Windows 8 readies push-button PC refresh, reset

Windows 8 readies push-button PC refresh, reset
Resetting your Win 8 PC

( -- Windows 8 is to deliver two new features that could help mute a past history of being the company that delivers blue screens of death and malware magnets. Briefly, Windows 8 is going to make Windows easier to deal with than ever before. Considering the competition Microsoft now faces, the time is ripe for this kind of pronouncement. In a blog dated January 4, the Windows 8 engineering team reveals two new options, refresh and reset.

Both functions will be at the push of a button to help users easily reset or refresh their PCs. “The power of personalization is something we all love about PCs,” said a Steven Sinofsky,” but sometimes there is good reason to want to roll back to an earlier state. Most consumer electronics devices today can be reset to some factory state, and so we built this capability into Windows 8 too.”

In the post authored by Desmond Lee, a Microsoft program manager, the new push-button options will empower the user to refresh or reset their machines. The latter function will be useful for those who want to give their machines to somebody else, such as a family member or coworker, and at the same time want to scrub everything off that they have downloaded. Hitting reset allows complete program and data wipeout and a fresh Windows install.

As for the refresh function, Lee said that “misconfigured settings are sometimes the cause of problems that lead to customers needing to refresh their PCs. To ensure that Refresh is both effective in fixing problems and in making sure customers don’t lose settings that they might have trouble reconfiguring, we’ve thought a great deal about which settings to preserve.”

In the refresh, Windows 8 is to preserve wireless network connections, mobile broadband connections, BitLocker and BitLocker To Go settings, Drive letter assignments, personalization settings such as lock screen background and desktop wallpaper. While the core settings are backed up, the refresh will not keep file-type associations, display settings, and Windows firewall settings.

As for business environments, where Windows 8 might be deployed across the entire corporation’s PCs, a blogger outside Microsoft said that this does not necessarily spell out the demise of IT support; only that their troubleshooting rounds may be eased.

In sum, the reset removes all personal data, apps, and settings from the PC and reinstall Windows. The refresh keeps all personal data, Metro style apps, and important settings from the PC, but reinstalls Windows. The time required doing a refresh or a reset is an estimated eight minutes and 22 seconds for a refresh and six minutes and 12 seconds for a quick reset. The Register notes that these numbers are based on a Samsung PC with an i5 processor and 4GB of RAM running the developer preview handed out at the Build Conference in September.

A thorough reset takes 23 minutes and 52 seconds. The “thorough” option will write random patterns to every sector of the drive, overwriting existing data visible to the operating system.

More information: … d-reset-your-pc.aspx

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