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Microsoft Windows IT Technology

Windows 8 To Include Built-in Reset, Refresh 441

Posted by timothy
from the control-z dept.
MrSeb writes "Microsoft, in its infinite wisdom, will provide push-button Reset and Refresh in Windows 8. Reset will restore a Windows 8 PC to its stock, fresh-from-the-factory state; Refresh will reinstall Windows 8, but keep your documents and installed Metro apps in tact. For the power users, Windows 8 will include a new tool called recimg.exe, which allows you to create a hard drive image that Refresh will use (you can install all of your Desktop apps, tweak all your settings, run recimg.exe... and then, when you Refresh, you'll be handed a clean, ready-to-go computer). Reset and Refresh are obviously tablety features that Windows 8 will need to compete against iOS and Android — but considering Windows' malware magnetism and the number of times I've had to schlep over to my mother's house with a Windows CD... these features should be very welcome on the desktop, too."
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Windows 8 To Include Built-in Reset, Refresh

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  • Snark (Score:2, Informative)

    by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @01:45PM (#38599188)

    Could the submission be any snarkier? Malware is already a big problem on Android. I also think people underestimate Windows 8--as Google starts offering its own phones and tablets, angered Android licensees may be swayed toward putting Windows 8 on their devices. I just think you should never dismiss Microsoft.

  • Re:Next step... (Score:3, Informative)

    by atlasdropperofworlds (888683) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @02:06PM (#38599588)

    I agree. I've been setting up Win7 systems for various people, and with the exception of just one (who had a habit of collecting applications from around the internet), all those systems are still stable and solid. Mine, in particular, hasn't been turned off, and only restarted due to some patching, and it's still stable and solid.

    However, I do like the idea of a built-in reset, especially if you can use it to rid yourself of 'crapware' on a new system with minimal effort.

  • Re:Just an excuse (Score:5, Informative)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @02:07PM (#38599598)

    Everything that would be in "Home/" for a normal *nix install is in "Documents and Settings" or "Users" folder, depending on Windows version.

    Except all the crap in the registry and in 'Program Files' and in... well, every other weird place Windows apps stuff their data.

  • Re:Next step... (Score:4, Informative)

    by MozeeToby (1163751) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @02:14PM (#38599716)

    First thing I do when I get a new windows PC is make an image of the hard drive and put it somewhere safe. Windows 7 makes this pretty easy with the built in tools, and all you need is a recovery disk to boot into the mode to apply the update so the machine doesn't have to be bootable.

  • by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@NoSPAM.gmail.com> on Thursday January 05, 2012 @02:15PM (#38599738) Homepage
    That will not work with Vista/7 due to the usage of NTFS junctions and such. So beware if you want to do this with a newer Windows. Fortunately those OSs introduced the .WIM file format which is mid-way between an archive format like ZIP and a disk image format like VHD or VMDK etc. AFAIK .WIM is a special archive format that allows for keeping track of all NTFS metadata but it's not in a rigid layout like a disk image. You can get tools to make a WIM image easy enough, "imagex" is downloadable from MS. And I believe what you can do with the image is burn a Windows Install DVD that will work like a normal Windows installer but will restore the image you made (which is essentially what the stock installer does anyway starting with Vista).
  • Re:Next step... (Score:5, Informative)

    by sexconker (1179573) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @02:53PM (#38600350)

    The original Windows 7 upgrade iso/disc was horrible. License wise, you were 100% allowed to upgrade from XP. However, since there wasn't a software upgrade path, you needed to wipe the drive first. Windows 7 would then fail to active on your upgrade only license because "you didn't upgrade." The only way to fix it was to boot into recovery mode or from an alternate medium, and edit a registry entry from "this was a fresh install" to "this was an upgrade". And that even on Microsoft KB as the approved method of fixing the issue!

    Luckily, they realized how terrible this was and started trusting the user that they own a previous version of Windows that they are upgrading.

    It was very annoying jumping through those hoops. I'm glad my wife's PC is the only MS box in the house.

    This is false.
    The first retail Windows 7 Upgrade disc had an installer that checked for a valid license (XP, Vista, 7) and let you proceed.
    With XP, the only option was to completely wipe the disk and do a cleam ("custom") installation.

    If you wiped the disc yourself prior, the Windows 7 installer obviously wouldn't let you continue.
    If you had a blacklisted XP key, the Windows 7 installer obviously wouldn't let you continue. Such keys include fake keys, pirated keys, as well as keys that are single-installation only, such as keys released through the MSDN-AA program (cheap/free XP through your university).

    If you let Windows 7 wipe the drive and install, it worked fine. If you fucked up in the middle and restarted (e.g. you didn't have your RAID drivers on hand, you had to go back into BIOS to set AHCI, you're retarded), you had to jump through hoops. The most common hoop, of course, was to install without the key and then either:
    1) Reinstall on top of that with the key.
    2) Do some registry / command line voodoo to reset the activation and input your key.

  • Re:Next step... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @02:56PM (#38600398)

    You did it wrong; you're not supposed to wipe your drive before the installation. You're supposed to start the installation in Windows, then follow along the install and choose a custom install. Never had a problem activating this way.

  • Re:Next step... (Score:4, Informative)

    by JigJag (2046772) on Friday January 06, 2012 @09:47AM (#38608816)

    The technique I use when I work on clients' machines is to wipe the hard drive and set up about a 10 GB partition where I will put linux on it later on. I then reinstall Windows from the disk they have (or that I have) using the license sticker on the computer to register. I remove all the crap I can find, install decent browsers, firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware, also the software they need for their work and I make sure all the drivers are up-to-date and that the machine is screaming fast. When done, I install an almost bare-bones Linux on the small partition. I set up the bootloader to boot into Windows by default after only 1 second. Then I make a copy of the MBR and I dump an image of the Windows partition using the NTFS-3G's ntfsclone utility. I then create a shell script that would restore that image and the MBR and make sure it's easy for the client to run.
    Next time they call me to say their machine is completely toast (not frequent, but it happens), I remind them of that option to do a full restore to a working and clean system. They have been trained to put their important data on external drives so the only thing they will lose is the crap they added after I was done.
    There, in less than 10 minutes, without having to drive there, they have a fully working system, and fast too.

    JigJag

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