can't get windows vista home premium on 64 bit Acer to boot up


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Bought an Acer Aspire desktop M1641 U1521A computer with a dual processor and 320 gig hard drive (partitioned to 2 160 GIG HD's) with Windows Vista Home Premium pre-installed and no installation disk about 18 months ago at Circuit City in my area (which is no longer in business). Computer has worked fine until recently.

I had downloaded the KM Player and liked how it worked to play videos and music but unfortunately when I tried to update it to the newest updated version, it didn't seem to work like it had before. Discovered the guy who developed it sold it to some corporation. Tried to install an earlier version and that's when my troubles began.

When my computer restarted from a windows update, I couldn't get it to boot up!
I got this message:

Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause.

File: \Boot\BCD
Status 0xc000000f

An error occurred while attempting to read the boot configuration data.

Figuring someone else must have also had the same problem, I used google to see how others might have fixed their computer and discovered the Windows recovery disk mentioned and the neosmart website. I downloaded both the 32 bit and 64 bit recovery disks (not sure which one my computer was) and found out it is a 64 bit machine. However most of the recovery disk options did not work and the problem event menu said:

Problem event Startup repair v2
Problem signature 01 system disk
Problem signature 02 6.0.6001.18000.
Problem signature 03 0
Problem signature 04 65537
Problem Signature 05 unknown
Problem signature 06 no hard drive
Problem signature 07 0
Problem signature 08 0
Problem signature 09 unknown
Problem signature 10 1168
OS version 6.0.6001.2.1.0. 256.1
Locale D: 1033

The only thing on the recovery disk that seems to be any help is the command prompt. When I type in BOOTREC/FIXMBR it says device is not ready
Same with the BOOTREC/FIXBOOT. BOOTREC/REBUILDBCD seems to work but the message says "total identified windows installation - 0". I get a device is not ready on some other commands too. I don't have BOOTSECT.exe.

I tried to see if anyone at bleeping computer could help but after almost a week the only reply I got was to ask if I was sure my computer was a 64 bit. And no reply to that yet.

It gets really frustrating and I need help!!! Would EasyBCD fix my boot problems? Since the command prompt on the recovery disk is the only thing I can get to help with recovering my vista boot up - what do I do after downloading EasyBCD? I'm not that knowledgeable on fixing computer problems.

I sort of need a step by step guide on how to use EasyBCD from the recovery disk command prompt.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. IF you need me to supply any more info concerning my boot up problem let me know.

Thanks for the quick reply. Does this mean my hard drive crashed? Or could there be something else wrong with it?
Should I get a flash drive or 2 to back up my files or can I simply put them on a few DVD-R's?

Do I need to get a new hard drive or can this one be salvaged with a new install of Windows Vista 64 bit home premium or Windows 7 (or an upgrade from Vista to 7)?

Is there anything to look for when I run ubuntu that can give me a clue to exactly what's wrong with the hard drive? BTW: I have many things on the hard drives (2 160 gig HD's partitioned) already backed up except for pictures and some music.

Once you're happy that all of your personal data is safely stored elsewhere, we'll help you try to fix the HDD.
Let us know when you're ready.
I have maybe close to 160 GIG pictures, music, videos on my hard drive to save so might it be better if I use clickfree to back up everything I want to save? Or can I/should I save it on several Verbatim DVD-R's using ubuntu? I'm on social security and only have a limited amount of money to spend each month.

"clickfree" ?
That's an external HDD isn't it ?
If so just drag the files from your Vista drive to the clickfree drive with Ubuntu.
Again thanks for quick reply. I wont be able to buy a quickfree HDD until the end of this month. When I get one and back up all my files, I'll let you know when I'm ready for the next step.


PS: while on the subject of clickfree to backup files on computers, I still have hanging around my old Dell PC that had Windows ME on it and after 4-5 years of use the Hard drive crashed. Can I save the files from that old computer (had a 40 gig hard drive) too even though it crashed?
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Do you have enough free space on the HDD to create a new partition where you can make a second copy of your personal files ?
Hi whiteheater,

I have a ACER too, a ACER Aspire Predator.

Well, with a Dual-Core-CPU (2 CPU in One CPU-Chip), the 32 Bit WIndows is much faster as the 64 Bit WIndows.
With a Dual Core -Quadro -CPU, Windos is a good 64 Bit machine.
For Tests it is very importend: With a very good Backup-Program make first a HD-Backup and then test what you mean/will.

Your Vista have created a hidden Partition on your first Main-HD (the Vista-HD)?
This was on my Acer-Computer with the Acer Vista Home Premium 64 Bit OS.
Then have Acer a third Partition with all ACER VISTA Recovery/Restoring Datas.

If your ACER Computer not coming original with VISTA, change in fast future to Win 7 or XP.
Win 7 is faster and much better as VISTA.

Control please in your first hidden Partition with name "System Reserved" (ACTIVE, SYSTEM, PRIM.): Is there a bootmgr or a NTLDR?
On my ACER (with Win 7 x64 Ultimate)is there a bootmgr present.

If this on your System presend too, your VISTA Entry is presend, but not found for booting up your system.
Remember please:
This smal (100 MB) active & primarily & system -Partition is the Entry with Datas, where are all VISTA-Datas in "C" can be found to start up your VISTA and the F8 area for Memtest and more.
With EasyBCD you can in this smal Partition edit the BCD for Start up alternative OS.
But with caution...
I do not editing there, i have created a second Boot-Folder and the BCD on this smal hidden Partition have only instruction to jump to the second BCD, if i wish not start up Win regular or if I press F8.

Please control your HD-Partition, the Files and the results write here.

Greetings from Germany,


Edit boot.mgr to bootmgr
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Don't know if it was a good idea or not but I tried to have the same amount of personal stuff on each partition on my hard rive so I moved half of it to the second partition so I have about 80-90 GB of my pictures/music/video on each partition. Some of it is more for convenience than necessity meaning I can delete it once I am able to get at it again.

I plan on getting the clickfree around the end of this month-beginning of next to back up everything I can.

I keep all of my photos, vids, music, docs, spreadsheets etc. in a data-only partition separate from the OSs and the apps partitions, and acccessible from all 4 OSs.
On a different HDD a have a backup partition, with a 2nd copy of every piece of data, which gets updated last thing every day with every change that's happened to the data partition. (or immediately if I've just downloaded stuff from the camera).
Every month I run another backup to archive a 3rd copy to an external HDD.
Only when photos exist in all three places do I delete them from the camera.
I can't remember who the quote comes from, but I heard it repeated only last week on TV
"If digital data doesn't exist in at least three places, It doesn't exist"
Not literally true, but makes sense. Sort of.
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Got my clickfree backup drive and downloaded ubuntu onto a CD. Looks like you have to be able to boot up or use the Vista computer (my computer in XP) option to be able to use it.

I'll try to see if I can get the clickfree to backup everything using ubuntu.
However a guide on just how to use ubuntu to get the clickfree to work might be helpful in case I don't get it to work myself because I might be doing something wrong.

I also downloaded a HDD diagnostic ISO to check out my hard drive to see what might be a problem there. Will post my results tomorrow or the day after.

If you check, your Acer should have Hidden Partition from about 5-10 GB! If so, consult your Acer manual how to start the Recovery from the Hidden Partition. It will mainly use the Alt + F10 Key Combination but that function need to be enabled in BIOS.

Note: Keep in mind that those Recovery will set back that computer to it's "vergin" state, which means that all you data and from you installed applications will be lost!
Thanks for the link. However I still haven't been able to save my files. I've learned how to use Ununtu more to get some things working with it.

Anyway, when I boot up with Ubuntu, the screen looks different than in the illustration in the how-to-geek page but I did click on "try to use Ubuntu without any change to your computer". Next I clicked on places/computer which brought up the drives on my computer. Then I double-clicked on the main hard drive and it opened up to find a list of all my folders (first one is the boot one) and below all the folders I saw files for bootmgr and BOOTSECT.BAK among others. The data drive shows all the folders I have there with all the content intact. By downloading plugins I can get all the music files and video clips playing with Ubuntu and all the photos are there too.

Anyway, when I plug in the clickfree external drive, icons appear on the Ubuntu desktop. When I click on the clickfree system icon, I get a screen that has folders for BIN and TOOLS plus autorun.inf, Fixmyclickfreebackup.exe, startmyclickfreebackup.exe and work.dat.

When I click on startmyclickfreebackup.exe I get this error message:

"Archive: /media/Clickfree_System/StartClickFreeBackup.exe
End-of-central-directory signature not found. Either this file is not
a zipfile, or it constitutes one disk of a multi-part archive. In the
latter case the central directory and zipfile comment will be found on
the last disk(s) of this archive.
zipinfo: cannot find zipfile directory in one of /media/Clickfree_System/StartClickFreeBackup.exe or
/media/Clickfree_System/, and cannot find /media/Clickfree_System/StartClickFreeBackup.exe.ZIP, period."

When I click on Fixmyclickfreebackup.exe I get the following error message:

"Archive: /media/Clickfree_System/FixMyClickFreeBackup.exe
End-of-central-directory signature not found. Either this file is not
a zipfile, or it constitutes one disk of a multi-part archive. In the
latter case the central directory and zipfile comment will be found on
the last disk(s) of this archive.
zipinfo: cannot find zipfile directory in one of /media/Clickfree_System/FixMyClickFreeBackup.exe or
/media/Clickfree_System/, and cannot find /media/Clickfree_System/FixMyClickFreeBackup.exe.ZIP, period."

On the directions for the Clickfree system booklet it says to run fixmyclickfree if it doesn't work after booting up the computer.

When I click on autorun.inf I get this:

ACTION=Start ClickFree Backup

above this message I get small icons for "create a new document, open, save thje current file, print the current page, cut the selection, copy the selection, paste the clipboard, search the text and then search for and replace text and a second row to close the sutorun.inf

TOOLS only has OfficeGuardianLog.exe

BIN has quite a few files, banners, exe files, language DLL's.

What do I do next? Is it possible to get the Vista to boot up again?
Your one click backup utilities only work under Windows, Ubuntu is a different OS.

You'll need to copy your files manually to the drive. Should be as simple as selecting the folders/files you want, right clicking selecting copy, and right clicking selecting paste into your other drive.
Thanks; that looks like it worked for me. I've copied and pasted all the pictures, videos and music plus a few other folders to the clickfree storage drive.

Question:. If I upgrade to Windows 7 will that fix the boot up problem I'm having now?
If you don't mind re-installing I say do that since you'e backed up your important files. Completely clear the disk and than install Windows 7 to the unallocated space.

If you'd much rather try to repair Vista, boot from a Vista disc (your W7 disc might work for this) and run System Restore from the recovery options menu you get after clicking repair my computer in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. See if you can roll it back a week or two before you attempted to install any software.
Guys: Thanks for all the help and suggestions. I eventually got the Windows 7 Upgrade CD ROM (which had both the 32 bit and 64 bit disks and used the 64 bit one) and not only am I able to boot up normally in Windows 7 but my old Windows files on my main C drive were saved in a file called Windows.old. Looks like all I need do now is copy and paste those files in the new photos, videos and music folders and then erase the windows.old folder. I still have all these files on my clickfree usb hard drive as an additional back up.

I do have one question: when I boot up now I get a chkdsk page which seems to freeze at stage 2 and 37% processed. It does give me 5 seconds to pass by this page and boot up in Windows 7. Any way to get rid of that chkdsk page?