Tech Idiot Seeks Tech Geek Advice

I’ve got a 3 year old Acer notebook PC that a friend tried to help me reinstall Windows on. After reformatting the hard drive, he was unable to install Windows. He concluded that the trouble may lie either with the CD-Rom drive, or with a very corrupted hard drive.

I’ve got a nice desktop PC at home, so I’m not computer less, but I’m wondering if there’s a way to resurrect this notebook computer. I’d like to use it when I’m away from home, or just set up another station at home for my girlfriend to use. Any chance of saving this notebook, or should I just return it to the Acer dealer?

I’d love to have one of those wireless internet connections installed on the notebook, but I’m not sure that’s possible.

Advice appreciated.


Providing some error messages would help. What problem precisely do you encounter?

The fact that you could reformat the harddrive suggests that it’s OK, and it also suggests that you might have used a floppy Windows disk to format. Are you by any chance trying to install Windows 98? Windows 98 will not work with a processor over 2GHz.

In any case, more info, please.

Is the Windows CD a new Windows OS or is it perhaps one of those (in)famous upgrade / repair CDs?
The latter two AFAIK won’t work for a new install (as you have to perform after formatting the harddisc).

Else please state the exact error message or describe the problem more in detail.

Take it by The Hub and see if those guys can save it for you.

Do they have a website so that I can locate them? Thanks for the suggestion.

I didn’t do the Windows install myself, so I’m not sure what the error message read. I know the installer used a burned CD copy of Windows XP, and that the computer wouldn’t part of it.

Thanks for the replies.

Here’s another thing to consider. Have you loaded any new software or updates in your notebook prior to the XP attempt? Long story short - My Compaq notebook’s cd/dvd drive lost its mind after I upgraded Windows Media Player at Microsoft’s behest. It took me 6 months to figure out why my drive wouldn’t read CD’s any more. Somewhere between HP-Compaq’s, Microsoft and Intel’s knowledge bases, I got it figured out. Yes, I had to load drivers and patches from all three sites. BTW, this doesn’t quite sound like your issue as I suspect the burned CD may be the issue.

Ahh, wireless. Yes, it can be done. It’ll cost you about 75 to 100 USD for the hardware (wireless router + wireless card) and up to a week pulling my hair out trying to configure the thing. For some of us, this is sport. If you’re not in a hurry and someone doesn’t get it nailed for you in the next week or so, I’ll ping you when I get in country to see how I can help.

I feel my guanxi deficit is beginning to turn :wink:


NP - Not a damned thing. It’s 4:38 am in Boise and I should be sleeping but insomnia is my own burden and need not be inflicted on my girls.

As it was I who did this to Tomas’ PC…I will chime in.
I tried 2 different windows xp builds, not upgrades. In one case the cd rom player started to freak - spinning and stoppping and spiunning and… in the second case it could read the cd but couldnt complete the installation. it would stop at various points in the installation process 29% 2%…you name- each time i needed to start again. I concluded that it was probably the CDRom drive, or possibly something wrong with the hard drive (less likely) as Tomas said that he had a lot of issues- possibly viruses that promted him to get the desktop.

i might add that i used one of those cds to succesfully do his desktop

So you formatted the drive using the XP install process? And it still craps out in the middle of the install?

If possible you might be able to change the boot sequence to a USB device. This USB device would be your external CD-Rom with the XP CD. Try that.

that was my suggestion