While at college, my kid's Acer was overheating and shutting down. Fortunately, I had sent her off to college with two identical Acer Windows 10 computers, just in case this very sort of thing happened.
So she switched to the backup Acer and used Crashplan to restore her files there.
But now she has graduated, and the backup Acer she's been finishing up with has a failing display. So I breathed new life into the original Acer, now that I could get my hot little hands on it.
Figuring it was probably a device driver causing the overheating, I decided to do a factory reset. Here's what I did (with some discovery along the way.)
- Reset to factory settings and discovered that it went back to Windows 8, jogging my vague memory that I had taken the free upgrade from Win 8 to Win 10. So now I wondered if I could still get my free upgrade, even though it's past the deadline.
With some research I discovered the answer is yes. Here's someone else's answer on a message board, which proved to be true:
If you upgraded to Windows to as part of the free upgrade program, your computer was automatically granted a “Digital Entitlement” - A permanent license linked to your hardware. At any point in the future you can re-install Windows 10 on that computer and it will automatically activate itself when you go online.
- Before upgrading to Windows 10, I let Windows update run. And run and run and run.
- So now I went to the Microsoft website and ran the tool to download Windows 10.
- I chose to have Windows 10 install directly, but it hung with "progress 0%" so I started over and ran it to install onto a flash drive. Warning -- don't believe MS when they tell you it can be a 4GB flash drive because that only fits virgin Windows 10, and unfortunately, that tool, without asking, starts putting updates on there, and it hangs. So I used a 16 GB flash drive
- So now I was able to start the computer with the flash drive plugged in. But I did have to hit F12 during boot so I could change my boot drive to usb. I didn't think there was any need to change boot order in BIOS.
- It worked. That's all