Archive | October 2011

Dell Recovery Partition Shortcut not working

Another recovery partition problem.

This time, I got a client’s Dell computer. No problem. Back up all data, press Control-F11 during boot up and we’re good to go. Right? Wrong!

The shortcut key was not working. I tried several variations and timing and so on, but to no avail. Argh. I contacted the client and they didn’t have any CDs to use. Argh argh.

Back to Google. And, again I struck pay dirt.

I don’t know who Dan Goodell is, but he put together the Inside the Dell PC Restore Partition page and it’s great. Basically, what I did was burn his DSRFix to a CD, booted from the CD, used PTEDIT.EXE to change some partition information, rebooted the CD, changed to C: (which is now the recovery partition) and manually started the Norton Ghost recovery process.

Pure gold!

Thanks, Dan!

Acer Recovery Partition is Password Protected

I recently picked up an Acer laptop from a client which required restoring the system to factory default. I was able to start the recovery process via the Alt-F10 shortcut, but when I selected “System Recovery,” I was prompted for a password. It was a second-hand computer, so the client didn’t know the password, indeed didn’t know there was a password to be remembered. I let the client know and thought about how to proceed.

Naturally, I googled it.

After pawing through the detritus on many sites, I found a gem. Here is discussed that the hidden recovery partition has a file with the recovery password saved in cleartext. According to Strolch, the name of the file is AIMDRS.DAT.

I thought, it couldn’t be this ‘simple’, but indeed it was. I again mounted the disk on a separate computer, mounted the hidden partition using Partition Find and Mount, and there was AIMDRS.DAT. I looked at the file which had only two lines, one of which was the cleartext password!!!!

Put the disk back in the system, boot to Recovery Partition, when prompted for password-  voilà! Password worked like a charm. A short time later, computer was ready to go.

Love it, love it, love it.