Recovering your PC to a usable state in the wake of a catastrophic failure will be, easier in Windows 8, Microsoft has said. There will be two recovery options. ‘Reset your PC’ will let you erase personal data and reinstall Windows, which is useful if you plan to give your computer away or sell it on. The second option, ‘Refresh your PC, will keep your personal data and settings installed, and will reinstall Windows so you can revert back to a stable state. It will also keep apps installed via the Windows 8 App Store, which will be a built-in part of the operating system, but not software installed from other sources such as an installation disk or website.
This is because Microsoft can’t verify the stability and authenticity of apps from other sources. “There’s no need to back up your data to an external hard drive,” said Microsoft’s president of Windows Steven Sinofsky. “Unlike manually reinstalling Windows, you don’t have to go through the Windows Welcome screens again and reconfigure all the initial settings, as your user accounts and those settings are all preserved. “If you do need to reinstall some Desktop apps after you refresh your PC, we save the list of apps that were not preserved in an HTML file, and put this list on the Desktop, so you have a quick way to see what you might need to reinstall and where to find them,” Sinofsky explained.