The launch of Windows 8.1 on Thursday has not been completely trouble free. I have already reported that Microsoft has pulled the Windows RT 8.1 update for unknown reasons. Now there's word that some people who updated from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 no longer have any refresh or reset options.
when you upgrade to Windows 8.1, you cannot refresh or reset your PC due to missing installation files. To make matters worse, Microsoft stubbornly refuses to provide any ISO image or recovery files to go along with the Windows Store upgrade. However, the good news is that Microsoft is providing an ISO of Windows 8.1 to any users for free. This ISO is the Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation for IT professionals. And because all Windows 8 ISOs contains the files necessary to install any edition of Windows, you can use the Enterprise evaluation ISO to refresh or reset your Windows 8.1 PC!
Please follow the steps to restore the refresh and reset functionality to Windows 8.1
Tutorial Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Step 1: Download the Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation ISO
Please download the Windows 8.1 Enterprise ISO from the link above. Remember, you MUST download the version (32-bits or 64-bits) that match your current install of Windows 8.1!
Step 2: Mount the ISO Image
Right-click on the ISO image you downloaded and click “Mount”. Then, open “My Computer” aka “This PC” and double click on the ISO image you mounted.
Step 3: Locate and Copy Install.wim
Once you have double clicked on the mounted ISO image from “My Computer” aka “This PC”, go to the “Sources” folder. In that folder locate a file called “install.wim”. Right-click on it and click “Copy” to copy the file to the clipboard.
Step 4: Setup the Refresh Folder
Open “This PC” and go to the C drive. There, create a new folder called Win8 (You can call it whatever you want, actually. Just remember to replace ‘Win8′ with the name you have given it in the steps below).
Paste the Install.wim file you copied earlier in this folder.
Step 5: Some Command Prompt Magic
Open the search charm and type “CMD.exe”. Do not press enter. Right-click on the first result you get below the search box and choose “Run as Administrator”.
Once a Command Prompt window opens, type the following commands:
reagentc.exe /setosimage /path C:\Win8 /target c:\Windows /Index 1
That is all you have to type. Press enter.
It should say:
Directory set to: \\?\GLOBALROOT\device\hardisk0\partition2\Win8
REAGENTIC.EXE: Operation Successful.
Please replace “Win8″ if you named that folder something else. Also, if your copy of Windows is installed on a different lettered drive, replace the letter c with the appropriate letter in ”C:\”.
Step 6: Refresh or reset your PC from PC settings
Now, whenever your PC is not running well, you can use the refresh and reset functionality in PC Settings.