I had a Acer aspire one in the shop today and it had a variety of critical Windows issues. While doing some tests one of the things I did was rebuild the windows boot loader using the /FIXBOOT & /FIXMBR commands from a recovery disk. What I did not realize is it seems Acer has a custom boot loader which allows for the keys Alt & F10 to be pressed on boot in order to reinstall from the recovery partition so when I reinstalled the boot loader I overwrote the Acer one. This prevented the Alt – F10 combination from being used to access the recovery partition. Now, normally if you can boot into Windows there is a icon in the start menu to execute the recovery program but in my case Windows was so messed up due to a bad chkdsk I was not able to do that.

In order to fix this issue you will need a cd drive to boot from and a program to burn image files. In my case I like to use Image burn because its free and is full of features.

1. Download the following file Smart Boot Manager and extract it on your desktop

2. Inside you will find a file called sbminst.iso

3.  Burn this .iso file to a cd with whichever burning program you decide to use.

4. Insert the cd into the Acer laptop and press F12 when the initial boot screen comes up

5. You will need to select your CD rom from the list of boot devices

6. Once the CD boots you will see a screen similiar to this.


7. If all goes well you will see your recovery partition in the list.

8. Highlight it and hit return and it will boot it. Note: If you get a disk write error just hit return again. This is just because we cannot make changes to the .iso. SBM was originally developed for a floppy disk where you could save changes.

9. At this point you should be able to continue the system recovery like normal.

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10 Responses to “How to Boot the Recovery Partition on a Acer Aspire when Alt – F10 Does Not Work”
  1. Donald says:

    Hi. I am suffering with a black screen on an old Acer Aspire 3500 with XP service pack 2 OEM installed [with no disk]. I do have the XP license number on the label on the bottom of the notebook.
    I want to access the recovery partition to reload everything. Alt / F10 did not work and I was advised to load a small file that would repair the MBR file.
    All this did was to give me a black screen with cursor with Alt/F10. From there I can Ctrl/Alt/Del and get back to the Acer splash screen, and Alt/F10 there now gets XP to open! System restore to a prior date has not removed this by the way.
    Sorry for the long explanation, my question is if I run this Subminst.iso do you think it will overcome my situation. The D2D option is enabled in the BIOS by the way.
    Any advice you can offer would be most gratefully received.
    Donald [I am in Scotland so there is probably a big time difference with you?]


  2. Peerke29 says:

    Great, I have read many post about not starting the recover console with alt f10 en this was for me the solution that worked, thanks a lot


  3. Rico says:

    WOW, useful information on the internet, who’d have thunk it.

    I owe you a drink as you have saved me hours of peeing about with drivers etc, only to have my niece go out and screw it up again.

    Great info, works a treat.

    Acer 5742 Win 7


  4. Terry says:


    First of all thank you very much for the above but I am still not sure what to do here.

    A friend has asked me to try and repair her laptop (Acer Aspire 6935G).

    (a) On boot up the screen is literally unreadable. It is ‘horizontally shuttered’ with what looks like 1000’s of horizontal lines. The BIOS screen is almost as bad so I eliminated a graphics driver problem. Plugged in external screen – display perfect.

    (b) What is happening is that every time the computer boots (even if I go to SAFE MODE through F8), ‘Starting Repair” runs. There is no way out of it. It eventually displays an error message saying that the error could not be rectified. It says

    Problem signature 01 AutoFallover
    Problem signature 02 6.0.6000.16386.6.0.6001.18000
    Problem signature 03 6
    Problem signature 04 4522053
    Problem signature 05 CorruptFile
    Problem signature 06 NoRootCause
    Problem signature 07 0
    Problem signature 08 2
    Problem signature 09 WrpRepair
    Problem signature 10 2
    OS Version 6.0.6000.
    Local ID: 1033

    (c) When I use Alt/F10 or just F10 at start up I get a ‘DOS looking’ screen saying

    Edit Windows boot options for: Microsoft Windows Vista
    Partition: 2
    Hard Disk 89aa1ac7
    [ /noexecute=optin ….]

    The only options I had were ENTER and ESC. If I press ENTER it just reboots. ESC just gives me the option to boot into Vista and so back to square one.

    I then looked around the web and came up with your article. I have done what you said and it does boot into that screen. I am not sure though what to do. Please can you help me?

    It says under number, type and name

    — — None Quit to Bios
    — — None Reboot
    FD0 0 None Floppy
    HD0 0 None Harddisk
    HD0 1 Uknown Primary 1
    HD0 2 HP/NTFS Primary 2
    HD0 3 HP/NTFS Primary 3
    HD0 4 Uknown Primary 4

    I am assuming Primary 3 is the hidden partition that F10 would normally take me to but when I press enter (and enter again) it says BOOTMGR IS MISSING. As you can see from the above (when I hit F10 on normal boot up), Vista OS is said to be on partition 2. When I press enter on HD0 4, I lose my connection to my auxiliary screen and cannot see what it says on the laptop screen.

    Can anyone help me please? I would very much appreciate it. I am going around in circles on this one.

    Just one more little bit of info. After the repair screen is finished, I can get to a virtual DOS. It defaults on X drive – which I assume is the hidden partition. It defaults to x:\Windows\System32. I can see everything on the C: drive and use DOS internal programmes.

    Many thanks for any help



  5. GG says:

    Thank you. Though my situation was slightly different…having recovery disc that failed, your product and solution was on point.

    Thanks again,


  6. sadi says:

    Lot of thankz Brother………


  7. Grant says:

    My netbook was set to dual boot WinXP & Zorin (Linux). Of course, I had a problem with WinXP & needed to reinstall, but could not access the Acer hidden partition by any means. I happen to find this page, tried it & fixed the problem in 2 seconds (NOT kidding). Highlighed the partition, entered ‘y’, hit enter twice (as you said you might have to). . . done. Thank you for posting the .iso file & the ‘how to’ fix.


  8. Mazzer says:

    This solution worked on my aspire 5532 and allowed me to start erecovery management, I wish I had found this weeks ago. Many thanks for taking the time to post this.


  9. Juandroid78 says:

    This worked for me. Thx a lot!


  10. leandro freire says:

    I managed to create Hirens boot usb, and I used to plop boot manager 5 tool, I selected the partition and it worked perfectly :) sorry for my english, I am brazilian


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