For the past couple of weeks my Win8 machine has been failing after updates were installed and the computer rebooted. Now Win8 does a much better job of gracefully blue screening, however anytime something like that happens it gets the blood flowing. At first I thought it might be a virus but after scanning my computer none were found. So after Win8 blue screens, it does some things to try and fix what ever is causing the issues, however if this does not work you are left with few options. The option that was getting me by was restoring my PC to a previous state, and this was getting me by until I started to turn off updates all together. Then on Memorial Day, weeks later after I had experienced any issues, I decided to start installing updates, but choosing the one I wanted installed. Once I hit one that required a reboot, I was back in the hole of having a dead computer. I was honestly having visions of taking my computer to a repair company, in fact I did call a couple but they were closed, so once I was home I decided to muscle through whatever I could to get my box running again. that is when I realized an option called Refresh Your PC. This option will remove installed programs but will not remove the files you loaded to disk. This was what I needed but how did it work? Here is what I did not have instructions on how to do:
My computer was useless, so the first step is to get the files (NOT ISO) for a fresh Win8 install loaded onto the root of a USB device. After you have the USB device ready, initiate "Refresh Your PC" and wait until prompted for media, then install the USB drive with the Win8 install files.
After the refresh is done, you will get a shortcut on your Win8 desktop that contains a list of all of the programs that have been removed. All of your personal files are safe, however I noticed was that I had LocalDB database files loaded in their default file path. If you are missing any files, you will notice a new folder, "Windows.Old" that you can search for any missing files.
I really got upset after this happened. I was so mad at Win8 since I have never had any issues with Windows Updates in the past, while using Win7. However I realized that Win8 did provide a nice way to recover the files I thought I might have lost and I was able to fix the issue without having to pay someone else to give me a hand. Overall I like Win8 and how easy it was to fix my computer. Now to open the list of deleted programs so I can start re-installing them.