Microsoft has outlined a pair of options for Windows 8 that will allow users to preserve configuration and document data when reinstalling the operating system (OS).
The company said on its Building Windows 8 blog that the upcoming OS will allow users the option of reinstalling their systems in a 'refresh' mode that retains certain information, while still replacing the core components of the OS.
While a full reinstallation, or 'reset', will completely wipe a system's hard drive of all stored data and partitions, the refresh process will replace the OS, while keeping user documents, profile configurations and Metro application data intact.
The result, said Microsoft, is a procedure that can correct errors and restore the original software, without the need to reinstall and configure important information.
"Unlike manually reinstalling Windows, you don’t have to go through the Windows Welcome screens again and reconfigure all the initial settings, as your user accounts and those settings are all preserved," explained Microsoft.
"You can sign in with the same account and password and all your documents and data are preserved in the same locations they were before."
Both recovery options will be available to users through the Windows 8 Recovery Environment (RE) maintenance tool.
Additionally, Windows 8 will look to simplify the process of creating disk images for backup purposes. The company said users will be able to use a command line tool called 'recimg' to create a snapshot of their system.
The clean images can then be stored and used as a backup, which can then be deployed complete with desktop applications and account settings when needed.
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