Acer Aspire eRecovery

I have an Acer Aspire 52xx that the OS has crashed do the system being infected with a number of viruses.

Following the directions from Acer to perform a system restore for hidden partition, I hit Alt + F10 as the system booted, but then it just seems to hang there with a screen "This may take a moment ..." and never does show the menu of recovery options that the directions illustrate.  

I waited 45 minutes, how long is too long.

Has anyone else encountered this problem with Acer and recovered.
I know if you search, you find a lot of others with this issue.
sidwelleAsked:
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rindiCommented:
First check if in your BIOS D2D (maybe it is called something different though) has been enabled. On many Acers you have to enable that before the factory restore works.

If that doesn't help, then your recovery partition is likely damaged. Then you should use the recovery DVD's you made when you got the PC to return it to the factory state. The other option would be to order recovery media from Acer should your DVD's be too scratched, or you lost them.
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sidwelleAuthor Commented:
"D2D Recovery" is enabled.

Now when it tries to boot, I get the windows 7 logo and jumps to the eRecovery app, but does not show any options. Just the "Please wait a moment." and the spinning/wait mouse Icon.
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web_trackerComputer Service TechnicianCommented:
It could be the virus affected the partition that has your recovery partition, I have seen that happen. If you have not created recovery discs you may be hooped and may see if you can purchase recovery discs from the manufacturer as mentioned by Rindi. It should not take longer than a couple minutes for the recovery process to start up. The recovery partition definitely seems to be damaged, either due to a harddrive failure, or maybe the virus infected it. Note if you are able to get the recovery process started either via recovery media or the recovery partition, it will restore your computer to the way it came from the manufacturer and you will lose any applications, updates and data that was installed since it came from the manufacturer, so it is important you back up your data else where before you run the factory recovery process.
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sidwelleAuthor Commented:
Acer want $20 for the recovery CD.

I think I fond the recovery CD on eBay for < $10.

Is there usually only 1 cd/DVD ? or will it ask me for a windows 7 cd during the process ?

Thanks
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rindiCommented:
$20 isn't a lot. A new OS costs a lot more. I suggest you get the official DVD from Acer.

No, it won't ask for the Windows installation DVD. Whether it is one or more DVD's depends on the manufacturer and what additional tools they pack in their installation besides the OS.
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nobusCommented:
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sidwelleAuthor Commented:
I ordered the CD set last night, the Acer web site described it as a 3 disk set and all I was able to find online was the one disk, and nothing indicated that any was the set.
I expect the usual: drivers, os, utils.

I will post back what shows up in the next day or two.

Thanks
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rindiCommented:
In the meantime you should test your PC's RAM with memtest86+ and the HD using the manufacturer's diagnostic utility. Since the recovery partition seems to be corrupt, chances are that it wasn't the malware that corrupted it, but rather the disk itself is going bad. If the disk is bad you should also change that before using the recovery media.

You'll find both the utilities on the UBCD:

http://ultimatebootcd.com
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nobusCommented:
did you check my post? it shows how to start the recovery
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sidwelleAuthor Commented:
From what I understand, all events were related to an attempt to remove a virus.
I figured the virus dropped its payload and created havoc when it realized that part of it was being removed.  

Don't have any reason to suspect the HD, but while waiting, I run diags.

Thanks
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sidwelleAuthor Commented:
Start the recovery: Yes, Alt + F10 when the Acer logo shows.  Now that that I have attempted this once, thats all that it will do. even w/o the alt +F10

Current scenario:
1. Power up.
2. Acer Logo/POST
3. Windows 7 animated colors.
4. Jumps to eRecovery form w/"This may take a moment."
5. Nothing else happens, I expect to see the eRecovery form populate with some menu options, but never does, just the animated wait mouse curser.
No, HD activity. I would wait it out, but I don't see or hear the drive.
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nobusCommented:
you can also choose to clean the disk - before doing a factory restore
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sidwelleAuthor Commented:
http://ultimatebootcd.com

Can't you find the utils w/o all the add-ware ?
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rindiCommented:
The point of the UBCD is that it is a collection of lots of useful free software, so you don't have to get every tool individually and make a CD for every one of them. Even if you don't need all of the tools, there is no point in removing any of them, it still is a CD, and is a relatively small download (smaller than an actual CD).

But of course if you only want the individual tool you can always visit the site for that particular tool and download it from there.... In the Link above there is a list of all the tools on the CD and links to most of their sites, so you can click on the link and you should get to the download site of that particular tool.
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nobusCommented:
for cleaning the disk -use Dban
it's on the UBCD as well
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sidwelleAuthor Commented:
Yes, but it wants you to download an "express-installer.exe", just after you tell it what OS you have, w/disclaimer about offers you don't have to accept.

Why not just a ISO file so you can burn the disk ?
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rindiCommented:
When you are under the "Mirror Sites" there is a list of the different mirrors that host an iso of the CD. There are also icons that look like harddisks in each of those mirrors. If you hover over that icon with your mouse you'll see the filename: "ubcd526.iso" on some of those icons. Click on it and your download starts. The first 3 of the mirrors are good examples and they don't include any "installer".

If you click on the p2p download, that is a torrent, and to download torrents you need a torrent client.
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sidwelleAuthor Commented:
Yes, sorry I found it after fumbling around for 1/2 hour.

Downloading now.
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sidwelleAuthor Commented:
Which HDD tool is best to test with ?  I know the system has a Hitachi drive, but the Hitachi tools don't want to load.

Is there just a generic tool that will test the drive ?

What happened to Norton's tools ?
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nobusCommented:
try DFT : Drive Fitness test  -for IBM and Hitachi drives
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sidwelleAuthor Commented:
try DFT : Drive Fitness test  -for IBM and Hitachi drives -> Would not load. Waited 3 mins.

One of the last ones, Viva Test did and is testing the surface now.

Thanks
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nobusCommented:
i never had that problem, that a test would not load
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rindiCommented:
Sometimes you can get issues with the CD, particularly if was burnt too fast. I out of habit, when burning a CD, always select the lowest possible speed, that often helps. OK, it takes a little longer to finish burning, but it is more reliable.
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sidwelleAuthor Commented:
I burned the disk at 8x just to be sure, I always stay away from the fast speeds.

I did not get any errors, just the tool would not load (hung) or the tool stated that this was a "Hitachi" drive, not there brand of drive.

Starting to see "drive not ready" or what could be read errors at about 57%.
Don't know if these are false errors or really a problem.  During the install a full partition format should probably be performed. (size: drive=238g  partition=232g)

I did see a LL format tool, does anybody do that anymore ?

Thanks
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rindiCommented:
If your not sure, remove the disk from that PC and connect it as a 2nd or only internal disk (not via USB dock or cable) to another PC and try running the manufacturer's diagnostic again from there. You should always run the manufacturer's diagnostic to get reliable results.

I have seen rare cases where something didn't load from the UBCD on certain PC's. That is usually caused by strange firmware, and sometimes also by a CD drive that is out of alignment.
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sidwelleAuthor Commented:
It finally went beyond that bad place in the drive, but now it has found another.
I don't think the disk is toast, but may need some work.

LLF or a full format should find these bad locations and record them to the disk map ?
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rindiCommented:
It depends what type of errors they are. You must run the manufacturer's utility. If it finds the disk is bad, it'll tell you. Most of them will then output an error code which you can use to RMA the disk (for warranty replacement for example). If it finds repairable errors, it will tell you too and offer to repair them.
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sidwelleAuthor Commented:
The drive test finished and found bad locations on less than %2 of the drive.
I don't see any utils in the bios.

I will let you know what I find when run the manufacture utils.
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web_trackerComputer Service TechnicianCommented:
Sometime utilities like HDD Regenerator or Spinrite can repair bad sectors unless of course the sectors are physically damaged. Note these untilies cost money, but can be worth it when trying to recover data from a drive. If your drive is starting to develop bad sectors maybe it is time to replace the drive, as the drive may develop more and more bad sectors. If this happens the operating system can get corrupted again due to the operating system files found on the newly developed bad sectors. You can also lose valuable data if the drive crashes and your data is located on a bad damaged sector.
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nobusCommented:
i suggest hDDRegenerator, it fixed many drives for me : http://www.dposoft.net/hdd.html
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sidwelleAuthor Commented:
The Acer disk kit showed up last night via USPS.  5 disks: 1 system, 3 recovery, and 1 language disk.

I booted off the system desk (as per the instructions), but  it just acted the same. I noticed it was booting off the system CD, but then tried to boot the os on the drive.
So I booted of the Linux utils disk and cleaned the partition(s).
Booted again from the System CD and the recovery menu came up like it should.  There are not options for tools just recover OS and recover entire disk. I chose disk.  
Proceeded to feed all the other disk(s) when prompted and now have a working laptop.

I know the disk still has some bad places, so I ran the system tools scan and test the disk, it wanted to schedule a scan on reboot, so I let it.

Will the system tools mark that bad sectors as bad in the disk error tbl or do I need to find another tool ?  Will "hDDRegenerator" do this ?

Thanks
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rindiCommented:
It depends on the tools you are talking about. Probably you are running chkdsk now. Chkdsk does nothing to the disk, but rather to the file-system on that disk. Since you deleted the partitions on the disk before recovery, the file-system was created freshly during that, and so you shouldn't need to run a chkdsk already. That is a bad sign for the disk.

hddreg, although I regard it as a very good tool, should only be used to revive a disk so you can use it for long enough to get data off, or maybe for a non critical disk. But it shouldn't be used just to get a disk working again and then used permanently, as the disk will get issues again and again.

A bad disk should rather be replaced. As I mentioned earlier, the manufacturer's diagnostic must be run on a disk to find out whether it is bad or not.
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nobusCommented:
read the page on the site of Hddregenerator it explains it much better what it does than i can.
i can say from experience that it repaired :
non-bootable drives
drives with bad OS (eg not completely booting)
and bad sectors
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sidwelleAuthor Commented:
Went to Tiger and purchased a new 500G WD drive.
booted off the system CD and fed it all 5 disks, final reboot, "configuring system"
"Windows cannot install on this hardware, restart the system for install to continue."
Never goes beyond this msgbox !

WTF!

How do get beyond this error ??
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nobusCommented:
it starts to look like a motherboard problem
do you have another install cd around (eg of vista, or XP)?
try that
or try running ubuntu  www.ubuntu.com
this will show if the problem is hardware or not (if it runs ok, the hardware is ok)
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sidwelleAuthor Commented:
I don't think so, simple search shows that a lot of people have had this problem with a variety of manufactures, common trait is restoring windows 7.
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rindiCommented:
On some HP PC's I've seen the factory recovery not working if the BIOS had been upgraded from the original version to a new version.

Although I haven't heard of a similar issue with Acers, it might also be an issue there. Maybe downgrading the BIOS to the original version might help.
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sidwelleAuthor Commented:
I Have posted a new question in the windows OS area. I will follow up.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Windows_7/Q_28233781.html

FYI, I have not flashed the bios, still original.
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nobusCommented:
did you disconnect all external devices, like printer, scanner etc?
did you check the bios for the correct boot order?

look if this helps :  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/938984
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sidwelleAuthor Commented:
I think all along this was a driver issue.  Looks like the Acer disks copied back an image that was captured from an install after the hardware discovery, so it was useless.

Performed new install and copied the OEM stuff from the origional disk. Look like original install.

Works, Thanks
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nobusCommented:
tx for feedback
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