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Windows 8 : Working with backup and restoration (part 4) - Two new methods of restoration and recovery

4/11/2014 2:56:49 AM
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6. Two new methods of restoration and recovery

Windows 8 includes two additional methods for recovering a computer that have not been in previous versions of Windows:

  • Refresh Changes PC settings back to the default state without affecting Windows Store apps, personal files, or personalization settings. Applications from other websites or disc installations will be removed. When you select this option, Windows tells you what will happen, as shown in Figure 6.

    What happens during a refresh

    Figure 6. What happens during a refresh

  • Reset All personal files and personalization settings will be removed. Windows settings will be restored to their default values, as shown in Figure 7.

What happens during a reset

Figure 7. What happens during a reset

Making your computer like new again by using Refresh

In some instances, cleaning up a computer and removing applications or files that are no longer needed can help improve performance. Microsoft has created Refresh to ease this process. Using a new computer is often a very different experience from using a computer that is holding many temporary files and downloaded items because the older or more used system might seem slower than the new computer. To refresh your computer, complete the following steps:

  1. Open the Start screen and search for Refresh. Select the Settings charm and choose Refresh Your PC or PC Settings.

  2. On the Refresh Your PC welcome screen (Figure 6), read the proposed changes and tap or click Next.

  3. Wait while the refresh process is prepared.

  4. Tap or click Refresh to begin the process.

    Windows begins the refresh and configures updates and settings changes. When this portion of the process completes, the computer restarts. Windows displays a progress counter for the refresh process, shown in Figure 8. Following this restart, devices are configured for use. Windows restarts again.

    The refresh process returns the computer to the default settings but keeps your personalization settings, files, and Windows Store applications.

    Refresh progress

    Figure 8. Refresh progress

When the refresh process doesn’t go far enough

Refreshing a computer to restore it to the original configuration without losing customizations is useful, but sometimes it is necessary to go all the way back to the out-of-the-box configuration. Suppose you have been testing Windows 8 on a computer for a few months and running a few development applications on the system to get an idea of how they will perform. When the test period for these applications is over, you must make a decision about whether they will work well for your organization. This is a good time to restore your computer to the manufacturer’s original configuration.

Another situation in which resetting your computer might be best is if the computer has suffered a malware infection. Although fixes and cleanups are available for troubleshooting, a simple reinstallation might make the process easier. To perform a reset of Windows 8, complete the following steps:

  1. From the Start screen, search for “remove everything.” Select Settings and then tap or click Remove Everything And Reinstall Windows.

  2. Tap or click Next on the Reset Your PC welcome screen.

  3. Wait for the reset to prepare.

  4. If your computer has more than one available drive, select the drives to reset:

    • Only the drive on which Windows is installed

    • All drives detected on the computer

  5. Specify whether the reset process should clean the drive fully by choosing one of the following:

    • Just Remove My Files Removes only the current user’s files; takes a few moments

    • Fully Clean The Drive Removes all files from the disk and takes considerably longer

  6. To begin the reset process, tap or click Reset.

    Windows restarts to begin the process; it displays a progress screen, as shown in Figure 9, to show the progress of the operation.

Reset progress

Figure 9. Reset progress

Both these procedures, Refresh and Reset, take from one hour to four or more hours, depending on the size of the volumes in the computer and other hardware. The process itself, however, is mostly automated after you have answered some questions about how you want to handle your files and settings. These two features decrease the time needed to clean up a Windows PC and free considerable time for other tasks.

Using File History and other backup and recovery techniques on computers within your environment can not only reduce administrative workload by reducing the number of file recoveries needed from other media but also serve as a way to educate others in your organization about the importance of data recovery. Helping your coworkers locate missing files by themselves rather than waiting for someone at the help desk to retrieve something from the last tape backup can be very empowering for employees. In some cases, the capability to help themselves is all people want.

 
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