Did the laptop come with any CD's? If not, you'll have to access the recovery partition when you first turn it on (the emachines/acer splash screen). Usually you do this by hitting one of the function keys (not sure which one it is for acer).
i am having the same above problems with the same model. i also did not create the disks. When doing the recovery partition it freezes on a black screen. i was looking to see if anyone has created those recovery disks or can and send them to me in an email or by snail mail.