Windows 8 has a new feature called Refresh which allows you to restore Windows back to original installation state without losing your personal files, photos, music and videos. While Windows Refresh keeps your personal files and apps intact, it wipes out all of your desktop software. This is an undesirable side effect of Refresh. But you can create a custom Refresh image so that after refreshing Windows, your desktop software is not wiped out. Here is how :
- Press the hotkey Win + X and select Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu that pops up.
- Assuming that you want to store your Refresh image in a folder C:\Image, type the following command in the command prompt,
recimg /createimage C:\Image
- Creation of custom Refresh image would take many minutes depending on your installed desktop software. The above command creates the custom image with all the installed desktop software and automatically sets the newly created Refresh image as the active recovery image for the Refresh feature.
Although the custom Refresh image can include all your installed desktop software and restores them back during Refresh, yet it does not restore the settings to all these installed software. For example, if you have installed Microsoft Office and customized it, then after Refresh it will be returned to its installation settings without any of the customizations that you saved.