Acer Aspire 5349 CRISIS DISK RECOVERY Method:
I had downloaded the latest BIOS Update v1.08 from the Acer website by looking up my computer model (Acer Aspire 5349). I chose to run the Windows flash update located in the Windows folder. For whatever reason, this caused my computer to freeze during the BIOS update and I decided to restart the laptop. This had interrupted the BIOS update and caused my screen to go black and I was clearly not able to get into Windows 7 (Home Premium 32 bit). After multiple tries using the Crisis Disk Recovery instructions found in the Acer Aspire 5349 Service Manual(Chapter 2, pg 28) to try and create a USB stick to recover/rebuild my BIOS, I finally found a method that worked.
Clearly, you require another functioning laptop to create the USB Crisis Disk. The following is what worked for me:
1. Plug in the USB stick (I was using an old 512 MB Mini Cruzer USB stick)
2. Select the Fast Format option and click Start. Then click Next.
3. Click Format and then Exit to complete the operation.
4. Download latest BIOS update from Acer website for your particular model (Acer Aspire 5349). In my case it was v.1.0.8
5. Extract the zip file. Go to folder called Windows and extract ZQR.fd from the ZQR_108W.exe file using Universal Extractor v1.6.1 or 7-Zip v9.20
6. Download the Phoenix/Insyde Tool v2.50. Unzip the file and run PhoenixTool.exe. Then in this program where it says "Original BIOS" load the ZQR.fd file to figure out whether you need to rename the ZQR.fd file to something else (ie. I have seen .BIN, .WPH and .ROM out there on the internet which can get super confusing!). In my case, the PhoenixTool.exe told me to leave my file name as ZQR.fd. This is your first file to copy over to the USB stick.
7. Then download WINCRISIS v.184.108.40.206. Unzip the files and copy the following files onto the USB stick: MINIDOS.SYS, PHLASH16.EXE, and BIOS.WPH
To be clear and to recap, the only files that should be on your USB stick are: ZQR.fd, MINIDOS.SYS, PHLASH16.EXE, and BIOS.WPH. No other files or folders should be present.
8. Next, make sure your Acer Aspire 5349 laptop with the corrupted BIOS is powered off and unplugged (I had my laptop battery inserted). I inserted my USB in the left USB slot on the laptop (ie. I had 2 on the right also, not sure if it matters which one you use!)
9. Next, to cause the laptop to enter the BIOS Recovery Mode hold down the Fn + Esc keys and plug in the AC power. Continue holding the Fn + Esc keys and press the Power button. Continue holding the Fn + Esc keys for approximately 5 sec. The blue AC power light on the laptop should start blinking and the USB stick will light up which will hopefully indicate your BIOS is being recovered. The computer will reboot once and allow you to start using your laptop again! The recovery took about 2-3 min in my case.