My computer recently crashed and when restarted it has lost the network adaptors meaning my internet is gone. Acer has said I'll need to do a factory resest which means I'll lose all my programmes som of which I don't have discs for and am loathe to lose. I have an external hard drive and am wondering if there's a way to move all teh programme files there temporarily? I've been doing some research and see there are all sorts of cloning programnmes but am not sure if this would work. Can anyone advise?? Computer is an Acer with XP as the operating system. Thanks
I suspect you misunderstood what ACER's guys told you. They probably were talking about the process of resetting your BIOS chip to factory defaults, hoping that that will get your on-board LAN ports working again. The process will NOT disturb the data on your hard drives.
I'm guessing you are not familiar with using the BIOS Setup screens, so before you start you should find an instruction manual for your machine and look up how to enter and set the BIOS. There are lots of settings in there and most of them you do not need to touch - in fact, there are some you definitely should NOT change unless you know what you're doing. But assuming you have not been in there before and made any custom settings, the factory defaults probably are all you need.
The BIOS is stored in a chip on the mobo, and part of it is a special type of RAM that is kept alive by a small battery about the size of a quarter mounted in a holder on your mobo. The BIOS RAM needs very little power to keep it alive. But there is a way to deliberately wipe it out and start over, especially for cases where it gets confused with wrong data stored in it. The process is to remove that battery temporarily, then short out two special pins in the mobo to be sure the BIOS has NO power at all, undo the short, replace the battery, and start up and make a small adjustment.
There are two steps to do before starting, just to be sure we know how to complete the job. The first is to try getting into the BIOS Setup in the first place. The common way is, as you turn on your machine, you hold down the "Del" key while the first bits of information are printed on the screen, until it suddenly shows you the opening screen of BIOS Setup. You'll see some menus and instructions there about how to move around, and probably you can move the cursor across the menu items on the top of the screen to choose from major sub-menus. You will be looking for the place where you can reset the BIOS settings to some default values. Often there are several options in that screen like, Factory Default, Optimized Settings, Enhanced Performance, etc. Eventually you will want to choose either Factory Default or Optimized, but for now change nothing. Just note how to find this.
You also will want to know how to get out of BIOS Setup. Often there will be on every screen a menu that shows you which F? key to hit for Save and Exit, and a different one to Exit Without Saving. If there is no prompt to tell you that here, usually the "Esc" key will get you back out of this menu level to the previous one. This time, Exit without Saving and the machine will do that and finish booting up. You're finished this part, so shut down.
Disconnect the power to your case, open it up, and look around the mobo for the silver quarter-sized battery. Look close to that for a set of 3 pins marked something like "BIOS Reset". There should be a small black plastic cap pushed over two of the pins. Remove the battery from its holder (note which side is facing in so you can replace it). Take that little black plastic cap off the pair of pins on the BIOS Reset trio and put it back on so it connects the middle to the OTHER pin. Leave it that way for maybe 5 to 10 seconds, then move the cap back to the original "storage" position. Replace the battery in its holder. Close the case, reconnect the power cord.
Now boot back into BIOS Setup directly again. This time go directly to the meuu place where you choose either the Factory Default or Optimal settings. Usually you move the highlight to that label and then hit the space bar to choose it. Save and Exit from here, and the BIOS will be all reset and will boot up again. If the LAN ports were not working simply because the BIOS RAM was confused, they should be working now.