Earlier Windows versions had fewer startup options. There was Safe Mode and VGA mode, and you could enable boot logging or debugging mode.
There was also the Last Known Good Configuration.
The Advanced Boot Options for Vista and Windows 7 was even better. You could change your PC to no longer reboot automatically after a system crash right from the startup options. And in addition to the original options, you could now run Memory Diagnostics, System Restore, and even automatically repair many common problems from the advanced startup options.
The new windows 8 is on the way, there’s no question about that. A lot of people dislike it already, even though it just got released to manufacturers, and won’t be available to new PC buyers for months. Fortunately, when your computer isn’t running right, you’ll really appreciate just how advanced the new advanced startup options are for Windows 8.
Advanced Startup Options in Windows 8 add several new features which give you some great options for fixing your PC. They are:
Refresh is a heavy duty cleaning of your computer, but leaves your personal data intact. It also removes programs in the classic desktop mode. However, you keep the Metro programs that you installed from Windows Store. Personalization settings (desktop background, screen resolution, picture password) are kept. PC Settings (network settings, hardware drivers, windows features) are removed or set to defaults.
Reset is the equivalent of doing a factory reset. It brings your computer back to the way it was when you got it, or at least when it was new. All programs have to be reinstalled, and your personal data is gone, unless you do a backup for your data before using this option. Windows 8 gives you very clear warnings about what’s about to happen to your data if you proceed.
In fact, you’re actually given two options when you’re doing a Reset. You can either remove the files, or you can remove the files and “scrub the hard drive”, making it more difficult for somebody to recover the deleted files.
System Restore puts the PC settings back to the way they were at the last Restore Point. Restore Points are taken by the system before installing security and software updates. So after having your PC in operation for a while, you’ll have plenty of System Restore Points. This puts the settings back to the way they were, but it does not change any of your personal data.
System Image Recovery
System Image Recovery is a full restore from a backed-up System Image File. If you want a more customized restore option - one that can restore your operating system as well as installed programs, then a System Image Recovery is the ideal way to go. However, you’ll need an image to be used for the restore. This is usually done by organizations to deploy PC’s with all of their standard software installed.
Automatic Repair fixes a lot of problems for you. There are many issues that can keep your computer from starting up correctly. Misconfigured setting, or a hard drive that has a file error on it. This startup option scans for hundreds of files and settings, and if it finds a problem with one of them, it takes corrective action.
Command Prompt when you just need to have a little access. Sometimes all you need to do to fix a problem is to get to the command line. From there, you can run commands like NBTSTAT and IPCONFIG to help troubleshoot and repair the system.
Startup Settings includes all of the original Advanced Repair Options like Safe Mode. Engineers still need debugging mode, and sometimes reimaging, refreshing, or resetting is not the right fix. Safe Mode, Debugging Mode and Low Resolution Mode are still available from the Startup Settings section of the Advanced Startup Options menu.
The Advanced Startup Options in Windows 8 keeps all of the old favorites like Safe Mode and Debugging Mode, and adds in several new features that give some great options for fixing your PC yourself. By reading this now hope you will try them all when you have the new windows 8.
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