Screenshots: The Windows 8 Reset your PC feature

When you are prompted to choose and option, select the Troubleshoot tile

This gallery is also available as a post in the Windows and Office Blog.

In a recent blog post, Refresh your Windows 8 system from a Recovery Drive, I showed you how to use Windows 8's Refresh your PC tool in order to revive a Windows 8 system that has become unstable. This allows you to start over with a fresh installation of Windows 8 while keeping all of your data and settings intact. However, Windows 8 also provides you with a tool called Reset your PC for rebuilding a Windows 8 system. Unlike its brethren, the Reset your PC tool removes all of your data and settings and then reinstalls Windows 8. The Reset your PC tool comes in handy if you really want to scrap everything and start over from scratch or if you are getting ready to decommission your PC and want to give it away.

In this edition of the Windows Desktop Report, I'll show you how to use the Reset your PC tool from the Recovery Drive. As I do, I'll explain how it works.

What you need

In order to run the Reset your PC tool as I'll describe in this article, you'll need to have created a Recovery Drive as I showed you in the article Create a Recovery Drive in Windows 8. You will also need to have your Windows 8 installation DVD.

In case you are wondering

As I mentioned in the introduction, I'm going to cover the use of the Reset your PC tool from the Recovery Drive. However, you should know that the Reset your PC tool can also be launched from within Windows. To do so, you would press [Windows]+W to bring up Search Settings and type Remove in the text box. You can then select the Remove everything and reinstall Windows command to launch the Refresh your PC tool.

Since you are going to wipe your drive anyway, I suppose that it doesn't matter how you launch the Reset your PC tool. However, for my example I'm going to show you how to run it from the Recovery Drive, which will perform a clean boot into Windows RE.

Launching Reset your PC

Running Reset your PC from the Recovery Drive is easy. While I am booting from a USB Recovery Drive you can just as easily boot the Recovery Drive from the optical disc. (As a part of my research for this article, I ran the Reset your PC operation after booting from an optical disc and the procedure is basically identical.)

After your system boots from the Recovery Drive and you are prompted to choose an option, as shown in Figure A, select the Troubleshoot tile.


Credit: Images by Greg Shultz for TechRepublic

By 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.