How to Use System Recovery Options - dummies

By Mark L. Chambers

Take full advantage of the Windows 8 System Restore utility. But if your PC is in truly bad shape and you can’t run the System Restore program, your next step is likely to run the Windows 8 System Recovery Options, which you can activate from your Windows 8 installation DVD, from the PC Settings screen, or during the boot cycle:

  • If your computer has System Recovery Options preinstalled — as many PCs from major manufacturers do — it’s one of the options available when you press and hold F8 just before Windows 8 begins loading (before you see the Windows logo).

  • If you can display the Charms bar, click the Settings button and click the Change PC Settings link to display the PC Settings screen. Click General in the list at the left and then click the Restart Now button in the Advanced Startup section in the right pane.

  • If the System Recovery Options weren’t preinstalled on your PC, you need to use your Windows 8 Installation disc. Load the disc in your DVD drive and reboot, and then press any key during the boot process to start Windows 8 from the DVD.

Click Troubleshoot and click Advanced Options to display your System Recovery options. Besides System Restore, they include

  • Automatic Repair: A basic replacement of critical system files, Startup Repair is helpful if the data on your PC’s hard drive was damaged by viruses or your Windows 8 system files have been corrupted by a disk error. Always try Automatic Repair before you turn to System Image Recovery (or the procedures in the next section).

  • System Image Recovery: You can choose to restore your entire hard drive from a backup image.

  • Command Prompt: For those familiar with the DOS command line, you can perform simple file management and run command-line programs.

  • Startup Settings: If you need to restart your PC in Safe mode, click the Startup Settings button and then select Restart.