Windows 8 now makes it easy for you to repair a broken operating system by returning it to its original state. By going to the Setting menu, click the Change PC Settings link, then select General. Scroll to the bottom of the side window, and you'll see two options: Refresh your PC without affecting your files and Remove everything and re-install Windows.
Summary: Refresh vs. Reset:
- Refresh: Keeps customizations, personal files (music, photos, and other documents), and Windows 8 installed apps, and doesn't format before re-installing the OS. This option returns the operating system to its factory-default settings and removes third-party application that were installed
- Note: all applications that were not installed via the Windows Store will be deleted.
- Tip: It never hurts to make sure that you have a good backup of all your data before using this option.
- Reset: Re-formats the hard drive and re-installs the OS to its factory-default settings It doesn't keep any customizations , data, or applications.
- Warning: Make sure to backup all your data before using this option.
The RECIMG.EXE is a command line tool that allows the creation of a custom recovery image for Windows when the Refresh your PC option is utilized. The recovery images do not contain the users personal documents, settings, user profile information, or apps from the Windows Store, because that information is preserved when the PC is refreshed.
This tool requires administrator privileges to execute. For more information on how to use this type RECIMG.EXE /? at the command prompt and press the Enter key.