Windows 8

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 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.

5 comments
janitorman
janitorman

On one screen it says "make sure your PC is plugged in." WELL DOH! How would it be on, otherwise? And will this work on the tablet devices that the damn OS is designed for, I imagine it might take all the battery power to do it and that's why it would need "plugged in?" Other than that, it also calls for recovery media. Most PC's don't ship with that, and no one ever makes their own, so this would be useless. What a joke!

tim.clarke
tim.clarke

First issue of Windows to admit how fragile it is. Rebuild built in. So your virus-riddled files get saved to re-infect you once you've rebuilt?

_swillah_
_swillah_

I've lost the recovery partition on an Asus ultrabook. Trying to work out how to properly reinstall Windows 8 on the combo.

canajian_eh
canajian_eh

After creating recovery disks on a new Windows 8 machine, my suggestion is to try running the reset. 1. make sure that it works (on my new laptop it didn't) 2. better to find out while there is nothing on the machine to lose and while it is under warranty than a year later when the warranty is done. In my case the machine had to be sent back to the manufacturer to be fixed. It took lots of calls to support and they even sent me new recovery disks. There was a hardware problem that prevented the recovery process from running.