Sometimes, for whatever reason, we all feel the need to restart our pc. It might be that we’ve loaded it with too many programs, Locksmith, too much junk and it’s just not running as smoothly as we’d like. Or it might be that we want to start over again, from scratch.
At the moment, whilst we can re-install Windows 7 and Windows XP, we often choose not to as we don’t really want to lose all our data. Plus, resetting can take hours and every PC seems to be different in how we set about resetting.
This is a problem that Microsoft has been working on and they’ve come up with a quick and handy way to reset your machine to factory settings whilst still retaining all your files and Metro apps. Windows 8 won’t automatically save other downloaded apps as it could be one of those causing the problems with your PC. You will need to download and install them again.
How to Refresh Your PC in Windows 8
If your machine boots up normally go to the PC Settings menu, also known as Control Panel, from the start screen and select Refresh Your PC. Microsoft claims that the process takes minutes to complete.
If your machine is not booting up, you will be offered the chance to troubleshoot from the UI boot menu. Again, this should only take a matter of minutes.
Cleaning the Hard Drive Prior to Re-cycling
It seems an odd thing to be thinking about; handing your used Windows 8 PC to charity or another user when none of us have even got our hands on one yet, but this is just what Microsoft have been doing.
With most of us wanting to be greener, many of us now choose to donate our PCs to other users when we upgrade. One constant problem with this, however, has been how to clean our PCs to prevent other people getting hold of our data.
In Windows 8, however, they have come up with a way to completely clean your hard drive and return your PC to shop bought condition in minutes. You read that right, minutes, not hours. What’s more, they’ve standardized the clean up procedure so that it is the same across all Windows 8 environments.
If you want to completely clean your hard drive and set it back to factory settings then you need to do only three things:
- Go into the PC Settings menu, also known as Control Panel, from the start screen.
- Select ‘Reset Your PC’
- Choose whether to have a ‘thorough’ or ‘quick’ reset.
If you choose a quick reset, your files will be deleted and over-written but they might still be recoverable by someone using the pc after you.
If you choose a thorough reset, as the MSDN blog puts it “Instead of just formatting the drive, choosing the ‘Thorough’ option will write random patterns to every sector of the drive, overwriting any existing data visible to the operating system. Even if someone removes the drive from your PC, your data will still not be easily recoverable without the use of special equipment that is prohibitively expensive for most people. .”
The reset option can also be accessed through the troubleshooting menu on the UI.
And as Microsoft promises the refresh and reset will be the same across all PCs and will be quick and easy, it should make it easier for all of us to keep our machines working and to ensure they have a productive life long after we’ve finished with them.