05 Jan 2012


Windows 8 will have a feature called Reset and Refresh, users can restore Windows to a clean state without install media or 3rd party recovery partitions, similar to what tablets, smartphones and other appliances use.

This ability can be found in Control panel, through the pre-boot windows recovery environment or through a bootable USB drive (which is created via a special tool).

There is a quick and thorough option.  The thorough will wipe it on a deeper level by writing random data to each sector (currently only 3rd party tools can perform such feats).

A command-line tool called recimg.exe can define which state their PC will be reset.  The tool will capture custom images that include any installed apps and drives.  Hence, recipients of OEM PC’s that have their PC full of bloatware can easily uninstall anything they don’t want and make a new image.

The option to refresh is the light weight option, it just tries to preserve more of your programs, data and settings, however… Only Metro apps will be preserved and reinstalled.  Standard Windows programs will still have to be reinstalled manually.  Since Metro apps are a Microsoft entity, this will ensure there isn’t malware or so this is the current line of thought.

In the event you don’t want certain settings restored, that were causing problems originally, the system will only preserve wireless and cellular network connections, Bitlocker settings, drive letter assignments and personalized themes.

It has been claimed that the Developer Preview Build takes around 8 minutes and 22 seconds in one example for the refresh while the quick reset took around 6 minutes and 12 seconds and the thorough took 23 minutes and 52 seconds.  In this test, it was done on a 64GB SSD drive, this is hardly a standard hard drive for most users, so most will experience longer times.

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