My Aspire One D250 rocks... got questions?

Discussion in 'Acer Aspire One' started by erikownsyou, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. erikownsyou


    Jun 20, 2009
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    Hi All,

    I recently acquired an Aspire One D250. It's the US version: N270, 3-cell battery, NO bluetooth, seashell white.

    I wanted a netbook because in the last few years I've migrated to using a laptop much more than a desktop because of my living situation, and also developed a keen interest in Linux. My other laptop, which is a Macbook, doesn't play so nice with linux and has (in my opinion), some severe limitations, like not being able to boot from a usb stick.

    So here's what I've done with my D250 so far:

    1. The first step was to get the restore discs onto DVD because I expected to lose the recovery partition. The problem: No external DVD burner. So what I did instead was install Virtual CD ( which will create virtual dvd burners. Next, I told Virtual CD to mount a blank virtual DVD-R, and launched Acer eRecovery. eRecovery recognized the virtual burner and burned the first recovery disc to it. The only "gotcha" is right before the verify stage, the eRecovery program will eject the virtual dvd, and you need to manually "reinsert" it using the Virtual CD interface. I did the same steps for Recovery Disc 2 and the AppDrv disc. After that, I used virtual cd to convert the files created into ISO's, and burned the ISO's to DVD using my desktop. I know these directions are pretty high level, but if you have trouble don't hesitate to ask me for clarification.

    2. Next, I tested the DVD's out. To do this I hooked up my XBox 360 HD-DVD drive to this little guy and booted off of it with recovery disk 1 in the drive. It laid windows out on the C drive beautifully and restored it to exactly the way it was when I booted it on for the first time.

    3. I next downloaded the 1.06 BIOS from Acer's website and installed it. It's a windows only installer and I don't expect to be back in XP anytime soon. It was pretty straight forward. Run the InsydeBIOS installer, click flash, it does it's thing and the computer restarts.

    Okay, so now the real fun begins.

    HP MiE - Linux based on Ubuntu 8.04
    4. The HP Mini was always kind of alluring because of their custom Linux distro they push out, which they call Mobile Internet Experience, or MiE. I downloaded HP's MiE recovery image software from HP's website using my XP desktop, and wrote it to a flash drive.

    I stuck the usb stick in the D250, changed the boot sequence to be USB first, and booted up. I'll warn you this: once it starts booting off the USB stick there's NO GOING BACK. It wipes the entire drive and lays out an HP Recovery partition, an ext3 partition for MiE, and a 2GB swap partition. Once it's done installing it walks through a short user data collection sequence, and boots you into the desktop. I had some sound problems, but using instructions for Ubuntu 8.04 under the AUDIO section here : Hardy Heron (8.04.1) on the Acer Aspire One I was able to get audio working.

    The HP MediaStyles Elisa media center app wasn't working correctly either -- I had to drop to the terminal, run `synaptic`, and select the GStreamer decoder packages (i just selected them all) to get Elisa to be happy... and also for some strange reason I had to copy all of the sample audio out of the folder, and back into the folder for Elisa to index it correctly. Weird. But it's kind of cool now that it works.

    Wireless worked OOB, as did the webcam and trackpad scrolling. Fan control seemed to work also. It's usually off when I boot in, and after about 20 minutes it goes on low, and if I'm doing something big like compiling it goes on high. I haven't tested wired ethernet or the card reader.

    Okay, that was fun. NEXT!

    Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.04
    5. Next I installed Ubuntu Netbook remix which you can get from ubuntu's website I flashed the image onto a usb stick and booted it the same way I did MiE. I shrunk the ext3 partition that HP's distro made and ubutnu created it's own logical partition with another ext3 and another swap. I also created some free space in a Primary partition at the end of the drive to prepare for Windows 7.

    Ubuntu installed without a hitch. I changed the interface not to use the Netbook Remix launcher, and ran powertop to check power usage and change some settings to get better battery life. as it stands now, I'm getting between 2.5 and 3 hours, with a draw of between 8 and 8.5 watts according to the battery power history widget and powertop.

    According to the Ubuntu Wiki for the Aspire One the mic and the wired ethernet dont' work, but there are some drivers you can download if you need that functionality

    And Lastly
    Windows 7 RC1
    6. I installed windows 7 from a 16 GB USB stick. This, my friends, was a royal pain. All of the instructions on the internets say use diskpart, but I don't have Vista, so diskpart doesn't see my drive. I have XP, so I tried some other instructions that said use PEtoUSB and then use bootsect, but PEtoUSB doesn't work on a 16 GB drive. So here's what I had to do

    a). I used ubuntu to partition a 3.5 GB section of the USB drive to be FAT32. I left the remaining space RAW.
    b). I booted into windows, and formatted the space by right clicking on the drive and clicking FORMAT...
    c). I used MBRWIZ.exe to set the partition active by doing from a command prompt:
    mbrwiz.exe /list
    mbrwiz.exe /disk=[disk num] /active=1
    where /disk=[disk num] the number mbrwiz.exe /list sees your usb flash drive as. For me it was /disk=1

    d). From the extracted Windows 7 ISO (which I extracted using 7zip), copy bootmgr at the root of the ISO files to the /boot directory, then using a command prompt do this (assuming you extracted the ISO to c:\Win7)
     cd \win7\boot\
    bootsect.exe /nt60 [drive letter of usb flash drive]
    e) Okay, at this point, I put the flash drive into my Aspire One and booted off it to make sure it was bootable and there weren't any problems before I start the 10 minute file copy. I had to do this a few times and was tired of waiting around for file copy. You should see it boot with something that says BOOTMGR COULD NOT BE FOUND or equivalent. If it says DISK UNREADABLE ERROR there's a problem.
    f) IF you saw BOOTMGR COULD NOT BE FOUND or equivalent, copy the contents of the win7 folder onto the usb drive
    g) finally, boot off of the usb drive on your D250. Windows should install, everything should work great except the trackpad scrolling and hibernate.

    Alright, that's what I've got so far. I'll be back to clean up this post. My real intention here was to offer up my knowledge regarding the D250, because it seemed scarce when I went to research before acquiring mine, especially given the breadth of scope of what I wanted to do with it. I'll be happy to answer any questions you have, and detail out specific steps regarding any of the processes Ive outlined above if there's desire for me to do so.


    Moblin 2.0 Beta
    I've also sucessfully booted Moblin 2.0 beta off of a usb stick. Sound works, Wireless works, trackpad works, but I'm not sure about the card reader and ethernet. Anyway, Moblin is pretty cool. It has a lot of potential and is a significant deviation (in a good way, imo) from your typical windows/osx/linux desktop.
    erikownsyou, Jul 2, 2009
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  2. erikownsyou


    Jul 3, 2009
    Likes Received:

    I recently bought a Acer Aspire One D250-1990 , 6 cell , bluetooth , 3g , 160gb , Atom 270 version and yesterday I formated my Windows XP Home version which was installed before and instaled Windows 7 RC 1 with these steps:

    Formated (Quick) my Pendrive ( 4GB ) to FAT32 using the "Format" Option on " My Computer" .
    As I had mine Windows 7 in a DVD media, I put it on the DVD-DRIVE and copied all the content to my recently formated Pendrive.
    Turned On my D250, pressed F12 (Boot Menu) and I selected " Boot from USB " on the Boot Menu and it worked great without problems.

    Im sorry for my bad english , I have to pratice my english again, I usually don't talk in english forums.
    Im from Brazil and Im glad to help :)

    Tulio de Oliveira.
    tukkk, Jul 4, 2009
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