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View Full Version : F11 key on gateway PC's


juiceman39
07-03-2008, 05:07 AM
does anyone know what file the F11 key looks for on a gateway when you do a recovery? I know they use PC Angel software for the recovery, but I cant find how the recovery goes thru the steps.

14049752
07-03-2008, 07:00 PM
When you hit F11, the system boots to another partition on the hard drive.
The partition usually isn't assigned a drive letter in Windows, but it's based off of a Windows PE enviroment and then uses whatever recovery software (pc angel, ghost, or whatever).

Is that what you meant?

juiceman39
07-05-2008, 03:10 AM
Yes, thank you but this i already know. I noticed that when I installed an XP install with out the gateway recovery partition, the F11 key option doesnt show up at bootup. So the recovery must stick a file or entry somewhere to make the F11 key display the text at bootup. I'm searching for this entry is it a file or entry somewhere-maybe a hidden registry entry.

14049752
07-05-2008, 03:23 AM
No, it's built into the boot partition. It's just an ultra lightweight boot manager that gives you a few seconds to choose to boot to an alternate partition. You can do the same thing on little bigger scale, using any of the numerous boot managers....

juiceman39
07-05-2008, 12:44 PM
thank you. would you know what the software (PC Angel) changes once you make your first recover disks. after that the recovery manager wont let you make another copy of your recovery disks. thanks for yor help in advance

14049752
07-05-2008, 02:10 PM
You might be able to reset the recovery disc tool using this small app (attached).
It's a tool I actually downloaded from gateway a long time ago, but it also works on a few other brands of system, too.

MrMille
07-05-2008, 08:53 PM
The BIOS only displays the F11 recovery option if a hidden recovery partition exists.

If someone has already formatted the drive and tried to install a new OS, then that partition is deleted also, so you won't get the option.

There is no special file or registry entry.

juiceman39
07-06-2008, 04:30 AM
Thanks so much for the file-I will give it a try. I can say for sure that the folder does not need to be hidden, or need to be the D drive for the F11 key option to show up on boot up. I un-hid mine and named the D drive to R and made a new D drive for storage. How did the F11 option stay around when I moved things around?

14049752
07-06-2008, 04:42 AM
How did the F11 option stay around when I moved things around?

No offense to him, but Mr. Mille's incorrect. The F11 thing isn't in the bios.* On HP's and such it SHOWS when the Bios screen flashes, but it's still a small bootloader on the hard drive. Until you modify, replace, or erase the boot record on the hard drive, the F11 thing will show up. You can get rid of the partition, move it, resize it, rename it, whatever you want so long as you don't touch the boot record the message still shows. If you change TOO much, it might not be able to boot to the recovery partition, but it's still going to try.

(* Want proof? Move a hard drive with a restore partition to another different system...the message still works, the recovery partition should still boot(but may not run because it checks the DMI information))

juiceman39
07-06-2008, 04:49 AM
The file didnt work on first try. But I have moved things around. What I Have done/trying to do. I copied the recovery partition from laptop A to laptop B-to the D drive. I have gotten recovery manager to work(it will restore from the recovery partition) but still no F11 option at bootup. The Recovery partition is Fat32 as It should be. Could this PC angel software maybe write something to the MBR, because this would be different on a copied partition(Its not an image)

14049752
07-06-2008, 04:55 AM
All that file is meant to do is restore functionality of the recovery media creator in windows. If you've moved things around too much, it's not going to help with anything....it does one thing and one thing only, reset the setting saying that you've already made discs.

On a normal run through, the recovery partition should write to the MBR.
I don't know how far you want to go with it, but you might try doing this:
1. Get a new drive, make a partition for the OS, make a partition for the recovery.
2. Copy the recovery partition to the space you created for it.
3. Use something like BootMagic to boot up the recovery partition and run it.
3. If there was no mbr, hopefully the partition will create one.

If not, you're probably just going to have to come up with the discs.

juiceman39
07-06-2008, 05:34 AM
Thats exactly what I'm looking for-to make new disks-decrapified of course. I have been able to clean up the recovery partition down to what I want. A barebones clean install. I have added drivers and such. I am not familiar with DMI info but I found a program called "Motherboard DMI Information viewer".
Tells you alot but its above me.
Even when I restore the c drive it still knows that you have made the disks. I will try the file on a properly set up hard drive. So if I understand correctly the bootloader entry is in the boot record for the F11 key.

14049752
07-06-2008, 05:42 AM
How did you clean up the restore partition?

juiceman39
07-06-2008, 06:10 AM
On the gateway, unhide files so you can read them. open i386, apps. the apps are all numbered. open an app, most you can tell by the files names what program it is. If you cant tell run install program, then you no for sure. just delete whole app directory you dont want. Old Adobe reader(add new adobe version where old was), AOL, Mcafee, Norton etc. Under i386, DRV-same approach, you see driver folders-SND, VID, NET etc. Delete old NET drivers, add new ones etc. It took awile to figure some of the apps out(search file names on Google)but U can get rid of alot of crap. I'm gone for tonite thANKS for the chat.

14049752
07-06-2008, 06:19 AM
Very interesting! That's now on my list of things to experiment with!
Now that I understand what you're doing, it seems like it should work if you use a clean imaged hard drive and the program I uploaded.
Let us know how it works out.

MrMille
07-06-2008, 10:54 PM
No offense taken dude