Acer Aspire One D250 D2D recovery and Windows 7

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. 

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  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 GB 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!

  1. 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)     After booting Windows XP the before hidden PQSERVICE partition appears as drive D:, 7 GB    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
  2. Did the same (just to check how it works) before using ptedit32 with ubuntu and knoppix live cd. Works fine with knoppix,  the PQSERVICE can be mounted with a click on the drive on the desktop. No surprises either, same files.    
    Except for the wireless, a known problem, all seems to work fine with both Linux’es.
  3. Searched the PQSERVICE for the utility and file to restore the MBR and no luck. Nothing that  even vaquely resembles that can be found.
  4. Used a disk editor ( to see the first block, which is the mbr, and yes, it is an MBR as far as I can see.
  5. Used a small utility to make a backup of the mbr ( to file, so now I have the equivalent  of the missing     Acer supplied utility, I can restore the mbr with that utility.
  6. The forementioned Knoppix  and Ubunty live cd’s contain the partition editor (GPARTED), so I can create a  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.

 Or do you see a snag I forget?  Oh well,  I will also do a disk clone before further experiments.

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