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Laptop - Erased Hard Drive
Old 11-04-2014, 06:02 PM   #1
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Laptop - Erased Hard Drive

A total disaster...Still don't know what happened.
Long and short had to wipe hard drive.
It was an older Acer w/Vista.
It didn't come with a restore disk, but instructions to make my own restore disks. Total of five CD's. Anyway, they didn't work.
So... what to do? $100 for a Windows 7 operating system. Not me.
So instead, I found an old paid copy of XP, which took forever to install... drivers etc. It works, but I'm tired of hearing from Microsoft "Not Supported".
Seems like the rock and a hard place.

Any thoughts on this kind of a situation... like thoughts that don't cost money?
BTW... too senile to learn Linux.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:07 PM   #2
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Ouch! I feel your pain, imoldernu. I had that happen once. My advice would be to call in a computer geek. My local geek had the software necessary to get the PC going again and was able to restore all my files. It was money well spent.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:10 PM   #3
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If he's installed EP over it that's going to wipe a lot of stuff and make it harder to recover data if any is left. Oh, and bring a checkbook.

What they may be able to do is get a current version of Win 7 installed using the old serial number. Even though the install disks don't work if he has the serial # I think he can still download it from MS.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:10 PM   #4
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...
BTW... too senile to learn Linux.
No you're not!

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Old 11-04-2014, 06:18 PM   #5
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If it's going to cost more than $200 to straighten the mess out, buy a new Chromebook and be done with it. (Unless you are married to Microsoft)

Installing MS is one thing, finding the laptop drivers (sound, video, network card, etc) may be another.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:24 PM   #6
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My sympathies. For the future, buy a cheap USB external drive and get DriveImageXML and BartPE.

I hope everyone is doing a backup tonight.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:26 PM   #7
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Did the hard drive contain a restore partition?

Is there a chance you wiped out the partition that the OS resided, but not the restore partition?
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:31 PM   #8
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"Not Supported" are you speaking of websites saying the version of internet explorer is not supported, if so , just download Chrome as a browser. I have it on an XP machine and it works great , not hard to learn at all. I also use ESET as anti-virus, and it supports XP
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:35 PM   #9
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+1 on Linux.
I tried Linux Mint 17 recently after hearing about it here. It will fit on a 2 gig stick drive [which you can also boot from] and works close enough to windows [gui] to give immediate encouragement. Firefox is already onboard and the "office" suite that is included will open and read ms office documents. Bootup is a little quicker than 7, and you can't beat the price

You can set up to dual boot with ms if you like.
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:38 PM   #10
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A couple of things.

As mentioned, check to see if this unit came with a hidden recovery partition. I you just wiped the windows partition you may still be able access the recovery partition.

Find someone with a vista DVD and install it, needs to be same version ( home etc ). Brand doesn't matter. After install use the phone activation option with COA sticker product number usually on the bottom of the unit

ACER has a ercovery option you can try Acer Store ( maybe a charge )

Build your own install DVD ( that's what I do ), some instructions here Windows Vista Direct Download Links

Another DVD build with options for USB flash drive, http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/30...n-dvd-usb.html

I built AIO ( All In One ) multi brand install disks for xp, vista, 7. Can be used to recover different version from different brands of computers.

I also support trying linux over wintendoze
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:20 PM   #11
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Thanks for the replies...

There was no hidden restore...
I have a dual boot of ubuntu on two other computers, but frankly to lazy (old) to want to spend the time learning.
The reason I did the wipe was that I thought the backup discs I made were going to work. It was a full disk wipe... I repartitioned after the install of XP..
Used to get Enterprise installer from my son, but no longer can do.
I did finish the XP install, and after trial and error on drivers it works well.
The "no support" thing is just an aggravation. Maybe a blessing?
Tried the Acer Store... "No RCD available for the entered Serial Number"
I do use Chrome
I did call Microsoft, but didn't get any help there.
I looked at the Vista Download links... Thanks... may try.

Actually, it wasn't a crisis, as I only use the laptop occasionally, but I did wonder and think about what would have happened if it had been new. All of my other computers have a backup disk.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions...
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:52 PM   #12
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There was a lawsuit on this very topic against Acer. If you didn't participate in this, you missed getting the utility cd's to attempt a recovery. Anyway. I had 3 Acer laptops (XP, Vista and Win 7) in which I have the utility recovery cd's for Vista and Win 7. You need to tell me if you're on a 32 or 64 bit laptop as they're separate CD's. Let me know if you want me to email this or since you're in IL, I can hand it to you if you're somewhat close. I close to the Old Orchard mall.
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:34 PM   #13
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If all you're doing on your computer is surfing the web, email & basic word processing & spreadsheets, you don't have to "learn" linux. Load up Ubuntu and it comes with everything you need. You may have to install the browser of your choice (obviously, not IE), but google for instructions - very easy.

What have you got to lose at this point. You could even try it from CD/DVD without loading the OS on your computer.

Come on! You're a young man. Give it a try ... you'll have fun.
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Old 11-05-2014, 07:07 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by walkinwood View Post
If all you're doing on your computer is surfing the web, email & basic word processing & spreadsheets, you don't have to "learn" linux. Load up Ubuntu and it comes with everything you need. You may have to install the browser of your choice (obviously, not IE), but google for instructions - very easy.
.
I am curious about current Linux distros. For many years I ran Linux servers in the basement for my family website, file and print servers, and self learning on firewalls, intrusion detection and penetration tests. I started on RedHat and ended up on Ubuntu. A few years ago I dumped the website and finally dumped my last Linux file and print server when the old laser printer it served died. It was fun but I always used old beater PCs for the purpose and kept a windows PC running for the family PC. The biggest PITA was drivers for newish or obscure peripherals.

Are drivers still a PITA with Linux or have they gotten close to plug and play? If I decide to venture back in, is Ubuntu what everyone would recommend?
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Old 11-05-2014, 07:31 AM   #15
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There was a lawsuit on this very topic against Acer. If you didn't participate in this, you missed getting the utility cd's to attempt a recovery. Anyway. I had 3 Acer laptops (XP, Vista and Win 7) in which I have the utility recovery cd's for Vista and Win 7. You need to tell me if you're on a 32 or 64 bit laptop as they're separate CD's. Let me know if you want me to email this or since you're in IL, I can hand it to you if you're somewhat close. I close to the Old Orchard mall.
Many thanks for that kind offer.
I don't use that computer (32 bit) except for email, when I'm traveling, and XP is good enough for that... Besides, after working through the hardware and driver issues, it's a matter of pride that I could actually get it to work and connect. BTW... Acer wasn't much help, as the specs of my machine showed all the optional possibilities, without specifying what was in my machine.

The original post was more of a "how could this happen?" thing, and more because I was wondering how and why old computers die... and where they go when no one loves them any longer. Software obsolescence is a hard pill to swallow, especially when it costs $100+ to upgrade.

Showing the curmudgeonly side, I don't get excited about "faster" because I can't think as fast as my computers compute, and if I used a iPhone, based on how I see others using them, am sure I'd get somebody killed.

Back to the cave, and watching the electronic age pass me by.
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Old 11-05-2014, 07:35 AM   #16
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If all you're doing on your computer is surfing the web, email & basic word processing & spreadsheets, you don't have to "learn" linux. Load up Ubuntu and it comes with everything you need. You may have to install the browser of your choice (obviously, not IE), but google for instructions - very easy.

What have you got to lose at this point. You could even try it from CD/DVD without loading the OS on your computer.

Come on! You're a young man. Give it a try ... you'll have fun.
Showed DW your post... She nearly died, laughing...
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Old 11-05-2014, 07:37 AM   #17
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...

Are drivers still a PITA with Linux or have they gotten close to plug and play? If I decide to venture back in, is Ubuntu what everyone would recommend?
Small sample, but IME the drivers in Linux are better than Win/Mac.

I had an old printer and an old scanner that were no longer supported by Win/Mac, and they work fine in every version of Linux I've used since 2009.

I do check for compatibility before I buy a peripheral, just in case, but that hasn't seemed to limit me.

-ERD50
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Old 11-05-2014, 08:01 AM   #18
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A total disaster...Still don't know what happened.
Long and short had to wipe hard drive.
It was an older Acer w/Vista.
It didn't come with a restore disk, but instructions to make my own restore disks. Total of five CD's. Anyway, they didn't work.
So... what to do? $100 for a Windows 7 operating system. Not me.
So instead, I found an old paid copy of XP, which took forever to install... drivers etc. It works, but I'm tired of hearing from Microsoft "Not Supported".
Seems like the rock and a hard place.

Any thoughts on this kind of a situation... like thoughts that don't cost money?
BTW... too senile to learn Linux.
1) You might find the Acer restore disk and the Vista disk online. If you get one that is appropriate for your model, it is much better to have, as the drivers will be accurate, at least to start. Then you have the endless updating, and so on.
2) Disable the Windows XP message. I don't get it anymore, and can't quite remember how I disabled it. Just have to be careful, and load some antivirus and anti-malware software.
3) Download and make an Ubuntu or Mint install disk, and wipe oout everything. That is the direction I would go, and cut the MS cord on that machine forever.

I understand the problem with Linux. You have 20 years of learning invested in MS, and executing simple things is a challenge on a new OS.
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Old 11-05-2014, 08:24 AM   #19
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2) Disable the Windows XP message. I don't get it anymore, and can't quite remember how I disabled it. Just have to be careful, and load some antivirus and anti-malware software.
Not sure where he is seeing the message at. There were two sources I believe.

For the end of life warning, uninstall the update KB:2934207

The one from Security essentials is trickier, depending on which version of MSE is installed. Probably easiest to uninstall MSE and use another free AV product .
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Old 11-05-2014, 09:51 AM   #20
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Not sure where he is seeing the message at. There were two sources I believe.

For the end of life warning, uninstall the update KB:2934207

The one from Security essentials is trickier, depending on which version of MSE is installed. Probably easiest to uninstall MSE and use another free AV product .
I have that KB, but don't recall seeing the warning recently. I have automatic updates turned OFF. Maybe that is it.

Edit: Went to Windows Update, which tells me automatic updates is on. I do get notices about updates, and usually install. Gotta hand it to M$, they sure make it all clear and easy.
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