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Old August 28, 2008, 12:24 AM
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Default Acer induced woes.

Mkay, I am going to try to keep this relatively short and to the point.
Earlier today I unpacked my new Acer Aspire One.
It is the white 1GB RAM, 120GB HDD, XP home SP3, model and I want to install a different operating system onto it.
I want Mac OS X 10.5 and Windows XP.
It did not come with any external OS install/restore media on CD/DVD/flashdrive. It instead uses a hidden partition on the HDD.
I tried to use my Windows XP Pro SP2 CD to install to a 4GB flash drive as an initial test but after setup copied it's files over then rebooted I ended up with a blue screen and what I believe people on occasion call a stop error. I dunno, it says STOP then a bunch of numbers after that at the bottom of the block of text.
This CD has worked well on various other hardware over the years.

Since I can't currently risk wiping the HDD or even replacing it in event of failure how am I supposed to go about installing another OS that would require re-partitioning? I need to ensure that I have an OS to run on it if I ever have problems with OS X for some reason not to mention the fact that I want to install it after I re-partition for OS X.
Acer's full-o-crap "eRecovery Management" junk has no options for any sort of backup.. unlike what the documentation for it that came on the HDD says.(to be fair the user manual book does not mention any backup options though)

I only have one PATA->USB/FW enclosure, I only have one SATA->USB enclosure. No spare SATA HDDs at the moment and no SATA ODDs at all.
The only two USB flash drives I have are advertised as 512MB and 4GB.

I need to be able to install XP and format the HDD and such at my will.
Have any of you used a regular XP CD with an Aspire One successfully? Is this just windows not liking booting off a flash drive?

What are my options?
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Old August 28, 2008, 12:34 AM
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Stick a usb key into the machine grab acronis and do a image backup?
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Old August 28, 2008, 01:16 AM
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Can't believe that one slipped my mind... I do that stuff all the time with the HDs in my Macs and my flash drives. :/
Heck, I have two of such backups from my previous portable mounted right now because I was looking for an old file. *slaps self*

Almost unfortunately:
6.79GB used on HDD, max USB flashdrive/USBkey size: 4GB(advertised size).
Even if I did do that so long as I need to boot using my only external PATA enclosure if I need to install/restore I have nothing to copy the image from.
Unless of course I could copy the contents of the HDD to an external PATA drive to boot off of then make a disk image of the internal HDD to the same drive..
It is not quite the most ideal solution though because this install seems to be loaded up with OEM crap that I would have to remove - but I suppose that can be done if a fresh install is out of the question.

And no, I am not overcomplicating things, If I am going to make a backup of this I need to have something to boot off of in order to restore it if there are no bootable operating systems installed.

I will look into the capabilities of acronis.
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Old August 28, 2008, 05:15 AM
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Chances are you can still use a larger usb key and it will work. If not Acronis has a few different compression settings when you are creating the backup so you shouldn't have a problem getting it on a 4gig stick.
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Old August 28, 2008, 05:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacJunky View Post
6.79GB used on HDD, max USB flashdrive/USBkey size: 4GB(advertised size).
Seeing how cheap 8GB USB drives ($20-30) are, I don't see what the problem is. Just go pick up a larger USB.

And a 4GB USB does not have a full 4GB to use, more like 3.7GB.
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Old August 28, 2008, 05:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacJunky View Post
...
It did not come with any external OS install/restore media...
That is really sad. The product just has "discount" written all over it.
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Old August 28, 2008, 07:51 AM
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9 out of 10 "name brand" computers don't come with media anymore. They let you burn your own recovery media, so they can in theory lower the prices of the systems.
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Old August 28, 2008, 08:01 AM
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Yes, and that's what you can do Macjunky. Let it do it's install of xp sp3 from the hidden partition. then you can make a set of recovery disks for that os.
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Old August 28, 2008, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodscene View Post
Chances are you can still use a larger usb key and it will work. If not Acronis has a few different compression settings when you are creating the backup so you shouldn't have a problem getting it on a 4gig stick.
So long as I can make a PATA drive bootable then that sounds like it would work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdrom17 View Post
Seeing how cheap 8GB USB drives ($20-30) are, I don't see what the problem is. Just go pick up a larger USB.
This one has a highly offensive case:
NCIX.com - Buy Corsair Flash Voyager CMFUSB2.0-8GB 8GB USB2.0 Flash Drive - CMFUSB2.0-8GB In Canada.
This one was not included in the last sale:
NCIX.com - Buy Patriot Mini 8GB USB2.0 Flash Memory Drive Orange - PSF8GMUSB In Canada.
and mine was about $16
There was another 8GB one on sale if I recall but I seem to remember reading about some of them having slow write issues or something with RMA being the suggested option. I wanted to avoid a device that people had been bitching about because I don't fancy putting myself at more risk for RMA than normal. I went with the one that people had not complained about as much.(and it is physically really tiny and does not look appalling)

The others that are not on sale are generally a bit more or include a MIR. I absolutely hate MIRs as a customer and I did not figure that I would be in this situation so I decided to go on the smaller size. I basically thought this: "If I need to copy bigger stuff around without using a network then I can just use an external USB enclosure with a HDD". Unfortunately, I expected my XP install disc to work with this hardware and I also expected external recovery media to be included.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdrom17 View Post
And a 4GB USB does not have a full 4GB to use, more like 3.7GB.
Yea, I kinda knew that before I bought it. I also expected that you would know that I knew. I did later also specify that it was the advertised size.


Quote:
Originally Posted by misterd View Post
9 out of 10 "name brand" computers don't come with media anymore. They let you burn your own recovery media, so they can in theory lower the prices of the systems.
Considering how cheap it is to include a CD/DVD or even a small flashdrive then adjust the item's price to compensate I don't see where the issue is. I bet they could up the price by a dollar or two and include a couple CDs or a DVD and nobody would notice the price difference.

I should also point out a second time that the eRecovery Management application does not have any backup or recovery disc/image creation options so I am going to need some other program.

I am currently in the process of getting some acronis software so I will try that with a HDD in my PATA enclosure.(I like how in operating systems like Linux or Mac OS a person could do this sort of thing for free with tools that come with the OS.)
I suppose it is good that I get suitable tools now anyway as I will probably want them for use on my desktop system eventually.
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Old August 28, 2008, 12:20 PM
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May I ask why you would even want OSX on this thing? Did you check to see if OSX86 is compatible with this hardware?
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