ACER Recovery tips

I actually did a complete system restore on my Acer Aspire 5044wlmi recently, using the Acer eRecovery software that came with the computer. I recovered using the built-in recovery tools, not a disk. It answered many questions for me that might be useful for others:

1) NTFS vs FAT32 issues. I had already converted both C: and D: from FAT32 to NTFS. The recovery didn't touch the D partition at all, didn't affect anything on it whatsoever. When it restored the C partition to factory state, it reformatted it as FAT32 (which was easily changed back to NTFS after using the convert command in the console).


2) Win XP Pro from Media Center Edition. My computer came with XP Media Center Edition. Having done a full fresh reinstall as part of the recovery, I can now assure everyone that MCE 2005 SP2 definitely is XP Pro under the hood. When you do a fresh reinstall using Acer Recovery, the Windows installation program asks you if you want to connect to a domain. Unlike XP Pro though, this is a one-time-only opportunity, only available at the time of a fresh reinstall. If you say No, you can't change this later, and you will not be able to later install the IIS server (which is not installed by default). But, even if you don't have a domain to connect to and you never will, I recommend you say YES to that option. Just use the default name DOMAIN, and then input the username you want, like domain/yourname. Even if you never do have a network domain, it doesn't matter. It makes no difference. Once Windows is installed and running, you can go into control panel --> add or remove --> windows components, and then you can select to install IIS and the network management tools. It will install normally, and then you pretty much have a full Win XP Pro installation, plus the Media Center stuff. You can browse to localhost just as easily as you can to any other website. You effectively have your own intranet - quite handy for local development of your websites. Works great, but of course, it's a Windows server, and so you can only test for that, not for an Apache-based web host. Even with this installed, you can still install an Apache server on your computer, as long as they don't both use port 80 at the same time (you have to change one of them).

Pretty neat, I think. BTW, my Acer eRecovery version is 1.3.9.2, 2005. I can't vouch for any other version working the same, although the network domain and IIS stuff should be the same.
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