Screenshots: The Windows 8 Reset your PC feature

If you have more than one drive connected to the PC

Choosing drives

After you insert the Windows 8 installation DVD, the system will verify the media and then display the next screen, which will prompt you to choose the drives from which you want to remove files, as shown in Figure F. This can be confusing at first glance if you only have one drive in your system. Let's take a closer look.


Of course, if you have more than one hard drive connected to the PC or your hard disk has more than one partition, this prompt makes sense and you can choose whether you want to remove files from all drives.

However, if you only have one hard disk in the system and there is only on partition, this can be a bit confusing. Now, the fact is that when you install Windows 8 (and Windows 7) on a clean hard disk, Setup automatically creates a small partition labeled System Reserved. (For instance, on my test system the System Reserved partition is 350MB.) This System Reserved partition is set aside for the Boot Manager code and the Boot Configuration Database. It also used for the startup files required by the BitLocker Drive Encryption feature.

So, if you were using BitLocker and depending on how thorough you wish to be, select an option by clicking on that tile. (During my testing, I ran the Reset your PC operation multiple times and selected each option. While it may have taken just slightly longer to clean the 350MB partition, the end result was the same.)

Credit: Images by Greg Shultz for TechRepublic

About Greg Shultz

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

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