How can I get it to update/refresh its window the way it's supposed to? I'm using windows 8 and I was able to get blender to work before, but after reinstalling windows 8 and blender, blender won't update/refresh its window unless I move, resize, maximize, or unminimize it. This makes blender completely unusable. I have already tried reinstalling blender and turning my computer off and on again.
I had a similar, but perhaps not identical issue.
In File->User Preferences->System, changing Window Draw Method to Triple Buffer from Automatic fixed it for me.
I suggest fiddling with all the Window Draw Method options, if that fails.
I encountered this exact issue, but on Windows 10. Blender started behaving that way after I turned on high contrast color mode in the Windows appearance settings, and was back to normal when I turned it back off. No idea if that is applicable to your situation, but might help someone else searching the issue.