There was a problem resetting your PC - new Windows 8 laptop problem


I just bought a brand new Windows 8 laptop but it was the demo model so I want to reset it to factory settings before using it, but I keep getting the message "There was a problem resetting your PC". The refresh option works fine, it's just resetting that I'm having issues with.

Any ideas?

I was having the exact same problem resetting my new HP Envy dv6 series laptop, and nothing seemed to work.... I uninstalled and reinstalled updates and drivers, tried fixing the registry, and just about gave up when I stumbled across something that finally worked.  Your mileage may vary, as this seems to use an HP-based tool, but other laptops probably have some similar software.

1.  First, go to the Windows 8 settings menu from the charms bar

2.  Then select the "General" option on the left, and select "Advanced Startup" at the bottom to restart

3.  Now, after the laptop boots up to the blue options screen, select "Troubleshoot", and then select "Advanced Options", and then "UEFI Firmware Settings".  Selecting reset or refresh from the options screen always gave me the error message and it was back to square one. 

4.  Now, I get an ASCII Startup Menu with several function-key choices including "System Recovery", which is what I chose.  

5.  Now, I am then prompted for my keyboard layout, and then I get another blue "Choose an option" screen a little different than the one in step 3, and select "Troubleshoot", but then "Recovery Manager", and "Windows 8".

6.  I get HPs Recovery manager menu, where one of the options is "Minimized Image Recovery" which restores the OS to a minimal factory state.  Select that one, and wait about 45 minutes while the HP Software installation tool does its thing.  It seems to take a bit longer to reset the system this way than it does the usual way for some reason, but you don't get near the amount of bloatware.

I don't entirely understand why this works, and the usual way of resetting the OS doesn't, but I'm guessing that something gets messed up in the registry or some config file, preventing Windows 8 from using some of the system tools.  Selecting the UEFI Firmware Settings, however, gives us a way to launch system tools from the recovery partition.  I'd be curious if anyone else gets this to work, and/or has some insight why it works.

In any case, I think this is major design flaw: the capability to reset/restore the OS should not be heavily dependent on the installed OS, since people usually want to do this only after the OS itself is messed up.  Also, the fact that you have to plow through so many menus to find the right solution is also an indicator of poor design (this critique applies to much of Windows 8).


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Question Info

Last updated May 20, 2020 Views 71,859 Applies to: