Windows 8 Developer preview offers two built-in settings Refresh your PC and Reset your PC, Reset removes all data, settings, apps (both metro & desktop) formats the drive reinstalls OS freshly, where Refresh reinstalls Windows keeping all data, settings and apps (only metro apps).  Most of users prefer Refreshing your PC option as no one  wants loose the data, but all your desktop apps you installed will be lost with Refreshing.

Windows 8 Beta and current developer preview offers recimage.exe command-line tool which allows to create recovery image for your Windows 8 PC which restores your desktop apps also along with settings, personal data, metro apps when you perform Refreshing your PC setting.

Creating Recovery image in Windows 8

If you’ve installed Windows 8 freshly and gone through Windows first-run experience to configure basic settings, installed desktop apps you use most often if you’re all set then you’re ready to create custom image of system which you can restore with Refresh your PC setting.

Open Command prompt with admin privileges 

Type  mkdir C:\RefreshImage and press enter to create directory to store the image.

Now  use recimg -CreateImage C:\RefreshImage command to create the image which will be registered to used when you Refresh your PC.

Windows 8 recovery image creation

It may take more time for the image to be created depends on the data it has to process, you should be patient.