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.

 

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About zonkeringeneva

An American with a German son living in Geneva with a new Boxer-Labrador puppy name Xoë. I can be found on Facebook (kicking and screaming!), Google Plus (crickets), glocals.com (I'm Zonker), and zicount.com. Ask me anything IT related. I'm sure I'll have something useful to say.

4 responses to “Acer Recovery Partition is Password Protected”

  1. Robert Sand says :

    toshbia satellite a135-s2386 customer forgot there password ?

  2. zonkeringeneva says :

    @Robert Which password was forgotten? Windows? BIOS? Recovery? There are different answers for each.

  3. Chris Pettipiere says :

    Hey Zonker you can do the same operation of finding the dat file with an ubuntu live CD, which saves you having to take the HD out. You can also change the partition type at the same time.
    And the great news is once you have learnt this trick you can use it for almost all Acers.
    There are supposedly some “factory” passwords but I have yet to see one work, and strangely over a period of 7 years and god knows how many Acer recoveries I never found anyone who set this password.

  4. zonkeringeneva says :

    @Chris thanks for your added information. As it turns out, since writing that post, I’ve been using Hiren’s Boot CD more and more often, which serves the same purpose.

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