Update: While I have been trying hard to solve everyone’s issue with Acer Recovery System, I found that I am no longer able to help since there are too many different situations happen when using the Acer Recovery System. Therefore from now on, I will NOT answer any problem related to this, since my primary aim of this post is to made Acer’s user to aware of such recovery system, and doesn’t meant for solving problems with the system. If you have problem using Acer Recovery System, contact Acer or ask in related forums. I don’t have an Acer system and I can’t really efficiently help everyone. I am sorry and good luck!
If you owned an Acer desktop/laptop and you just found out that there isn’t any Windows or Acer recovery disc when you planned to do a system restore – you are not alone. Most, if not all, of their PC doesn’t come with a recovery cd at the time of purchase, though they will provide them if you specifically request and purchase from them.
So, without the recovery disc, what can you do, if say, you have a not repairable system, such as endless loop startup repair wizard (i just helped my friend to end this by restoring the system recently), or a bloated system that is slow and unusable, and you want to restore your system back to the original state? No worries, if your Acer computer hardware still in it’s original configuration, especially HDD, most likely you will be able to do so.
In the HDD that comes with the Acer computer (Windows Vista system, though I would think it’s the same for Windows XP and Windows 7, correct me If I am wrong), there are two visible partitions, namely ACER (C Drive) and DATA (D Drive), and also a hidden partition created by Acer called PQSERVICE. This hidden partition contained the original copy of your Windows and factory configuration, which is not accessible (at least not in a direct way) within Windows, and it will only be used by the Acer eRecovery System. So if you have replaced the HDD that comes with the computer unofficially (not via Acer) and it is not an exact copy of your old HDD, most likely you won’t have this partition available, and therefore you won’t be able to use the Acer eRecovery System.
Make your backup before system restore
So if you have an intact Acer system, and looking for a system restore, remember, Alt+F10 is your key for it. But before that, please make sure you have already make a backup of the important files, especially those sit in your C drive, since the system restore will clean up your C drive entirely. If you have the practice to store all the files in D drive (DATA drive), you can proceed to do system restore.
If you are being unfortunate to have a failed-to-boot system, most likely you won’t be able to do the backup within Windows. No worry, get yourself a Ubuntu disc (Linux-based OS), run it live, and copy all your files to D drive or external HDD.
Alt+F10 is the key for System Restore
Once your computer turned on, press and hold Alt key, then continuous press F10 button until you see Acer eRecovery System is running (you might need to do it for a couple of times before your system entered Acer eRecovery System, I failed to enter for a few times when I trying it out, not sure why though). You should have three or more options available.
If you didn’t do any backup yourself, Restore system to factory default is your only choice. This option will restore your computer to the original state when you first bought it, removing all your files and installation, AND virus/malware/adware etc. But it also means that you have to install those program that you previously installed, so prepare yourself a few hours for that.
Selecting this option will first see the Acer eRecovery System tries to restore the system from the hidden partition, then you have to restart the computer to initiate the Windows setup. DO NOT, i repeat, DO NOT turn off your PC during Windows setup, even the screen is blank for long time during the setup. The setup will eventually finish and your Windows will be ready to use. If you turn off (or power outage, unfortunately) your computer during the Windows setup, you can end up with a corrupted installation and you might have to do the system restore once again. The entire system restoration process takes about 40 minutes (may be vary for different computer), so it’s pretty good in my opinion.
Other options will be available if you made yourself a backup copy meant to restore your system. Otherwise, Restore system to factory default is the best option you can get.
Note: Acer eRecovery System will only restore the computer to the original state if the computer has no hardware issue. It will not fix crashes caused by hardware issue. If a system restore doesn’t help in your Acer computer problem, contact the seller or Acer support.