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  • iwodo - Wednesday, January 04, 2012 - link

    I wonder if the options does give you an EXACT bit to bit copy as a clean install Windows. The problem with current PCs or Laptop is that they come with all these Crapwares, and uninstall isn't helping because most Uninstall procedure isn't very clean on Windows.

    I would rather have the options to start over, and i backup up my drivers etc myself....
  • hechacker1 - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    Last time Microsoft talked about it, the refresh state that you rollback to can be set to whichever point you want. So theoretically, you could do a fresh install of Windows, install all your drivers, essential software, and then create the refresh point.

    So that sounds great for power users who would to rollback quickly when something goes wrong or it needs a general refresh. But unfortunately, it also leaves the door open for OEMs to create a refresh point with their crapware preinstalled.
  • B3an - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    You can create your own custom refresh / reset image in Win 8 and choose what software to keep or remove, so you should be able to remove any crapware that the PC came with when refreshing / resetting as this custom image wont use the OEM image that includes the crapware. Reply
  • B3an - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    BTW i think MS have done a very good job with this: It's easy, it's much faster, and it's customisable for advanced users. The amount of user data on the drive no longer effects times as well (either with refreshing / resetting or doing a Win 7 upgrade to Win 8).

    Even if you cant boot into Windows you can still refresh / reset from within the Recovering Environment, which now supports a real graphical interface as well as mouse and touch support. Also if the OS is truly screwed up and the RE wont even start then you can create a bootable USB flash drive now and boot from that instead.
  • mcnabney - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    To me it looks like MS is back to their old monopolistic ways.

    MS apps get a special installer (that is sure to work without a hitch) while their competitors are stuck with what amounts to a compatibility-mode installer, increasing the liklihood of conflicts between the OS and application down the road.

    They claim 'security', but they really mean 'financial security'. I am sure OpenOffice will not get a .appx installer...
  • Alexvrb - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    Are you high? Curated != created.

    In other words, if OpenOffice (or anyone else) wants to release a Metro-compatible version of their software on the app store, it will be using .appx also. Metro isn't just for Microsoft software.
  • danjw - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    Not if they make the crapware look like a metro app. OEMs won't like this feature, they want that stuff on your computer, and so Microsoft had to give them a way to circumvent your ability to do what you are saying. Which is why I won't ever buy a Dell, HP, ... computer. Reply
  • sprockkets - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    This is nice but I mean, would be nice to at least give users the option during install to set the home folder on another drive.

    And to think they are raising hell over preventing computer shops from reinstalling Windows without a corresponding restore partition/legit disc + COA key? If this is also offered via the end user OEM install and eliminates a need to reactivate, I'll consider this good progress.

    Not sure why your data has to be removed - they could keep the Users folder and delete the hidden app data folder thus trashing the files generated with use.
  • sigmatau - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    I have a few concerns.

    Where will this "copy" of Windows reside to restore your computer back to it's original state? I'm guessing there will be a separate folder or partition that has the original, un-updated copies of the Windows install. If this is true, Microsoft will have to defend that folder or partition from heavy mal-ware attacks as was once the case with the system restore targeting malware.

    Or what happens if your hard drive fails? Will you have to buy another copy of Windows when you buy a hard drive or what?

    Hopefully, with the USB drive option that was indicated in the article, we can at least get a computer to boot up to a generic OS that lets you download Windows again.

    I really like the drive erasure abilities.
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    Thing is, people like me get paid to do this manually for others. That is, on a selfish note.

    Having said that, I see this as a very good thing, with a few caveats not already mentioned.

    First, what if a user like myself, who prefers to separate data from the OS. That is: Personally, I keep at least two partitions on any personal system. Single drive or not Sure, I would think that MS would not force this feature of Windows 8 on me, or others. However, it would be nice to know if this feature if used, if it will try to "fix" other partitions separate from the OS. This in my own opinion is a very important question.

    Secondly, and related to the above. User home directories. Where a user relocates his/her home directory off of the OS partition. Pictures, video, and a lot of other important data could be stored here. The user needs to be assured that "the fix" wont too easily wipe out their memories, or other important data. While at the same time. Windows being aware enough to create a symbolic link back to where these directories were previously.

    Personally, the way this feature was described. I think that Microsoft should keep its hands off of the users data. Then, knowing from past experience how Microsoft tends to obfuscate what an application truly is doing . . . Well, let me just say that yours truly has completely wiped a drive, because the information presented from an application was not clear enough. Yes, this was an application ( not some special tool ). Visual web designer to be specific.

    Anyhow, I see this as a potential great feature. So long as Microsoft does it right.
  • TheThirdRace - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    I agree and disagree with you.

    I agree that this is a good thing, it will solve a lot of problems for a lot of people.

    I disagree concerning the "data" part. The whole point is to get rid of anything that could have broken your installation. Thus the "home dir" of the user must be wiped out, it's the only way to acheive the goal. You cannot get rid of a virus by giving a free pass to some folders...

    Windows will only fix the partition on which it's installed, it's not gonna go on a rampage on your other partitions or disks. I don't know if it will reset the "home dir" if you changed the default path. As far as I'm concerned, it's asking for trouble to move that folder anyway. You will always find a "genius" programmer that will use the direct path instead of the global variable, you're just asking to be punched in the face when you least expect it. It's only my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt...
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    Are you positive you want some idiot who can not figure out Windows path variables writing applications for your computer ?

    As for using this feature solely for removing viruses, I am not quite sure if this is the best way. To become infected, a user is very likely doing things that they probably should not be doing. E,g, Not updating their copy of Windows, running questionable code/web site apps on their computers, etc,

    Would it work ? Yes I think it would. Is it smart ? In my own opinion. No it is not smart. What is the point of having data if you can not keep it. Do you have a 10+ year old image of a relative whose since passed away ? A video of when your child took his/her very first steps ? Bah ! They're infected, just delete them. Right ? Not to mention other important data not based on personal memories. Business transactions, personal code base. What have you.

    For this purpose, what you propose fails. For fixing improperly installed drivers, bloated registries, or even just getting the ICON clutter off your desktop, etc. It would do perfectly fine I think.

    Of course, I would have to see this feature in action personally. Maybe it would surprise me. We'll see.

    That, is my opinion.
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    The point of users becoming infected that I was trying to make was; The average user operates in a pattern that very often repeats. Once, infected, always infected, is very often the case.

    However somewhere between your point, and mine. A virus can be placed anywhere, and do nothing until it is executed. This means that unless it is run, it will do nothing. So returning to where Windows is "reset". Any data no matter where would be "safe". Until the user executes it. Much like how you can take an infected hard drive out of one computer, and scan it in another. Mount it with a USB boot copy, network scan, whatever.

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