Today I was fixing up a laptop for a friend. It was an Acer Aspire 6930 running Windows Vista Home Premium (x86), it appeared that the MBR (Master Boot Record) needed repairing. So using the Vista Recovery CD I was able to use the BOOTREC /FIXMBR and BOOTREC /FIXBOOT commands. Unfortunately that didn’t solve my problem and I needed to access the laptop’s recovery partition, which you would normally get to by holding Alt and pressing F11 during boot up (other laptops have similar key combinations) but I think because I had mucked around with the boot record that the Alt + F11 shortcut was no longer functioning.
By the way, if you are looking for Windows 7 (x86 & x64) & Windows Vista (x86 & x64) Recovery CD’s you can download them from a torrent here: http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/6313721/Windows_7_and_Windows_Vista_Recovery_Discs_%5Bx86_amp_x64%5D_BY_KAILASH (These are the disks I used for this job and they worked fine, no viruses).
To cut a long story short, the EISA recovery partition was still on the hard drive but could not be accessed! To make matters worse I didn’t have the recovery DVDs for the laptop. Thankfully, after hours of Googling and a lot of swearing and frustration I came across a method in an article. This method should be useful for ALL machines with recovery partitions…
What I needed to do was:
- Boot up using the Windows Vista Recovery CD.
- Click on ‘Command Prompt’.
- In the command prompt type ‘DISKPART’.
- Type ‘LIST DISK’ this will display a list of hard disks installed on the machine.
- Type ‘SELECT DISK n‘ (In this case it was disk 0).
- Type ‘LIST PARTITION’ and take note of the partition you wish you make active, in most cases the first partition in the list will be your recovery partition.
- Type ‘SELECT PARTITION n‘ (Where ‘n’ is the number representing the recovery partition identified from the previous step, in my case it was partition 1).
- Change the partition to NTFS by typing ‘SET ID=27 OVERRIDE’.
- Make the partition active by typing ‘ACTIVE’.
- Reboot your machine from the hard drive and the recovery partition should start up!
If that method doesn’t work you can find the original article which has some other things you can try here: http://aspiregemstone.blogspot.com/2009/02/how-to-activate-acer-hidden-partition.html