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Microsoft Details Reset and Refresh Features Built Into Windows 8

Discussion in 'News' started by Cristian_25H, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. Cristian_25H

    Cristian_25H News Poster

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    In the latest Building Windows 8 blog post (published yesterday) Microsoft is talking about the options available to 'rekindle' the flame of a Windows 8 install. These options include the definitive Reset, which will basically re-install Windows and remove all personal data, apps, and settings from the system, and the less 'damaging' Refresh, which will reinstall Windows or restore a previously-created image of the OS, while keeping data, settings, Metro style apps and such, untouched.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    To do a Reset, users will need to boot into the Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) that will handle the actual data erasing tasks and proceed with re-installing the operating system. The drive format can either be 'Quick' to save time, or 'Thorough', to ensure that the data erased will be very hard to restore. At the end of the Reset process, you'll get a new Windows install, just waiting to be customized.

    For people who don't want to start from scratch the Refresh option (which is also accessible via Windows RE) will be the way to go since the result will be a new OS that feels a lot like the one you're used to, hopefully minus any issues brought on by certain apps or settings. Now, the Refresh function will 'transition' data, settings, and apps from the old to the new Windows install, but not everything will be as it was. By default, a Refresh will restore only Metro style apps, so any desktops apps you have, say Photoshop, Chrome, Steam, have to be re-installed. Also, not all settings will be preserved. According to Microsoft, the File type associations, Display settings and Windows Firewall settings are among the things a Refresh won't restore.

    Another Refresh option involves creating an image of Windows 8 using the recimg.exe command line tool, and restoring it when things go south.

    "After you've created the custom image, whenever you refresh your PC, not only will you be able to keep your personal data, settings, and Metro style apps, but you can restore all the desktop apps in your custom image as well," says Desmond Lee on the Building Windows 8 blog. "And if you buy a PC that already comes with a recovery image on a hidden partition, you'll be able to use the tool to switch from using the hidden partition to instead use the custom image you've created."

    Using a copy of the Windows 8 Developer Preview, Microsoft tested out both Refresh and Reset to prove they are time-saving options. The results show that a Reset (on a system without BitLocker encryption enabled) took 23 minutes and 52 seconds, while a Reset (Quick) took just 6 minutes and 12 seconds. A Refresh required 8 minutes and 22 seconds to complete. That's quite fast but still, let's hope we won't have to do Resets or Refreshes too often.

    Source: Building Windows 8
     
  2. Drone

    Drone

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    I've tried reset and refresh in W8 in the first day w8 got released (back in September) :confused:
     
  3. NdMk2o1o

    NdMk2o1o

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    I like this, much better than the so-called backup feature in Windows 7 and previous versions. Will come in handy when I do a clean install, update all drivers and install all essential apps the create an image.
     
  4. RuskiSnajper

    RuskiSnajper

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    Oh yeah microsoft , more features for noobs and nothing for advanced users.

    A few months and i'll be used to linux like no time ... i feel bad reading this news wasting 5 mins of life
     
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  5. Lazzer408

    Lazzer408

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    Maybe they should build an OS that doesn't break or build an OS that verifies it's files upon a failed boot and fix itself. I miss DOS. :D An instalation should be as easy as copying the files to the drive.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  6. NdMk2o1o

    NdMk2o1o

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    Just because THIS particular news piece doesn't mention any features that interest you doesn't mean they are not going to be putting more advanced features into Windows 8, but yes you are right they are making it easier for n00bs, silly old MS trying to make their OS easier for all people instead of just keeping it for the uber technophobes like you :rolleyes: tbh I hardly think MS would care if you used Linux or not, good luck trying to game though..... :slap: (and oh look, your specs say Win7 x64 :shadedshu )

    Windows 7 has never broken on me, 99% of the time when Windows does go wrong you can bet your ass it's the user/3rd party software driver/program at fault.
     
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  7. Thrackan

    Thrackan

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    Oh Windows 7 can break alright, but not as easy as XP, or worse, 98/95 could be broken.
     
  8. Lazzer408

    Lazzer408

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    For me, 9/10 it's hardware. But think how easily Windows can be broken. Just one unstable overclock or memory stick and boom goes the registry. You'd think by now Windows could backup and restore important system files on it's own without me having to do it from a command prompt -IF- I can even get one up without the CD. I can't wait to get my hands on 8 and break it. During shutdown I'll yank a stick of memory out.

    I guess alot of ITs would be out of jobs if they got it right. :rolleyes:
     
  9. Isenstaedt

    Isenstaedt New Member

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    I had to repair XP using the recovery console several times because of blackouts and whatnot, but never needed to repair Windows 7 (well, maybe once).
     
  10. Steevo

    Steevo

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    Refresh is like a reinstall of Windows 9X was back in the day, right on top of your existing programs, all your stuff stayed, but you still had to reinstall most apps as the registry information, or dll's needed re-registered.
     
    10 Million points folded for TPU
  11. Lazzer408

    Lazzer408

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    They should have just left it called a "repair" but I bet it's a psychological marketing move to avoid indicating Windows is broken. What was once fresh can be fresh again! ...or the alternative.
     
  12. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    InfoWorld isn't so impressed with this feature and their article makes for interesting reading. Me? I'm not so negative about it as I think it sounds useful.

    So, what do you think of it?
     
  13. WhiteLotus

    WhiteLotus

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    Sounds like a fancy system restore.
     
  14. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    Which is fine by me. Not a dealbreaker, but could be handy to have.
     
  15. WhiteLotus

    WhiteLotus

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    My point is that it is nothing "new" just rebadged.

    Not that I am saying it is bad, or good. Just that it has been there before and companies should stop advertising old things as new. If they come out and said, look at the new easier to use system restore, it has these features and each can do xyz.

    I'm indifferent to it.
     
  16. OneCool

    OneCool

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    It must be easier to do this than to make it actually work to start with?

    Tester "We broke win8 again Bill!"

    Bill "How about we make it a one click reinstall"

    Tester "Yeah just add that key to all of Microsofts keyboards"
     
  17. jsfitz54

    jsfitz54

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    It would be fantastic if somehow the Refresh could retain all service pack updates for your system.

    Also, if the hidden partition was able to store and maintain all the updates.

    It's always a drag to have to do updates after a clean install.
     
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  18. w3b New Member

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    They should have had this in Win 7 :nutkick::banghead:

    Sure it would eat up HDD space for sure but the savings on bandwidth, web quotas and other things (both server and end-user side) would be worth it IMO :cool:

    Alternatively I would like the option of dumping the files on my server and just have the PCs on the network grab the updates from there as needed; would also make updates portable via USB sticks/drives so techs in the field have them on hand which saves time downloading them on a clients net con (or own wireless net connection depending on the business represented).

    Great feature indeed that would be but it wouldn't see me moving from Win 7 anytime soon (if you'll pardon the bad pun at Win 7s Anytime Upgrade in there) :shadedshu
     
  19. purecain

    purecain

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    worst part of being a tech engineer is installing updates... takes too long...so any improvement on how to recover your os is welcomed... lets hope they get the feature right before RTM...
     

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