Are you using a floppy or a disc? Your CD rom or disk may be faulty. If you have another copy and/or another cd rom drive try that. Also reseat the memory sticks. Lastly it all of this fails your hard drive may be the culprit...
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You probably need to tell the BIOS to boot from the CD.
I'm not certain about your model, but you can try pressing delete button as it's doing initial start up, to enter bios. It may even display on screen what to press for bios. Then look for boot sequence options, and have the cd be the the first boot device.
If this works, you may see a message saying "press any button to boot from cd" if you don't do this , it will still fail to boot on cd.
If it works out for you, you should change this option back after completeing the install.
It sounds like the Windows boot files have become corrupted. That could happen for several reasons, but if you're willing to just reformat/reload the operating system, we're only concerned with one of those reasons.
There are some viruses that can corrupt boot files. If that's what happened, then reformatting/reloading the OS will take care of it.
On the other hand, it could be that your hard drive may be failing. When you reformat/reload, the Windows system will tell you if it finds errors on the drive.
The following is from the Acer manual for your machine as to how to access the BIOS and enable a hard disk recovery:
To activate the BIOS utility, press during the POST; while the notebook PC logo is being displayed.
To set the boot sequence in the BIOS utility, activate the BIOS utility, then select Boot from the categories listed at the top of the screen. [You should set the CD/DVD drive to be the first boot device, in case you need to reload from a DVD]
Enable disk-to-disk recovery
To enable disk-to-disk recovery (hard disk recovery), activate the BIOS utility, then select Main from the categories listed at the top of the screen. Find D2D Recovery at the bottom of the screen and use the and keys to set this value to Enabled.
[End of manual quote]
If you're not able to restore from the hidden partition on the hard drive, which may happen if the drive is damaged, then you'll have to try to restore using a Windows DVD.
One way to wipe out your computer is by Getting a Vista Disk or Operating system of your choice. It has to be a full installation disk. Try WIndows 7!!! I use it its great..When you install a new OS(operating System) it gives you the option to reformat your disk drive which in turn wipe out all your data and give your computer a fresh clean install..first things first..get a Valid Copy of Windows of your choice. I recommend WIndows 7 Professional.
After using Darik's boot and nuke (DBAN) your hard drive will be wiped clean with little chance of recovery. This also depends on how many passes you used for the disk wipe. More passes = less chance of recovery.
Restore from backup You can restore backups previously created (as stated in the Create backup section) from hard disk, CD or DVD. 1 Boot to Windows XP. 2 Press <Alt> + <F10> to open the Acer eRecovery Management utility. 3 Enter the password to proceed. The default password is six zeros. 4 In the Acer eRecovery Management window, select Recovery actions and click Next. 5 Select the desired restore action and follow the onscreen instructions to complete the restore process.
Put a Windows XP disk (has to be the full version not an upgrade) into the CD drive and the computer will ask to "press any key to boot from CD". Press a key. Follow the prompts, It is important to delete the partition when asked. Then recreate it. Format the drive with NTFS file system. The setup will go on to reinstall windows automatically.
Now, the only challenge is to reload any software drivers for components Windows does not find automatically. This is a little tricky. Do google search of Acer drivers or go to www.drivers.com.
Also, remember all your software programs need to be re-installed. For example, your Microsoft Office (word, excel, etc). Any games, any virus protection, Quickbooks, etc. The printer software also needs to be re-installed. Hopefully you still have the original disk or if its a Hewlett Packard go to their website.
You have to make sure when going through the setup (if given the option) to install a clean copy and not install windows to another directory. If you have access to a floppy disk drive an easier way would to be to create a dos boot disk and reformat your c:drive. Make sure you do not have any data on this laptop you want to save. If that does not work you can try to get a DOS program called FDISK. It will wipe out the hard drive partitions so that you can reload your laptop from scratch. Let us know how it goes.
Well your explanation was clear but your should've not ruled out the hardware issue. if both computer suffered the same problem at the same time the problem could be within the Desktop itself. I have experienced the same problem with my HP when I move to my new house after 5 years. What happend is that during transportation the vibration lossened up the parts inside your computer. So what I did was I reseated all the parts inside the desktop and reinstalled Windows XP. Till now I have never had any problems yet.