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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    No-reformat reinstalls for all Windows versions




    LANGALIST PLUS

    No-reformat reinstalls for all Windows versions


    By Fred Langa

    When Windows goes badly wrong, rebuilding the operating system without reformatting and reinstalling apps and data can save hours of work. A fast, nondestructive Windows reinstall is a manual process in XP, Vista, and Win7, but it's built in and fully automatic in Windows 8.


    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/langalist-plus/no-reformat-reinstalls-for-all-windows-versions/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by Kathleen Atkins; 2013-01-23 at 13:52.

  2. #2
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    Programs before Windows 8 upgrade not working after refreshing Windows 8

    Dear Sir,

    All programs that you have when you upgraded to Windows 8 will be wipe out after refreshing (the warning is not clear enough).

    I did the refreshing and all my previous programs were not working.

    I have to start from the very beginning again.

    Paul Cheuk.

  3. #3
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    This articles incorrectly says this is a windows 8 improvement!

    Fred:

    The article says the new reformat reinstall is one of the improvements in windows 8 because it is the only version that makes the feature apparent and easily usable But doesn't your article say that the refresh in all other versions will keep the software you installed from disks but the refresh in windows 8 will not? unless I misunderstood, this would seem to be a major DISADVANTAGE of windows 8 versus the other versions. If someone doesn't read your article very carefully and read the link to the old windows 7 article they might switch to windows 8 for a great feature that is actually a hobbled feature from windows 7. You may want to clarify this.

    Dave H

  4. #4
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    Win 8 Pro Upgrade Problems and OS Experience

    Before upgrading my Win 7 system to Win 8 Pro I should have gone to WinSecrets and other websites for advice. I purchased the Win 8 Pro upgrade package for $48 (with disks), but there was no setup guide. ~ I wrongly assumed that Microsoft would find the necessary drivers from Gigabyte and Intel etc. and upgrade my system accordingly (yep, I believed the hype.) ~ But everything went haywire and I had to reformat my hard drive and do a clean install of Windows 7. ~ But then I had the problem of Win 8 not recognising that I had a legitimate copy of Win 8 Pro Upgrade. After several phone calls, the Microsoft Tech Support team were able to re-activate my licensed copy for me.

    I'm not complaining ( ... well ... except for the wasted days). I know that Win 8 is a far superior operating system (under the bonnet, that is). ~ But until 'Service Pack 1' comes out, I'm running my licensed copy of Win 8 Pro in a VMWare Player window on top of my Win 7 machine ... not the other way around!

    Since my fiasco, I've been familiarising myself with Win 8 Pro (sitting pretty in VMWare Player ver. 5). ~ I'm finding it brilliant, and it's packed with so many new features that makes it a step up from Windows 7. (I even discovered how to scroll across the tiles in 'Modern UI' using the scroll wheel on my mouse!)

    But for all its great features Win 8 needs a sophisticated polished look and feel. Both the 'Desktop UI', the 'Modern Ui' and some of the Tiles (or Apps) are very dull and boring. I'm 62 and I find it hard to see the borders and scroll bars. I don't like the 'Retro Look' ... no matter how nostalgic I can be for Windows 3.0. And don't get me going on the missing 'Start Button'.

    Microsoft, you've got a stable and fast OS ... but for us powered desktop and laptop users, we should be given themes and options we want, including 'Aero Glass'. ~ And a setup guide to read, or at least a website that isn't all propaganda. Yes, please, give me back the Windows I love ~ Don't force 'The Retro Look' on me!
    Last edited by Bunyipboy; 2013-01-17 at 09:54. Reason: Grammatical errors and sentence rephrasing

  5. #5
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    Not the Solution We Need -- A Step Backwards

    I've got to agree with another writer here - the no-reformat reinstall available on Windows 8 is a step backward for those of us who rely on actual applications on the desktop. We need to be able to do a nondestructive reinstall of Windows 8 just like we could in Windows 7, etc. -- one that does not require us to reinstall our desktop applications.

    So the question here is not, "To be or not to be," but whether we can still do a nondestructive reinstall of Windows 8 that doesn't wipe out our desktop applications and require us to reinstall them.

    Please let us know.

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Windows 8 usability -- Jakob Nielsen Rebutted.

    As always with Windows 8 User Experience articles, there is another point of view .
    -- Bob Primak --

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    On the topic of the Windows 8 Refresh and Restore functions, I find these recovery options to be one of the things I like best about Windows 8. During Beta testing, I used the nondestructive Refresh option, and even the reset (destructive reinstall) options many times, and never regretted doing so. Yes, programs may have to be reinstalled or reactivated after a Refresh, but this sure beats hauling out disk after disk and rebooting several times to do the nondestructive reinstalls of previous Windows versions. Not to mention that the Tablet (RT) version of Windows 8 doesn't even have Repair or Install media.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2013-01-17 at 19:21.
    -- Bob Primak --

  8. #8
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Only the practice of drive imaging and the creation of an image recovery disc can offer the best and most efficient means to get your computer back to a workable state
    when things ultimately go wrong.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  9. #9
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    While I agree with the general criticisms of Win 8, and think Microsoft once again showed how much it is willfully out of touch with a good part of its user base, I'm puzzled about much of the whining from people who know their way around a computer. From the moments after the initial install, I've completely avoided MS's desktop, in favor of the old one with a free Start menu added (Classic Start Menu). The only times I see the new interface are by accident of a wandering mouse or when I come across instructions like Fred's about Refresh installs (which I didn't find all that clear).

  10. #10
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highstream View Post
    While I agree with the general criticisms of Win 8, and think Microsoft once again showed how much it is willfully out of touch with a good part of its user base, I'm puzzled about much of the whining from people who know their way around a computer. From the moments after the initial install, I've completely avoided MS's desktop, in favor of the old one with a free Start menu added (Classic Start Menu). The only times I see the new interface are by accident of a wandering mouse or when I come across instructions like Fred's about Refresh installs (which I didn't find all that clear).
    If you read the article, Fred didn't go to the Metro Desktop for the restart. He did forget to put in the instruction to hold down the Shift Key while restarting to reveal the Recovery Options.
    -- Bob Primak --

  11. #11
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    Only the practice of drive imaging and the creation of an image recovery disc can offer the best and most efficient means to get your computer back to a workable state
    when things ultimately go wrong.
    True, and one thing I did first when starting to mess with the Betas of Windows 8. Macrium Reflect has saved my bacon I can't tell you how many times!
    -- Bob Primak --

  12. #12
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    If you read the article, Fred didn't go to the Metro Desktop for the restart. He did forget to put in the instruction to hold down the Shift Key while restarting to reveal the Recovery Options.
    Holding the shift key down with F8 on restart no longer works. In fact, I can no longer find any way to get into safe mode in Windows 8 for a system that won't boot into Windows 8. That's a real shortcoming in my view. I've done a lot of safe mode repairs on systems that won't fully boot in the past.

    Jerry

  13. #13
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    How To Geek does show a method to add Safe Mode to the MBR.

    I have often stated that Imaging is, IMO, far superior to Refresh or Reset because an Up To Date Image to before a problem started will get you back to the exact moment the Image was created with all apps, updates, customizations, user files, etc.

    MS does include warnings about what is retained and what is lost with Refresh and Reset. These items can be found in many sites on the web.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  14. #14
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Holding the "Left Shift Key" down while selecting "Restart" from within the charms bar/settings/power (to get to the recovery console) works just fine.
    If one cannot boot into Windows, especially if there is hard drive corruption, then obviously a boot disk will be needed.
    This is about on par with expectations, both past and present.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2013-01-18 at 20:11.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    If you read the article, Fred didn't go to the Metro Desktop for the restart. He did forget to put in the instruction to hold down the Shift Key while restarting to reveal the Recovery Options.
    You should read the article again before you comment on other people's understanding of it, rather than guess at what it may have said.

    What's Metro Desktop? Fred started from the Charms Bar. He never mentioned restart. He did not need to hold down Shift. He was not accessing Advanced Startup Options.

    See the simple four steps which Fred was using fully illustrated here: How to use the new refresh (and reset features) in Windows 8

    Bruce
    Last edited by BruceR; 2013-01-18 at 20:26.

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