Acer Nitro 5 Won't Boot Windows 10/ Can't Reinstall Via Win10 ISO USB, Drivers Not Found

adminscwalkl Member Posts: 8 New User


My grandson stuffed his Acer when he picked up some Adware. His dad tried to recover Windows 10 but that failed and since then could not escape the beyond F8 Key recover loop.

I downloaded and transferred the Win10 ISO image to a USB stick and can get as far as the "Install" screen and select it. Then it complains that media drivers cannot be found but without giving any clues which drivers, D'oh! (just love Windows .. NO!). I found the Win10 device drivers on the Acer Support pages, unzipped the lot onto a second USB and plugged it in.

The "Browse" option lets me navigate the Driver USB but I'm stuffed if I can get any of the 4Gb+ of driver stuff to catch. I can only assume the thing needs a different flavour of device drivers for the cold reinstall. Its certainly not clear what form the drivers need to be in. I guess everyone is expected to know this now from birth.

Also followed a number of Youtube vids showing how easy it is but none matched what I'm getting. Generally I'm finding the Acer Support pages un-helpful.

What am I doing wrong?


  • Puraw
    Puraw ACE, Member Posts: 7,026 Pathfinder

    Clean installing Window10 is not a simple routine job as you are finding out, for an Acer laptop it requires the IRST driver available before Windows setup will see the installed drives. Download IRST driver, extract it and save it (don't install) in the Desktop, during the installation process, when it asks, "Where do you want to install Windows?", you click Load driver (most probably in the lower left) and browse to the Desktop where you have saved the extracted folder, after the installation your system will recognize the drive.
    I recommend bringing the laptop to Acer Services in your country to reset the system to factory defaults and load OEM Windows10.

  • adminscwalkl
    adminscwalkl Member Posts: 8 New User


    Thanks for the input. My problem is I don't have a second Acer to load/install/produce the necessary media to fix the stuffed one. All the solutions I've found todate assume a working Win10 system. The available drivers are designed to update the original drivers in and by a working, if a bit jaded, system via individual Setup.EXE packages only and using Windows 10/11 UI.

    I will investigate the IRST route. What I would have hoped is Acer would have a "Acer_Nitro5_Win10_Drivers.ISO" image or similar which can be downloaded and burnt into a USB drive and used simply during the Windows 10 reinstall. It beggars belief that there isn't one and surely wouldn't compromise Acer in any way to have one via the same system as accessing the current device drivers.

    Bottom line is it shouldn't be this 'kin difficult to rebuild a stuffed Acer system. Begs the question: "Has anyone out here ever managed to reinstall their own Windows 10/11 Acer system using the Microsoft ISO images". I guess not.

  • adminscwalkl
    adminscwalkl Member Posts: 8 New User

    Just tried putting the two available unzipped IRST Win10 driver directories onto a USB drive and tried again.

    The Windows 10 reinstall process cannot find any drivers.

    Puraw, not sure we should have to rely on a second party web site to get Acer systems going again but thanks. I did find an .EXE file in one of the IRST driver but reluctant to run it on my HP laptop plus it warns me not to. Thinking about it a Windows reinstall shouldn't really go that way.

    Again Acer SHOULD have a download to support a Windows reinstall specific to getting their kit and their kit alone going again. So where is it?

  • adminscwalkl
    adminscwalkl Member Posts: 8 New User


    Just tried running the "CareCenterAcer" download on my HP EliteBook. It barfs because I don't have working Acer system to run it on. This being the issue I am trying to resolve. Then again it won't have the appropriate drivers to flush out.

    Hopeless. It should NOT be this difficult.

  • billsey
    billsey ACE Posts: 31,167 Trailblazer

    It sounds like you are pulling the trigger on a shotgun, hoping it will hit something. You haven't yet told us what computer you are working with so I can't look at the specific drivers for it. Your full model number is usually on the same sticker as your serial number, it should look something like AN5xx-xxx-xxxx. From that we can step you through the process better. We'll use the Nitro AN515-55 as an example (it's Windows 11, but the process is similar for W10)… For that model the iRST drivers extract to a folder called IRST_Intel_17.9.1.1009_W11x64. You would copy that folder to the root directory on your install flash drive. When you start the install and get to the page where it wants to know where to put Windows you ask it to install the drivers and select that folder from your install flash drive. It should recognize that there are drivers in that folder and install them. If it doesn't you can select the iaStorAC.inf file and it should work. Once the driver is loaded your SSD should show up. Make sure there are no partitions setup on it and tell Windows to install into the unallocated space. The rest should go smoothly.

    Now, if your Nitro is one of the ones with an AMD chipset, there won't be an iRST driver, since the i in iRST is for Intel. In that case there's something wrong with the SSD and no amount of drivers will fix it.

    Click on "Like" if you find my answer useful or click on "Yes" if it answers your question.
  • adminscwalkl
    adminscwalkl Member Posts: 8 New User

    @billsey thanks for the input but I'm afraid no coconut.

    Apologies for the lack of detail, thought my title nailed it. The laptop is an Acer Nitro 5 AN515-57 based on Acer's serial number decode.

    While waiting I did contact Acer support but with mixed results. First suggestion was to BUY the Media Support Drive. Helpfully they provided the URL. Daughter tried to buy the thing but there was a "Technical Issue" with their web site well, was their version when she contacted support. On reporting this back to Acer Support I was pointed at their Drivers page but with no further clues. In the mean time daughter rings up and the Media Drive is on its way. Why they don't/won't do this as a free download or provide more detail on this … don't get me started.

    Have been going around in circles since. The only result being to get the touch pad going after looking in the IO Drivers directory by actioning the "GPIO Host Controller .." then while the "I2C Host Controller .." is actioning and not before the touch pad starts working and progress get a lot easier (TAB, cursors and Enter was all I had to navigate, a bit old school).

    I have beaten to death the IRST_Intel_18.3.0.1003_W10x64_A directory as suggested and only get "No new device drivers found. Make sure the installation media contains the correct drivers, then click OK". Yeah! Helpful. Also tried the older (and larger file) IRST_Intel_18.6.1.1016.2_W10x64W11x64_A but that barfed with "We couldn't install the (Intl Optane … " and to contact my vendor for an updated driver.

    Again deploying my trusty shotgun I worked through ever combination but could repeat it. At one point a short lived screen appeared with "Driver PNP Watchdog …" something then is all restarted. Dyslexic, slow reader and ***** short term memory for stuff I've just read.

    Will report back when I get the Acer Media Drive but will continue to monitor here.

    The only success being to install Ubuntu. No faffing about getting drivers, it just works.

    Thank you both for your input. SteveW.

  • adminscwalkl
    adminscwalkl Member Posts: 8 New User

    The Acer USB Media Drive turned up today, a snip at fifty something quid.

    Plugged the new Acer USB drive in and powered up

    Set the BIOS (F2 at start up) to enable F12 boot options then saved and let it boot. Select your new USB device.

    After about two and a half hours of hands free the thing was up and running. Be ready with your Microsoft account details 'cus it'll want that during the final nonsense before its your computer again. The final bit was the offer to upgrade to Windows 11. Your choice but be sure you want to, its a bit different so do your research. There's a time limited recovery period of around a week to return to Windows 10 then there's no way back other than the Acer Recovery Media USB so keep it safe. Actual I've not yet determined if there is any further recoveries left.

    Top Tip: go buy a 32Gb USB drive and follow the detail on making your own windows 10 rescue drive ready for when the inevitable happens. Do it NOW.

    Thank you for your attention.

  • billsey
    billsey ACE Posts: 31,167 Trailblazer

    Touch pad and iRST are very different issues. iRST is what is needed to be installed from the Windows generic installation image image in order to see your drives. Touchpad likely just needs the chipset drivers and the serial IO drivers, and that's all handled after Windows has been installed.

    Click on "Like" if you find my answer useful or click on "Yes" if it answers your question.
  • thak123
    thak123 Member Posts: 2 New User

    Did it work