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ACER Aspire 5517 Laptop - Windows 7 "GONE"

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Hello, my son's laptop (Acer Aspire 5517) with Windows 7, hard drive © got wiped out. The laptop box has no recovery CD, but there is supposed to be a recovery partition. Can I install WINDOWS 7 back to C Drive? I created a windows 7 recovery CD from another laptop we have, but it will not repair the boot files, or startup, or allow us to do a recovery. When I switch to Command prompt and to C Drive, displaying contents shows NO data. Looks like the Recovery partition may be E drive as it holds a folder called ERecovery Management, containing a bunch of SWF or SWM files, but no Windows Setup files ANYWHERE found on machine. Do I HAVE to buy a Windows CD or the Recovery/Installation CD from ACER ($20) or is there a way around this? I've tried for days now, and am at a loss. Any help you can provide would be great. I cannot believe that there was no CD with this $500 laptop, WALMART - go figure.

If you can help - THANK YOU!!
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You had an option to create backup discs, see page 13 of the users manual. Sounds like you did not do this.

As long as the Recovery Partition is still there it looks like you can restore from it. Page 46 of the users manual has this in it:

I want to restore my computer to its original settings without
recovery CDs.

Note: If your system is the multilingual version, the operating
system and language you choose when you first turn on the
system will be the only option for future recovery operations.

This recovery process helps you restore the C: drive with the original software
content that is installed when you purchase your notebook. Follow the steps
below to rebuild your C: drive. (Your C: drive will be reformatted and all data
will be erased.) It is important to back up all data files before using this option.
Before performing a restore operation, please check the BIOS settings.

1 Check to see if Acer disk-to-disk recovery is enabled or not.
2 Make sure the D2D Recovery setting in Main is Enabled.
3 Exit the BIOS utility and save changes. The system will reboot.

Note: To activate the BIOS utility, press <F2> during POST.
To start the recovery process:

1 Restart the system.
2 While the Acer logo is showing, press <Alt> + <F10> at the same time to
enter the recovery process.
3 Refer to the onscreen instructions to perform system recovery.

Important! This feature occupies 15 GB in a hidden partition on
your hard disk

I got the users manual here: ACER Aspire 5517 Laptop

Once this is done and the system is working again, create the Recovery discs in case the hard drive dies.
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