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!
"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).
This is basically an Acer recovery CD complaint that means “Waaaah! This drive has stuff on it! I can’t handle this!”
Again a complaint of some kind. Clean up the disk and boot from recovery. It will work eventually!