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Windows 7: can no longer get factory default to work

25 Mar 2012   #1

win seven 32, win seven 64
can no longer get factory default to work

The laptop is an Acer with a hidden partition and the OS is Vista Home premium. I appreciate this is principally a forum for Windows 7 but as Vista and 7 have a fair bit in common I felt this was the place to come (apart from the fact that this is one of the best forums for Windows there is, in my view).

My son had 'something' going badly wrong with the machine - which is five years old - and so brought it to me for fixing. I could get in but all the services were disabled, files were missing, security shut down etc etc, and though I ran anti malware and found one trojan ( Vundo) I could not get all the services back, so I opted for a factory default restore. Pressed Alt + F10, did the restore, everything OK, installed over 100 updates and gave him back a happy machine, which worked very well for a couple of days - until SP1 wanted to install. Meltdown and the machine came back not even able to boot into Windows. I discovered that SP1 on Vista can go seriously wrong - I found this out by googling the black screen info it was giving me - and the bottom line is that the only option is to do a new install of the OS. So I tried Alt + F10 again but without success. I then put another copy of Vista on as a temp measure, in the hope that once the operating system was functioning as it should I would be able to access the restore screen - but I got the same scrwen which offers only the active partition to boot from. it seems to me that the information to access the hidden p

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Why did you not install Vista sp1 & sp2?

Mark the hidden partition ACTIVE & reboot, this make the Recovery start.
Partition - Mark as Active

information   Information
We always assume you have made your Recovery Disks using the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Media Creator app the first day you had your new PC.
& made the Startup Repair CD.
startup repair disc-create

Did you make the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Disks?

can no longer  get factory default to work-acer001.png

You can Order Acer recovery disks from here:

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2012   #3


I would locate a Vista with SP2 installer and clean reinstall with the Product Key on COA sticker, following the same steps as for Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7

Otherwise download the Vista SP2 standalone installer to update immediately after running Factory Recovery per Theog's instructions above to mark it's partition Active first: Partition - Mark as Active

Apparently you didn't check back enough after installing Updates to await SP2 arrival, but the standalone SP2 installer will save most of the updating anyway.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Mar 2012   #4

win seven 32, win seven 64

theog, I get no options on right click when I click on the drive in disk manager - just 'Help'

the computer is not mine so I did not create any recovery drives when it was bought

I did not install SP1/2 because he was desperate to have the machine back so he could message his friend in hospital, and I had set the machine to automatically download and install, so it should have all been done for him

Sorry for the second post - I thought I had lost the first one so started again.

gregrocker. I do now have another copy of Vista on there but an old one so I would need to update to SP1\2 myself. It has activated and so I suppose he could go with that since I do not use that disk anymore - but that is not the purpose of my post: I want to be able to put the system on that comes with the computer.

My question now would be - why can I not make the hidden partition active? I will try doing it from the DVD. Thank you
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2012   #5


As long as partition is Primary it should mark Active. If Logical, convert to Primary using free Partition Wizard bootable CD which you may also need to set Vista Active again.
Partition - Mark as Active (Method Two)

If this fails to boot Recovery then in Vista you can unhide System and Hidden files in Control Panel>Folder Options>View, give Recovery a letter in Disk Mgmt if it doesn't have one, browse in to find the boot.wim file in Recovery folder (use Explorer Search box).

You can then install EasyBCD (free Download at bottom of page - no name or email required). Choose Add Entry tab, then WinPE, then browse to boot.wim and select it, Add, reboot to choose that boot option to start Recovery.

can no longer  get factory default to work-capture.pngclick to enlarge

If these options fail you may need to order Recovery Disks from Acer Tech Support, or find the Vista SP2 installer to clean reinstall with Product Key on COA sticker which is a much superior install.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2012   #6

win seven 32, win seven 64

gregrocker, your reply is what I was looking for ( in respect of Easy BCD, which I just couldn't remember the name of having only used it once before) and more besides - thank you.

After my last post, I tried the Shift+F10 with the DVD, but that did nothing at all, so I got EaseUS down and made the partition active with that - and then I did get the eAcer screens again ( hurrah!) but it saw that a viable OS was on and only gave me options to repair - no options to restore from factory default. I am not really comfortable with leaving that OS on so am wondering if I ought to take the disk out and reformat and then try for Acer recovery, with no OS on the disk at all. At present I am doing a chkdsk and then will see if I can test the memory, just in case there is more than a bad download involved - but your info is very useful and I appreciate the help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2012   #7


What happens if you try to link Boot.wim from Recovery partition to a Dual Boot using EasyBCD?

I've never heard of eRecovery not offering full Recovery option if a working OS is seen on HD. Your partition may be damaged.

If you format to try to force eRecovery to offer full Factory Recovery it may not work so you'd have to then order Factory Recovery disks from Acer, do the superior Clean Reinstall, or restore a WIn7 backup image you make. Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

Have you looked over these steps to get a superior clean reinstall? Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2012   #8

win seven 32, win seven 64

gregrocker I hear what you say about a format not being successful for a factory restore. It is worth a try though as if it doesn't work I can simply reinstall the Vista disk I am using now, though that leaves me no further forward in putting the 'proper' OS back on the machine. I would then seek to use the standalone Vista SP2 download. By definition I assume that means I don't have to first download and install SP1. Will try tomorrow. Ditto the clean install guidance - very useful stuff if I do have to get recovery disks from Acer ( but I imagine they are expensive...) thanks again for your stirling effort

ps just done a memory check ( very brief ) but found no problems, also had easUS check the hidden partition and that too OK. Then I made the partition active again and restarted, and this time I got the 'please wait a moment' screen and then the factory restore option - so doing that now, and will put Vista SP2 standalone on tomorrow
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2012   #9


I have a bit different idea of what is the "proper OS." To me it is not the corrupted version with all the pre-installed crapware and useless Acer utilities with better versions built into Win7. The proper OS is Windows in its uncompromised native state, and activated in MS's own servers to protect you further from the whims of the OEM and its incompetent tech support.

If you must reinstall the bloated factory image, then Clean Up Factory Bloatware - Windows 7 Forums

However to experience Windows in it's native state as most all tech enthusiasts do, then Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 which are the same steps for Vista.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2012   #10

win seven 32, win seven 64

I mean the OS that is pre-installed on the machine. The disk I used is not the right version for that machine. If it had been my own computer I would have clean installed from the start - my tower computers get a clean re-install about every eighteen months or so - but this is not my machine and it is my experience that folk like their computer the way they are used to it being, especially if they are not techies themselves. Apart from the obvious stuff like trial-ware and 'tours' I shall leave it to him as to what he wants left on. We will discuss it tomorrow.

Ps just had a quick look at the 'cleanup bloatware' guide and am pleased to say that most of that is common practice for all the computers that I get to work on, and included in standard instructions to their owners via a note on the desktop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 can no longer get factory default to work

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