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12-16-12, 06:00 PM
http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/blue-screen1-640x340.png The blue screen of bringing your PC back to life.


When it comes to backing up and restoring your PC, Windows 8 took a few steps forward and a few steps back.

Your settings and apps in the new tablet-y interface (yeah, we're still calling it Metro (http://arstechnica.com/features/2012/10/windows-8-and-winrt-everything-old-is-new-again/)) are automatically backed up if you use a Microsoft account. That means when you restore your PC, all of the Metro stuff comes back exactly the way you remember it. This has limitations‚??your desktop applications, anything that wasn't downloaded from the Windows Store, are wiped when performing the most easily accessible type of restore in Windows 8. Beyond Metro, all you get is a file on your desktop listing the applications you've lost.

There's also a new backup tool on the desktop side of things, but this has its limits too. Called File History, it lets you automatically back up files to a network drive or cable-connected external hard drive every 10 minutes. As Peter Bright explained in an article last summer, (http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/07/a-step-back-in-time-with-windows-8s-file-history/) File History's arrival was paired with the exit of Shadow Copies. This was a useful tool that let users revert to previous versions of files without needing to connect an external drive, and now it's gone.


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