My son’s Acer Aspire Laptop was having trouble. With a corrupt hard drive and his final exams just a few weeks away, I started the process of restoring from his Acer Aspire System Restore DVDs that we had built when he had gotten his laptop for Christmas 2007.
Restore Failed – Reason 0xa000000e. Not a good sign at 10:00 pm at night. My first thought was maybe it was the hard drive that had failed instead of just being corrupt. I had to try again and this time the system restore proceeded just a little further. The Acer Aspire system restore got to the screen where I selected the language, proceeded to the message where it indicated that the system restore would erase all the data on Drive C: and then Restore Failed – Reason 0x000000e.
With the lack of a floppy disk drive in this Acer Aspire Laptop, I felt a little like a fish out of water. I’m old school and 99.9 percent of my utilities still exist on 3.5″ floppies or exist on my Linux systems. Not a problem however, there’s a great utility CD that you can download and create perhaps one of the best Boot CDs around – the Ultimate Boot CD.
For those who are not familiar with the Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD), this is CD that is jammed packed with some of the best computer utilities around. It has programs that will allow you to change Windows XP passwords if you forget them, programs to erase hard drives, and diagnostic programs to test hardware. Best of all, the Ultimate Boot CD is free and it runs in a Linux based kernel!
I downloaded the latest version of the Ultimate Boot CD (version 4.1.1 at the time of this article), burned the ISO version I downloaded onto a CD and booted the laptop. My first thought was to wipe the hard drive using one of the hard disk drive utilities, but this failed and the error indicated the hard disk drive had failed. Not a good sign at 10:15 pm at night!
In goes the UBCD, and this time, I decided to try some FileSystem Utilities. In here, I loaded some Partition Utilities and a free version of FDISK, a program that would allow me to delete any partitions that existed on the hard drive. I discovered 2 partitions – one was the Windows Vista NTFS partitition and the other was a “Non-DOS” partition” used by the Acer Aspire system restore process to reload the laptop.
Contrary to what the Acer Aspire documentation stated, I knew from previous experience that the system partition was not required. There was enough information on the Acer Aspire System Restore disks to reload the laptop if I could get the restore process started. It would be faster if I could use the system restore partition and to hopefully get to bed a little earlier, I just deleted the Primary Partition C: and restarted the Acer Aspire System Reload processes again.
Restore Failed – Reason 0xa000000e. Not a good sign at 10:30 pm.
Was the hard disk drive actually failed? I didn’t think so. In goes the UBCD, Filesystem Utilities, Partition Utilities, Free FDISK and there went the “Non-DOS” partition with the system restore information. If the hard disk drive had failed, I wasn’t going to have to wait the extra 10 minutes to reload the system anyway. I would get Restore Failed – Reason 0xa000000e – and my night would be finished anyway.
With both partitions deleted, the Acer Aspire System Restore process started and voila – it continued and there was no Restore Failed – Reason 0xa000000e. I let the process finish and Windows Vista installed along with all the drivers and bundled software.
The next morning, I was now curious if the Acer Aspire System Restore process would work with any existing partitions and it ran through successfully the 3 times I tried it. The fourth time however, Restore Failed – Reason 0xa000000e, and it failed again. This led me to believe that there is some problem with this particular version of the Acer Aspire System Restore CDs which occassionally failed when any partitions existed on the hard disk drive. A bit of research on the Internet indicated that this was a common issue with many of the Acer Restore CDs, not just those for the Acer Aspire.
If you own an Acer laptop and are trying to do a system restore, the message Restore Failed – Reason 0xa000000e means you have to delete the existing partitions from the hard disk drive before you start the restore process. This will suck if you have data on any of those partitions, but if you are doing regular backups, you should have no concerns.