Enjoying my Acer Aspire One with XP! But Windows 7 is the way of the future, so I am tempted to upgrade, once I have a permanent W7 license for it.Â
EIT november 1st 2009: Windows 7 is now isntalled, read here)
I am studying how to protect the D2D eRecovery facility. At boot time all Acers Aspire notebooks Â have a D2D (disk 2 disk) restore facility, activated by pressing ALT-F10 at boot time. It works by having a special MBR and a hidden partition of 7 GBÂ with a fresh OEM XP install.
Installing Windows 7 will for sure change the MBR and prevent the recovery process.
This is what I have found and done sofar. No Windows 7 installation done yet, need a RTM version with a valid key. Hope to get one at Teched in november!
- Created the recovery dvd’s. I have an external usb dvd writer, a big brick one, not for the road but usable for these kind of tasks at home)
I got the PTEDIT32 utility and set the partition entry type for the first, hidden,partition to 07 (was 12)Â Â Â Â After booting Windows XP the before hidden PQSERVICE partition appears as drive D:, 7 GBÂ Â Â Made a backup of that partition (about 6 GB. And yes, I used explorer for the copy after making sure it shows hidden+system files
- Did the same (just to check how it works) before using ptedit32 with ubuntu and knoppix live cd. Works fine with knoppix,Â the PQSERVICE can be mounted with a click on the drive on the desktop. No surprises either, same files.Â Â Â Â
Except for the wireless, a known problem,Â all seems to work fine with both Linux’es.
- Searched the PQSERVICE for the utility and file to restore the MBR and no luck. Nothing thatÂ even vaquely resembles that can be found.
- Used a disk editor (http://jawade.nl/) to see the first block, which is the mbr, and yes, it is an MBR as far as I can see.
- Used a small utility to make a backup of the mbr (http://mbrwizard.com/) to file, so now I have the equivalentÂ of the missingÂ Â Â Â Acer supplied utility, I can restore the mbr with that utility.
- The forementioned KnoppixÂ and Ubunty live cd’s contain the partition editor (GPARTED), so I can create aÂ new partition for Windows 7 and have a dual boot system.
I hope I now have everything in backup to start the Windows 7 installation.
Â Or do you see a snag I forget?Â Oh well,Â I will also do a disk clone before further experiments.