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Windows 8.1 - 'Refresh/Reset' or Clean Install

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#1 Luke702uk



  • Joined: 23-February 06

Posted 07 February 2014 - 09:37



I have a machine currently running Windows 8.1. It's starting to run a little slow and in need to a clean install of Windows. As I only have an upgrade licence for Windows 8, doing a clean install (without re installing Windows 7, then upgrading to 8) is a bit of a pain. I have used upgrade media to do a clean install before but had problems activating using the upgrade key. 


I remember that Windows 8 now has a reset option, which after looking online sounds to be exactly the same as doing a clean install anyway. Does anyone know if this is the case or if there are any advantages of doing a clean install using the install media rather than just using the 'reset' option in Windows 8?


Many thanks.


#2 Xerxes


    Neowinian Senior

  • Joined: 06-January 04
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
  • OS: Win8.1, OSX 10.10
  • Phone: Galaxy S4 LTE-A

Posted 07 February 2014 - 10:21

I did a reset on my sister's laptop (upgraded to Win8.1 using upgrade license only) and it worked perfectly fine. It's essentially the same as formatting your PC and reinstalling it from scratch. The refresh option, however, well I could never get that to work properly, always get errors. What it's suppose to do (from what I can gather) is a repair install of Windows (it leaves your files and modern apps alone and deletes everything else, including desktop apps) and puts it back to factory defaults. 


EDIT: That reset was done using only Win8 media and it activated fine, not an issue. If it for some reason fails to activate, just ring the activation line and they'll activate it for you no problem (I've had to do that too on my own PC).

#3 OP Luke702uk



  • Joined: 23-February 06

Posted 07 February 2014 - 11:34

Many thanks. I will have to try this.



The reason I was unsure if because the install media I have was the upgrade offer that was run for Windows 7 users who bought a new PC around the time that Windows 8 was realised. I was under the impression that the installer checked which version of Windows was currently installed and would not accept the serial number if it detected a Windows 8 installed.


I had this issue when trying to do reinstall Windows on an old desktop which had Windows 7 installed. I used the upgrade media to do a clean install and it would not accept the serial. This is before the activation stage, during the installation. I had to install without entering a serial then had problems activating once in Windows.