I was repairing a hopelessly fouled Asus CM5570 AP006 unit today. Granted, not normal Sunday fodder for most people, but we take computer repair seriously. Very seriously 🙂 Very seldom do we ever end up with recovery disks or install disks when we repair computers for customers. Either they can’t find them, or they never got the restore dvd or the restore cd, etc. This was one of those cases.
This particular customer is actually a daughter of one of my longer term clients. Daughter didn’t realize Mom already “had a guy” for computer repair, so she took it to ye olde “Big Box” store. She was told the hard drive was bad and quoted somewhere over 200 for the computer repair. She spoke to Mom, who then let her know that she indeed, “had a guy” for this kind of stuff.
She dropped the computer off and it was indeed horribly corrupted with various error codes coming up – none of which were actually ever the same. Definitely a problem. It might appear to be a hardware error, so the best thing to do is test the computer hardware to rule that out. But you actually need the right software (or hardware) tools to do the testing on this kind of stuff. Can make the diagnostic completely off the mark if you don’t have the right tools – and obviously our “Big Box” peers don’t. I ran Eurosoft PC to actually test the hardware and did a 20 minute burn in test with absolutely no hardware failures. (Good job “Big Box” – those scripts don’t always tell the truth now, do they?)
After an ill-fated install with a 64 bit Vista disk that apparently was hard-coded to install Ultimate, I decided that there must be a better way than another install after fidgeting with the install settings. Well, we COULD try the recovery partition. Nice.
I did a google search for info on accessing the partition which was hidden. I knew it was there though from earlier work in other tools trying to cure the continuous blue screen (BSOD) errors. When partitions are hidden, you can always make the partition visible, but for the life of me, I’ve NEVER had any luck trying to access the partition or software install routines this way. Normally the recovery partition is accessed via a recovery cd or dvd and runs from there. And this is of course, REAL unhandy – since no one EVER seems to have the recovery cd. I was led to many many sites that wanted to sell me the recovery DVD for this model – but that really is not what I needed. Really didn’t want to spend $25 for a recovery disk that may or may not work. Needed something pronto.
And after wading through several dozen pages on the Asus CM5570 and similar models, I stumbled across the answer: Hit F9 on boot. I was actually ghosting the disk when I found it and had to wait. Unfortunately as fate would have it the Ghost copy failed twice – however since it took about an hour and a half each trip, I decided that the backup of the user folders I had made should be more than sufficient. I really was NOT planning on putting almost 5 hours of waiting for just ghosting into this computer after having wasted a few hours already yesterday.