Disclaimer: First of all backup your system before launching you in any hazardous operation, some of the operations to come can cause data loss. Any modification and/or damage done on your laptop will be under your responsibility.
As you know now the Acer laptops and those of other manufacturers are now delivered with a restoration system installed in a hidden partition (PQservice for Acer)on your hard disk. Normally this system launches out while pressing simultaneously keys ALT+F10, but sometimes that does not function.
What's the problem?
There are many possible causes, but most common are:
A The function D2D was disabled in the bios.
Solution: Enable the function by pressing F2 during the boot to access the bios menu and change the setting, then reboot and press keys ALT+F10 during the starting of the laptop.
Note: For all the following solutions take into account the Max advice, I quote Max now, a contributor in my site «But I want to mention the way I sorted out the thing, because it's very rarely mentioned on the web. All the methods to repair the D2D Alt+f10 issue are knowledgeable and smart but all of them forget to say a fundamental thing:
first of all you have to rebuild with a partition soft the D:Acerdata FAT32 empty partition that almost everybody deletes cause is usually empty. Simply doing it, everything turned fine and the recovery worked perfectly.»
Yes much of attempts to restore fail because of this condition.
B An other common problem the Acer Master Boot Record (MBR)is damaged, or replaced by the MBR of another system. You can reinstall the Acer MBR if the partition PQservice is present or if you can have access to the necessary files.
On a functional FAT32 Windows system the partition table values are OC or OB for installable FAT32 system files and 12 or 1B for Hidden FAT32 partition, for a NTFS system the known partition table values are O7 for installable NTFS files system and 27 for Acer custom hidden NTFS partition:
1. Go in the bios and disable the D2D recovery option.
2. Download partedit32.
3. Identify the PQservice partition by its size (there is an information box at the bottom of the partedit window) it is the small sized partition approximately 4 to 9 Go.Once made change the type of your partition into 0C(FAT32) or 07(NTFS) and save. Reboot and now you should be able to navigate inside the PQservice partition.
Search for these two files:
(The name of these two files can be different sometimes)
When localized open a command prompt windows as an administrator and enter this command "mbrwrdos.exe install rtmbr.bin", to install the Acer MBR. Close the command prompt, reboot again your laptop, reactivate the D2D recovery in the bios. Now ALT+F10 should work and run the Acer Erecovery when the laptop start.
Somebody who tried to follow the first method but did not succeed to find the 2 files found another solution to restore the partition.
Use partedit32 to locate the partition pqservice(on aspire 5920g,its the larger 9 gb partition)
Change the partition type to 07(Installable NTFS),reboot.
After reboot,go to the windows computer management and mark the PQservice partition as active then reboot again.
Voila!! You can now proceed to the road to recovery
On a nonfunctional Windows system.
Download the Ultimate Boot CD(UBCD) run it choose in the menu:
-For me GAG functioned well, but you can choose any of the other boot loader, you will recognize the PQservice by it type(hidden).
Just install any boot loader and use it to boot into the PQservice to start the Erecovery restoring process.
C The last problem: You replaced your hard disc( in this case PQservice is not present any more) or your partition was erased or damaged.
Solution: I hope that you burned the Acer restoration CD/DVD when it had been asked to you at the time of the first use, cause if you did not previously make a backup of your laptop by making a disc image, it will not be possible to use the Acer Erecovery.
Let us give the last words to Max:
«Problem Sorted Alan. And you're right that an external drive for data backup it's all important. Yes I have it and backed-up my data before starting messing up... »