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Refresh/Recimg.exe Gone Missing in Win10

If you’ve been reading this blog lately, you’ve seen my recent discovery that duplicate or outmoded drivers in the Windows 10 DriverStore can unnecessarily bulk up the size of the RecoveryImage folder that Windows 10 builds each time an upgrade or clean install is performed (if not, check out the list of links at the end of this post for those pointers). I’ve been noodling away at this lately, and have learned that RecoveryImage also applies to the “Reset this PC” option available in (Settings, Update & Security, Recovery) as well. I sort of figured this might also tie into the Refresh this PC facility familiar to those who’ve worked with various Windows 8 versions (nicely documented in Steven Sinofsky’s “Refresh and reset your PC” post in the Building Windows 8 blog).

Windows 10 does not recognize the recimg.exe (“record image” AFAIK) program at all!

Once I realize that the RecoveryImage files played into the refresh/reset paradigm, I figured that I might be able to delete the bloated version on my desktop test PC (~20GB) as compared to the more svelte version on my Venue 11 Pro tablet (2.38GB). But alas, when I went to build a custom refresh image to replace the reset image created during Windows install for Build 10130, I discovered that recimg.exe was nowhere to be found and thus also unusable for that purpose, as shown in the preceding screen cap. Sigh.

Of course, I can (and still do) continue to rely on image backup through the Windows 10 OS (more easily accessed through the Control Panel widget named aailable since Build 10122. But it doesn’t offer the incredible convenience of “Refresh your PC” which replaces only OS components and app installs it encompasses, while leaving files, preferences, and settings alone. I sincerely hope MS has merely turned this feature off for the technical preview, and plans to add it back in for RTM and GA releases of Windows 10. I’ve already fired off a couple of urgent Windows Feedback requests in that vein, and remain hopeful that somebody back at MS Galactic HQ is listening, and interested enough to act on this. If it’s gone for good in Win10, I’ll really miss it.

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