next on the Reset Your PC screen.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    Next, you will be asked if you want to fully clean your drive. Select Just remove my files as this option will just reinstall Windows. Fully clean the drive will wipe the hard drive making it impossible for someone else to recovery your deleted files. This option is perfect is you are going to sell or donate your PC.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    Finally, click Reset on the confirmation screen.

    Your computer restarts a few times and then presents you with the Windows license terms when the reset is completed. You need to set up your user accounts, settings, and apps again just like the first time you started using your PC.

    How do I restore Windows 8 from USB?

    You can use the recovery USB drive to open Microsoft System Restore and restore your computer to a previous state.

    1. On the Troubleshoot screen, click Advanced options, and then click System Restore.
    2. Click the operating system (Windows 8). …
    3. Click Next. …
    4. Click Finish to restore the computer to the selected restore point.

    How do I install Windows 8 from a USB drive?

    How to Install Windows 8 or 8.1 From a USB Device

    1. Create an ISO file from the Windows 8 DVD. …
    2. Download the Windows USB/DVD download tool from Microsoft and then install it. …
    3. Start the Windows USB DVD Download Tool program. …
    4. Select Browse on Step 1 of 4: Choose ISO file screen.

    How do I reinstall Windows 8 without a disk?

    Refresh without installation media

    1. Boot into the system and go to Computer > C: , where C: is the drive where your Windows is installed on.
    2. Create a new folder. …
    3. Insert the Windows 8/8.1 installation media and go to the Source folder. …
    4. Copy the install.wim file.
    5. Paste the install.wim file to the Win8 folder.

    How do you do a clean install of Windows 8?

    Windows 8.1 clean install.

    1. Turn on your PC so that Windows starts normally, insert the Windows 8.1 DVD or USB flash drive, and then shut down your PC.
    2. Restart your PC. …
    3. Please setup language along with other preferences and click [Next].
    4. Click [Install now] to start the process.

    How do I create a Windows repair USB?

    Create a recovery drive

    1. In the search box next to the Start button, search for Create a recovery drive and then select it. …
    2. When the tool opens, make sure Back up system files to the recovery drive is selected and then select Next.
    3. Connect a USB drive to your PC, select it, and then select Next.
    4. Select Create.

    Can I download a Windows 8.1 recovery disk?

    A Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 installation DVD can be used to recover your computer. … Our recovery disk, called Easy Recovery Essentials, is an ISO image that you can download today and burn to any CDs, DVDs or USB drives. You can boot from our disk to recover or repair your broken computer.

    How do I find my win 8.1 product key?

    Either in the command prompt window or in PowerShell, enter the following command: wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey and confirm the command by hitting “Enter”. The program will give you the product key so that you can write it down or simply copy and paste it somewhere.

    How do I install Windows 8.1 without a product key?

    Skip Product Key Input in Windows 8.1 Setup

    1. If you are going to install Windows 8.1 using a USB drive, transfer the installation files to the USB and then proceed to step 2. …
    2. Browse to the /sources folder.
    3. Look for the ei.cfg file and open it in a text editor such as Notepad or Notepad++ (preferred).

    How do I get to the boot menu in Windows 8?

    F12 key method

    1. Turn the computer on.
    2. If you see an invitation to press the F12 key, do so.
    3. Boot options will appear along with the ability to enter Setup.
    4. Using the arrow key, scroll down and select .
    5. Press Enter.
    6. The Setup (BIOS) screen will appear.
    7. If this method does not work, repeat it, but hold F12.

    How do I format and reinstall Windows 8?

    Factory reset Windows 8

    1. The first step is to open the system settings using the Windows shortcut ‘Windows’ key + ‘i’.
    2. From there, select “Change PC settings”.
    3. Click on “Update & Recovery” and then on “Recovery”.
    4. Then select “Get started” under the heading “Remove everything and reinstall Windows”.

    Do I need a product key to reinstall Windows 8?

    Yes, Product Key on preinstalled WIndows 8.1 is embedded in a chip on the motherboard. You can audit the key using ProduKey or Showkey which will report it as an OEM-BIOS key only (not WIndows 8 or 10).

    How do I reinstall Windows without a disk?

    How do I reinstall Windows without a disk?

    1. Go to “Start” > “Settings” > “Update & Security” > “Recovery”.
    2. Under “Reset this PC option”, tap “Get Started”.
    3. Choose “Remove everything” and then choose to “Remove files and clean the drive”.
    4. Finally, click “Reset” to begin reinstalling Windows 10.

    Will installing Windows 8 delete everything?

    To answer your question, yes, reinstalling to Windows 8 will remove all of your files.

    If your Windows 8 computer isn’t working properly, there are three new tools built into the Windows 8 operating system that you can use to attempt repairs. Read on to learn about Restore, Refresh and Reset.

    Windows 8: Restore, Refresh and Reset

    Windows 8 offers the same System Restore feature found in earlier Windows systems. Think of System Restore as the “Undo” button for Windows. If things have gotten fouled up due to a software glitch, malware, or your own fumble-fingered attempts to fix a problem, System Restore can return you to a known good state.

    It does this by rolling back all of the changes made to your Windows system, since a specific “restore point” in the past. It’s important to note what System Restore will (and will not) do. System Restore only affects Windows settings, files that are part of the operating system, device drivers, the registry, and installed programs. Your personal files will not be lost. Documents, photos, spreadsheets, and other files stored in the My Documents folder, are off-limits to System Restore. System Restore won’t bring back any deleted files, either.

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    To use System Restore, move your mouse to the upper-right corner of the screen, click Search, enter Control Panel in the search box, and then click Control Panel. Click on Recovery, then click “Open System Restore”. On Windows 8.1 systems, you may see a message that System Restore is disabled. You can turn it back on by following the instructions to configure System Protection.

    Now That’s Refreshing!

    One nice surprise in Windows 8 is the Refresh function, which restores your computer to a designated state of your choosing. The System Restore function in earlier versions does much the same, but System Restore Points may be lost if your machine runs out of space in which to store them. The Refresh function creates a permanent Restore point that mirrors your ideal system configuration. By default, it’s the factory installation of Windows 8 and OEM software.

    But you can also get your system just the way you like it –remove crapware, install the apps you do want, make sure there’s no malware, customize the settings, themes, wallpaper, etc. –then create the restore point for the Refresh feature. So if ever find that your computer is bogged down with unwanted software, toolbars, or malware, just click Refresh and you’re back to good in about 8 minutes.

    All of your documents and other personal files will be preserved in a Refresh operation. It’s perfect for those computers that seem to get fouled up often by kids who will click on anything that moves, or less tech-savvy users who may be tricked by those rogue “Scan your PC now” messages.

    To use the Refresh feature: move your mouse to the upper-right corner of the screen, click Settings, then click “Change PC Settings”. Click Update and Recovery, then click Recovery. Click the “Get started” button under “Refresh your PC without affecting your files”.

    Apps that came with your PC and apps you installed from the Windows Store will be reinstalled when you do a Refresh. But any Apps you installed from a website or CD/DVD will not. Any apps that are removed during a Refresh will be listed on your desktop.

    Hit the RESET Button

    A related new feature in Windows 8 is Reset, which will return your system to its “factory fresh” state. Unlike Refresh, a Reset will wipe out your files and any software you’ve installed. Reset is more drastic, but it’s just the ticket if you want to wipe the proverbial slate clean, if things are really fouled up, or before selling or donating your computer. (You’ll have to buy your own pine-scented dashboard hanger, though.)

    To use the Reset feature: move your mouse to the upper-right corner of the screen, click Settings, then click “Change PC Settings”. Click Update and Recovery, then click Recovery. Click the “Get started” button under “Remove everything and reinstall Windows”.

    If you have questions about the Recovery options in Windows 8, see Microsoft’s How to restore, refresh, or reset your PC page.

    Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below.

    By Maximum PC Staff ( Maximum PC ) published 2 September 11

    How to refresh or reset your windows 8 pc without the dvd

    Corrupted system files don’t have to ruin your day

    Nothing will put a crimp in your computing style quite like a Windows error. Although Microsoft’s OS has gotten exponentially more stable over the years, it’s still very possible for Windows system files to become corrupt, which can cause your system to slow down, freeze, or (in the worst case) refuse to load your operating system at all.

    When you encounter a Windows error, your first instinct may be to back up your data, grab the ol’ installation disk, and weep silently as you press the Reformat button. We’re here to tell you there’s another way. Still back up your data, of course, but by following this guide, you might well be able to repair your Windows install without dropping the nuke.

    Note: Though these guides are written for Windows 7, a very similar process will work for Vista or XP.

    Method 1: Repair Windows Even If You Can’t Get To Your Desktop

    The first method will allow you to repair corrupt system files, even if the problem is so severe that you can’t boot all the way to your desktop. For this method, you’ll need a Windows installation DVD, so track down yours or borrow one from a friend—it doesn’t matter if the DVD’s version matches your license, as long as it’s the correct bit count.

    Step 1: Insert the Install Disc and Reboot

    If your system won’t boot into Windows, you’ll need to boot from somewhere else—in this case, the installation DVD. Your computer should be set up to boot from your optical drive before your hard drive, but if it’s not, you can always change the boot priority in the BIOS. When the system starts up, make sure you press a key when prompted to boot from the Windows installation disc. When you do, you’ll see the familiar Windows installation language-selection screen (image below).

    Step 2: Get to the Command Prompt

    The recovery tool we’re going to use is run from the command prompt, which can (thankfully) be accessed through the Windows installation disc. To get there, don’t click Install Now in the middle of the screen, but instead click Repair Your Computer in the lower left. Click Next on the first menu that pops up.

    The next menu will have two radio buttons. Make sure the first one is selected, and note that in the text box, your System drive might not have the drive letter C. If that’s the case, make a note of the drive letter used. Click Next, and on the following screen (image above), select the bottom option, marked Command Prompt.

    Step 3: Scan Your System

    Finally you’re ready to scan your system files for errors. To do that simply run the following command:

    sfc /scannow /offbootdir=[DRIVELETTER]:\ /offwindir=[DRIVELETTER]:\windows

    Substitute the drive letter you noted earlier for [DRIVELETTER]. There should be no square brackets in the command (image below).

    Windows will now attempt to find and repair any errors in your system files. If the scan finds errors, you may need to repeat the steps in this guide until it finds no more errors. To restart your computer, enter the exit command, then click the Restart button. When you’re ready to try booting into Windows again, remove the install disc and restart one final time.

    Method 2: Reinstall Windows Without Losing Any Data

    If you are still able to get to your desktop, you’ve got additional options. You can still use the command prompt to scan as in the previous method, but there’s another way that may be more thorough: reinstall Windows.

    Wait, didn’t we say you wouldn’t have to reformat? We did, and you don’t. It’s possible to do an in-place, nondestructive reinstall of Windows, which will restore all your system files to pristine condition without damaging any of your personal data or installed programs. All you’ll need is a Windows install DVD and your Windows CD key. Hopefully you still have your key written down somewhere, but if you don’t, you’re not out of luck. You can use a program like ProduKey, available for free, to quickly recover your Windows product key from the registry.

    Important: Before continuing this process, note that it can cause problems with your installed programs, so don’t do it just for fun, and make sure to back up your important data and create a restore point before continuing.

    Step 1: Do Some Prep Work

    Before you can get started, there’s one important consideration: You can’t repair a Windows 7 SP1 install with a pre-SP1 install disc. The ideal solution is to borrow a newer install disc with SP1 included (or download it, if you have access to a TechNet account), but it’s also possible to uninstall SP1. To do this, open the Control Panel, select Uninstall a Program, and then choose the option to view updates (image below). You can right-click the Service Pack update to uninstall it.

    Step 2: Insert the Install Disc

    We’re once again using the Windows install disc, but this time we’re not going to boot from it. Simply insert the disc, and when the autorun menu pops up, choose to run setup.exe. Once again, you’ll find yourself staring at the Windows 7 install screen. This time, do click the Install now button (image below).

    Step 3: Reinstall Windows

    Finally, it’s time to get down to business. After the installer gets past the Copying Temporary Files… screen, you’ll be asked about getting updates for installation files. Go ahead and do this, as long as your computer’s network connection is still working.

    When the installer asks what sort of installation you’d like to perform (image below), ignore your natural instinct to choose Custom, and instead click Upgrade. Sure, you’re not technically upgrading from one version of Windows to another, but we do want to do the kind of nondestructive install that the update option performs. Think of it as upgrading from a broken version to a non-broken version, if you must.

    After that, all that’s left is to sit through the usual Windows 7 installation process, with its multiple reboots and endless progress bars. When it’s done, you’ll have to reactivate Windows by entering the product key that you found or wrote down earlier.

    All that’s left to do is to let Windows install any security updates or service packs that it’s missing, and reboot. All your system files should now be fully restored!