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I have an Acer Aspire E700 desktop, currently running Vista Home Premium with SP2.

I'm in a pickle. My system files have become corrupt; I have done 3 different attempts to do an in-place upgrade. Nothing seems to fix the problem. I have been working with a Microsoft Tech who has graciously stuck with it trying to help me resolve the problem.
We have come to the conclusion that the hard drive is on the verge of failing.

I bought a new hard drive over Thanksgiving. I don't have the money to buy a new OS, so I thought I could just use the repair CD's that the Tech sent me to reinstall Vista onto the new hard drive. Evidently it's not that cut and dried. It seems that because this is an OEM I lose the connection to the OEM license the minute I change hard drives. I figured ok, I'll just roll it back to original factory setting; make a copy of the OEM starter version, then when I reinstall it to the new drive, I would install that first and the OEM license would be recognized. Nice plan but that didn't work. ALT F10 is supposed to take me to the recovery console. It doesn't do a thing. I've pushed every F key on here and can't get there.

When I contacted Acer support (and this is where a smiley rolling on the floor laughing would come in handy) They said it was out of warranty and they couldn't help. 3 years ago I paid over $900 for this computer and because it's 3 months past their warranty they can't help. They said I could get paid assistance but they couldn't guarantee they could fix the problem. I thanked them (again smiley on floor laughing) for their assistance and told them to shove it.

The Acer eRecovery files are in the computer files, but something has to be wrong with them. I do have a backup of all of my files but they are from 2009, not 2007. However I did find a few (Acer) files on the backup that are not in the computer files now. One is called Acer INC. Inside it is a file listed as eRecovery, in that is a file with D2D?? The actual "eRecovery Folder" is in a separate place. It's with the management tools.

Nobody told me I needed a "original backup" CD, I thought that was what the eRecovery was for. I figured if I needed one it would have come in the box, my old HP came with one. Not Acer, that might have cost $1.00 to make, and heaven forbid we cut the profit margin that much on a $900 machine.
So, is there any way to roll this sucker back and make the stupid CD that I should have made when I bought this thing?? Or, am I truly UP THE CREEK???

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Last Post by PhilliePhan
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So, is there any way to roll this sucker back and make the stupid CD that I should have made when I bought this thing?? Or, am I truly UP THE CREEK???

You may well be up the creek.....

--- We can try a few things. First, though, it would be best if you "cloned" your HD (make a copy of the old drive onto your new HDD) with a tool such as Acronis_True_Image_Home_2011

I think the free trial ought to allow you to do this. Then, remove the old drive and we'll do all our "work" on the cloned image on your new hard drive. That way, if we mess something up, we still have the original drive to fall back on....

Let me know if you have any trouble - I'll try to check back in a timely manner.

Cheers :)
PP

Edited by PhilliePhan: n/a

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Hi PP
Thanks for replying. I have Acronis for WD. Western Digital offers it for free for use with their hard drives. The problem is I can't get it to verify an image. I also have Macrium Reflect. Does the same thing, that I paid for, but they too have a free version. Neither will give me a verifiable image. I have run from safe mode and gotten a verifiable image, but was told by WD not to trust it if it won't verify when I pull it back up. Again, same thing with Macrium. That is on my boot menu so I ran it from there before even booting up. When I pull it up from the external hard drive to see if it will verify it doesn't. I've run checksum after checksum, but because the internal files keep fluctuating they won't pass either.
The reason Microsoft was willing to help me (because they don't support OEM installed Windows) was because they were intrigued by what was happening. As I mentioned my files seem to change at will. Meaning I can run SFC get one set of results, reboot run it again and the results will be completely different. SFC seems to fix some of the problem files but an equal amount (3) replace them. There are 2 remain consistent. They have something to do with the "Windows installer". Out of frustration I deleted the whole pile of them. I can run a new report, but I doubt it will do any good.
I've run every kind of virus, malware scan known to man kind. A few trivial cookies is all it finds. I've been battling this for over a year now. It wasn't until this past week I said the heck with it. I'll just thrown in a new HD and reinstall the thing.
I read on one site that IT professionals generally have software that allows them to access the OEM and restore it. Unfortunately when I tried to find it, the thing was totally outdated. It was for Windows 95 and 98.
Right now the key seems to lay in getting at the original OEM files in the hidden partition. Without those, the new hard drive won't be of much value until I can afford $300 for the retail version of Windows 7.

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Right now the key seems to lay in getting at the original OEM files in the hidden partition. Without those, the new hard drive won't be of much value until I can afford $300 for the retail version of Windows 7.

Yeah - therein lies the difficulty...

You can probably locate and copy them via a Knoppix disk. Heck, Parted Magic is essentially the same thing and should do it.
Thing is, I'm not sure how to make it actually useable....

I did manage to dig up an old link which popped into my brain when I read your thread:
http://laptop-support.org/OS-backup-and-install-review/the-acer-d2d-erecovery-101.html
I'm not so sure about the veracity of the info - see if it makes any sense to you.

Other than that, I would imagine you've tried much of what I could suggest....

PP:)

Edited by PhilliePhan: Fixed Linky

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restore to a previous date often works but if files corrupted may not,I need to do similar to my XP so will be looking at what advice you are given

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System Restore does not work. I don't mean that restoring to a different time doesn't work. I mean System Restore itself doesn't work. The file has problems, besides it wouldn't go back 3 years worth.

What exactly is the PQServices? I know that it is a protected partition as is most of the Data Partition. Macrium Reflect allowed me to copy them to the external HD. I just don't know if it has to be an image of it or if the actual files will do.

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What exactly is the PQServices? I know that it is a protected partition as is most of the Data Partition. Macrium Reflect allowed me to copy them to the external HD. I just don't know if it has to be an image of it or if the actual files will do.

I would try the actual files - The key is being able to get it to work with D2D....

Check this out:

I have a travelmate 8104 which may have a slightly different PQSERVICE partition, but here's what I found...

By default, the BIOS and Acer's MBR code (the software in your master boot record) work together to try to keep your PQSERVICE partition "hidden". Typically, you'll see that the PQSERVICE partition is type 12h - which is marked as a diagnostic partition type.

In actual fact, your partition is probably type 0Bh or type 0Ch (Fat32).

The problem is that if you attempt to change the partition type from 12h to 0Bh, if you boot the HD again, the MBR code will set it back to 12h.

I used a bootable CDROM (with a win98 command prompt and DOS utilities) to change the partition to 0Bh. I used Partition Magic's PTEDIT to change the partition type. Once changed, I rebooted BACK TO THE CDROM (you got to do this before allowing the system to boot the HD). Now on the CDROM boot again, I can now see the files on the PQSERVICE partition.

At this point, I cheated. I renamed the AUTOEXEC.BAT file on the PQSERVICE partition to AUTOEXEK.BAT (or anything else other than autoexec.bat). Once renamed, I can use the laptop's ability to boot directly into the service partition (Alt-F10 on the TM8104), but the special D2D recovery software will NOT run because it can't find autoexec.bat.

Once you do this, you'll be sitting at a DOS C:> prompt on your PQSERVICE partition. Not much you can really do here, except see what's there. WARNING: If you boot the PQSERVICE partition to the C:> prompt, do NOT just Alt-Ctrl-Del to reboot! You should run autoexek.bat, then just abort the recovery process - which will do a "clean" reboot. The reason for this is that when you boot the PQSERVICE partition with Alt-F10, the MBR code will mark your extended partition as hidden, and the ONLY thing that restores your extended partition back is some code in the autoexek.bat file near the end. If you just Alt-Ctrl-Del out of the PQSERVICE partition back to WinXP, you'll find you don't have a "D:" partition because it's hidden.

What I did was first change the PQSERVICE partition to 0Bh (so it's not hidden). Then I used the Norton Ghost 2003 master CD (it's bootable) to backup the PQSERVICE partition to a partition file on an external USB harddrive. If you try to backup the PQSERVICE partition with Ghost when it's partition type is 12h, it will backup, but Ghost is smart and will refuse to restore it. It seems that Ghost knows about partition type 12h and will not allow you to restore it. But, if Ghost backs it up as type 0Bh, it works both for backup and restore; and once restored, you can use PTEDIT (or any other low level sector editor) to change the type back to 12h again.

I was able to backup my PQSERVICE partition, and then I restored it onto a completely different (and 100% empty) harddrive. Once restored on the new HD, I retagged the partition as type 12h, and then invoked the D2D boot (Alt-F10). After it was all said and done, I was able to get the D2D PQSERVICE partition to re-create a WinXP C: partition and it seems to come alive and work just fine.

http://www.notebookforums.com/showpost.php?p=1824236&postcount=2


This might call for a little "trial and error" testing.

PP:)

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