Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ubuntu Saves the Day - About Acer Aspire 4710

Somebody brought an Acer Aspire 4710 laptop here in my shop. The owner wants me to reformat it because she is planning to sell it. It's easy if you have the recovery cd/dvd, the problem is, she doesn't have one, because it never came with one when she bought it. FYI, majority of laptop manufacturer today do not include recovery disk, instead they put it in a hidden partition in your hard disk drive.

So I turned the laptop on, backed up any important files, restart the computer and fired up the recovery software by pressing alt+F10 (i believe this is the universal key sequence to enter recovery mode for acer laptops). Then another problem occur.

The eRecovery file has a password (Empowering Technology Password). A note under the setup of the password reads:

If you lose the Empowering Technology password, there is
no way to reset it except by reformatting your system. Make sure
to remember or write down your password!

According to some website, the default password is 000000 (that's six zeros). But it does not work in this laptop. It turned out that it was user generated password, the owner doesn't know what it is, or maybe she already forgot what it is.

I search the internet for an answer, according the some information i collected, the password is stored in a file on the hidden partition. The partition label is PQSERVICE. The best way to get at this is to use something like UBCD (The Ultimate Boot CD) that will run a complete system from a cd. Once it is booted, you should look for the file AIMDRS.DAT

Use any text editor or notepad to view this file and you can find the password there. Example:
"password" PD= "____" and "hint" HD="____"

I have UBCD but i cannot find the disk, so i look for my Ubuntu CD 7.10. It is a live cd so you can use it to load Ubuntu linux without installing it in your hard drive. You can also use any other Linux Live CD for this matter. The important thing is you can access the hidden eRecovery partition of you acer laptop (PQSERVICE).

You can edit the password, or you can leave it as it is. Remove the live Cd, restart the PC, boot to eRecovery, just enter the password and you can sit back and relax while it loads.

Note:
Some suggests that you can use Acronis Disk Director or other partition software to show up the hidden partition. You can try that one, but I haven't tested it yet.

5 comments:

AlexW said...

Thanks :) Really helped

Kuronekojin said...

Woot! It works!

ekse said...

I have been trying to get e-recovery to work on mine. I installed OS X via iAtkos, and now I cant go back.

Anyhow, I am not having the trouble of a password yet.. when I press Alt+F10 .. the recovery doesnt even come up.

I am trying on a ubuntu CD and see what can do.. any help is greatly appreciated.

my e-mail is: a.rishwan@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Legend, exactly what I needed. many thanks.

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