Acer Travelmate C100 System Recovery CD Failure

Trying to reinstall the original hard disk image of Microsoft Windows onto this Tablet PC the System Recovery fails using the four CDs provided when the system recovery utility asks for the first recovery CD.

The System CD is ejected and the user is prompted for the first Recovery CD, but the CD cannot be read and the PC sometimes locks up.

The issue seems to be that when the bootable System CD is ejected the MS-DOS driver 'loses' the CD-ROM drive, or else when the new disk is inserted the driver doesn't act on the change-line notification.

It seemed to me that putting all the files onto 1 DVD might solve the issue, and that proved correct. The automated recovery installer always ejects the System CD and causes this problem, but by doing the operation manually from the command-line no DVD eject is needed.

Here's how I went about it. I was using my GNU/Linux Ubuntu Gutsy laptop to do all this.

I created a project directory 'c105' and a couple of sub-directories:


I copied each of the Acer CDs to ISO image files using K3B (normal copy, to image, no burn):

tmc100scd011.iso Disk 1,   System CD (bootable) 298MiBytes
c100rcd80e_1.iso Disk 2-1, Recovery CD 666MiB
c100rcd80e_2.iso Disk 2-2, Recovery CD 666MiB
c100rcd80e_3.iso Disk 2-3, Recovery CD 47MiB

I put the DVD images in the c105/ directory.

I then ran Windows XP as a guest in a virtual machine (VM), downloaded and unzipped  BBIE - Bart's Boot Image Extractor - and inserted the Acer System CD (/dev/cdrom - Windows sees it as drive D), and from a command prompt in Windows ran:

bbie d:

The resulting image1.bin was copied over the virtual network that connects the VMs to the host file system into c105/BootImage/ and then I closed the Windows guest VM.

I then mounted the DVD ISO images on the loop file system and copied their contents into c105/DVD/. Some files are duplicated across the CDs. You need all the files from the System CD and from the Recovery CDs the contents of the /IMAGES/ directories (these are the large ghost image files) and the /RCD*.dat files:

sudo mkdir -p /media/acer
sudo mount tmc100scd011.iso /media/acer -t iso9660 -loop
cp -r /media/acer/* c105/DVD/
sudo umount /media/acer
sudo mount c100rcd80e_1.iso /media/acer -t iso9660 -loop
cp -ur /media/acer/* c105/DVD/
sudo umount /media/acer
sudo mount c100rcd80e_2.iso /media/acer -t iso9660 -loop
cp -ur /media/acer/* c105/DVD/
sudo umount /media/acer
sudo mount c100rcd80e_3.iso /media/acer -t iso9660 -loop
cp -ur /media/acer/* c105/DVD/
sudo umount /media/acer

The files are now ready to be placed in an ISO image. I used K3B for that. The root of the DVD contains everything inside the c105/DVD/ directory, so it looks like:


Set the file c105/BootImage/image1.bin as the boot image for the disk. Set the type to Floppy if it isn't done automatically.

Now write the DVD.

Put the DVD in the Acer external DVD drive and restart. Press F12 to get the boot device menu, and select the IEEE1394 device.

Once the disk has booted select your preferred language (in my case English).

Now choose the "DOS Prompt" option (the one on the right). You'll be dropped to a DOS prompt.

Change to the /Tools directory if it isn't already there:

cd /Tools

Now run Ghost:


Dismiss the about dialog by pressing the OK button.

Choose Local > Disk > From Image

In the dialog, navigate to the parent directory by clicking on the ".." and the select the IMAGES directory. In the "Files of type" drop-down list box scroll to the bottom of the list and select "*.*"

Now select the first file of the Ghost set, which has the extension ".HDD". In my case it is "80E48R06.HDD"

A new dialog "Select local destination drive by clicking the drive number" appears which lists:

Drive, Size(Mb), Type, Cylinders, Heads, Sectors
1, 38154, Basic, 4864, 255, 63

(Your values may be different)

Select the drive.

The dialog "Password" appears. Type in "acermsu".

The "Destination Drive Details" dialog appears. It gives the option to change the 'new size'. It was prefilled with the total size of the drive but the value in the "Old Size" field showed 28607. I believe that is to accomodate other models with smaller hard drives. It didn't cause a problem once Windows was started.

When you press the "OK" button you'll be asked, "Proceed with disk load? Destination drive will be permanently overwritten." Press the "Yes" button.

Now the copy will begin and the status screen will update. When the first recovery-set file has been completed Ghost will report "Span Volume[1] Done, Insert next media and press enter to continue...". Because the files are all together you only need to press the "OK" button.

Repeat this step until the last recovery-set file is requested.

When it completes Ghost will report "Clone Complete, Clone Completed Successfully". Press the "Continue" button if you want to redo the operation with different settings, or return to the command line. Otherwise press the "Restart" button.

The PC should ignore the DVD drive and boot into Windows XP Tablet PC Edition immediately.

Windows goes through some basic configuration questions and then starts properly. The first thing that gets in the way is the 360 Degree Web PlatinumSecret Smartcard installer. It wants name/email/address info so I quit the installer. Next, Norton AntiVirus Information Wizard/License? Agreement dialog gets in the way. I dismissed that too.

After closing the Tablet tutorial I pressed the Wireless/Wired? network switch (the left-most button above the function keys) so Windows would install the drivers. At this point, without at least service pack 2 there is no WPA/WPA2 support, so unless you've got a WEP WiFi network you'll need to use a wired ethernet connection (or CD) to copy SP2 and  SP3 across (SP3 release candidates require SP2).

I re-enabled the wired network, connected an ethernet cable from the router, and configured the LAN. Windows then required a restart.

At this point it does a disk-check (chkdsk) and then converts the drive to NTFS from FAT32 to improve security and reliability.