What is the difference between reset this PC and Factory image Restore?

Windows Reset and Recovery Image Creation

What is the difference between reset this PC and Factory image Restore?

Install Windows from scratch or format using the recovery image. Here are the ways to reset your Windows.

We usually choose to format when your system gets heavy, encounters a problem, or is full of unnecessary programs. Although formatting the system generally gives a clean start, there are different methods to reset your system to zero.

Refreshing the system in Windows 8

If you think your system is getting bulky, you can try using Windows 8’s refresh feature before formatting. In general, with this method, your personalizations are preserved and system settings are returned to default, third-party applications are deleted, but your media items remain in place.

Follow the instructions below to run a system refresh:

  • Click on the first option that appears by typing “Computer settings” on the start screen and open the settings menu.
  • Click on “Update and recovery” at the bottom.
  • Enter the Recovery tab and click the “Get started” option under the “Refresh your PC without affecting your files” tab.
  • Follow the wizard that appears.


Resetting the system in Windows 8

Another alternative is to reset the system using Windows 8’s own tool. This method will reset all data and even completely clean your hard disk if you want. This method is the one you should use especially if you want to make sure that the files you delete are gone.

Follow the instructions below to run the system reset:

  • Click on the first option that appears by typing “Computer settings” on the start screen and open the settings menu.
  • Click on “Update and recovery” at the bottom.
  • Enter the Recovery tab and click on the “Get started” option under the “Remove everything and reinstall Windows” tab.
  • In the resulting wizard, choose the option where the data is completely deleted.

Refresh your system with your computer manufacturer’s recovery partition

If you are using Windows 7 or earlier, you will not be able to take advantage of the system refresh features offered by Windows 8. But instead, you can use the recovery partition, if available, that your computer manufacturer has installed on your system.

For this, you need to select the recovery partition from the boot screen during system startup. Since these types of shortcuts are different on each computer, we cannot write here with which keys you can enter the recovery menu (For example, it can be Delete, F12, F2).

After entering the recovery menu, you can reinstall Windows with this menu. The thing to note here is that unwanted applications that we call bloatware and that come installed on the system cannot be cleaned in this way. To remove bloatware applications, you need to do a clean install from scratch.

Clean install with USB or DVD

Neither the system refresh tools of Windows 8 nor the recovery partition installed by the manufacturer can give the “clean” start that an operating system installed from scratch would. In other words, if your performance problems are not resolved after the system refresh, you only have the option to install from scratch.

To use this method, you need an ISO file with the operating system in it. Microsoft has offered the installation ISO files of Windows 8 to its users free of charge (Of course, you need to enter a license during installation). You need to download these files and burn them to DVD or USB according to your preference. You can use Microsoft’s Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool for this.


After the writing process is completed, you need to enter the boot menu at system startup and select the installation media to reach the installation screen. Since the key that opens the boot menu also differs from computer to computer, we cannot tell which key is here.

After all the steps are completed, the installation screen will appear. Here you can easily complete the installation by following the installation wizard. However, there is an important issue that you should pay attention to. When the installation wizard starts, it will present you with two options. If you choose the upgrade partition, the files already on your system will be collected in a folder named Windows.old. For installation from scratch, it is necessary to enter the “Custom” option and format the partition where the system will be installed.

Installing the drivers

We recommend that you back up the installation files of the drivers to another media before starting the formatting process. After the Windows installation is complete, you can quickly complete the process by installing the drivers you backed up.

Apart from this, you can also use applications such as Driver Scanner, which scans the hardware in your system and finds the most suitable driver.

Creating a recovery image with recimg.exe

Personally, one of my favorite features of Windows 8, recimg, offers users a very useful recovery image. After installing your system from scratch, making the necessary adjustments and installing the must-have software, a recovery image that you will create with this method makes system refresh very easy and less challenging in the future.

To use the recimg method, start cmd.exe as an administrator and enter these lines:

  • mkdir C:\RefreshImage
  • recimg -CreateImage C:\RefreshImage

After entering these commands, your recovery image will be created in a folder named RefreshImage on the C partition.

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