Microsoft introduced two new settings -Refresh your PC and Restore your PC- in Windows 8 developer preview lets you repair and reinstall windows without the need of Win8 installation disc. Furthermore System Restore feature is different from these which lets you restore your system to initial state/working  condition. Don’t get confused with these settings, here is a detailed explanation on what changes will happen to your PC when you apply them.

Windows 8 Advanced Boot Options (Including Safe Mode)

Refresh your PC vs. Reset your PC

With Refresh Your PC

1. Your files and personalization settings won’t change i.e. the below features stays the same

  • Personalization settings such as start menu background color and lock screen
  • Network setting such as your wireless network connection
  • Libraries settings
  • Windows Update settings
  • Customer experience improvement program settings
  • Windows error reporting settings.

2. Your PC settings will be restored to their defaults : Your PC will go back to most of its original settings. However, this won’t affect any choices you made during Windows welcome, such as Computer name and user accounts.

3. Applications came installed on your PC and apps from windows store will be kept and other apps you installed will be removed. You need to manually install those removed apps after refresh.

RecImg Manager : Restore and Reinstall Windows 8 without losing Installed Programs and Personal Files

With Reset your PC

1. Personal files and apps will be removed:  Windows installed drive will be completely reset. Your files and apps will be removed from the drive, Windows will be reinstalled.

2.  Your PC settings will be restored to their defaults.

Refresh your PC
Reset your PC
Files and personalization settings will be keptPersonal files and apps will be removed
Except Windows apps and apps came with Windows other user installed apps will be removed All the apps including from the Windows app store will be deleted.
PC settings restored to defaultsSame

How to Create A Recovery Image for Windows 8