Accessing hidden system image backup and recovery functionality


In Windows 8, Microsoft has dramatically recast its storage and backup and recovery technologies while offering a familiar selection of other related tools that have appeared in Windows for years. This melding of the old and the new is, of course, a theme that runs throughout Windows 8, as is the notion of reimagining Windows itself. So while previous Windows versions included ways to recover data and the entire OS in the event of a disaster, in Windows 8 these tasks are more logically linked together. Because, after all, when you do have to resuscitate a PC, you want to resuscitate it all–your data included–and not just the OS.

To this end, Windows 8 includes technologies such as Storage Spaces, which keeps your data safe through hardware redundancy, and File History, a far more useful new take on the Previous Versions feature from older Windows versions that makes document and data backup and recovery automatic and highly graphical. Best of all, you can even combine Storage Spaces and File History into a single cohesive solution that not only backs up your crucial data but does so in a way that will survive hardware failures. It’s brilliant.

Windows 8 also reimagines PC recovery in ways that will astonish you. Thanks to the new Push Button Reset functionality that can return your Windows 8 install to its factory‑fresh condition, complete with a new car smell, you can also quickly recover all of your data, settings, and Metro‑style apps as well. And this process generally takes just minutes, not the half or full day such procedures would require with Windows 7 or the typical PC maker recovery solution. It’s night and day.

This chapter examines these technologies. In some cases, you will need to learn some new skills. Trust us, however; it’s worth doing.




We’re all about “new” here. But many Windows 7 recovery features do carry forward, mostly unchanged, in Windows 8. These include Windows Troubleshooting, the Problem Steps Recorder, System Protection, and System Restore.



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