Recently I tried out the Windows 7 beta on my Acer Aspire One netbook (it worked great, by the way – in some ways faster even than XP). I figured I could always revert to the factory-default Windows XP image stored on the mystical “hidden partition” that PC makers are so fond of using. However, Windows 7 is apparently too intimidating for the poor little Acer eRecovery Management software. It simply doesn’t know what to do with itself when confronted with a Windows 7 partition.
ARM: What is thy bidding my Master?
You: It’s Windows 7 we’re after.
ARM: I’m sorry, did you just say Windows 7?
You: You got a problem with that?
ARM: Actually, I, uh…
You: ARM? Are you OK?
ARM: My mind is going…cannot format..failed to format…partition not found…
Let’s face it: Acer eRecovery Management needs a little love to get through this. Here’s what you need to do:
- Create a System Rescue USB drive (Note: An alternative to the spyware-laden Daemon-tools for mounting the ISO file as a virtual CD-ROM is Virtual CloneDrive). If you have trouble with the System Rescue CD, you can try some other distros.
- Reboot the netbook and go into the Acer BIOS settings. Change the boot settings to check USB first. Plug in your System Rescue stick, and restart the netbook.
- Run “wizard”, and launch gtparted (icon towards the lower-left of the screen).
- Delete partition 2, create a new one, then reformat it as NTFS
- Mark partition 1 as bootable (right-click, edit flags). Remove USB drive.
- Reboot into the Acer System Restore software. Choose to restore the system.
- Plug the System Rescue USB drive back into the Acer netbook.
- Reboot into the System Rescue CD/USB, go back into gparted, and flag the restored partition 2 as bootable.
- Remove USB flash drive and reboot.