I recently decided to remove windows off my home laptop, and like the techie I am, I decided to do this without checking for driver compatibility. I just jumped right in with the install (OK I will admit since my laptop has a hidden partition with a drive image on I did have a fall back to get it factory reset!)
Install 1. (opensolaris)
I’ve never really used this OS before, and it looks good so I fancied giving it a try. I also had recently been given a 8Gig USB pen that’s both a Live Version & Install Disk. So the installation was done, and it worked pretty good with just a few bits of hardware not compatible. Unfortunately one of the bit was the wireless (which is an important part of a laptop.) Now it did very helpfully inform me i could get the windows drivers and do some magic with them to make a wrapper driver which may work. It seemed a bit much work for an OS i am not really familiar with. So the project was put on a back burner with a future plan of dual booting with opensolaris.
Install 2. (Ubuntu)
OK. thinks I… The Laptop version of Old Faithful. So I grab a spare disk thats lying around and install ubuntu, after all it does seem to handle all drivers fine. Ok, make that all drivers bar acer weird propriety wireless devices. The best it could offer me was an unstable beta that may or may not work. At this point I gave up. I may be a geek & Linux Lover, but i’ll keep windowz on the laptop and make sure when I upgrade it, I get a *nix friendly one.
Install 3. (windows XP)
Reboot the laptop, wait for the acer logo to popup and hit ALT F10…. Nothing… Ok I missed, reboot ALT F10…. Nothing… WTF? “Arggghhhhh!!” of course, the new OS’s I’d installed had overwritten the acer MBR removing the ALT F10 recovery flag. “That’s no problem!” I had sensibly burnt off the recovery disks when I first got my Laptop. So Reboot with recovery disks in, and watch as it ghosts a copy of my main partition back onto the hard drive. “YES!“… Done.
Now. I like the ALT F10 ability. Its quite handy, and saves you having to hunt out where you stored your recovery media. So I wanted it back. Its bloody handy. Luckily you have everything you need (bar one bit of software) to reclaim your acer MBR.This is what you do.
- Download PartEdit32 (free software) and use this to change the hidden flag of your hidden partition. In my case it was changing the type flag from 12 (hidden) to 07 (normal)
- Reboot so the machine comes up with the partition visible
- Go to the recovery partition and find the directory with the following files in it (mine was the root folder) files: mbrwdos.exe trmbr.bin
- From command/DOS prompt type “mbrwrdos.exe install rtmbr.bin“
- Reboot. Your ALT F10 will now work again, and you do not have to reset the hidden flag on the partition as the MBR will do that for you.
And you should be all back and running again.
Now for days of microsoft updates!!!!