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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Cape Town, South Africa
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    You CAN Repair Windows 8 (8.1) Without Losing Everything

    There are many (it seems) who believe that the only "fix it" options available when windows goes "pear-shaped" in Windows 8 (8.1) result in the loss of some/all third party software and personal settings. This is not entirely true.

    The following is compiled from a tutorial in "Windows 8 Forums". Here:

    Windows 8 introduced the option to refresh and reset your PC to repair or reinstall Windows 8 as needed. These new features are great for what they are intended for, but there are some drawbacks to them.

    When you Reset your PC, it will basically give you a clean install (retail) or factory recovery (preinstalled OEM) of Windows 8 afterwards. But: You will lose everything from your current Windows 8 installation.

    When you Refresh your PC, this basically repairs Windows 8 by reinstalling it while keeping your files, Store apps, most of your settings, etc..... However, all installed 3rd party desktop apps will be removed. If you like, you could create a custom refresh image to not lose anything, but this will require creating new custom refresh images every so often to keep it updated to not lose anything since the last image was created.

    (For more on Refresh, see the Aug. 15 Top Story by Fred Langa here: “A ‘no-reformat reinstall’ for Windows 8.”)

    There, is, however, a way to REPAIR your Windows 8 OS without losing everything.

    Settings that will be Preserved when doing a Repair Install:

    •All user accounts.
    •Files in all users' C:\Users\(user-name) folders. (ex: Desktop, My Documents, My Music, etc...)
    •Wireless network connections.
    •Apps from the Windows Store will be kept.
    •All installed 3rd party desktop programs will be kept.
    •Mobile broadband connections.
    •BitLocker and BitLocker To Go settings.
    •Windows Firewall settings.
    •Drive letter assignments.
    •File type associations set per user.
    •Metro apps settings per user.
    •Display settings.
    •Personalization settings such as lock screen background and desktop wallpaper.
    •All users' PC settings will be kept.
    •Choices you made during Windows Welcome, such as computer name and user accounts, will not change.
    •Network, Libraries, and Windows Update settings will not change.
    •Customer Experience Improvement Program settings will not change.
    •Windows Error Reporting settings will not change.
    •Some drivers may or may not be removed, but usually will remain.

    Settings that will be NOT be Preserved when doing a Repair Install

    •Installed Windows Updates will be removed.
    •Some drivers may or may not be removed, but usually will remain.


    •You will only be able to do a repair install from within Windows 8.
    •You will not be able to do a repair install at boot or in Safe Mode.
    •You must have at least 8.87 GB + what is currently being used of free space on the hard drive/partition that Windows 8 is installed on. You may need more if you have a larger installation.

    Note that you will be asked for your Windows 8 Product Key before the repair will commence.

    COMMENT: Whilst the Windows 8 Forum tutorial lists the above three warnings, I have done a Repair installation after booting up from a Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit ISO DVD just to see if it could be done- no problem other than my printer driver re-installed itself the first time I switched on my printer after the Repair).

    Be sure to back up anything that you do not want to lose (I suggest create a full system image) before doing a repair install just to be extra safe. For example, if you lose power in the middle of doing the repair install.

    For step-by-step details of HOW to do the Repair install (with screen clips): See the above Windows 8 Forum link.
    Last edited by petesmst; 2013-09-29 at 05:09. Reason: Corrected typos
    (My Setup: Custom built: 4.00GHz Intel Core i7-6700K CPU; MSI Z170A Gaming Carbon Mobo (Military Class V); Win 10 Pro (64 bit)-(UEFI-booted); 16GB RAM; 500GB SAMSUNG 960 EVO M.2 NVME SSD; 512GB SAMSUNG 850 PRO SSD; Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; 2 X GeForceGTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card (SLI); Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); Acronis TI 2017 Premium, Norton Internet Security, VMWare Workstation12 Pro). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive). Dell S2417DG G-Sync UHD Monitor.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Thanked 937 Times in 856 Posts
    Or simply have a fresh up to date Image of your system with all you user settings. customizations, data, etc. included. This restoration will take about 10 minutes!
    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

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