It takes a lot to impress me and this feature impressed me A LOT … not even Mac OSX has a feature that compares to this without jumping through the boot loader and using the disk utility to secure format and then back to the restore to reinstall OSX .. Windows does this in just a few simple steps all within the Windows operating system.
Over the years I have reinstalled Windows more than I have counted and also had to run data destroying software on the drives that I recycled … with Windows 8 this is no longer needed!
With a touch of a few buttons and without the need for a disk Windows 8 will reformat, destroy all data so it is not recoverable on a harddrive and reinstall Windows by itself! No more restore disks, no more Windows CD’s , no more booting into MS DOS to reformat drives! Simply Amazing!!!! Big props to the development team at Microsoft for coming up with this innovative feature ! It allows anyone (young and old) to reformat and reinstall Windows with a touch of a few buttons!
How do I access this feature you may ask?
It is simple , if you can boot into Windows 8 then
1. Hold down the Windows button and hit the C letter on the keyboard
2. Goto settings
3. Goto General
4. Click on reset my computer
5. when prompted you can either do a quick reinstall (does not destroy data on the harddrive which means it is easily recoverable) or destroy all data so it is not recoverable (great if you are donating your laptop etc)
6. Option to destroy all data on drives attached (so if you have 2 harddrives/partitions it will format both)
7. It will then reboot and almost instantly reinstall Windows 8 to a fresh state just like how you bought the machine
If you cannot boot into Windows 8 then they also give you a recovery option
1. Keep pressing F8 while waiting for the computer to boot
2. Click on Troubleshoot
3. Click on reset your PC
4. Same options as above and you are done!
This is an amazing feature and I am sure most IT professionals will like this, you never have to touch a Windows CD again! (unless of course your harddrive dies haha)
The best compare for this feature is like the reset to factory button in the settings menu on ipads, android tablets, iphones and android cell phones. Basically it resets the computer back to factory default but also allows you to”zero” out the harddrive so noone can recover your data. I know Mac OSX you can do the same through disk utility and then doing a reinstall but this is not something everyone can do easily (especially the older generation that do not know how to get into the boot loader recovery in the first place) – with Windows 8 … it is just a few mouse clicks and everything is fresh again
How powerful is this? Imagine my grand pa using his computer .. it gets infected with a virus or spyware. He would not have to “google” how to reinstall/format windows or call me to bring a Windows CD to reinstall/format .. he would just go to settings – and restore back to factory … and bamm .. problem fixed
Edit: Also I should really rename this blog post to diskless “restore” haha =)