Acer Swift SF315-526 not starting: blocked at acer screen

Garcoll
Garcoll Member Posts: 7

Tinkerer

edited December 2023 in Swift and Spin Series

Hi

I am the owner of an Acer Swift 3 since August 2019. My kids are mainly using it. What happened lately is a bit obscure, but I believe there was a windows update being done when the laptop went out of battery.

The result is that the laptop doesn't start and is blocked at the acer screen with the icon turn and turning without anything happening. After wainting two days, I decided to restart the laptop, to be presented with the same screen, but with "Preparing Automatic Repair".

No chance, nothing happens, and the laptop is stuck at this screen, sometimes automcaticcaly restarting, and getting stuck again.

I then did enter the bios and activated the USB boot.

Downladed a Win10 bootable startup USB key, and tried to the USB key as startup. No chance with that. It gets stuck to the same initial ACER screen, with some text on top left of the screen

But no progress. It hass been on this screen for now 4 hours. Finally, I have tried to press 20s on the start button, and to press 5s with a sewing needle in the small hole in the back of the laptop, but with no result.

I am a bit without ideas now, so very much like some advices from you experts :)

[Edited the thread to hide sensitive information and to add model name]

Answers

  • billsey
    billsey ACE Posts: 31,161 Trailblazer

    That is getting it's error when Windows starts loading, so not hardware per se. When you press the F12 button at boot do you get the boot menu, showing the install flash drive as a boot option? If you are getting back to the 'preparing repair' message then it's not booting from the installer, it's going to the drive that's corrupted.

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  • Garcoll
    Garcoll Member Posts: 7

    Tinkerer

    Thanks for your answer.

    Yes, I do enter the Boot Option Menu after F12.

    Then I choose the USB, I see a Windows icon with rolling icon.

    and then it gets stuck again at the screen with ACER and the top left writtings.

    Should I try a Linux USB boot ?

  • Puraw
    Puraw ACE, Member Posts: 6,930 Pathfinder

    The bootloader is probably corrupted, Linux may work. You can boot to WindowsRE with a Windows Recovery drive but if the boot volume is corrupted nothing will work and you will have to Clean install Windows. Boot again and press Alt+F10 when you see the Acer logo, before the spinning Windows wheel, that may open WindowsRE with the Troubleshoot menu where you can "Reset this PC" but I doubt you will get that far.


  • Garcoll
    Garcoll Member Posts: 7

    Tinkerer

    Thanks. I am going to try with Ubuntu USB boot , and update here.

  • Garcoll
    Garcoll Member Posts: 7

    Tinkerer

    @Puraw indeed, booting with a Linux OS on the USB stick worked like a charm. I could even recover all the files from the Windows share that I had not backed up. I can of course install Linux, but I am afraid my kids might complain not to have Steam.
    What would you think the best procedure is to re-install Windows ? Install first Ubuntu, and then try Windows again ? Re-try to boot with a Windows USB (but I guess I would have to do sthg about what you called bootloader) ?

  • Puraw
    Puraw ACE, Member Posts: 6,930 Pathfinder

    Don't install W11, your BIOS version 1.08 is for Windows10. Clean Install Windows11 is my advice:
    https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/1950-clean-install-windows-10-a.html


  • Garcoll
    Garcoll Member Posts: 7

    Tinkerer

    Thanks a lot for your advices and links.

  • billsey
    billsey ACE Posts: 31,161 Trailblazer

    Most likely the Windows install flash drive you were using was bad. Either the flash drive itself or the Windows image on it. Just try again with a different flash drive and a new download of the image. Acer hasn't posted any Windows 11 drivers for your model. IIRC the SF315-52G models came with either a 7th gen or 8th gen chipset. The 7th gen versions do not support Windows 11 at all, the 8th gen theoretically will, but since Acer hasn't released drivers it will likely be problematic. Best to stick with Windows 10 and wait for your next laptop to go the Windows 11 route.

    Click on "Like" if you find my answer useful or click on "Yes" if it answers your question.
  • Garcoll
    Garcoll Member Posts: 7

    Tinkerer

    Thanks @billsey . I believe the USB flash drive is not the culprit as I used the same one with a Linux boot, and it worked seemlessly. I created the Windows boot using the tool you get from the official Windows website (MediaCreationTool22H2.exe). I used Rufus to create the Linux boot, so I'll try to use this as well for Windows, by downloading an ISO file of the Win10 and then using Rufus.

  • billsey
    billsey ACE Posts: 31,161 Trailblazer

    Let us know how well that works. I expect it won't be an issue…

    Click on "Like" if you find my answer useful or click on "Yes" if it answers your question.
  • Garcoll
    Garcoll Member Posts: 7

    Tinkerer

    Continuation of the story.

    Ubuntu installed correctly. When installing, Linux asked a change in the BIOS (sorry don't remember what it was) to be able to install. When Linux was installed, I tried again with a USB boot using Windows, and…. it worked, at least it booted from the key. But I couldn't do anything (no reset, repair) nothing. Everything gave an error. Then I went inside Ubuntu, formatted the HDD partition where windows was intsalled to a clean NTFS, hoping it helped.

    But no, now when I boot with the USB key from Window, I get the following screen

    What recovery tools are they mentioning here ?

  • billsey
    billsey ACE Posts: 31,161 Trailblazer

    You need to have unallocated space on the drive for the Windows install. If you just create a partition it won't have room for the extra partitions Windows wants. The error you show is because it finds a partial Windows install that failed.

    Click on "Like" if you find my answer useful or click on "Yes" if it answers your question.