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  1. #31
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    Default Re: MultiBooting, EasyBCD and Recovery Partition..

    The important parts of the Acer are:

    BIOS + MBR + PQSERVICE

    BIOS should be ok, I've only messed up the OEM BIOS once and that's with command line switches - anyway, the BIOS isn't touched so that can be left.

    MBR + I use HDHacker which is a windows based app, I don't know if 64 will run it but it might with a right click and Compatibility...

    There are also MBR backups within the PQSERVICE Partition.

    I found DriveImage XML good as it backed up and restored both the MBR and PQSERVICE partition so no need for HDHacker.

    The important parts of your DATA are FILES and thus don't require a partition backup image only a file file backup (archive).

    So I would backup my user files such as MP3 and docs and web addresses and emails and... to an external device.

    Then backup the PQSERVICE and MBR with DriveImage XML again to an external device.

    Install new drive and then restore using DriveImage XML the image/MBR backup to the new drive.

    Reboot and press Alt + F10 hopefully the restore will begine on the new drive

    When I did this I had access to the new drive as it came with an external enclosure with USB support. I could take the Acer drive out of the laptop and put the new drive in and as I had an USB external enclosure to put the Acer drive into I could also access all my files.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: MultiBooting, EasyBCD and Recovery Partition..

    Wow, you really got to hand it to AcerAspire2930 there..he works charms! (segue: any short name for AcerAspire? How about AA? :lol

    Anyway, this might prove useful, considering my dad wants my old laptop (a Lenovo, though) and wants its harddrive upgraded but with the recovery partition, but the thing is he wants it to have XP instead of Vista. Haha may have to tinker with it myself if time comes.

    Anyway, I'm going to try restoring the Alt+F10 function later, and see if the thing works with mine.. AA, do you have any idea if I could upgrade my harddrive from 320 to 500? Or is that too much already? of course not until I manage to save up for it. Hahaha. I'm gonna save this thread in advance now, might not be able to dig it up if I finally get the chance to upgrade harddrives.

    PS:

    by the way, when you changed the harddrive, it wont matter what brand you chose for a harddrive, right? I mean, the AHCI/IDE confusion is in the chipset of the laptop itself, right? -_-'
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  3. #33
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    Default Re: MultiBooting, EasyBCD and Recovery Partition..

    AHCI is Chipset. I would imagine that "any" upgrade drive would support this mode. The Iomega drive was a Seagate Momentus 5400 and my Acer 2930 was also Seagate Momentus 5400 (not sure of the point(x) but it wasn't 6 (5400.x)).

    I've thought more on the recovery partition and it's purpose. As it stands the recovery of the OS restores all including what I don't want. It also only restores the partition with Vista. I think as we are savvy with a PC perhaps at this time we could install a "recovery only" OS (XP with a Backup Restore program like DriveImage) in the PQSERVICE area and if needed boot to the restore OS and recover the other OS's from there.

    This would require a Boot Manager within the recovery partition or a Boot Manager such as Avanquest System Commander.

    If the partition table is unchanged maybe Alt + F10 could be used. You would need to manually set ID to 27 (if it needs to be 27)....

    AA is cool

    The Acer Recovery Partition is quite hard and time consuming to edit and is based around Vista and WIM.

    [EDIT]
    Acer Aspire 2930 Harddrive = Seagate Momentus 5400.4 SATA 3Gb/s 250-GB Hard Drive
    hxxp://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=c7de03cf785c6110VgnVCM100000f5ee0a0aRCRD&locale=en-US

    Iomega Drive = Seagate Momentus 5400.6 SATA 3Gb/s 320-GB Hard Drive
    hxxp://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?name=st9320325as-momentus-5400.6-sata-3gb-320gb-hd&vgnextoid=31a9e0f933140210VgnVCM1000001a48090aRCRD&locale=en-US
    [/EDIT]
    Last edited by AcerAspire2930; 19th May 2009 at 09:53 AM. Reason: Drive info

  4. #34
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    Default Re: MultiBooting, EasyBCD and Recovery Partition..

    Ok ~ Good news double post

    Been looking at the MBR in Hex editors without much luck - maybe I was looking too much at the Acer string.

    Anyway, 3 partitions weren't enough needed more.

    Good news is 1. Created 3 primary and 1 extended with 3 logical. So far so good. Then just thought put the Acer MBR back and see what happens.

    Well the Laptop wouldn't boot but it did have 4 partitions!
    10GB 111GB 111GB and remaining free space! Basicly the default Acer config.

    Without messing with the partitions or setting any active or hidden etc... I restored the previous MBR and rebooted. Good News is that all partitions were restored (3 primary and 1 extended with 3 logical).

    Back to the Hex editor and at the bottom I noticed a pattern...

    07

    OK a small pattern but when looking closer and compairing Acer MBR to my new MBR the address of these patters became clearish.
    Acer:
    000001c0h: 01 00 27 FE FF FF ....
    000001d0h: FF FF 07 FE FF FF ....
    000001e0h: 00 00 00 00 00 00 ....
    000001f0h: 00 00 00 00 00 00 ....

    My MBR:
    000001c0h: 01 00 07 FE FF FF ....
    000001d0h: FF FF 07 FE FF FF ....
    000001e0h: FF FF 07 FE FF FE ....
    000001f0h: FF FE 0F FE FF FE .... Extended partition

    There is possibly more info at 00000000h 33... ? but may just beable to swap data from the bottom of the sector to enable Alt + F10 and a new partition table

    Early days

    [EDIT] seems to work, just edit the last 4 hex lines to match your partition table.

    1. Get a working Acer MBR (Alt + F10)
    2. Create the Partitions of your choice and install OS
    3. Backup new MBR
    4. Edit Last 4 lines of Acer MBR with new MBR

    Testing still...
    [/EDIT]
    [EDIT2]
    With an edited Acer MBR with the last 4 lines changed to discribe your main partitions.
    The first partition will need Alt+F10 key press at boot inorder to function correctly as simply editing the boot and file system values don't work.
    The File system will change to FAT32 (0B) but the boot value will remain 80 (bootable). The system will crash. Restart and press Alt + F10 will correct.
    Use PTEDIT32 to change the boot value from 80 to 00 (not bootable) and change another partition to enable boot to that (os installed or to be installed).
    After rebooting the new partition will boot and as a result the File System ID of the PQSERVICE Partition will have change to 27, not accessable.
    The contence of all partitions are not affected.
    [/EDIT2]
    Last edited by AcerAspire2930; 20th May 2009 at 01:01 PM. Reason: update

  5. #35
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    Default Re: MultiBooting, EasyBCD and Recovery Partition..

    Wow, that's hardcore, man. Hahaha.

    Anyway, yeah, I think the reason why I can't restore the default Acer MBR and the Alt+F10 Function back then was because I created another partition, so instead of the MBR recognizing only two, it might have gotten shocked at finding out it had another one to take care of. :lol:

    Which hex editor do you use for this? I might reinstall my XP (as I lost it just last night, tried to restore Acer MBR) WITHOUT repartitioning the D: drive, then I'll see if the Alt+F10 works or something. Then if not I'll go by the hex-editing mode.

    BTW, AA, (yeah cool nick there huh ) I was thinking of switching into a 7200rpm harddrive from my WDC harddrive w/c is a 5400rpm one..would that be just a waste of, uhh, things?
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  6. #36
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    Default Re: MultiBooting, EasyBCD and Recovery Partition..

    I installed the DiskImage XML. It does not see the 2 hidden Acer volumes. When I look at the restore option (have not backed up anything yet) it does see the 2 hidden volumes.

  7. #37
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    Default Re: MultiBooting, EasyBCD and Recovery Partition..

    DO NOT REBOOT UNTIL PARTITION ID RESTORED

    Hi there, as above don't reboot until ID's restored...

    Try this (as DriveImage can only see NTFS and FATxx):

    Start PTEDIT32 (run as admin or compatibility mode if needed) and look at the window. The Hidden partitions will have values in type other than 07.

    I don't know why you have 2 partitions that are hidden so becarefull.

    I think values will look like this: (You must remember the Values you have as you will need to restore them manually)

    27 00 ........ Do Not Touch the rest of the values
    07 80 .....
    07 00 .....
    ?? 00 ..... I just think the last partition is hidden for some reason...

    If you change a value the value will turn RED and you'll have two new buttons:

    Discard Changes
    Save Changes

    Only edit the Type box.

    So change 27 to 07 and Save Changes (DO NOT REBOOT)

    Now open Drive Image and see if the partition is available...
    ...If not you may need to open Admin Tools/Computer Manager and give the partition a letter

    Open PTEDIT32 angain and restore the values to what they were - Save changes. It's OK to reboot now.

    I haven't tried this myself and when you backup only backup to a drive that you normally see. C: or D: if D: is hard disk.

  8. #38
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    Default Re: MultiBooting, EasyBCD and Recovery Partition..

    Another update is with installing eRecovery software. It won't install unless:

    eRecovery Installation requires>

    Factory Default Image Located: \D2D\IMAGES
    Acer Bootable File: ACERBOOT.ISO
    Patch Disc (folder exist): \D2D\PATCH
    Software Disc (folder exist): C:\Acer\Preload\Autorun
    Hidden Partition Lable: PQSERVICE

    Folders can be empty.

    \D2D\IMAGES & \D2D\PATCH are located root of PQSERVICE Partition. Patch can be empty but must exist.

    \D2D\IMAGES must contain files the name of which will be found in ImageInfo.dat

    I used 3 files
    POP0100M04EN0C21.000
    POP0100M04EN0C21.WSI
    POP0100M04EN0C210000.DSI

    and edited the ImageInfo.dat file from ImageCount=145 to ImageCount=1 (ie 1 file .000)

    All files are place holder empty content files (renamed txt files)

    The ImageInfo.dat file should also exist but contain valid restore image info.

    C:\Acer\Preload\Autorun is located on C, your working Vista drive

    All other files and folders are located in PQSERVICE which can be accessable with ID changed. You can view and edit a DAT file with notepad.

    To work correctly eRecovery will require correct files in these location (Factory Backup will not work)
    But you may still beable to create your own backups...

    [EDIT]
    Doesn't work!
    Wont burn backup cd/dvd's
    and will only restore to the second partition regardless of the source backup

    [/EDIT]
    Last edited by AcerAspire2930; 20th May 2009 at 08:24 PM. Reason: update

  9. #39
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    Default Re: MultiBooting, EasyBCD and Recovery Partition..

    Think I will just give up trying to copy the files. It doesn't seem to work for me.

  10. #40
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    Default Re: MultiBooting, EasyBCD and Recovery Partition..

    Hi there Thernen. PC's are a pain to work with as they're slow...

    ...it's true, the boot time and the "try this..." approach all take time, and we're left waiting and waiting...

    ...Always have a break from it. Remember the only stuff that can't be replaced with a download is your data. Your pictures, Your purchaced MP3's, Your emails and other documents. Always backup these files (two copies are better than one) the rest can be solved one way or another.

    The reason to backup is mainly to recover quicker than one would if having to clean install. The other reason is that most new pc's don't come with CD/DVD install disks.

    As long as your PC is running then all is good.

    If you want to try later or get more advice just post. As for my help I think I'd need to know what your hard drive looks like...



    ...If you could give me the numbers in the Type boxes from top to bottom and the boot numbers too. In my image above:

    07 80
    07 00
    07 00
    0F 00

    Use the PTEdit32.EXE app. When done just close the app (Top right X)

    No preasure

    [EDIT]
    A ha! The last partition is possibly Acer Arcade Instant-On ~ Not a recovery partition.
    Possibly FAT32 or NTFS - Now if you couldn't see the partition with 07 try 0B (oh Bee)
    It won't be an extended partition as XP boots from there (not that XP can't boot from extended...)
    I'll get told off if I don't search
    [/EDIT]
    Last edited by AcerAspire2930; 21st May 2009 at 07:17 PM. Reason: The Last Partition = Acer Arcade Instant-On

 

 
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