So I got a request from my neighbor yesterday to try and fix their Laptop, an Acer Aspire. According to them Windows 8 was installed although I don't know if 8 or 8.1. Some time ago the Laptop showed an error message but did not shut-down or froze or so.They had to turn it off anyways about the time the message appeared so they just regularly shut it down. Since then it did not boot again.
While UEFI Boot Mode was set in the Bios it would show the Acer logo for about 20-30 minutes without any reference of how to enter the Bios (F2). After 20-30 minutes a message would appear, black background, blue box saying 'boot manager failed'. If you hit ok it will start the cycle again and end in a loop. So I started it again and hit F2 for 20 minutes until the Bios showed up and changed the
Boot mode to Legacy Boot. I saved and restarted.
This time it would only take a few seconds to boot and it would also show me when to press F2 to get into Bios. So the two modes clearly differ. They also differ in the error message. For Legacy Boot mode it does not tell me about a boot manager but displays that no bootable device was found and I should enter a boot disc. I also set a Bios security password and disabled the secure boot as some said this would cause some problems with boot sticks. I do not have a Windows 8.1 CD...well I do have one but I don't know where it is but I got a Windows 8.1 recovery disc that was in the package with my custom designed PC. I started the computer with this and it would show the Windows Logo and the small circle moving below it only to switch to a dark but still illuminated window. The screen is not off, the Laptop is still running. The hard drive is running and does not make any funny noises. I can also see the small blue LED going on and off indicating, that it is still doing something. But nothing is happening even after 2h. It would always just show the blue windows logo, then have the circle run for 1 minute and then it would not display anything else.
I also tried a boot stick made from the Windows 8.1 rescue software you can download on the net with the same results. And, because it may still be Windows 8.0 I also have a self made rescue stick back from when I had Windows 8.0. It would boot the same and also end in a black screen.
I then used Parted Magic to boot it via Linux to save their data. I once had a boot issue with my PC and was able to boot it via Linux using this tool. So I set up another stick and it would show the first line of the software. Indicating the software, license and creator and then the blinking cursor in the next line. But it does not continue from there. It will always just continue to flash for hours before I turn it off. So it seems I can get into Bios, it recognizes different bootable media. It launches them but then stops to work for some reason. It does not seem to freeze although the disc will stop to run after some minutes. My flash-drive has an LED and I can still see the light flashing on it and on the Laptop as if it was trying to do something.
Is there anything else I could try or is this probably the hard drive?
Also they are still trying to save their data and files. So installing a new version would be the last option for them no matter how complicated the fixing process might be. IS there any hope or should I tell them that it probably doesn't help.
Also, when I remove the disc or remove the stick no matter if it's after a minute of black screen or 2 hours it will give me a short blue-screen. I wasn't able to read it but it is this ' :-( your PC ran into a problem [...] '. blue screen and then it restarts. So it still seems to do something with the stick or disc and immediatly gives an error once it is removed. Does this tell my anything about the boot status?
Thank you all in advance for your help and suggestions,
Edited by hydrag, 09 April 2018 - 03:01 PM.