Questions

how do i replace a missing boot manager?

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how do i replace a missing boot manager?

breeze7206
I have a windows vista home premium laptop, an Acer aspire 5100. Long story short, I tried to change my password and windows explorer stopped responding briefly while changing the password. now my old password doesn't work and what I was changing it to doesn't work either. short of buying expensive software, the only option I had was to reinstall windows. The directions for the recovery discs (3 total. 1 "system" and two "recovery" discs) say to insert the system disc, reboot, and hit F12 when the splash screen comes up. Nothing happened when I hit f12. I have already used these discs not even 2 months ago and they worked like a charm then.
I formatted the hard drive and tried it then and when i hit f12 at the splash screen i get a message that says that the bootmgr is missing. I can't even make it boot from disc by changing the boot order in the BIOS.

why is it saying that I'm missing the boot manager?
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    OldER Mycroft

    Usually the HDD is partitioned into 3 areas.

    C:\ SYSTEM
    D:\ DATA
    P:\ PQSERVICE Hidden (Recovery) Partition.

    Usually to recover the system to factory settings, by invoking the Recovery Partition, you would press Alt+F9 immediately after power-on BEFORE the splash screen even appears.

    The F12 method is to invoke the Vista Recovery method which is also stored within a hidden area of the HDD.

    But you formatted the HDD, so the Boot Manager that would've been invoked by either of the previous methods, no longer exists.

    What did you format the HDD with? This is usually only possible by using the install disc - the disc you claim won't work.

    Did you format the entire HDD or only the C:\ SYSTEM partition?
    I only ask because you'd really have your work cut out to manage to delete a hidden partition. There is every chance that the hidden recovery partition is still valid on the HDD.

    Have you ever bothered to read the Owner's Manual? There are instructions in there, telling you how to restore the laptop HDD.

    You seem to be recovering your system rather frequently - what was the reason for doing so only 2 months ago?


    Edit for typos

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    breeze7206

    I formatted it using another computer. I took the hard drive out and put it in an external case and completely wiped it. it's essentially just like when I took the drive out of the box (which wasn't long ago).

    And I bought the laptop from someone else so I don't have the manual. The laptop didn't even come with restore discs from the factory, you have to buy them.

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    darpoke

    for an OEM to supply a machine without restore disks or, at the very least, the OS you paid for with the purchase?

    If not, it should be.

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    breeze7206

    I have heard that acer provides an option to create your own restore disc using their "eManagement" tools that they install with the computer, but it's something you have to do on your own. It never asked me to do it so I didn't know it was an option. And acer also only offers for sale the recovery discs for systems younger than 3 years.

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    OldER Mycroft

    That's because Acer's have a hidden recovery partition.

    Or at least yours did, until you "completely wiped it".

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    OldER Mycroft

    It may not have been destroyed if you only formatted the HDD. You can only format whatever the system can 'see' - usually systems don't recognise the Recovery Partition exists, particularly when it comes to formatting.

    Immediately after you power on, BEFORE any splash screen, hit Alt+F9 to activate the restore to factory condition.

    You might need to activate the Recovery Partition within the BIOS first. Acer usually sets it to OFF by default to prevent someone hitting the recovery combination by mistake.

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    darpoke

    if it still existed.

    OS X makes use of a hidden partition on its boot volume. A 200MB EFI partition facilitates things like recognising startup key combos and holds the shell used in Single User mode. This partition is completely hidden - it shows up in neither the Finder, the Disk Utility, nor the Activity Monitor. No GUI tools will see it, in fact - you have to run <font face="Courier">diskutil list</font> in Terminal (<font face="Courier">disktool</font> won't show it as it has neither a mountpoint nor a partition name) just to see the durned thing.

    The reason I mention this is that I wiped a Mac Mini to install FreeBSD and these partitions were not only accessible in the partition manager, I managed to wipe them and had to reinstall OS X just to be able to insert rEFIt so that I could select non-Mac/Win OSes.

    Don't mean to be a joykill but I suspect that partition is dead and gone...

    [edit: clarification]

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    breeze7206

    It's a replacement hard drive that i put in the computer about two months ago. It took me forever to even get windows to try to install and involved copying the files off of a windows dvd onto the hard drive and then inserting it into the laptop, since even when windows does work properly this acver doesnt seem to want to boot from a a cd or dvd.

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    breeze7206

    could i copy the boot manager, or maybe even all of the OS files off of a working laptop onto the hard drive of my currently useless Acer?

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    Jacky Howe

    and re-inserting the Optical Drive. It may then detect your DVD.

    http://www.insidemylaptop.com/taking-apart-acer-aspire-5100-laptop/

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    breeze7206

    because it will read a disc like normal, it just wont let me boot from it, even if it's bootable media. so if i can boot the computer the drive works. it's weird.

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    Jacky Howe

    Enter the BIOS on the Notebook and reset it back to default values. Save the settings and exit.

    Enter the BIOS on the Notebook and set boot from CD/DVD as the first boot device. Save the settings and exit.

    See if you can boot from the Recovery CD.

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    breeze7206

    the settings in the BIOS are default already, but I reset them anyways.

    and, unlike the hard drive, all it shows for the optical drive is "USB CD/DVD"

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    Jacky Howe

    with this BIOS and the user guide isn't much help. All it says is to select from the top of the screen. Try it and see what happens.

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    0 Votes
    OldER Mycroft

    Usually the HDD is partitioned into 3 areas.

    C:\ SYSTEM
    D:\ DATA
    P:\ PQSERVICE Hidden (Recovery) Partition.

    Usually to recover the system to factory settings, by invoking the Recovery Partition, you would press Alt+F9 immediately after power-on BEFORE the splash screen even appears.

    The F12 method is to invoke the Vista Recovery method which is also stored within a hidden area of the HDD.

    But you formatted the HDD, so the Boot Manager that would've been invoked by either of the previous methods, no longer exists.

    What did you format the HDD with? This is usually only possible by using the install disc - the disc you claim won't work.

    Did you format the entire HDD or only the C:\ SYSTEM partition?
    I only ask because you'd really have your work cut out to manage to delete a hidden partition. There is every chance that the hidden recovery partition is still valid on the HDD.

    Have you ever bothered to read the Owner's Manual? There are instructions in there, telling you how to restore the laptop HDD.

    You seem to be recovering your system rather frequently - what was the reason for doing so only 2 months ago?


    Edit for typos

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    0 Votes
    breeze7206

    I formatted it using another computer. I took the hard drive out and put it in an external case and completely wiped it. it's essentially just like when I took the drive out of the box (which wasn't long ago).

    And I bought the laptop from someone else so I don't have the manual. The laptop didn't even come with restore discs from the factory, you have to buy them.

    +
    0 Votes
    darpoke

    for an OEM to supply a machine without restore disks or, at the very least, the OS you paid for with the purchase?

    If not, it should be.

    +
    0 Votes
    breeze7206

    I have heard that acer provides an option to create your own restore disc using their "eManagement" tools that they install with the computer, but it's something you have to do on your own. It never asked me to do it so I didn't know it was an option. And acer also only offers for sale the recovery discs for systems younger than 3 years.

    +
    0 Votes
    OldER Mycroft

    That's because Acer's have a hidden recovery partition.

    Or at least yours did, until you "completely wiped it".

    +
    0 Votes
    OldER Mycroft

    It may not have been destroyed if you only formatted the HDD. You can only format whatever the system can 'see' - usually systems don't recognise the Recovery Partition exists, particularly when it comes to formatting.

    Immediately after you power on, BEFORE any splash screen, hit Alt+F9 to activate the restore to factory condition.

    You might need to activate the Recovery Partition within the BIOS first. Acer usually sets it to OFF by default to prevent someone hitting the recovery combination by mistake.

    +
    0 Votes
    darpoke

    if it still existed.

    OS X makes use of a hidden partition on its boot volume. A 200MB EFI partition facilitates things like recognising startup key combos and holds the shell used in Single User mode. This partition is completely hidden - it shows up in neither the Finder, the Disk Utility, nor the Activity Monitor. No GUI tools will see it, in fact - you have to run <font face="Courier">diskutil list</font> in Terminal (<font face="Courier">disktool</font> won't show it as it has neither a mountpoint nor a partition name) just to see the durned thing.

    The reason I mention this is that I wiped a Mac Mini to install FreeBSD and these partitions were not only accessible in the partition manager, I managed to wipe them and had to reinstall OS X just to be able to insert rEFIt so that I could select non-Mac/Win OSes.

    Don't mean to be a joykill but I suspect that partition is dead and gone...

    [edit: clarification]

    +
    0 Votes
    breeze7206

    It's a replacement hard drive that i put in the computer about two months ago. It took me forever to even get windows to try to install and involved copying the files off of a windows dvd onto the hard drive and then inserting it into the laptop, since even when windows does work properly this acver doesnt seem to want to boot from a a cd or dvd.

    +
    0 Votes
    breeze7206

    could i copy the boot manager, or maybe even all of the OS files off of a working laptop onto the hard drive of my currently useless Acer?

    +
    0 Votes
    Jacky Howe

    and re-inserting the Optical Drive. It may then detect your DVD.

    http://www.insidemylaptop.com/taking-apart-acer-aspire-5100-laptop/

    +
    0 Votes
    breeze7206

    because it will read a disc like normal, it just wont let me boot from it, even if it's bootable media. so if i can boot the computer the drive works. it's weird.

    +
    0 Votes
    Jacky Howe

    Enter the BIOS on the Notebook and reset it back to default values. Save the settings and exit.

    Enter the BIOS on the Notebook and set boot from CD/DVD as the first boot device. Save the settings and exit.

    See if you can boot from the Recovery CD.

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    0 Votes
    breeze7206

    the settings in the BIOS are default already, but I reset them anyways.

    and, unlike the hard drive, all it shows for the optical drive is "USB CD/DVD"

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    0 Votes
    Jacky Howe

    with this BIOS and the user guide isn't much help. All it says is to select from the top of the screen. Try it and see what happens.