Unable to install Linux or Windows on Acer M3640

The spare people Acer aspire m3640 deskt...
April 29, 2014 at 07:57:55
Specs: Windows Vista, Intel 2.4Ghz / 4GB
Obtained Acer M3640 with q6600 CPU, Bios version R01-A3.
Former owner stated that original disk has been disposed due to a crash.
First hardware check shows blowed-up AGP card, I removed it.

No further visible damaged parts on the MoBo found.
Then cleaning up the dust from the MoBo like CPU/heatsink area, memory and other hardware.
Then first installation Vista Home Premium SP2, at the time I had no x64 Vista Home Premium version.
That x86 version installation went well, no problems encountered.
Next, I then removed the x86 Vista installation by removing partition and then recreate new partition and formatting it.
Then I tried to boot from Vista x64 DVD, due to 64 bit CPU instructions.
The load bar shows up, immidiately followed by "save mode" pop up even though no prior installation has been carried out or had been terminated.

Next I removed the Vista installation DVD and inserted Hiron's Boot CD to perform some hardware tests like memtest x86, hdd test, etc.
First time Hiron Boot CD booted into tools and I was able to perform hardware tests like Memtest 86, MoBo test, CPU, memory and hdd.
No errors found so far on the tested hardware.
Second reboot attempt with Hiron's Boot CD results in CRC error and every time the same CRC error.

Exchanging SATA harddisk with a identical IDE harddisk, results in "no disk found".
Exchanging SATA DVD with identical IDE DVD and putting back the original SATA harddisk.
Next attempt to boot from that IDE DVD drive results in bsod referring to possible Bios update.

Bios update carried out from R01-A3 to R01-B4.
There happen to be another Bios update available, R01-C2.
However, that one I did not try yet as it is not a official supported Bios update.
One of the changes with the Bios version R01-B4 is the available choice for another operating system.

Having the operating system changed into "other os" (for Linux boot CD) and then rebooting the system results in a black screen that presents "cmos checksum bad" and the choice for either, F1 which will bring you to the setup screen, or F2 which will reset to the default settings and then boot to whatever device has been set as first boot device.
That includes booting from Windows boot CD/DVD as default operating system.

Conclusion, booting from Hiron's Boot CD into testing files is not possible and ends with CRC error.
And the boot of a Linux distribution get stuck.
No Windows or Linux installation seems to be possible.
Windows ending in a safe mode even though no prior Windows installation had been carried out or crashed.
Linux installation get stuck.
Only booting from mini XP (from Hiron's Boot CD) is possible, which is virtually loaded within the memory.

So, what's the problem here?
Is it a driver thing, like nVidia Raid device?
I then would need a Vista Home Premium x64 recovery DVD, which I currently don't have.
Or is it something else?

Assumption is the mother of all f*ck-ups.

message edited by student-mcse


See More: Unable to install Linux or Windows on Acer M3640

Report •


#1
April 29, 2014 at 09:44:41
"Having the operating system changed into "other os" (for Linux boot CD)"

Why would you have to do that? I'm curious because I've never done that before when installing Linux or booting from a Linux disk. Isn't Hiren's based on Knoppix Linux?? Hmmm, I suggest you change that BIOS setting.

Install the drives you wish to keep in the Acer (SATA optical & SATA HDD?) & double check all your BIOS settings. Do not simply load defaults, run thru each menu & configure as necessary.

Boot off the OS disk of choice (Vista 64-bit?), delete ALL partitions, create one or more new ones, then do a FULL format (yes, it will take a long time), then proceed with the installation & hope for the best.

BTW, make sure there are no external devices installed other than keyboard, mouse & monitor. And remove any PCI, AGP, or PCIe cards. They can be re-installed after Windows is setup & working properly.

message edited by riider


Report •

#2
April 30, 2014 at 01:59:44
Riider thanks for your reply,
You're right about Hiron's Boot CD, it seem to be based on knoppix.
My first guess after Bios update was that changing to "other os" and leaving the rest as default may let me boot into a Linux brand or Hiron's Boot CD, the tooling section.
But neither worked out as during reboot the black screen appears again with the choices F1 for Bios setup or F2 which will reset to default setting in this case for the os happen to be Windows.
Either way, the result remain the same which is reset back to default.
I am able, however, to boot into mini XP session from the Hiron's Boot CD.
In virtual mini XP I remain unable to get into diagnostic tools.
As I am not familliar with Acer and its Bios settings, I already passed through all settings.
The thing is, I cannot find a manual which explains the Bios settings like Asus does with its MoBo's.
Btw, no other hardware is connected to the system during any attempt installing either Windows or Linux.
Still I remain unable to get Vista or Linux installed as the process bring me right into save mode with Vista and the boot stuck with Linux.
Usually, when you boot from dvd one has to press a button to prepare for installation.
That doesn't happen here, the system boot from dvd rightaway and bring me then to this save mode even though no prior installation is left of has been crashed on that newly created partition.
Then, no mather what choise, the BSOD is what appears next.

Now I suspect a RAID or SATA driver issue causes these problems.
During boot from DVD a search for available Sata or IDE hardware may be performed.
On the MoBo, only one IDE connector and only one molex connector for IDE is available.
Therefor only one IDE device can be plugged in.
More devices connected may lead to overload of the PSU.

Assumption is the mother of all f*ck-ups.

message edited by student-mcse


Report •

#3
April 30, 2014 at 16:38:22
It doesn't sound like you've deleted all the partitions. And just because you're not actually seeing the "press any key to boot from DVD..." prompt doesn't mean it's not there. It might be hidden by something else on the screen. Make sure you have the boot order configured correctly in the BIOS then try tapping the space bar while booting off the Vista DVD.

As for the BIOS settings, if you're familiar with them from other systems, they should be fairly self explanatory. Have a look at the service manual:

http://www.elvikom.pl/forum/downloa...

message edited by riider


Report •

Related Solutions

#4
May 15, 2014 at 07:56:19
Sorry for late responding, have been busy on a different computer project.

HDD preparation:
Prior to installing any OS, I make sure no partition or files are left on a disk.
For that, I plugin the disk on a different computer system and then boot from HironĀ“s Boot CD into the tooling area.
Selecting a partition manager, I then search for any partition on the disk, also for any hidden partitions.
After clearing the disk of any partitions, it will be replaced back into the Acer system.

Boot from dvd:
At the bios, boot from dvd is set.
When passing cmos, dvd speed up and does not show message "press any key ..." but start rightaway preparing for installation and get me into the save mode screen within seconds.
Even though no partition is set (i.e due to a prior installation attempt).
Pressing any key in save mode or memory test resulting in bsod at the end.
On a attempt installing any Linux brand, the preparation stuck within seconds.

Assumption is the mother of all f*ck-ups.

message edited by student-mcse


Report •


Ask Question