The System Restore process was improved for Windows 8. The following compares the new approach with an advanced third party recovery tool.
QUOTE: In theory, if you screw up your settings or otherwise run into trouble, the Windows System Restore feature can put things right. In my years of experience, however, I’ve found that using System Restore causes more problems than it resolves. The new Refresh feature in Windows 8 is intended as a better kind of System Restore, and the Reset feature should reset your Windows 8 installation to a pristine out-of-box installation.
When you run Windows 8 Refresh, it keeps your files and personal settings but restores all Windows settings to their defaults. Applications that you installed from disk will be removed and logged; apps from the Windows Store will remain. Mehta found that the process took about 30 minutes. It turns out that apps from the Windows Store actually do get removed during the process, but it reinstalls them automatically. It also removed all Windows updates, so he had to reinstall those. And it gave the first-time treatment to each user account, rebuilding the profile and offering a Windows 8 tutorial.