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Reset Windows 8.1 to original settings without re-installing

windows 8.1 re-install
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We all know Windows OS is prone to variety of issues. The OS is constantly under threat from viruses and malware. There is the possibility of software compatibility issues which might mess with file integrity and corrupt files.

The result, you might end up with a messed up OS. Majority of these issues can be fixed by performing appropriate troubleshooting steps. But sometimes, you end up realizing that OS is corrupted beyond repair. The final solution in this case is to either repair or re-install Windows 8.1.

Whenever you have a major OS problem where none of the troubleshooting worked, you end up with two options – Repair or clean install the OS.

As the name suggests, Repair installation is meant to repair the OS files and take it to the manufacturer settings. Since it don’t mess with other files, you don’t have to re-install the applications and also the other data is safe.

Clean installation is meant to wipe out everything inside the computer and install a fresh copy of OS. The final result is a computer which looks brand new just like you just bought it. I highly recommend clean installation if the issue is related to computer infection. Repair installation only repair the OS files, but it may still allow the infection remain inside the computer.

Repair or Reset Windows 8.1 without affecting data

  • Press Windows Key + C for opening Charms window
  • Choose Settings -> Select Change PC settings
  • Select Update and Recovery on the left side
  • Select Refresh your PC without affecting your files. Click Get started. This will start the reset process
  • Put Windows 8 disk to continue the process. The entire process takes 10 – 15 minutes depending on your hardware speed.
  • Once the reset is complete, log into windows and check if everything is working fine.

Re-install or Clean install Windows 8.1

Since the Clean installation is going to completely wipe out data, first you need to backup important data. Simply transfer the files to a USB thumb drive or external hard disk.

  • Go to Update and Recovery.
  • Click on Get started under Remove everything and reinstall Windows
  • Put the Windows 8 disk to continue the installation.
  • You will be presented with 2 optionsQuickly – This will do a quick wipe out of data and start the installation. The data lost using this process have a good chance to be recovered using a data recovery software.
    Thoroughly – This is a thorough wipe out of data inside the computer. Data lost is lost forever and may not be recoverable using data recovery software
  • Once the preferred option is selected, it starts the re-installation process.
  • Once the installation is complete, use Windows Easy Transfer Tool to restore data back to your computer.
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About the author: Anup Raman A Tech Enthusiast|Blogger|Tech Trainer with 10+ yrs experience in the field of IT. My expertise are in Operating Systems, mainly Windows and Computer security which comes from my experience, working as Tech Support and Trainer for Microsoft, Symantec and McAfee. Loves blogging about Technical Troubleshooting, discussing latest Gadgets, Games and doing Reviews.

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