Recurring Computer Failure - Cannot reinstall OS

  PaulRa1 14:14 27 Aug 2008

Hello all,

Acer Aspire 3002lMi
Mobile AMD Sempron processor 2800+
512 MB DDR
802.11b/g wireless LAn
Windows XP (servicepack 2)

My computer has been playing up a lot lately, after repeated crashes (almost daily), it refused to reboot saying windows files were corrupted.

However after leaving it on to attempt boot and restart several times, it eventually rebooted after a disk scan which told me that pretty much every other file on the computer was corrupt.
This is not the first time it has identified corrupt files after a crash. I have lots of backups so data recovery is not a problem (nor it seems any longer feasible).

A while back I found it was infected with virus Ms32.dll.vbs which I'd picked up on a pen drive from an internet cafe. After finding this out though I followed online instructions to remove it from the system and registry and updated my anti-virus software. Full virus scans reveal computer is now clean. Anyone know what the effects of this on my OS may have been?

Though it boots up now, it is running painfully slowly, (approx 1/20th speed) and has crashed when I ask it to do anything demanding.

I have attempted to reinstall OS, but the packaged recovery disks will only work from boot, and heres the rub: My Bios will not boot from USB and my internal DVD/CD drive has not worked for several months.

It is the second internal DVD/CD the computer has had and after it stopped workingt he 2nd time I replaced it with an external USB dvd drive not knowing that it would cause me these difficulties.

So, I cannot reinstall windows so I cannot boot. Yet I cannot be at all certain in any case that these crashes are the result of an old OS and not a hardware difficulty. As I'm sure is obvious the computer is out of warranty, it is about three years old. I have heard rumours that laptops of this class often fail after this time but do not know for sure.

It is my only computer and I need it for work. I would consider buying a newer flasher one but money is far too tight at present. On the other hand I similarly cant afford to spend lots of money on repairs if these are unlikley to help or last.

So questions for anyone who knows about these things...

1) is there anyway around my being unable to reinstall XP given the current setup?

2) do the symptoms described more likely indicate a a faulty OS or faulty hardware or both?

3) how much truth is there to the rumours about the tendency of this class of laptops to fail after 3 years?

4) Any other advice?

Thanks very much for any advice anyone can offer me on these matters, it will be very much appreciated!

P. R.

  crosstrainer 14:26 27 Aug 2008

If the restore partiton on your HDD is intact, you may be able to restore from there.

Enter your BIOS and see if there is an option to factory restore.

Enable this and follow the prompts. If this is unavailable, your best course of action is the dealer who sold you the machine. Acer will supply recovery disk's, but you would need to replace your DVD drive first.

  ronalddonald 14:31 27 Aug 2008

Are you saying you can't do reinstall of xp?

Looking at the computer you could go for an upgrade i.e. the Ram, Hard drive., or may be purchase a new machine ?

The only way you might be able to reinstall windows might be to upgrade then take it from there.

Did't acer provide a restore disc?
Surly the restore disc should instal a fresh copy of windows or do a systgem restore. If you havent tried it first back up your data on a pen drive or another drive insert the disc and press F12 or F8 during a restart.

How much space do have available on the hard drive ?

  crosstrainer 14:43 27 Aug 2008

The optical drive is u/s

  thms 18:00 27 Aug 2008

What options do you have available in your bios boot. If you have floppy/hdd/cd or other select other. Ensure usb legacy is enabled. Plug in your usb cd drive then boot up.

I would be concerned if this is the second cd/dvd drive to go kaput, this would point to something amiss.

I don't know much about laptops but could this be a power issue?

  thms 18:07 27 Aug 2008

You could also try
click here

  PaulRa1 14:37 28 Aug 2008

Hello again,
Thanks for your help. Unfortunately I can find no indication of any restore partition on the computer.

Entering the BIOS reveals options to boot from the internal optical drive, from floppy (though no floppy is connected) from the HD (but no option for the Restore partition) and from LAN.

Scanning the disk for bad sectors doesn't find any errors other than those already found and sealed/repaired during the boot up disk check after crash.

I see no mention of USB legacy, or an option to turn it on. What is this exactly? It seems that my BIOS does not support USB boots, but if this 'legacy' is a way around it that would be very useful indeed.

Any other ideas? Thanks again very much for your advice.


  crosstrainer 15:11 28 Aug 2008

If it's economic, your best bet is to have the DVD drive replaced....Without it, I'm afraid your options are limited.

It would seem that no restore partiton exists, and without a working DVD drive, you will not be able to re-install any operating system.

Your local Acer dealer can help, but I'm not sure that (given the age of the machine) It will be worth spending money on.

  tullie 15:24 28 Aug 2008


  tullie 15:24 28 Aug 2008


  crosstrainer 15:25 28 Aug 2008


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