Acer Aspire Recovery

I have been trying to restore an Acer Aspire 5310. The laptop had not had its recovery CD built, would not boot with a registry error and the BIOS had a password that was unknown.

Don’t despair you can restore Vista. Now the bad news is that if there is no recovery media or recovery console setup you will need to restore the whole system.

Hirens Boot CD is your friend but take care as different tools do different things and not all good!

First thing to try is to simply boot into the recovery partition. Use Paragon Partition Manager In the partition tools section to set the first partition active. Check the type of the partition is 07h at the same time. If you are lucky it will boot into the recovery partition and all will be well. If not read on.

I got a number of errors during this process which I found fixes to but basically the Acer installer is rather fussy. It does not like other OS on the HD, nor other partitions, basically it must be a clean disk.

So the next thing to try is open Paragon Partition Manager from the boot disk; reformat the C: partition to FAT32. Check that it is not hidden and mark as inactive. Check the recovery partition is not hidden, is active and of type 07h. Reboot and hopefully that is it. If not the only further advice I have is to delete all partitions (except recovery partition) and build a single FAT32 partition set the recovery partition as before and cross everything you have!

Errors:
"cannot find file:C:\D2D\Images\*.WSI","Restore failed-reason 0xa0000001"

The recovery partition (PQSERVICE) had a type of 12 (which is Compaq diagnostics). What I had to do was make PQSERVICE partition type to 7 (HPFS/NTFS).

Error 0xd0000017

This is basically an Acer recovery CD complaint that means “Waaaah! This drive has stuff on it! I can’t handle this!”

0xa0000003

Again a complaint of some kind. Clean up the disk and boot from recovery. It will work eventually!

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4 Responses to Acer Aspire Recovery

  1. MaDoGK says:

    Finally getting some where with this damn thing, thanks for pointing me in the right direction!

  2. ouinonoui says:

    Hi, this information has been invaluable to me. thank you very much!

    Maybe it is now necessary to say that the paragon partition manager is now not available on the hiren boot cd, and hasn’t been since version 10 (currently v15 at time of writing). I had to look a bit harder to find that version. Here is the direct link to version 10 – http://hirensbootcd.mirror.triple-it.nl/Hirens.BootCD.10.0.zip

    “to set the first partition active…” Paragon Partition Manager – Menu/Partition/Modify/ set to active

    “make unhidden…” Paragon Partition Manager – Menu/Partition/Modify/ unhide
    (this was greyed out until I had changed the partition type, see below)

    “check the type of partition…” Paragon Partition Manager/Menu/Partition/Modify/ Partition ID – Just type 07.

    The drive had become NTFS at some time (it had had windows 7 on it as a trial) and I just could not get Paragon Partition to work. So, with the windows 7 disk, I went to install, custom/advanced and checked my PQSERVICE partition was still there. It was. So, I deleted the other partitions and just left the PQSERVICE. I went back to the boot disk, and checked the partition type and hidden statuses, and they had reverted back to 12 and hidden. So, creating a partition with Paragon (not, as I first thought, formatting the PQSERVICE partition-no,no,no!!!!) of the type FAT32, and setting the 1st partition to active and unhidden, and type 07, (again) – after a reboot, it totally worked.

  3. DJB says:

    Thanks for the info – helped solved a similar problem.

  4. JJS says:

    Thank you for this. I tried to upgrade this computer for the customer but the windows 7 activation kept saying that it could not activate. After I phoned Microsoft, it was discovered that the key was already used so I decided to restore the PC back to Vista. Needless to say, it would not work until I found your web page. I used the Hiren disk but I used Gparted from the DOS menu which gives you quite a nice Linux user interface and if you are familiar with Gparted, then you can follow your advice and use it to set the drive up as you suggest with a fat 32 partition and set the diagnostic partition to boot. At first I had trouble formating the partition to fat32 so I created it as an NTFS partition then formated it to fat32 but it all worked out in the end.

    I’m just letting the recovery run now and hop that its intact 😉 Everything crossed and thanks again.

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