Well I have already screwed up my Acer laptop, but have managed to recover it (somewhat).
Note: In November of 2009 I did have a power jack problem with my Acer Extensa.
I have been installing applications and I decided to upgrade to the latest ATI drivers for my ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2400XT video card that is inside. I went to the ATI website and searched through their drivers sections. This is where I went wrong.
ATI’s Site Does Not Provide Laptop Drivers
I was searching around for drivers and could not find the 2400 series drivers in the Mobility section so I downloaded the ones from the regular Radeon area. If I had read the fine print in the Mobility section, I would have seen that they do not provide drivers for laptops. The laptop manufacturer is responsible for this.
Anyhow, after I installed the driver package I downloaded, the laptop would only boot to a black screen. After some messing around I decided I would just to the restore from the hidden partition (feature on Acers) since I didn’t have much on the laptop yet.
Note: After going through my steps below, I realized some things take a long time and I am wondering if I just let the laptop sit at the black screen for awhile if it would have finished something it was doing. You can try this if you want.
Restoring From The Hidden Partition
It is pretty simple.
- At the Acer screen on bootup, press F2.
- In on of the screens there is a D2D option. Make sure it says Enabled.
- Save your settings and exit.
- At the Acer screen on bootup, press Alt-F10.
- You will prompted from here on where you want to restore or not.
Notes About Restoring the Acer Extensa
The actual restore was only 7 minutes, but everything else seemed to take a long time. There were not a ton of screens to fill in, but there is a few. I let my laptop sit and chunk away through various parts for a few hours.
There are initial users to set up, some registration info, license agreements to accept, and some locale settings.
The most unnerving was that even after I rebooted and logged in for the first time, the screen was black except for a command prompt window that was up and running. I hit Ctrl-Alt-Del and went into Task Manager to see what was going on. The CPU was running around 50% and it did this for quite some time (2o minutes), but eventually I was logged in. I think it was some sort of initial setup.
Getting Acer Extensa Drivers
Rule of thumb for the video card: DO NOT DOWNLOAD VIDEO CARD DRIVERS FROM THE ATI WEBSITE. GO TO ACER’S SITE.
NOTE: I have not yet done the steps below because I am still restoring my laptop.
I found the Acer Support website and if you are looking for any drivers, start with the Acer Drivers page. I had Windows Vista so I went into Vista and then Drivers to get the file VGA Driver_ATI_v8.402_Vista.zip, but there is also another version (for XP users?) at VGA 20ATIv.2.8.383.zip.
There is a more viewer friendly version with their FTP viewing page. Just find Extensa and work your way into the drivers section from there.
Explore this site. You will find a digital copy of your manual and there is BIOS software as well.