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Acer, Aspire, 6920, BIOS, MBR

Posted on 2008-06-10
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Hello Experts,

I've bought a new Acer Aspire 6920 about 2 weeks ago and yesterday when I came home from work it did not want to boot. It had run perfectly at work. It was basically hanging at the loading Vista screen, so I've been trying to fix it since then. Here's what I've done:

- Found out, using the Vista Repair Console, that there was a problem with a bad driver that it could not fix.
- Rebooting in safe mode: Hang on the file after crcdisk.sys is loaded. (I was able to get it to boot properly once after the first time I had entered safe mode, but explorer.exe froze and I had to reboot)
- Tried messing around with UBCD (something I regret now) and managed to f**k up the MBR or BIOS - accidentally got into: "Smart BootManager V3.7.1" - did nothing else than pressing Ctrl-Q to exit.

Now my comp does not find any hard disk drives to boot from at all. ("Operating System not found") When I run the Windows Recovery Console it tells me that I have no hard drives. And using UBCD4Win gives me the same answer.

I have not opened up my computer and resetted the CMOS, but since it's a laptop and there's warranty issues about opening it up - I'd rather not do that.

My question is, is there any way I can salvage my computer without having to send it in for service? Like properly using the "Smart BootManager" to fix the MBR? Or reset the CMOS by removing the battery?
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Question by:Gaute Rønningen
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17 Comments
 
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jimtech earned 375 total points
ID: 21750040
Hey eXpired - know we all tinker around with these things and sometimes wish we hadn't.  If you go to this link: http://www.theacerguy.com/2007/12/21/how-to-install-windows-xp-sp2-on-aspire-5920-aspire-5920g/ and read down he suggests some things to try that sound like maybe would be a way to re-recognize the HD on your laptop.  Just a thought on maybe would help.
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Expert Comment

by:Davis McCarn
ID: 21750218
I think your problem is that the hard disk drive is failing and trying to repair the MBR made it worse.  To check it, boot the UBCD again and under Hard Disk Diagnostics run HDAT2.  After selecting the drive is an option to "Check Bad Sectors Only" which will simply read the entire drive and report any bad sectors.  If there are any (even one), you need to have the drive replaced and, if you bought it from a retail store, they should exchange it for a new one.
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Author Comment

by:Gaute Rønningen
ID: 21750294
On HDAT2 it only detects "Optiarc BD ROM BC-5500A" which is the BD/DVD/CD drive. I cannot scan the HD.
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Assisted Solution

by:Mark
Mark earned 100 total points
ID: 21750627
Did you create your recovery cd/dvd for this laptop.
Have you tried the restore feature available on boot
from the acer support pages
How to recovery your system from bootup

   1. Locate the Alt key, to the left of the space bar, and F10, on the top row of keys.
   2. Power the system on.
   3. When the system is powered on, tap the Alt and F10 keys together at the same time when the Acer splash screen appears.
      It should state "Please wait a moment..." with the Acer logo in the upper left hand corner.
   4. At the eRecovery Management menu it will ask you how to restore.
   5. Click on the restore option you would like to use.
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Author Comment

by:Gaute Rønningen
ID: 21750814
I have only had this computer for two weeks, so I haven't been able to make a recovery disc yet. I actually was inside the program to make it a week ago, but when I saw that it required 7 CDs I found out that I didn't have enough blank discs and I haven't gotten around to buy them yet.

Secondly, when I try the Alt-F10 on system bootup (at the splash screen) nothing happens and it takes me to the same erroreous boot as before - only option I have at the splash screen is to press F2 which brings me to the BIOS setup.

Though I'm noticing that on the Information bit on the "Phoenix TrustedCore Setup Utility" that "IDE0 Model Name" is blank. My System BIOS Version is V1.06 and the VGA BIOS Version is 60.84.69.00.36.
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Author Comment

by:Gaute Rønningen
ID: 21750861
I decided to press F9 in the BIOS setup utility and reset to default settings and it finally detects the hard disc drives again. But it still hangs on Windows boot.
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Expert Comment

by:Mark
ID: 21750997
Try the restore  now that the hard drive is seen in BIOS.
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Author Comment

by:Gaute Rønningen
ID: 21751041
How do I find out which drivers causes the error/loop/whatever?
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Expert Comment

by:Davis McCarn
ID: 21751064
The fact that the drive dropped out of the Bios is another indication of it failing.  Do the HDAT test; because, if the drive is failing, all other efforts are futile!

P.S. The reason I said you could simply exchange it for a new one is because you bought it so recently.
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Author Comment

by:Gaute Rønningen
ID: 21751228
I do not think there's a problem with the HDD, cause it only dropped out untill after I accidentally got into the Smart BootManager. My theory is that SBM changed the HDD controllers to IDE so that the Vista installation couldn't be read. (AHCI controller)

But I will try it anyways.
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Author Comment

by:Gaute Rønningen
ID: 21751296
Done a quick scan using HD Tune 2.55 on HDD: "WDC3200BEVT-22ZCT (320 GB)".

No damaged blocks detected.
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Expert Comment

by:Mark
ID: 21751684
Have you checked in the BIOS if the recovery function for the ALT-F10 keystroke is enabled?
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Author Comment

by:Gaute Rønningen
ID: 21767685
The Alt-F10 recovery function is working. But for a day now the system was up and running, though not so much now. I installed some updates from Windows Update and now it claims that there has been done some unauthorized changes to windows and it's continuing at a limited state or something like that.
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Author Comment

by:Gaute Rønningen
ID: 21768142
Now I'm getting corrupted folders on startup and loads of BSoD and chkdsk runs on startup. Think it's time for either a recovery (I made one just after it started up again last time) or installing Windows XP. I'm wanting to install Windows XP, since Vista has given me nothing but trouble - but this will break the warranty.
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Assisted Solution

by:Davis McCarn
Davis McCarn earned 25 total points
ID: 21768771
IF you bought the unit from a retails tore, you probably have 30 days to exchange it.  DO THAT BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!
There is something wrong with your system and you need to take the easy out while you can unless you want to have a lemon.
I did a search and your not having a common problem.  Tell the store you have already done the restore (twice?) and it gave you problems within a day.
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Author Comment

by:Gaute Rønningen
ID: 21924997
Sorry for not closing this earlier, been quite busy.

Installed Windows XP Pro on the comp, had some problems getting the appropriate drivers, but all seems to be working now.
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