Windows error message - windows recent hardware/software change

  oo7juk 11:16 28 Jan 2015


I turned on my laptop (Win 7) the other day and the above message was displayed on my screen.

It informs me of a recent hardware/software change, but neither have been performed. It gives me the option of inserting a windows installation disc, but I dont have one, the laptop came pre-installed with Win 7, nor do I have a system recovery disc.

The error code is 0x000000f

I tried running the "start up repair" option, using F8 to access, but after performing routine, I just get the same error messgae after restart.

The laptop is a acer aspire 5349 and my next step was to perform a fresh install of windows, but because the serial number on the base of laptop is not readable (due to its location) I'm unable to perform this task.

I did contact Acer and they said all they could do was to order a recovery disc at a cost of £55 and no guarantee that this will resolve issue.

I also tried putting software on USB stick and changing boot options, but just returned to same screen.

Could anyone assist with this request please, thanks.


  lotvic 11:47 28 Jan 2015

Did you try a Restore to Factory Settings?

Power on your computer. When the Acer logo is displayed, press and hold the ALT key while pressing repeatedly the F10 key. Release the keys when a message displays that Windows is loading files.

After the system recovery program has loaded follow the prompts to reinstall the operating system.

If that is successful then this time make your recovery dvds with the Acer eRecovery program. ClickHere for howto recover and howto make recovery dvds

Also you can burn your own W7 with SP1 install DVD. Download the .iso from the link on which is an official MS download to use with the product key on the base of your laptop. Scroll down to the English(USA) versions. Be aware that if you reinstall using this W7 install DVD you will also need to go to the Acer website and download all the drivers you need and install them as well.

  oo7juk 13:57 28 Jan 2015


Thanks for the replies.


Yes, done a restore but no luck. Used the acer recovery program, but when I restarted laptop it said it couldn't perform action and contact system admin/ acer support.

Unfortunately I cant use the download option you suggested because the product key (part of it) has worn away. When I contacted acer and explained about product key, they were not helpful, even though it's a silly place to locate I think.


Yes, tried safe mode and no luck either, just came up with same error message when I restarted. I had a look on ebay and discs of that value are only for drivers.


  lotvic 15:06 28 Jan 2015

As you need to make sure that there is not a hardware fault before you decide whether to 'spend £' on it. I suggest you do download and install W7, you don't have to put a product key in to install - read the heidoc page - and install as a trial (Just click the "Next" button without entering anything, and the Windows 7 Trial will be installed) you can get up to 120 days by resetting evaluation timer - read the heidoc page.

  lotvic 15:08 28 Jan 2015

Actually, just thought - you could try a repair using the W7 dvd, that has a good chance of working if it is software related problem.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:16 28 Jan 2015

tap f8 as you power on if it can get to the Advance tools menu try a startup repair or even run chkdsk /f from a command prompt

see if that fixes the problem.

  oo7juk 15:37 29 Jan 2015


Update re above. I tried the f8 option that FruitBat suggested but this never worked, just returned to the 'windows boot manager' screen.


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:40 29 Jan 2015

Can you connect the drive to another PC?

  oo7juk 17:51 29 Jan 2015

Hi Fruit Bat, I'm not sure how to do that, any advice would be most appreciated, thanks.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:47 29 Jan 2015

You an connect it to a usb port by putting it into one of these or

connect direct to a pc if you have a spare sata connector cable

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