Sunday, 28 November 2010

Installing Windows 7 64 bit on an Acer Aspire 5630

I was lent a three years old Acer Aspire 5630 notebook. It's still a relatively decent machine: a 1280x800 screen (with no antiglare protection, something which is good ...only in a store and practically nowhere else), a Core Duo CPU, accelerated graphics and expandability up to 4 Gb of RAM. There is also a usable integrated webcam (various models, I ended up with the Logitech Orbicam)There's plenty of power to run Windows 7, even the 64 bit version. Yet Acer doesn't list this machine as Windows 7 compatible, nor there are Windows 7 (x86 or x64) specific drivers their website(s). Yet, I managed to install Windows 7 without much difficulty in a few hours. Here's how.

I used a Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit english .iso I obtained from MSDN. No reason why any other W7 version shouldn't work. I didn't burn the .iso, but I transfered it to a USB 4gb pendrive, using this method:

- Mount the iso in (let's say) H: with Daemon Tools
- Insert the pendrive, let's say with diskpart disk number 3 and drive letter g:
- run diskpart.exe from Command Prompt
- list disk (to get the actual disk number)
- select disk 3
- clean
- create partition primary
- select partition 3
- active
- format fs=ntfs
- assign
- exit
- H: (cd to the W7 disk)
-  cd boot
- bootsect /nt60 g:
- xcopy h:\*.* g:\ /S /E /C /H /K /R /D /Y

Boot from the usb pendrive using the F12 key after having enabled the boot menu from the 5630 bios. Not that you need to install W7 from USB. I just wanted to write down this method somewhere :^)

Install Windows 7 as usual. Most of the hardware is recognized with native drivers, notably the Ethernet and wifi cards, and the audio chipset as well.

The exceptions are:

Synaptics touchpad. Recognized as a two button wheelless ps/2 mouse. To use the touchpad with at least mousewheel emulation go to synaptics website and download the generic 64 bit driver, which works fine with the 5630.

NVidia 7300 Gpu. Recognized as a basic Svga, Go to Nvidia website and downlaod the latest Go 7300 64  bit drivers. Choose the Go (notebooks) version and not other 7000 series drivers. Subsequently, a new driver will appear as an option in Windows Update (does Microsoft have always newer drivers than the manufacturer himself, I have to wonder).

The logitech orbicam seems to be without Seven compatibile 64 bit drivers, but it isn't really so. Go to the acer website and download the 80 mb Logitech drivers package. Unzip it somehere and note the position of th Drivers\64 bit folder. Even if Acer doesn't say it those are 64 bit Vista drivers, also Seven compatible. Go to the device manager, and choose update driver pointing to that folder. The webcam is installed with the driver only and no addiitional software. One can try to install the bloaty logitech/acer software as well, or use basic/freeware webcam software. The orbicam works well with Skype, FIY.

The ENE Card reader can be installed using existing drivers for XP64. The ones on Acer's site should work but they are not the latest. The most recent drivers I could find are here (v Download and change the compatibility mode of Setup.exe to Windows Vista. Run it with a right mouse button click and Run as Administrator combination. The installation should work fine. My unit however refuses to read properly SD and SD-HC cards, I've four or five of them on hand and the system always ask to format them whenever  I insert them in the 5630 reader. Even choosing to format doesn't yeld any result. There is no problem with MMC cards, though - I've tried with a very old 64 megabyte card from a Nokia 6630 and from two maximum capacity 2 gb cards. It shouldn't be a problem of the 64 bit drivers per se, the same happens on XP with official 32 bit drivers.

That's it: now everything is properly recognized. I haven't tried the various acer applications available on their site: the various extra keys (volume, pause, etc) on one side of the keyboard remain unused. Acer could have at least followed Microsoft standards for the media player keys.

P.S. It's not that I couldn't capture screenshot with PrtSc. It's just that I wanted to experiment photographing LCD screens with my camera. The settings for my old Kodak 7525 are in the EXIF chunks in the jpgs.


  1. Grazie per la nota. Scaricalo ora tenta di installare per me. Vediamo se funziona.

  2. Para las teclas de la derecha e informacion osd en pantalla basta con instalar el LaunchManger_Dritek_2.0.02_Vistax86 de la pagina de Acer.

    Gracias por la informacion del lector de tarjetas, era lo unico que me faltaba.

  3. Muchas gracias!!!!! anduvo perfecto!!!!