Backing up Windows 8 Part 3 – Full system recovery in Windows 8

As promised I have kept looking into backing up Windows 8 and have found some juicy tidbits on Previous versions!!  Those will come with my next post!!

For this post I just wanted to delve quickly into system level backups. Windows 8 has done a great job at allowing you to rebuild or repair your PC.

The 2 new recovery options (reset and refresh) allow you to rebuild the PC without needing any external media!  Think about that for a second.  The files you need to use to rebuild your PC are already on the PC so why not just use them?  Windows developers went one further and included a full set of source files that allows the system to be completely rebuilt even when you have lost (misplaced behind the filing cabinet and forgotten) your OS disk (or stack of disks if you remember the bad old days).

To access these new options you just need to follow these easy steps
1) Navigate to the settings charm (right side of screen)
2) Navigate to PC settings
3) Half way down the page you will see the options called “Refresh your PC without affecting files” and “Remove everything and re-install Windows”
4) Click the one you want and voila!

Just a note of caution: The first option (“Refresh your PC without affecting files”) means just that – it will not affect your files. Any applications installed will need to be reinstalled.  All  your apps from the Windows Store will be available as shortcuts on your Start Screen.  This is the equivalent of re-installing the OS with the advantage that apps will be there where you left them

The second option (“Remove everything and re-install Windows”) erase the hard drive and re-installs the OS as it was when you received it from the manufacturer.

As always: be careful. If you want to test these options I do suggest you have a backup first.  If you are reading this because you need to repair a PC than backing up may not be option ( but you can always try to attach the drive to another PC to see if is readable).