Ok, so I get a call from a frantic client the other day telling me that she did a refresh in Windows 8 and now all of her programs are gone.  Unfortunately, I had to break the news to her that in fact they were gone and would have to be reinstalled.  Microsoft does not make that real clear in my opinion.  The process indicates that your “store apps will be kept, but any programs installed from discs or the web will be lost.”  Now, that does seem clear if you understand what is being said.  Sadly, many people do not understand the difference between store apps and desktop apps/programs in the new operating system.  Simply put, if you downloaded the program from the web or used an installation disc, they will vanish and you will have to reinstall them.  Office installed from a disc…later.  Quickbooks…gone.  Antivirus…poof!  Proprietary programs installed from disc…adios.   Your docs, pics…will however be kept.   Make sure you understand this before running the refresh function on your W8 machine.  With that being said, we can perform a command prompt procedure to create a custom refresh snapshot that will maintain your current state of things INCLUDING your programs.  Takes about an hour, inexpensive and well worth it.  http://www.shocknetcomputerrepair.com/