Windows 8 “Refresh” and “Reset”

The hot topic right now across the internet is Windows 8. Even though it’s not expected to arrive until sometime next year, nevertheless, there is still a lot of talk and rumors buzzing around regarding its features and changes. Some of which are; Windows 8 becoming a touch screen oriented operating system (OS), more user friendly interfaces, the ability to boot, and even run, the OS from a thumb drive/flash drive, and unlocking your PC via swipes and password – much like an iPhone or Android phone – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Microsoft is overhauling the Windows OS as we know it today. It will take some time for everyone to get comfortable and accustomed to Windows 8, as it is unlike anything we’ve seen from Microsoft up to this point. I would dare say one would have an easier time migrating from an XP machine to a 7 machine than from a PC loaded with Windows 7 to one loaded with the revamped Windows 8. Hopefully, Windows 8 won’t be a rush job like Vista; which was a resource hog and as unstable as Johnny Depp in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” – or any other movie he’s been in for that matter.

The discussions that Ray and I have been having about some of these features raised some questions with us. In particular, the new “Refresh” and “Reset” options; and after thorough research, here is what I discovered about these features.

The Reset feature allows you to put your computer back to its original state; just like it was when you first took it out of the box and turned it on. The only problem with running the Reset option is all of your settings, files and installed applications will be lost. However, if you have a back up of your files they can be restored after the Reset. As always with a reset, you will need to restore, or reinstall, any software or applications you had previously installed. If you happen to be familiar with Windows Vista or 7; the Reset feature is the equivalent of performing a restore using the recovery partition on your hard drive. However, in Windows 8, the Reset feature is designed to be much more accessible to the everyday user; not to mention faster.

Yet, the biggest question we had pertained to the Refresh feature which is basically a system restore like in XP, Vista and Windows 7, except you’re not going back to an earlier point in time. When using Refresh you are able to keep your files, user settings, and applications that you have purchased and/or downloaded from Microsoft. Everything else (i.e. RealPlayer, Antivirus, Adobe Reader, iTunes, etc.) will be wiped out and will have to be reinstalled. The question is: How will the Refresh feature play into viruses harassing you and your computer? Answer: It won’t! Refresh is designed to fix software problems. If you click on Internet Explorer and it won’t open up because of a broken .exe file, you can take the easy route and simply Refresh your computer. If the sound on your PC stops working, and you have searched high and low for a solution to the issue, but come up with nothing every time; this is when you would Refresh, and the problem should be solved.

However, if you attempt to Refresh in order to rid yourself of that nasty fake antivirus that pops up every time you turn on your computer, and greets you with, “You’re infected with all this crap so buy me to fix it.” I promise you it will still be there after. The only thing that will get rid of 100% of all viruses on your computer is a reformat/reload/reset. Everything else, anti viruses, malware scanners, spyware scanners, firewalls, etc. is like hand sanitizer; it will only get rid of 99% of the germs.

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