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RT: What happened to recimg.exe?


New Member
Hi all,

For those who think the post title a bit cryptic, recimg.exe is the command-line executable that is used for the "Push Button Refresh" facility in regular Windows 8. You can see where this facility is accessed in the GUI by selecting "Settings, Change PC Settings, General" on both regular Windows 8 and RT. Scroll down to the two options "Refresh your PC..." and "Remove everything..." The first of these preserves all your Modern applications, personal files and preferences whist setting Windows back to its out-of-the-box state, if your PC manufacturer provided one. Useful! The second just restores Windows, ready for you to pass on the PC.

Note this looks and works identically on both W8 and RT. However...

On a regular Windows 8 PC there's a command-line equivalent, recimg.exe. That allows you to take a snapshot in the form of a wim file, and to choose a folder to write it to. By default, that newest snapshot is subsequently used by the GUI version to perform restores.

If you don't want "Refresh your PC..." and "Remove everything..." to use that newest wim, (perhaps you really do want to go back to the oobe), then you need to use the options of the recimg.exe utility. Theses options are not available in the GUI. You also can't create a custom refresh image using the GUI.

To create a custom refresh image using the current state of your Windows 8 installation you would use the recimg.exe program with the following syntax:
recimg.exe /createimage <folder>

Using this syntax, if we wanted to create a new refresh image and save it to the C:\custom-refresh\12-12-12-4-41-PM, I would use the following command:
recimg.exe /createimage C:\custom-refresh\12-12-12-4-41-PM

Note: If there are spaces in your folder path, you must enclose the path in quotes. For example, recimg.exe /createimage "C:\custom refresh\12-12-12-4-41-PM"

If there were no error messages, you will now see that there is a file called CustomRefresh.wim inside the folder you specified. This is the custom refresh image that you just created. When you create a custom refresh image using the above process, Windows will automatically register that image as the default one to use when you perform a refresh. This means that you do not have to do anything else to have Windows 8 use this image going forward.

You can confirm that this image is now the default refresh image by typing recimg.exe /showcurrent at the command prompt. This command will list the current image that will be used for a Windows 8 refresh.

If you wish to change back to the default Windows 8 refresh settings, which is to refresh your computer using your Windows DVD or through an image supplied by your manufacturer, you can enter the command recimg.exe /deregister and press Enter on your keyboard. If it is successful, the command will display the message: RecImg: Operation completed successfully.

Finally, if you have multiple images it is also possible to specify which image you want to use as your default refresh image. To do this you would use the following command syntax:
recimg.exe /setcurrent <folder>

Using this syntax, if we wanted to specify a different custom refresh image that is located in the c:\custom-snapshots\10-15-12-02-16-PM folder we would use the following command:
recimg.exe /setcurrent c:\custom-snapshots\10-15-12-02-16-PM
Note: When using /setcurrent, you should only specify the path to the folder that contains the image you want to use. You should not include the image name itself as part of the argument.

Once you type the command and press Enter on your keyboard, the custom refresh image that is stored in the specified folder will now become the current refresh image. If the image is assigned properly, the command will display the message: RecImg: Operation completed successfully.

So you can see that using the command-line version of the tool on Windows 8 considerably enhances its usefulness.

Now, finally to get to my point - where is recimg.exe in RT? I've searched the entire disk and cannot find it.

My RT is running very well with quite a few tweaks and I'd love to be able to restore it to just that state if it is messed up in the future

Anyone shed any light on this?



Well-Known Member
@ Richard...

As for your original question, no, I don't have the foggiest idea...But noting your penchant for detail (at least as per your post above), I would be interested to know what tweaks you have made to your RT - if can share them, that is.