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Acer Aspire One -- need to wipe hard drive

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by blinktank, Feb 5, 2012.

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  1. blinktank

    blinktank Thread Starter

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    Hey this crap just screwed me over by making me log in after writing this up while I was already logged in so I got an error and lost everything I wrote so I'm going to try to make it brief:

    My 9" Acer Aspire One notebook got a virus and died within like a day. This was a while ago. Recently I took it out to try to get it working again, and it actually did start up at first, but after started doing the same stuff where it won't start up, back to square one. I've tried System Recovery, but get an Error 4; no luck.

    I need to somehow wipe the hard drive via a USB thumb drive, as the little 9-incher has no CD drive. Also the computer I have that I'm working on/with is a Mac, so I need to know how to set up whatever I need for the little Acer using a Mac. I tried resetting/updating the BIOS, also to no avail. The only thumb drive I have is a 16GB, so I created a 4GB FAT partition within it, and tried using that for the BIOS, but it didn't work; I don't know if I need it to boot from that partition or something, but I don't know how to do that anyway.

    So there you have it; I need some clear, detailed, accurate instructions on how to do this, PLEASE. I NEED this little thing fixed now. Thanks so much, I definitely immensely appreciate the help. Thank you.
     
  2. noblelord

    noblelord

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    Hi. :)

    Why do you want to wipe the hard drive - to sell the laptop on, for example? Or do you want to install another OS using a USB drive?
     
  3. valis

    valis Moderator

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    heyya blinktank, welcome to TSG. I've edited your post for vulgarity, please remember that this is a family-oriented forum.

    thanks,

    v
     
  4. blinktank

    blinktank Thread Starter

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    Gotcha Valis sorry about that naturally I'm pretty frustrated wasn't on my censor game.

    Noblelord: Not to sell it, I have someone who needs to use it. I'm only thinking to wipe the hard drive because I figure that's the safest most secure way to revive it. Ultimately I want to install another OS using a USB drive, yes. Windows XP again would be fine I suppose, I was thinking Linux but I just need it back to working condition either way. The OS for now isn't important.
     
  5. blues_harp28

    blues_harp28 Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    You have tried Acer Netbook - restore to factory settings?
    Alt - F10 - tap at startup.

    I use Linux Mint on a spare Acer Aspire One.
    http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/
    The netbook should boot from a USB stick - check the Bios.
    You have the option to use Linux inside Windows or to install it, taking up all hard drive space.
    Click on install.
     
  6. blinktank

    blinktank Thread Starter

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    I have tried restoring it to factory settings. I get an error (4). This is what used to happen back when I first started trying to fix it when it crashed, I remember. So that's out.

    I have unetbootin! I was going to use that. But so I have a Mac, I've got to set up the USB on here. It's a 16GB, so what do I do exactly? What I did was partition it so there's a 4GB partition which I formatted to FAT. So I put unetbootin on there and what, it'll boot from the partition automatically? Are there any measures I should take to ensure that it does? I've tried resetting the BIOS too, that doesn't seem to work, maybe because I don't know how to do it using this 16GB thumb drive I've got. For now I'll try to follow your instructions and see how that goes, let me know if you have any additional advice in the meantime though. Thanks much.
     
  7. blues_harp28

    blues_harp28 Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    I would not partition the USB stick.
    Set all of the USB stick to Fat
    Once you have used it to install Linux - you can always wipe it clean.

    You do not put unetbootin on the USB stick
    Unetbootin is installed on the Mac - using unetbootin, you then transfer the Linux files to the USB stick.
    Boot from the USB stick and Linux will load.

    You need to read all information from the unetbootin website.

    http://www.ehow.com/how_5809235_access-acer-aspire-bios.html
     
  8. blinktank

    blinktank Thread Starter

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    Okay well I'm already downloading the files and set the target to the USB drive... Am I going to have to do it all over again, because it's taking a while... or can I just reformat the whole thing as it's downloading the files still? (Not yet at Step 2 - Extracting and Copying files.) I only created the partition too because I thought FAT drives could only be up to 4GB or something, there's a size limit I thought. But if you say to format the whole thing to FAT and go that route, I'll try that, thank you...
     
  9. blues_harp28

    blues_harp28 Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Format the USB first - unetbootin may format it for you.
    Sorry - you are right - Fat does not support files larger than 4 GB.
    They should be formatted in NTFS.

    As you have done - make sure that the files head towards the USB stick and nowhere else.
     
  10. blinktank

    blinktank Thread Starter

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    Did all that, no luck, anything else?
     
  11. blues_harp28

    blues_harp28 Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    What happens when you start the Acer Aspire from the USB stick?

    To recap.
    Download Unetbootin onto the Mac.[I have never used a Mac - but it should work just the same]
    Insert the blank, formatted USB stick.
    Using Unetbootin - transfer the Linux files onto the USB stick - making sure that the drive letter for the USB drive is correctly set in Unetbootin.

    Set the Acer Aspire to boot [start] from the USB.
    Turn off the Acer Aspire.
    Insert the USB stick.
    Turn on the Acer Aspire.
    Linux should now load from the USB stick.
     
  12. blinktank

    blinktank Thread Starter

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    I did all of that, and checked to make sure the Linux files were on the USB after. But the Acer just starts up the same way, even though it is set to boot from the USB drive. It just shows a blank black screen with a blinking underscore in the top-left corner.
    Now what.
     
  13. blues_harp28

    blues_harp28 Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    I'd check that the Linux files are installed correctly, by trying the USB stick on another system.
    If you have a Pc that will boot from a USB device - check to see if Linux will load on that Pc.
     
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