TechSpot

Restore to factory setting doesn't work

By justgeorge
Dec 2, 2010
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  1. I'm in it to my knees. The long and short of it is I bought a new hard drive, mine is on the verge of failure. I thought I could use the Repair CD's I got from Microsoft to reinstall, then just re-register it with the OEM license. Acer tells me this isn't possible that the motherbd won't recognize it. They said it has to be done using the original OEM edition of Vista. I can't find it.

    I tried the next best thing, I was going to restore to factory settings and create a new copy, can't do the either because the eRecovery doesn't work. I've hit alt F10 until I'm blue in the face. I then went into computer files and checked the Acer files. eRecovery is there, it just doesn't work when I try booting to alt F10.
    I did find a backup of all of my Acer files that I made last year, the original is 2007. I checked it against what is on the computer. Sure enough some of the Acer files are missing. On the backup is a file called Acer Inc., inside it is another folder marked eRecovery, inside that is a application file called D2D??? Is that what opens the eRecovery environment? I contacted Acer, their response was. "You are out of warranty, for a fee we will be happy to help you although we can't guarantee results". In plain English, give us some money and go to hell.

    I can't even do an upgrade to windows 7 because I have to have the OEM license to back it up with. Without the OEM license the only other option I have is to spend $300 for the retail version. I sure as hell won't put Vista back in if I have to buy a new licensed copy of something.

    Anybody got any suggestions??
  2. pjamme

    pjamme TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 285

    George, Just a few thoughts to get started.

    Are you shure the old hard drive didn't have the recovery partition on it? That would explain a lot.
    eRecovery must be something like an Acer restore CD?? Can you boot to it with the famous hit any key when it tries to boot from CD? If it isn't booting to the CD then you need to get into the BIOS and make sure CD is first in boot order. If it still doesn't work, try cleaning the laser eye or replace your CDROM altogether.

    D2D normally stands for Disk to Disk

    As far as the OEM license there is almost always a MS Certificate of Authentification Sticker with the Product Key on it.
  3. justgeorge

    justgeorge TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Yes, the old hard drive does have a recovery partition, I just can't get into the darn thing. I don't have an Acer eRecovery CD to use. They claim they don't have them either. I find that hard to believe. This machine is only 3 years old. It came with Vista Home Premium on it, there have only added 2 service packs before Window 7 was released. How much space does a backup CD take. If I count right that would be 3, assuming all versions used the same method of eRecovery. Did I mention Acer sucks?
    I've hit every F key on here and nothing will take me into recovery mode.

    I have a sticker on the side of the machine with what looks like the MS license key. I was told that since this is an OEM version that key won't work?? Some crap about the motherboard won't recognize it if I were to use just regular Vista Home Premium CD's. Those I have, all the way up to and including SP2. They aren't much good if that stupid OEM key over rides it. You would think that when they sell a $900 PC they could afford to throw in a stupid recovery CD. Guess that cuts too far into the ole profit margin.
    After giving them a piece of my mind they finally sent me this download, they said my "Framework" was corrupt. I installed it, and the ------ thing still won't go into recovery mode!!
    Today I learned that even if I get the thing straightened out I can't buy the 7 Pro version if I'm "upgrading" from Vista home premium. I can either buy the home premium version or the ultimate version. Have no clue why.
    Right now I'm wishing I had spent the money I spent on the parts for this and just bought one of those $400 machines. I could gut this and put my processor and graphics card in that. I just bought a new power supply to run the new graphics card too.
    My Windows System Restore was one of the first casualty of missing files, now that doesn't work, AutoPlay was the second casualty.
    Pulling my hair out here!!!!:dead:
  4. superty12

    superty12 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 432

    About those OEM discs: you probably don't have them. Big companies like Acer usually don't include Vista discs with a computer. If you have regular discs, you could try replacing the motherboard. Or try installing it, regardless of what Acer says.
  5. justgeorge

    justgeorge TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 39

    With my technical expertise I will be lucky if I get the new hard drive changed. :eek:
    I don't even want to think about putting in a new motherboard.

    On the side of the case is a sticker with numbers on it. It looks to me like the MS license key. I don't understand this OEM crap. Why are those numbers on the side of the case if I have to register this thing with the OEM registration? Did Acer already use those numbers to register it to Acer?

    I don't think I'm going to be able to get into the Acer recovery mode. I don't think Acer wants me to resolve this problem. When I mentioned upgrading they told me I would have to stay with Home Premium or buy Ultimate. They are full of crap. I just checked on the Microsoft site and I can do a custom install (basically a clean install) and use the license key that comes with the upgrade.

    I have a question about this upgrading thing. If you do a clean install how does the upgrade even know if Vista was installed?? I'm so tired of Acer having me by the short hair, I'm half inclined to upgrade, create a backup image, move it to the external hard drive, then move it back to the new hard drive. Something tells me that isn't doable either right??
  6. superty12

    superty12 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 432

  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,594   +864

    OK, the trouble you're having is the BIOS of many OEM machines is "tatooed", to only accept restore discs, not genuine Windows discs. I speak from experience, since my Emachines T-5026 won't boot from a Windows discs, and asks for an administrator password if you try.

    What excuse did Acer give you for not making the restore discs available? Are you sure you were on the same page with them. They actually wouldn't have "Windows" discs for you.

    Plan "B", (and an ugly plan "B" it is"), involves reaching out to Acer service in your area, and finding out if they can help.

    Many machines that use "restore discs" don't actually come with them. (IDK about Acer though). You have to burn them yourself when you first get the machine. I'm sure a lot of people screw themselves up by not doing this. Have you, (or can you), search the program start menu for evidence of this?
  8. superty12

    superty12 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 432

    I can vouch for burning recovery discs. If you didn't burn them, I highly suggest you do so now, if you can find the program.
  9. justgeorge

    justgeorge TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Why don't they HAVE to include a OEM CD? That should be a condition of getting the programming for practically nothing. If they aren't going to have to include one, then there should be something that says. "Recovery CD must be burned before PC is used."

    No I've searched the whole machine. The folder I need is called eRecovery Management. It contains the "in" into the hidden partition. Yeah me and Acer are on the same page, they are still dancing me around. Try this, try that. They just don't get it, the damn folder ain't there.

    They did have the "Acer Empowering Technology" as a download, but the eRecovery Management file isn't on it for some reason. I'm sure it's not different for every PC.

    You can rest assured if I ever get into the hidden partition, I will make a backup, several copies.
  10. justgeorge

    justgeorge TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Wild brainstorm can you tell me if it will work???

    I find I have the PQSservices and the Data partitions backed up on my external hard drive. What would I have to do to create a rescue CD (or something to get me into the recovery partition) from that???

    If I can get into the hidden partition I can roll it back to factory setting, burn a new image, and then install my new hard drive. If I have the original Vista files from Acer that include the license then I should be good to go yes??? I could also just reinstall SP1 and SP2 and I wouldn't have to buy anything.

    I also have the registration folder it doesn't contain the license key ,but it has all of the information from when I registered the first time. It also contains an uninstall file. Does that uninstall the license key? Would that also get the OEM off of the mother board?

    I searched for over 8 hours yesterday. There must be a thousand people who are looking for these damn recovery management downloads.


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