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Thread: Asus UL20A problem with F9 Factory Restore after Ubuntu installation

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    32

    Asus UL20A problem with F9 Factory Restore after Ubuntu installation

    Hi Everyone,

    I am having an issue with an Asus UL20A notebook. I got this notebook 2 years ago and it came with Windows 7 Home premium installed and a hidden partition for recovery. It did not come with any factory restore DVD or a DVD drive.

    After installing Ubuntu in Windows 7 using Wubi, I can no longer access the factory restore option when I boot my laptop up and when I press F9 continuously. The F9 key should allow for accessing a menu to restore to factory settings. I need to reformat my machine due to a bad virus I had gotten in my Windows 7 setup.

    Is there anything I can do at this point? It seems like my ubuntu installation removed that F9 capability.

    One option is to use AI recovery to create a bunch of DVD disks but I prefer not to. I would like to restore with the F9 option. If I can't do that, I will download a copy of the Windows 7 Home Premium ISO and use my activation key that came with my machine and a USB boot program like BartPE. Also, if I can't use the F9 option to restore in the future, I might as well format the recovery partition and use that space for my c:

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Illinois (United States)
    Beans
    440
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: Asus UL20A problem with F9 Factory Restore after Ubuntu installation

    Might not be anything you can do at this point.

    But don't take my word for it.

    I'm no expert.

    Is the recovery partition still there?
    Or did you delete it when you installed ubuntu?

    If its still there, then there may be a way to fix it.

    Otherwise, for all practical intents and purposes, its gone.

    You can reformat using your product ID, but you need to make sure the windows disk you obtain matches up with the key.

    Getting Windows 7 Home Premium is not enough to ensure your key will work.

    There are at least 4 different versions of Windows 7 Home Premium.

    Retail 32bit
    Retail 64bit
    OEM 64bit
    OEM 32bit

    Your key is probably for (Windows7 Home Premium 32bit OEM)

    So your key will only work if you get that disk.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    North Vancouver
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Edubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Asus UL20A problem with F9 Factory Restore after Ubuntu installation

    Wubi can't do that. You need to go into the BIOS and change it to bypass quick/express boot (I forget the exact details), but it bypasses the bit where you hit F9 or whatever the restore key is.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    32

    Re: Asus UL20A problem with F9 Factory Restore after Ubuntu installation

    Thanks, in Bios I made sure that Quick Boot was disabled. That seems to be the only setting in the BIOS section that would be relevant.

    I press F9 and nothing really happens, it goes to the Windows Boot Manager menu and I see the two options, the first being Windows Home Premium and the second one being Ubuntu.

    I have not formatted the recovery partition or modified it. It is still intact and hidden.
    I'm hoping there is a manual fix for having the F9 factory restore enabled but it doesn't seem likely.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    North Vancouver
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Edubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Asus UL20A problem with F9 Factory Restore after Ubuntu installation

    Is there any chance you replaced the boot loader? i.e. ran a boot-repair, or installed the normal windows bootloader? Some OEM computers have a custom bootloader that traps the F9 key and does something special.

    Make sure you're hitting F9 when the bios splash is shown. Also you could try to see if grub picked up the recovery partition and boot it that way.

    If all that fails you may have to get a restore disk from the manufacturer, but that'll likely cost something.
    If you decide to reinstall Windows from scratch make sure you have a separate drivers CD from Asus or you'll likely have problems getting all your hardware working.

    Edit: searching the web shows many people have problems with Asus and F9 recovery. Here's a post that seems to have a lot of information and the user finally got it working. Might have some hints for things you haven't tried: http://vip.asus.com/forum/view.aspx?...Language=en-us

    e.g. it mentions quiet boot as well as boot booster should be disabled.
    Last edited by bcbc; January 28th, 2012 at 06:22 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Beans
    32

    Re: Asus UL20A problem with F9 Factory Restore after Ubuntu installation

    Hey bcbc. Thanks so much for the advice. I have tried hitting F9 in many different times, starting from the second I turn power on. I'm pretty sure the OEM bootloader is no longer in existence, either from when I installed Ubuntu or perhaps when I used BCDedit long ago to fix a Wubldr issue when I tried to select Ubuntu from the boot menu. I'm not sure how to check if grub picked up the recovery partition? From the Ubuntu menu I see a couple options, three of them are ubuntu and one of them says ubuntu recovery mode. The factore restore dvd costs $50. I think its lame to have to buy something they should have provided. They did however provide the drivers CD. I will check the link you pasted. Thanks so much for your help!

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