I just purchased an Acer AspireRevo nettop (like the Atom netbooks, but no screen, keyboard, or mouse) system and used Macrium Reflect Free Edition to backup the PQSERVICE partition to an image file. Also using Macrium Reflect, I chose to mount the image as a browseable partition on P:\. Looking through the partition, I located the Windows Image file:
Using the ImageX utility from the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) I mounted this image file for browsing, and what I found is pictured below. We know Acer puts everything needed in the PQSERVICE partition, and this WIM file is where they've packaged everything needed to rebuild your factory disk image.
There's one more really good reason for backing up your hidden PQSERVICE partition: you can trace the entire disk image build process.
Have fun . . .
Last edited by KeithB; 12th October 2009 at 10:48 PM.
Reason: Added NAPP7.EXE properties page :)
Actually, the NAPP program iteslf may work very well for older laptops. The \D2D\Images\*.SWM files Acer uses to assemble the system image are the items specific to each combination of laptop model, Windows operating system, and os release. These files are segments of a total .WIM image file which the ImageX utility appends together to create the first-run/out-of-box-experience (OOBE) bootable image. Including the correct hardware drivers package, this is how Acer's NAPP builds and restores the factory configuration to your system's hard disk drive.
Running the NAPP executable outside of this directory brings up the utility's GUI (it displays Packard Bell branding.) The initial step of this utility is to mount the existing disk partitions on drive letters like M: and N: for performing file manipulations. Then the overall actions are driven by *.DAT/*.INF files telling the utility what operations to perform like disk formatting, partition creation and naming, etc.
Actually, the NAPP program iteslf may work very well for older laptops.
This your speculation ..
In praxis , this is not possible .
Your laptop are new .
If you had an old laptop , and try to install newer version of the windows Acer tools that activates recovery .... you will get a message of incompatible NAPP version .
The NAPP version of files stored on the hard drive , MUST BE 100% compatible with the ACER software running on windows .
Or else there is no cooperation .
In this story , you cannot run recovery or backup due windows.
If you think that you are smart .. ACER are smarter !
Attached are the the text files Flag.log and NAPP7.log from the root directory of the PQSERVICE partition. Fortunately, these files are clear text. Observe the Flag.log section header that says [NAPP6] even though the version of the NAPP program used is 7.x Also notice the NAPP7.log final line that says "NAPP6 Finished". The Flag.log file shows the control flags the NAPP program uses to apply features. The file NAPP7.log shows the program using Microsoft's Windows utilities Diskpart.exe, ImageX.exe (as a callable DLL library) and Bootrec.exe to partition, build, and make a bootable disk.
Attached are other .DAT files from the PQSERVICE partition (renamed to .txt for attaching here) These files control and direct the NAPP utility operations. The file RESTORE.DAT was an empty, zero-length file and could not be attached.
I located the file where they start the NAPP (New Acer Preload Process) program during the WinPE (Pre-Execution) process. In the \Windows\system32\ directory, there is a file named winpeshl.ini that tells the Windows PE shell program (winpeshl.exe) what to execute. It contains two lines:
AppPath = X:\RyTools\NAPP7.exe
This syntax merges the *.SWM files into a single large .WIM file which can be applied to a disk partition. Once applied, several additional "patch" command files and scripts are executed to finalize the clean, new "factory" image the user experiences when they first power on the computer.
can some help with the recovery process. I buy the recovery disk from Acer and use them. Now my computer get to the Acer launch and stalls at 4 out of 5 installs. I tried reinstalling and now it gets to 1 of 2 and just sits there saying thank you for using Acer. Everytime I restart my computer the Acer launch pops up and the only way to get it to go away is to launch Task Manger and close it.