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Need a recovery disc... not as straightforward as it sounds


SarahES
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So far, I'm stuffed.

I got my Acer laptop 5 years ago, running XP. It came with 'official' recovery discs and I was never asked or prompted to make my own. I like to reformat my laptop every 18 months or so and it's in real need of doing but one of my recovery discs has broken (snapped in two). I rang Acer and they said No Problem, but they need the two product keys off the COA label...which I don't have (5 years of everyday use, upgrade and transport means most of the labels have rubbed/peeled off). So now, apparently, they can't process my order.

What do I do? I need recovery discs. I have some options but I don't know what to do for the best, hence asking for some help and advice.

My Dad recently got an Acer Windows 7 laptop but still has his recovery discs from his old Acer XP laptop. These are his own however (prompted to make his own so he did - he did not get them supplied as I did) Would this be a viable option?

OR

can I make my own bootable disc using Ghost or Nero but then, do I need my XP product key which is probably on that damn COA label

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Regards

Sarah

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Try your Dads, recovery discs, see it it works, other than that you will have to come up with regular XP install media and a legitimate key.

If your system is still bootable, use a "key finder" software to find and record the key that is being used currently.

.

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Thanks for your reply ScanMan :blink:

My system is running fine, I just like to wipe it and start again every 18 months. If I access Control Panel > System, it shows me a #####-OEM-#######-##### number. Is this a product key for XP? And would this be the key I would need to enter if it asked me for one? Would I be able to use this key on my Dad's recovery discs if it asked me for one?

Like I say, my system is up and running fine so I can create my own recovery discs too, but I'm unsure how to go about it as I have no software to do this and all the help topics I find mention a bootable floppy...I have no floppy drive on my laptop.

thanks again

Sarah

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Hi ScanMan

I got myself WinKeyFinder and the OEM number is my product ID but it's also found me my Product Key too. So I have that for certain.

Sarah

Sarah,

This link will guide you through the process http://www.ehow.com/how_6591244_create-backup-recovery-floppy-drive.html

Things You'll Need:

* Administrative account

* 64MB USB flash drive (or larger) (I thought this said 64GIG at first and was going to tell you it'd be cheaper to get an USB floppy drive.
:huh:
)

Good luck.. the instructions seem simple.. and the e-HOW site is a GREAT resource for "how-2" do things..

EDIT: Ummmm.. I *missed* this part.. :blink:

Although you can create an ASR backup without a floppy drive present on the system, you must have a floppy drive present on the system in order to run an ASR restore using an ASR recovery disk.

You might want to invest in a cheap USB Floppy Drive after all... :blink:$15 TEAC USB Floppy Drive from Amazon.com

~Steve

Edited by ShyWriter
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Dear ShyWriter :blink:

Thanks for your reply! Problem is, further on in the instructions, you still seem to need a computer with a floppy drive. I don't have ANY at my disposal.

I have NO floppy drives at all. Anywhere. Would I be able to just create a bootable disc with XP on and do it that way? All the programs I want are backed up as Installation files, I can make my own partitions, all I want is my laptop with Windows on it, like it was when I first got it.

Thanks again

Sarah

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Dear ShyWriter :blink:

Thanks for your reply! Problem is, further on in the instructions, you still seem to need a computer with a floppy drive. I don't have ANY at my disposal.

I have NO floppy drives at all. Anywhere. Would I be able to just create a bootable disc with XP on and do it that way? All the programs I want are backed up as Installation files, I can make my own partitions, all I want is my laptop with Windows on it, like it was when I first got it.

Thanks again

Sarah

My original WinXP disc was a bootable CD.. And my mind is old and fuzzy but I swear I burned an XP w/SP2 install CD awhile a'go.. No floppy required. If you have install disks for all your programs and don't care about data, pictures, mail and such (or can back those up to CD or external drive) then all you need is a WinXP install CD WITH SP2 as if my memory is correct, Windows UPDATE won't work for WinXP lower than SP2. (Can some XP user correct me if I'm wrong?) I think the confusion that is arising here is we're talking about TWO kinds of disks. ASR Discs and a bootable WinXP install CD and they are two different kinds of animals.

Perhaps I should shut up and let a WinXP user help you as I haven't used it for three years..

My apologies for causing all the confusion. :blink:

~Steve..

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Dear ShyWriter

You are correct. I guess I'm just used to using a set of discs called 'recovery discs'. which one of mine is broken. And I don't care about data because I have all I want backed up. So i've migrated to a bootable one since my system is still running.

I've found a link which seems quite comprehensive on how to make a bootable disc.

http://www.howtohaven.com/system/createwin...setupdisk.shtml

Gonna give this a go. I can't believe how hard it's been to get to this stage.

One of these days I'll get my Linux comp :blink:

Thanks so much for your help

Sarah

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Dear ShyWriter

[...]

Thanks so much for your help

Sarah

Thank you for being so gracious. Some people would have the dogs out and armed men pursuing me for muddying the waters so much. :blink:

Hope everything eventually works out to your satisfaction. :blink:

Take care,

~Steve

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I just skimmed through your topic, so I apologize if I am being redundant, BUT,

If you still need your product key,

Speccy by Piriform can retrieve that for you :blink:

http://www.piriform.com/speccy

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Hi mountaintree16, thanks for helping.

I've got my Product Key by using WinKeyFinder. I've just spent 4 hours trying to make myself a bootable CD and can't. Say's that a .sif is missing. So now I need to know how to successfuly make a Bootable XP CD. I have XP running fine on my laptop. I DON'T have a floppy drive (or access to one). Someone please help me, I am close to tears and MIGHTILY weed off with Microsoft and Acer because I have legit stuff and they wont help me because I don't have the stupid label on my PC anymore... but I digress...

So yeah, anyone who can help me make a Bootable XP cd from my running laptop would be great.

Thanks again,

Sarah

P.S. I know everyone mentions NERO but my head is crackered now and I just can't follow any of it anymore. Everyone does it differently! Oh and I don't have a Windows XP Disc myself (that was on the broken recovery discs), I just have it running on my laptop.

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hmmm ....

ya know ... something just don't smell right about this deal .

i don't believe that microsoft is/should be involved in this ... acer basically is the one responsible for the availability/supply of your recovery disc(s) .

this cannot be the first time that labels have peeled off laptops through normal use ...

and by looking over (and remembering several from the past) machines , i know this to be true .

now that you have the COA/windows activation number (and more info) available acer should be able to supply you with a set of discs .

i would get a hold of consumer affairs for/at acer (or whatever they call it) and explain your plight and your prior attempts at obtaining a disc set .

be aware though that at five years of age acer may not be legally required to provide "parts/software" for your laptop .

they may not even have any discs "laying around" .

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Hi CWB, thanks for your reply :blink:

I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way! It's the reason why I am so upset with it all. I rang Acer and told them what I needed. They said it wasn't a problem and could provide them for my laptop (even tho it is over 5 years old!).

They then sent me a form to fill out that asked for TWO COA numbers that are located on this damn sticker, along with what my OS is, what my laptop serial number is and other rubbish. So when I rang them back and explained I don't have this sticker so I don't have access to the COAs, they said they couldn't process it.

So I have one of the COAs and everything else but heaven knows what the other COA is or how to get it once your label is gone. I guess the lesson to be learnt is to write them down somewhere but I never thought I'd have any of this sort of problem!

I'm trying not to get too worked up over it as I still have a legit running Windows XP laptop so i'm not without it. But I can't believe that Acer cannot process me my discs without ALL of that info.

Sarah

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I'm trying not to get too worked up over it as I still have a legit running Windows XP laptop so i'm not without it. But I can't believe that Acer cannot process me my discs without ALL of that info.

Sarah

Sarah,

Hopefully your head, and mindset, have had time to rest overnight and a fresh start never hurts.

I gave this a lot more thought last night and earlier this morning. Even went so far as trying to find you a program that can emulate a floppy drive that can run a flash drive as a floppy to the system.. Had luck there in emulation; but not the kind that would help your situation.

Shot in the dark - probably no help - BUT:

A ) Do you or your Dad still have the original paperwork from the sale?

B ) Did you ever register on ACER so you could use their support?

C ) Does ACER equipment have SERVICE TAGS like DELL and several other companies?? Sometimes this is stored in the BIOS in one of the screens.

D ) Do you or your Dad have the original order number.. or Credit card records from the ACER transaction?

If you registered, have the paperwork, have a service tag or a credit card transaction number, you have ammunition to fight ACER customer service with.

Like I said, that was stuff I came up with, while going to sleep.. and waking up.

If any of it helps I'd sure like to know in the end.

Once again, Kiddo,

have good luck in your journey..

A friend,

~Steve

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Dear Steve,

Thanks so much for your help and I really appreciate all your efforts. I'm going to try the BIOS option to see if any or all of the keys/tags are located there. I've been trying today to see if I can make an ISO image of XP in my laptop as I don't have the original discs. I have multiple programs that can create ISO images but I only want one of Windows XP so I can make a bootable from it. Don't suppose you know which files I need to do that? Honestly, I cannot belive it's all so complicated. If you didn't laugh, you'd cry. It's not even that I want to save my data too! That's all externally backed up!

I might just try my Dad's discs and hope my key works with his. Hope it works at all!

Again, thanks :blink:

Sarah

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Dear Steve,

Thanks so much for your help and I really appreciate all your efforts. I'm going to try the BIOS option to see if any or all of the keys/tags are located there. I've been trying today to see if I can make an ISO image of XP in my laptop as I don't have the original discs. I have multiple programs that can create ISO images but I only want one of Windows XP so I can make a bootable from it. Don't suppose you know which files I need to do that? Honestly, I cannot belive it's all so complicated. If you didn't laugh, you'd cry. It's not even that I want to save my data too! That's all externally backed up!

I might just try my Dad's discs and hope my key works with his. Hope it works at all!

Again, thanks :blink:

Sarah

Most systems actually have all the window's CABs (the compressed files that are on the install disk) in a hidden directory but I've not ever known anyone to be able to make a install image from them. I'd use your Dad's disks *AND HIS KEY* (if your key doesn't work).. The reason is, Window's Activation has a lot of "slop" built into it to allow for people that have to reinstall their system or for people that frequently modify their systems with a new hard drive, etc, and will allow more than several oddball reinstalls with the same KEY before squawking.

If you're talking ASR CDs tho', I think the computer squawks right at the get go "These disks are not from this machine!".. *shrug* Won't know 'til you try.

Fingers crossed.. :blink:

Later..

Steve

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Sod it... i'll buy myself a floppy drive for a tenner and create and ASR using the info from the link you gave me Steve, and others. Seems they come in handy!!

Cheaper than trying to coerce Acer into backing down too!

:blink:

Again, thanks to all for the wonderful help!

Sarah

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Sod it... i'll buy myself a floppy drive for a tenner and create and ASR using the info from the link you gave me Steve, and others. Seems they come in handy!!

Cheaper than trying to coerce Acer into backing down too!

:D

Again, thanks to all for the wonderful help!

Sarah

Poor baby... You're most welcome..

BTW; don't forget to buy a floppy disk (if you can find one) for that new floppy drive.. *Grinning, ducking and running* :D

Have a great weekend,

Steve

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I honestly can't believe the amount of response I've had, so thank you all! :D

Haider, It's not so much the Product Key that is the issue. I have my product key (which is COA number 1). What I don't have, is a Windows Installation disc (because mine has been physically damaged), OR a Windows ISO to make a new bootable disc. I only have Windows running on my PC. So basically, nothing outside of my laptop. And because I don't have COA number 2 (found on the laptop sticker) Acer won't supply me with any more discs.

So the only other way I can find at the moment, is to buy myself a floppy disc drive (and, yes I bought myself some floppy discs too!) and make an ASR using the ASR tool that way.

The other option (which is my last option before really drastic, probably expensive, measures are taken) is to use my Dad's XP discs (that he made himself when prompted from his own Acer) that he doesn't use anymore. He has his key that I can use too if I need to and I have my own drivers backed up externally. But as Steve (ShyWriter) has pointed out in a previous post, that may not work either.

I'll make my ASR when I get my kit and I'll be sure to let everyone know if that works.

Thanks again, :D

Sarah.

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Hello ScanMan:

... obviously Dell OEM install will not work on Acer and vice-verse and so on (if this is what you are referring) :D

Do it all the time, works for me, just have to change the key after install. Dell did not use proprietary recovery media, they used a customized XP install disc.

Don't know about other manufacturers media.

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