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Acer logoYesterday I made an appeal to OnSoftware readers and you came through in flying colors. The appeal was to help fix my Acer Aspire laptop which, after an over zealous cleaning session with CCleaner, refused to boot.

Even safe mode wouldn't work and to make matters worse, my CD/DVD drive is damaged meaning I couldn't boot from a Windows disc. Fortunately, one of you pointed out that most Acers usually have a "hidden" recovery utility known as PQSERVICE which can be activated by pressing "Alt" and "F10" on startup.

I've had the Acer Aspire 1414 for over 4 years now and had no idea this facility existed. For some strange reason, the bios does not allow you to boot from the USB drive in Acers (at least on my model) so PQSERVICE was my only hope. PQSERVICE is actually a hidden partition of your hard disk designed for exactly these kinds of emergencies. Note: activating it wipes your entire hard disk - any files, folders or programs you had installed will be automatically deleted.

As soon as I saw the bios screen, I pressed Alt-F10 and it immediately launched "Acer Recovery Tool 1.0.0" a rough screenshot of which you can see below.

PQSERVICE Acer Recovery Tool

It appears to be a Symantec tool which works very smoothly and quickly. Within 10 minutes and a few auto-restarts, I had a completely new clean install of XP and wasn't prompted to enter the Windows XP CD key at any point. It was a darn sight faster than reinstalling XP from a CD.

Although I lost some of my non backed-up files, folders and photos, it was a small price to pay to regain a functioning laptop which would otherwise have had to be thrown-away. Thank you OnSoftware readers and Acer - all is forgiven.

Commented

  • just4onec0mment |
    30/09/09
    just4onec0mment

    Do your self a big favor. Get a freeware partition manager.(easus by instance) Divide that disk in 2. And move documents and desktop to the new partition. Not the whole user folder. Because if you have to re-install, the sh*t thats been written by applications in the user folder is of totaly no use ne more. Move the desktop too, because it is anoying if you have to copy/delete files from the desktop to the second disk instead of a simple move. You should never lose docs due a system failure.

  • Nicholas Mead |
    01/10/09
    Nicholas Mead

    Thanks for the advice. Thankfully the Acer already has two partitions. Most of my information was on the 'D' drive but some of it was stupidly saved in My Documents on the 'C' partition.

  • Donavan |
    02/10/09
    Donavan

    You see firstly you're system was infected with a malicious code witch attached itself to you're winlogon file. Usually if that is the case then some of you're other system files would also be corrupted e.g. Explorer. All CCleaner did was try and remove the malicious code which in turn made you're system inoperable. No biggie though, you could've easily attached an external CD/DVD rom and just booted from that, and just replaced the corrupted files. If that is to difficult you can always just run Bartpe and replaced it through the GUI.

  • ALA CORNELIUS |
    20/04/13
    ALA CORNELIUS

    hi, I recently upgrade my TOSHIBA SATELLITE LAPTOP to windows 8 operating system and in the process I incidentally uninstalled a programme that damaged my CD/DVD-ROM. I CANT SEEM TO GET MY CD ROM TO WORK ANYMORE, AS I KEEP GETTING A PROMT THAT THE FILE IS DAMAGED OR IN USE BY ANOTHER PROGRAMME. MY PROBLEM IS HOW DO I GET IT TO WORK, IVE TRIED FORMATING THE LAPTOP, BUT THAT TOO DOESNT HLEP, COZ IT ASKED FOR A FORMATING DISC. PLESASE HELP ME.

19/09/14
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