Windows 8 - Tools for Power Users

The New System Restore - Refresh and Reset in a Jiffy

The New System Restore - Refresh and Reset in a Jiffy

Restoring a Windows installation might probably send shivers down the spine of many because of the long wait times associated with the process. We certainly share your pain as well.

Thankfully, the restoration process on Windows 8 is a very speedy affair that could only take a matter of minutes as we found from a demonstration with Bill Karagounis, Microsoft’s Windows 8 Principle Group Program Manager. “Refresh” and “Reset” are the two new terms associated with system restoration in the new Windows.

  • Refreshing the PC - This restores Windows 8 while retaining personal settings, personal data and apps from Windows store (Marketplace). Applications obtained or installed by other means will be removed (but you’ll be given a list).
  • Resetting the PC - This is the equivalent of a traditional clean restoration; a factory-reset equivalent. Nothing is retained.

Using a Samsung Slate PC running on an SSD drive, a system refresh took just over two minutes, while a system reset took a little over three minutes! We don’t recall when was the last time a modern application installed faster than those timings, let alone a complete OS restore. Of course, timings will vary with a much older system and using a hard disk drive, but on the whole, the process should be speedier than before. The following are some snapshots of the Refresh/Reset process:-