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System recovery help!!


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#1 mikek215

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 02:07 AM

Not sure if I'm posting this in the right spot but here it goes.  I'm in desperate need of any kind of advice or assistance.  I tried to fix my wife's laptop for her, which I thought would be a walk in the park.  Here's my complicated situation (bare with me, it's a long story)

 

My wife bought a laptop (acer aspire 5515) that came with Vista, but the pawn shop she bought it from dumped Vista and installed Ubuntu.

 

Things were ok and she was getting use to it, but the frustration set in when she couldn't do everything she bought it for because it wasn't compatible with Windows files (she really flipped when she bought a new printer then realized she needed XP or higher for it).

 

So I found an old Gateway XP OS disk and told her I would remove Ubuntu and install XP for her.  Yeah it was a Gateway disk but figured if it would at least put Windows on it so she could work with the files she needed and use her new printer than that's all that mattered.  I was successful with installing XP on the laptop BUT a new problem occurred....no internet (lost drivers when it formatted for the XP install.....oopsie)

 

When the butt chewing was over I told her I would download the drivers and install them....well that didn't work out quite like I thought it would.....so yeah, I had another butt chewing coming my way.

 

After some mad searching online, I saw numerous people saying to call Acer and you can order recovery disk from them.  So I did, told them my story and asked for some Vista recovery disks.  Went through all that, dished out the money and asked the guy "will this Vista disk restore everything?" wireless drivers and all that? - He said they were upgrading me and sending me Windows 7 disk. (I thought, cool...something good coming out of all this)

 

Got the disk last week, followed instructions that came with them.  Everything was looking positive until the end of the install.  I got a "recovery failed. reason 0xd000000a.  After trying 3 more times I was about to throw it out the door.  Wondering if the motherboard was bad (which I read online that error could mean)  I figured I'd try to install XP again just to see if that would install....and it did so I know it can be done.

 

So I tried again, the same way....nothing.  Tried a couple different things....nothing.  Eventually I got the black screen of death.  I think the only option I have is to flash the BIOS (either that or take it to the dump)

 

With that long boring story said, my question is.  Being I installed XP on a laptop that came with Vista, do I have to download the XP BIOS from Acer?  or the Vista BIOS since that's what was on it originially?

 

And if I am able to get it up and running again, how the heck do I get these windows 7 disks to work??!!!! Or am I screwed??  I'd really hate to trash it (not to mention be out $50).

 

Thanks in advance and sorry for the long post, but wanted to let you all know what this laptop has been though hopefully it would help in guiding me in the right direction.

 

 



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#2 scotty_ncc1701

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 07:23 AM

Ok, presuming the computer's hard drive is just fine:

1.  I'm amazed that if you used a Gateway recovery disk(s), that it even let you use it.  At least on Toshibas, Dells and HPs, the ones I've had exposure to, won't let you use the recovery disk(s) if it's not the right system, including model.  That said, I'll continue.

2.  Usually, you can download the drivers from the manufacturer's site, as long as you know the make, model, etc of the computer, so attempt this first, before going any further.
2.1.  When I got my new computer on 2013_12_30 or 2013_12_31, I immediately went to the PC manufacturer's site, and downloaded all the software (drivers, etc) the the PC.  30 days later, when I bought a boxed copy of Windows 8.1, I used these drivers when I rebuilt my computer, after doing a NUKE AND PAVE.  So do this first for your wife's system.

3.  Depending on the computer manufacturer, sometimes the recovery disks will have the installation key on the CD jacket.  So the following presumes that this is the situation, when Acer sent you the CD/DVDs.

4.  Get a copy of Windows 7 from a friend, without his/her installation key.  Install Windows 7, using your key.  Make sure that you get the right version (64-bit or 32-bit) and also the right level (premimum, pro, etc).  After the Windows install is complete, check the Internet first.  Usually, Windows 7 will see the hard ethernet cable connection, with no further software... well at least it did for me.  Then install appropriate drivers, etc that you downloaded from the manufacturer's site that you need.  In my case, for example, I didn't install the webcam software, because I don't use it.

5.  The bios question is moot.  It shouldn't have an affect on what you're doing.  Changing from XP to Windows 7, on an 6-7 year old Toshiba wasn't an issue.  At one point, I even reverted back to Windows XP, just to see what would happen, and all was AOK.

6.  As for the $50 for the recovery disk, my suggestions are:
6.1.  Before you start the above, try the install one more time, and when it fails, take a picture of the screen.
6.2.  Get a hold of Acer, send them the picture, and demand replacement recovery disks at their cost.  Do this all in writing.  Why?  If they give you a hassle, you have documented proof of the situation, and you can push it to whatever level you want.
6.3.  If you get a hassle from the customer service reps, take a look at:

http://ecorporateoffices.com/AcerAmericaCorporation-2233

Best of luck.



#3 Roodo

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 09:57 AM

Is windows xp installed then? If so run a speccy and post the results

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/speccy/dl/193/



#4 mikek215

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 10:27 AM

Thanks Scotty.  I'll try the install one more time if I'm successful with flashing the BIOS (never done that before).  If I am able to do it correctly, I'm going to download every driver I can find for XP on Acer's site before I attempt the install.  Oh, and there was no key for the disks they sent me, which I thought was odd.

 

I called them to ask what was going on, but the guy said there was a setting that had to change and that I would need to talk to a tech.  After telling me it would cost X amount of money to do so, I told him forget it, I'll figure it out on my own.  I will take your advice and snap a picture if it fails again.

 

Roodo - XP is installed, or at least it was before I got the black screen at boot up.  I assume it's still on there.  If I get it up and running after flashing, I'll run a speccy.



#5 Roodo

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 10:41 AM

Don't flash the bios. Run the speccy first



#6 dc3

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 10:42 AM

Acer has a Upgrade Assistant Tool which explains very clearly what you need to do in the process of upgrading to Windows 7.  You need to read this.


Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#7 scotty_ncc1701

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 10:58 AM

Although I prefer Windows, some time back, my wife's laptop died, and she had to use an older desktop with LUBUNTU on it.  The minimum memory requirements are 128MB memory, etc.

I'm going to ask a question here, and please feel free to decline answering it.  In your post, you said "Things were ok and she was getting use to it, but the frustration set in when she couldn't do everything she bought it for because it wasn't compatible with Windows files (she really flipped when she bought a new printer then realized she needed XP or higher for it)".  What specifically is she having issue(s) with?

For instance, Office files can be opened by LibreOffice, and also saved as Office documents, with just a few minor exceptions.  My wife has played music files on LUBUNTU (and UBUNTU), looked at pictures created on Windows.  It has Firefox and/or Google Chrome installed (depending on the version), and bookmarks can be exported and imported.  This is just mentioning a few.

The only thing that can be a little hassle to set up is file sharing, but it is possible.  LUBUNTU (and UBUNTU) can access Windows partitions.  There is even a program called WHINE that will allow SOME windows programs to run on LINUX.  Now, I only experimented in a limited matter with  WHINE, but I know it can work, depending on the program.

Luckily, after I got my new computer, I gave my older laptop to my wife, and she's now back on Windows.  No disrespect, but I urge you to get off XP.

Best of luck.
 



#8 mikek215

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 11:01 AM

How do I run a speccy (or anything for the matter), if I can't do anything when it boots?  It turns on, I get a black screen and that's it.  I've hit F2, F12, Alt+F10, nothing happens.  All I see is a blinking cursor.

 

I've read the upgrade assistant, but I don't think that would help due to there is no upgrade option with the disks I received.  The instructions they sent said to put the system disk in and restart PC booting from disk.  I did that and the only options I had was "restore to factory default" and "exit".  So I went ahead and clicked on restore to factory.  Well that wiped everything off and that's when the problems started.



#9 mikek215

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 11:09 AM

As far as the incompatibility of window files, I couldn't tell you, I didn't ask for specifics.  I've never heard of Ubuntu until this so I was unaware of it being able to work with certain Windows files and programs.

 

No disrespect taken, it's all good.  I do want to get off XP, which is why I really want to get 7 installed and working. 



#10 Roodo

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 11:40 AM

Try this:

repartition and format the drive using the windows xp disk but do not install xp

Now use the acer recovery disk to install windows 7

 

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/313348

 

may work may not. The only reference I found for that acer error was either the drive is bad or acer told a person

with the same error to format the drive.



#11 mikek215

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 12:19 AM

Ok, I still have the black screen and can't do anything at all.  No function keys work nor does booting from disk.  I had a thought and wanted to run it by you all to get your opinions.  Since I can't see or do anything on the laptop, I was thinking about trying to hook the laptop hard drive up to my desktop (which is a dell).  I read online you can do it with an adapter, don't remember off top my head what it's called.

 

I should be able to access the laptop drive and format it that way shouldn't I?  Or if I hook it up and see that XP is still on it, can I download all the acer drivers and install them using my desktop?  Do you think that would get it back up and running?  At least to point where I can try the windows 7 install again.  Or would I still have what I believe to be a BIOS issue and get the black screen at boot up and still not be able to do anything?

 

I was going to try the windows 7 install on that drive using desktop too, but not sure if it would work being my desktop is a dell and laptop's an acer.  I'm guessing even though I'd be working with laptop drive, it would be looking at desktop specs which I'm sure don't meet windows 7 min requirements so install would probably fail.

 

Thanks again for all your help.



#12 dc3

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 10:44 AM

If the Windows 7 disc which you got from Gateway a installation disc or a upgrade disc?

 

Did they provide you with a product key for this disc?

 

As I understand it, in Windows XP the recovery disc access the i386 file which can be used to access the information to recover the operating system.

 

If this file is corrupt you will need a installation disc to reinstall the operating system.

 

You try using the instructions below to make a disc which will access the Recovery Console where you have a couple of useful options, like running chkdsk /r, fixboot or fixmbr.

 

XP Recovery Console bootable CD
 
How to make a bootable CD to access the Recovery Console.
 
Please download ARCDC from Artellos.com.
 
    * Double click ARCDC.exe
    * Follow the dialog until you see 6 options. Please pick: Windows Professional SP2 & SP3
    * You will be prompted with a Terms of Use by Microsoft, please accept.
    * You will see a few DOS screens flash by, this is normal.
    * Next you will be able to choose to add extra files. Select the Default Files.
    * The last window will allow you to burn the disk using BurnCDCC
 
Your ISO is located on your desktop.
 
You will need to burn the ISO image to a disc to create a bootable disc.
 
To burn a ISO file to a CD or DVD please downlaod ImgBurn and install it.
 
Insert blank CD or DVD into your CD/DVD drive.
 
Open ImgBurn, and click on Write image file to disc.
 
ImgBurn1_zps715cb1c2.png
 
Click on the Browse for a file icon:
 
ImgBurn2_zpsaea72ba9.png
 
Locate the ISO file you want to burn, and click on the Open button.
 
Click on the blue arrow to start burning the bootable CD.
 
imageburn11_zpse44f577b.png
 
In order to boot from this CD you may need to change the boot order in the BIOS so that the CD-ROM is the first device in the boot order.
 
Once you have booted from the CD you will come to a screen which will offer the options to Install or Repair, select R.
 
When you reach the command prompt type chkdsk /r then press Enter.  Please observe that there is a space between chkdsk and the forward slash r (/r).
 
Chkdsk has five stages which will display the percentage of each stage as it runs.  This can take a very long time to run, it may even appear to have stalled.  Please do not stop this process as it can cause severe damage to the operating system.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 





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