I am not responsible if your devices send you back in time, explodes, implodes, bricks or flies into space from the use of any software I put up.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How To Activate Acer Hidden Partition

Note: If you have Empowering Backup installed please burn the Disk Images before continuing as it is always good to have fall backs

The story goes:
You heard that Vista is slow and lousy so you have decided to "downgrade" to Windows Xp
So you happily install Xp and delete the original system partition and install a new Xp partition
However you smartly left the recovery partition intact.

A few week later you suddenly felt like trying out Vista
However to your horror you couldn't
You tried the famous Alt-F10 to activate Acer Disk to Disk Recovery (D2D) but it doesn't work although the recovery partition is fully intact
You wonder why?

The reason is the original boot record has been overwritten by the Windows Xp you installed over the special original Acer/Vista one so there is no way the boot record will activate recovery.

So I will show you how to activate the Recovery Partition in a few simple steps:

Before you proceed make sure you backup all your important data first

Step 1:
Download PTEDIT32 from here
PTEDIT is a special disk utility to re-mark partition to another type so it becomes bootable
(It should work on all Windows OS)

Step 2:
Extract it to a folder and Right Click run it with Administrator Permission otherwise it will not run (Xp users ignore the right click)

Step 3:
Look at the first entry that is your hidden partition PROVIDED YOU DID NOT ACCIDENTALLY DELETE IT if you did, I recommend you look here instead.
To double confirm check the size make sure it is small like the screenshot

Step 4:
Change the partition type to 07 from 27 (If the partition type is of another value, change to the same type as your system disk C:\)
Then make the changes.Reboot to take effect.

Step 5:
Open Control Panel>> Administrative Tools>> Computer Management>> Disk Management

Step 6:
Mark the partition as Active
Then Reboot disk recovery will start automatically

Please remember to burn a copy of the factory default image and driver disk as a backup after that using Empowering Backup, if you haven't already done so.

Alternatively you can do this

Using a command line

  1. Open Command Prompt. (Right Click "Run As Administrator" For Vista)
  2. Type:
  • diskpart
  1. At the DISKPART prompt, type:
  • list disk
  1. At the DISKPART prompt, type:
  • select disk n (In this case it is disk 0)
  1. At the DISKPART prompt, type:
  • list partition  
Make note of the number of the partition that you want to mark as active.
  1. At the DISKPART prompt, type:
  •  select partition n  (Where n is a number. In this case it is partition 1)
To change partition type to NTFS just type 
  • set id=27 override
    1. At the DISKPART prompt, type:
    • active
    1. Reboot your computer
    -From Technet Microsoft


    If you can't even boot into Windows, simply use another working computer download gpart iso image.
    Burn to CD as an disk image you need special burning tools like Nero or Roxio.
    Then boot from CD you burn by entering BIOS (F2 or Delete usually) select CD-DRIVE as the first boot device save and exit.
    If you want to recover your data, plug in an external harddisk and start saving your information.
    Then you should see something like this if you try to manage partition in gpart.

    Assuming the first partition is your recovery partition, simply right click on it, select manage flags on the recovery partition.

    Select it as "boot" then restart.

    Word of Warning
    Upon restart the recovery process will start immediately if you did not backup your data all is lost.


    Xun said...

    Thanks a lot! This post saves me a night when I tried despearately to recover a Vista after tried installing Win 7 on my VAIO-CR laptop. It turns out that this laptop can not be running on Win 7 very well due to no good driver support from Sony (such as the display card cannot output to TV on Win 7, etc.). But when I decide to resume it to factory installed Win Vista, it cannot boot into the recovery option anymore! Fortunately I find this post, and tried the second method (use DISKPART to activate the hidden recovery partition), and now it can boot to recovery partition directly. Of course, I need to first boot into a command prompt which allows me to run DISKPART command, I used a general vista recovery disk which can be downloaded from here http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/windows-vista-recovery-disc-download/. I don't know if I can directly do that on Win 7's command prompt. But anyway, without this post I cannot do this recovery easily. Thanks a lot again!

    Anonymous said...

    Admin : you should uncheck "lvm" from the hidden partition and leave "boot" only, or it will not work !!

    - Hidden partition must be flagged as "boot" only. not "boot" and "lvm" as it is in the image abouve.

    plz correct it!

    Admin said...

    Corrected as you requested.

    reynard said...

    I got the same problem about my acer 4920G. it comes with vista home premium 32 bit. then i got a non original windows 7 instalation disk, and got some crack using slic loader. when i use the crack n try windows 7, i feel it's not running well, so i decided to restore to factory default (vista), the problem is alt+f10 won't work and it's says can't load bootmgr.exe. any suggestion? thanx before.
    please email me at f1r3yn4rd@yahoo.co.uk

    Sunya said...

    very very very very thanks .......a lot of thanks......I don't have words ......thanks..........it worked in one click.....again thanks......it has saved my 200 GB of important softwares from losing........very very thanks again...coz I was so worried.....

    dmspencer said...

    Magic. This worked for an Easynote TH36 which a friend had managed to trash on day 2 by installing Windows XP over a perfectly good Window 7 (dont ask me why). Many, many thanks for this information

    Tor said...

    Thank you!

    I managed to boot the restoration partition somehow before, but "Restore from factory defaults" was grayed out.

    Using gparted to boot though, it worked like a charm.

    asdasda said...

    u are a genius man:)

    Kathy M. said...

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!! I have been working on my brother's laptop for hours and hours and hours for a week now. It would no longer boot ... no Vista install disk ... no backups ... recovery disk did nothing ... and could not access the recovery partition. My last option was to install XP from my install CD, until I found your instructions. I am sooooooooooo grateful! It worked like a charm! I was able to manipulate the partition with a program on a UBCD disk (Ultimate Boot CD ver. 5.1.1) that I already had. YOU ARE THE BEST!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!

    Özkur said...

    What would you do if it were a netbook without a cd drive? Would you boot from an external hard drive or something? How would one do that?

    Özkur said...

    Forget what I just said, I figured it out. But now, when I try to boot from the USB drive, I come to the DOS screen for Gparted that says "This software has absolutely no warranty etc."
    Then the little underscore blinks forever below the line of asterix.

    AIP said...

    Hi, thanks for providing a solution, unfortunately I'm still unable to get my aspire boot on recovery disk, though I did all the steps. Is there any more suggestions? Mine still reboot on C, even I already activate the recovery disk... Using the conventional Alt+F10 won't work either.

    AIP said...

    Hi, thanks for providing a solution, unfortunately I still unable to get my aspire boot on recovery disk, though I did all the steps. Is there any more suggestion? Mine still reboot on C system, even I already activated the recovery disk... Using the conventional Alt+F10 won't work either.

    Jamie Threader said...

    Load INT15 driver error at x:\int15.sys mean anything to you? And thanks for the post, work perfectly until my box decided to do its thing.


    TAP said...

    Help! I followed this procedure and it worked fine to run the Recovery but now I'm stuck in an endless Recovery boot. How do I change the partition back to inactive so it will boot normally?

    tutomut3 said...

    Tried all of the above, and nothing worked. Now I get bootmgr missing. Any thoughts?

    Anonymous said...

    Man you saved my life thank you so much!!

    Buitenzorg said...

    Hi, I got acer aspire z5600 from a friend. It has window 7 ultimate so the windows has been changed because acer programs its not there. I want to reset to factory setting but my friend said her husband already delete it and install window 7 ultimate. I tried to do what you suggest to activate hidden partition but the partition type already 07 in the first and second row. Does it means her husband did delete erecovery disk?

    Thanks in advance

    Admin said...

    You can try to set the first partition to active.

    Alexander Bideau said...

    THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!! you are a life saver i need my lapyop for uni and this has sorted it in less than 30mins ...... thought that it was gonna be a trip to the computer shop for a new one ^_^

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    Herbert Van de Poel said...

    this thread was super. it saved some nights sleep - no lost files and great to get to a clean reinstall.


    dr. B said...

    Now i can access the partition, and make it active,

    But 1 more problems, after i install to factory setting, and the laptop restart, i cannot continue to the next step, i always enter the erecovery.
    How to deactivate ??

    Admin said...

    Set the Windows Partition back to active.

    anonymous said...

    The Acer recovery partition is accessed via pressing F8 during boot not Alt+F10.
    Thn selecting repair my computer...

    Mastermind said...

    Thank yooou!!! You saved my night

    njtexit8 said...

    Thank you for this information.

    I was able to re-store Windows 7 Starter on an Acer Aspire One D257 netbook that I had boot used on eBay.
    The original owner had installed Windows 10, and it was running slow.
    I thought I would see if Windows 7 Starter was any better.

    1. Download Hiren's Boot CD 15.2 and used Rufus to create boot USB drive on my Windows 10 laptop.

    2. Boot into Hiren's and went to start menu and select --- Linux based rescue environment (Parted Magic) ---.

    3. Click on the left-most icon on the toolbar.

    4. Select System Tools ---> Partition Editor (GParted)

    5. Change the boot flag for /dev/sda1 boot to ON.

    6. Exit GParted.

    7. Logout of Hiren's.

    8. Select Reboot the computer and click on the OK button.

    9. Acer reboots and starts the recovery process.

    For some reason, getting into the BIOS to change boot order on this Acer doesn't work like Dell or Lenovo laptops.
    To get the BIOS menu,
    1. makes sure Acer netbook is off
    2. press the Power button

    njtexit8 said...

    I meant to write bought used not boot used.

    Talha Shahzad said...

    Great post.Thanks for one marvelous posting! I enjoyed reading it;The information was very useful.Keep the good work going on!!
    Acer laptop