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If the recovery partition is intact, boot the machine and press ALT + F10 simultaneously. If the partition still exists and hasn't been corrupted, the machine will take you through the recovery process of which Factory Restore is among the options.
There is a recovery console on your HDD (Hard Disk Drive) this is a hidden partition on your HDD. If you power on your laptop and hold the ALT key and keep tapping the F10 key while it posts to the acer logo screen it will goto a black screen with a flashing cursor on the top left then stop tapping F10 and remove your finger from the ALT key, you will then see windows loading files. This will take you to the recovery console and from there you can select restore laptop to factory defaults or restore laptop retaining user data.
Yyou can restore the computer back to factory default,to do so, follow the below steps: Turn OFF the computer, now as soon as you hit the power button, keep on holding "Alt" key & keep
on tapping "F10" key, i.e Alt+f10, it will open the recovery console,
select full factory restore and follow onscreen instruction.
NOTE: This will erase all the data on the computer.
The ALT+F10 routine should work if the ALT key is held down and the F10 key is repeatedly depressed before and during the Acer logo display. If you still have a working M/C then the recovery routine can be accessed from START / ALL PROGAMS and selecting Acer Empowering Technology and then Acer recovery Management. This might differ a little because you have a netbook
For all Acer Netbooks try to initiate the recovery using Altgr key (righthand side of the space bar) and F10, ie Altgr+F10 as soon as the computer restarts. If the recovery partion is corrupted or do not have the CD. Try the below steps: No Restore CD / eRecovery / password / ALT + F10 or F10 1 - Recovery of data on the hidden partition PQSERVICE for password A - Installing the software R-Drive Image to create an image of this partition (this file has the extension. ARC) B - Always with this software, create a virtual disk logic to see the files C - From the desktop, go to the newly created virtual disk and find the file aimdrs.dat. The open with the notepad and get the password. 2 - Reactivating the ALT + F10 A - Always on the virtual disk created, find 2 files: mbrwrwin.exe and rtmbr.bin. B - Copy these 2 files on drive C: \ C - Since the MS-DOS (Pocket PC) to C: \, type the following command: mbrwrwin install rtmbr.bin D - The function has been reactivated. 3 - Start of Restoration A - At the start of the PC, go to the set-up to check if the function is well on D2D enabled (normally it is a default setting ... but hey you never know.) B - Once the audit and that the PC has restarted once the ACER logo appears, simultaneously press ALT + F10 to start the restore utility. C - When it asks for the password, you need to type one found in the file aimdrs.dat. CAUTION: The keyboard is QWERTY mode so we thought enter his password, but as some letters are reversed, it does not work. 4 - Normally at this stage there ... everything works and restoration is smooth. Note: If the operating system does not work, it is possible to do this from another PC by connecting the hard drive or USB slave
i found this helped me with exactly the same problem you have on the 7540g aspire laptop
use the ALTGR on the right hand side of keyboard not the ALT on the left hand side of the keyboard along with F10 i tried it with just the ALT on the left side nothing happened but when used ALTGR on right side it woeked and reset everything back to factory settings then went to acer site and downloaded missing drivers hope this helps you out
other way before Vista starts up is to tap ALT + F10 (at the same time
repeatedly) when the computer is first switched on.. The window of
opportunity is very small, so this may take a few attempts
Once you have tapped both the ALT and F10 repeatedly, you may see a screen showing:
“Edit Boot options for Microsoft Windows Vista”
If you see this, unfortunately, you have missed the window of opportunity, and you need to restart, and try again.
If you see this: “Edit Boot options for Windows Setup” OR “Edit Boot options for Acer eRecovery”
it indicates that you have tapped the ALT + F10 correctly, and all you
now need to do is press “Enter” and the Recovery program should load on
your screen after a short pause..
In some cases, you may need to remove the battery (for notebooks only) and run the machine directly from the mains.
The Disk2Disk recovery feature allows you to recover the system without recovery CDs. This will return your system to factory settings and will delete everything stored on the machine. If possible we strongly advise backing up anything important on your machine before starting the recovery process.
1 Ensure all Data is backed up, all data will be deleted. 2 Restart machine 3 When your unit switches back on hold down alt & tap f10 repeatedly...(on Acer icon) 4 Please wait a moment until prompted, -How would you like to restore?- 5 Please select –Restore system to factory default- 6 Enter your defined password or enter six zeros ‘000000’ 7 Click ok 8 Please wait until process completed, this will take 45min – 1hour