The Acer Aspire 5520 notebook computer should have come with recovery CDs. If so, you can use your recovery CDs to reset the computer to its factory settings. In addition, Acer Aspire notebooks also have an "eRecovery" feature on the hard drive which allows you to quickly reset the computer to its factory settings without having to find the disks. If your hard drive is accessible, then use the eRecovery tool. If not, you'll need to use the recovery CDs.
Acer Aspire eRecovery
The Acer Aspire eRecovery tool comes in both a DOS and a Windows version with the Windows version offering more features. To open the DOS version, boot up your computer and press the Alt + F10 key combination when you see the Acer splash screen. To open the Windows version, allow Windows to load and then open Acer eManager followed by double-clicking the eRecovery link.
Using the eRecovery tool is fairly simple once you have it launched. You can either restore your Acer Aspire to factory settings from the hidden partition or with the recovery CDs. Once eRecovery loads, you may be prompted to enter a password. According to Acer, the default password is: 000000. If you have not changed the password, enter these six zeros when prompted.
Before you Restore the Acer Aspire
If your computer is functional, backup your data files to CD, DVD, USB stick, or an online backup service such as BeinSync. Resetting a computer to its factory settings erases your data. While technically data can be recovered after formatting a disc, doing so is a last resort and some files are permanently lost. Be on the safe side by backing up your data.
After Restoring the Acer Aspire
If you are restoring the Acer Aspire to its factory settings, do not forget to update your operating system and install current antivirus and antispyware tools. Restoring a computer to its factory settings rolls it back in time and you must take the steps to bring it back to the future by updating these crucial components.
The eRecovery program included with your Acer Aspire comes with a backup feature that you can use periodically to create a "snapshot" of your current configuration, including your installed programs. Consider taking advantage of this feature for future use.