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Fixing an Acer Aspire 9410 Not Booting Up and eRecovery with Password (In Squamish)

Updated on November 17, 2013
Received a motherboard.
Received a motherboard.
Slanted photo in the listing.
Slanted photo in the listing.
Applied new thermal compound.
Applied new thermal compound.
IDE hard drive with 2 bad sectors.
IDE hard drive with 2 bad sectors.
Both bad sectors regenerated.
Both bad sectors regenerated.
eRecovery asking password.
eRecovery asking password.
Program used to obtain the password.
Program used to obtain the password.
Mint cover
Mint cover
Upgraded to 1.5 GB RAM
Upgraded to 1.5 GB RAM
Mint keyboard.
Mint keyboard.

This Acer Aspire 9410-2028 came to me on 27Jul2013 without charger and boot up.

At home, I used a universal charger to check it out. When I powered it on, it had light but not booting up. I disassembled the laptop. The motherboard did not show any broken electronic component which provided me the hint for repairing. I ordered a used motherboard. When it came, I replaced the dead motherboard. The boot up was successfully. When I tried to install the hard drive, I found that the motherboard accepts IDE drive only. It was not mentioned in the motherboard description. Although it had photo, it was taken at a slanted angle which I could not see that the drive adapter is for IDE hard drive.

I had a 160GB IDE hard drive from a home laptop that my wife seldomly use. I ran the disk check. It had 2 bad sectors. Both were fixed by the HDD regenerator program. I copied the SATA hard drive using EasyUS Disk Copy which runs when both hard drive sizes are the same to the IDE hard drive. I ran the eRecovery in the IDE hard drive. However, it asked for password - "Please enter the Empowering Technology password". The password hint was "PIN". I emailed the owner if he could recall the password from the hint. He did not.

I found 3 methods to get the password from Internet below:

  1. Press "win + r" to bring up the run window
    Type: "cmd", to bring up the command window
    Type: "diskpart", a new command window pops up with a "Diskpart >" prompt
    Type: "rescan", a configuration check runs
    Type: "list disk", a list of the availible disks appears
    Type: "select disk 0", if your hidden partition resides on that disk of course
    Type: "list partition", to find out with partition is your hidden one (probably about 10 gb and without name)
    Type: "select partition 1", if that is your hidden partition
    Type: "detail partition", here you will see the partition type, take a note of that so that you can reset it to the original if needed.
    If your partition type = 27 you should enter id=07 in the step below, if type = 12 enter id=0B in the step below.
    Type: "set id=07 override", where 07 is the number from the step above - to unhide your partition
    Type: "select disk 0", to go back to the top of the disk again
    Type: "list volume", you should be able to see the "pqservice" volume
    Type: "select volume 0", if that is your pqservice partition
    Type: "assign letter=f", where f should be your first free driveletter (listed in "list volume" command) remember the CD/DVD driveletter!!
  2. use something like "The Ultimate Boot CD" that will run a complete system from a cd. Once it is booted, you can navigate to the file %drive letter%\TOOLS\AIMDRS.DAT
  3. -Download Hiren's Boot CD 9.8
    -Boot to it and boot into MiniXP
    -After it loads, open Notepad and minimize it. You'll need it later.
    -Open the Hiren's Boot Menu app and scroll to the "Recovery" menu, then select Partition Find and Mount.
    -Select your physical HD and do a Normal Scan of the drive.
    -Once you find the hidden partition (approx. 5Gigs), mount it as any unused drive letter.
    -The AIMDRS.DAT file will be on the root of the drive. Now drag that file to Notepad that you opened earlier. Here's what it should look like:
    HT=<password hint>

I attempted all three methods. The last one gave me the access to the AIMDRS.DAT file which I found the password. I restored the hard drive to factory default. When I ran eRecovery again, it has "This Utility needs to setup a password first before using it. The message asking password was gone.

I tested the battery. For 100% charged, it showed 2 Hr 27 Min when not running any program. In playing YouTube video to check the wireless and stability of the motherboard, it lasted for an hour. On 16 Nov 2013, it was picked up by a person from Squamish who works in downtown.


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    • Mark Johann profile image

      Mark Johann 

      5 years ago from Italy

      Hello laptop-shelter, I learn a lot about this hub. Thanks and please share more. I will have my PC repair also soon. We will be in touch.


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