Customer says her Acer 4920G laptop will not start.
Sure enough, when the PC boots, Vista complains about missing system files.
A system recovery should fix the problem, but it turns out she didn’t make a Vista recovery disk.
This is a common problem, as most people don’t have the technical knowledge to realise that a recovery disk is important (and good insurance against an expensive repair). I still cannot understand why computer manufacturers cannot supply a system recovery disk… it probably adds an extra $1 to the cost of the PC… yet manufacturers are more than happy to add webcams, fingerprint readers, and other expensive peripherals that many users never use…
Anyway, all she can find is a microsoft office CD.
I take the PC back to the office and take a closer look at the hard drive.
From within the Acer BIOS, there is a section that says the HDD is frozen…
Hmmm not much info out there on what a “frozen” hard drive actually means, but it doesn’t sound good.
I try the SATA drive in another PC, but given that the drive is one of those annoyingly incompatible AHCI drives, I have no choice but to plug it into another Vista PC… but even vista will not detect the drive.
I plug it back into the acer laptop, and then try installing vista from scratch… but no go: vista say “you might not be able to boot from drive”.
Its looking like the drive has failed. I update the BIOS, so that I can run the drive in IDE mode (not AHCI). I then try an XP install, but that also fails (no drive detected).
I try a different HDD, and that works perfectly.
I talk to the customer, and she says she wasn’t happy with Vista anyway, so she is happy pay for an XP licence, a new HDD, and the time for me to install XP, etc.
Luckily, finding XP drivers for this laptop was not as difficult as with some other laptops!