Acer Aspire 3680 does not boot after it was accidentally dropped from a table from a distance of 12 to 18 inches. It never even starts to boot, but goes to Vista Repair screen immediately after the initial Acer Post screen. When one goes into Vista System Recovery no OS is shown. Vista Repair (various options) fails to fix including one that runs chkdsk. (Chkdsk error is that Chkdsk can not even get started because of some basic HD file system "root" problem. But before that all HW-specific (i.e HW only) tests are passed for the HD.
I remove HD and copy personal files to another PC via a Sata to USB converter. NOTE: That does NOT mean that the Windows folder is OK, only that the User folder is OK.
I use the the Acer Recovery Partion (reformat type recovery) to reinstall VIsta. Evrything fine after that TILL I reboot. At that point (because I had turned on Windows Update) 42 Vista Updates are installed as it goes down. Upon reboot it fails EXACTLY as above.
My diagnosis is bad HD because the error condition is exactly the same as when we started. (However, it is possible, as this is not my laptop, that all the Vista updates were installed just before it was dropped). Even though HD passed HW diag tests AND User files can be copied off it when it is mounted as a secondary; because the overall situation suggests a transient, occasional HD problem that manifests itself ONLY at boot. So I have replaced HD and am now doing a scratch Vista Home Premium install from a MS logo Vista CD.
However, Google search shows several Acer laptop users have had problems after installing Vista updates. However all problems are AFTER Vista boots to the desktop which is NOT my case. In My case it hardly starts to boot before the error.
Do you agree based on everything above that there is PROBABLY a bad HD or disk controller. OR do you think this is another variation of Vista updates not working with Acer.