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Factory reset / restore Iconia W500 tablet without CD/DVD drive (USB)

Need a clean install of your Acer Iconia W500 series tablet but didn’t opt for the external cd/dvd drive?

Normally you can restore via a hidden partition, but more often than not that has been removed or failed.

After some serious back and forth trying a number of things to copy the Iconia W500 system restore cd’s to a USB stick i found this is the easiest way to go about it.

A couple of the issues i ran into were:

Stuck at 99% – asking for cd2

After copying the CD contents to my USB and booting from it i was getting stuck at 99% when then it would ask for cd 2, nothing i could do would make it recognize the second USB stick.

BOOTMGR is missing

After i formatted and attempted a fresh copy of both cd’s to the 1 USB drive, i found i couldn’t boot from the USB stick – this is because the format i completed made the drive non bootable

After some trial and error i have the complete process i followed to restore my Acer Iconia W500 series tablet from USB stick rather than CD/DVD.

Requirements

You will need a USB stick that can fit the entire contents of the 2 restore cd’s

Part 1 – Create bootable drive formatted with fat32

 

  1. Windows key + “R” opens “Run”
  2. Type diskpart and press Enter
  3. Issue the following commands
  4. list disk Enter
  5. select disk # Enter (look at the list of disks to decide which one is your thumb drive)
  6. clean Enter
  7. create partition primary Enter
  8. select partition 1 Enter
  9. active Enter
  10. format fs=fat32 quick Enter (this step will take a few minutes)
  11. assign Enter
  12. exit Enter

Part 2 – Copy all recovery disks to the USB thumb drive

Copy the contents of your recovery cd/dvd’s to the USB disk drive, start from the first and work your way through, overwrite if prompted.

Part 3 – Edit Restore.dat and RCD.DAT

In order for it to work from the 1 USB stick we need to edit 2 files as follows, they are in the root directory. Edit with notepad or similar text editing software

RCD.DAT

Find the line that says “PCS = 2” and change it to “PCS = 1” and save.

Restore.dat

Find the line that says “DiscNumber=2” and change it to “DiscNumber=1”

Part 3 – Recovery

  1. With the machine powered off, insert the recovery USB you created into the tablet dock USB port.
  2. Power on
  3. At the Acer logo screen, press F12.
  4. Select the USB drive at the following boot menu.

You should now be able to step through the restore process via the USB stick method.

 

 

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