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Resetting Your PC to Resolve Problems (Windows 8)

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This document pertains to HP PCs with Windows 8.
Windows 8 includes a feature called Reset your PC that permanently removes everything and reinstalls Windows. This is useful when you sell or recycle your computer, or when you want to return it to the way it was when it came from the factory.
When you reset your computer, everything is removed including all your personal files, personalization settings, and software apps. The only thing retained is the activation state, so if Windows was activated before the reset, Windows is activated after the reset.
This is what happens when you use Reset your PC.
  • Your personal files such as libraries, personalization settings, user accounts, and desktop themes are permanently removed.
  • The computer settings are returned to the defaults - the way it was when it came from the factory.
  • Apps and other software that were installed on the computer when it came from the factory are reinstalled, and their settings are reset to the defaults.
  • Software, apps, programs, and everything that you have installed or saved on the computer are permanently removed.
NOTE: If you are not using the latest version of Windows 8, some graphics and information in this document may vary. You can get the latest version from the Microsoft Store.
Use the Reset your PC feature to permanently remove all personal files, software you have installed, and to return the computer to factory settings.
Use the following steps to reset your computer from the Start screen:
  1. From the Start screen, type reset to open the Search charm, and then select Remove everything and reinstall Windows from the search results.
    Figure 1: Search for reset
    Image of reset search results
    The Update and recovery window opens.
  2. Under Remove everything and reinstall Windows, click Get started.
    Figure 2: Update and Recovery
    Image of Remove everything and reinstall Windows selected
  3. On the Reset your PC screen, click Next.
    Figure 3: Reset your PC
    Image of the Reset your PC screen
  4. If prompted, insert your Windows 8 installation disc or recovery media.
  5. If your computer has more than one drive installed, you must select whether you want to reset only the drive where Windows is installed, or reset all drives. Make your selection, and then click Next.
  6. Next you will be asked if you want to fully clean your drive. When you remove your files, you can also clean the drive so that the files cannot be easily recovered. Select either Just remove my files or Fully clean the drive. Then click Next.
    Figure 4: Choosing the cleaning level
    Image of cleaning level options
  7. On the Ready to reset your PC screen, click Reset.
    CAUTION:Your personal files and settings will be destroyed by performing this step. Make sure you have backed up all your important files on another drive before performing a reset. If you need help backing up your files, you might want to contact a professional data recovery service.
    Figure 5: Ready to reset your PC
    Image of Ready to reset your PC
  8. Wait while Windows resets your computer. This might take awhile, and your computer will restart.
    Figure 6: Resetting your computer
    Image of the resetting your computer screen
If Windows cannot open to the Start screen but opens to the Choose an option screen, you can still use Reset your PC to permanently remove all personal files, software you have installed, and to return the computer to factory settings.
Use the following steps to reset your computer when Windows opens to the Choose an option screen:
  1. On the Choose an option window, click Troubleshoot.
    Figure 7: Choose an option
    Image of Choose an option screen with Troubleshoot selected
  2. Click Reset your PC.
    Figure 8: Reset your PC
    Image of the Troubleshoot screen with Reset your PC selected
  3. On the Reset your PC screen, click Next.
    CAUTION:Your personal files and settings will be destroyed by performing this step. Make sure you have backed up all your important files on another drive before performing a reset. If you need help backing up your files, you might want to contact a professional data recovery service.
    NOTE: If an error appears stating Unable to reset your PC. A required drive partition is missing. Reset your PC will not work. Instead, perform an HP System Recovery .
    Figure 9: Reset your PC
    Image of the Reset your PC screen
  4. Read and respond to any screens that open.
  5. Wait while Windows resets your computer. This might take awhile, and your computer will restart.

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