How to Unbrick an Eee PC

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How to Unbrick an Eee PC
If an Eee PC is rendered useless, or "bricked," Asus has provided ways to easily fix it. (computer repair concept - workers repairing keyboard image by dinostock from Fotolia.com)

The Eee PC is a series of netbooks for personal and business use manufactured by Asus. Beginning in 2007, Asus began manufacturing many small, inexpensive models of paperback-sized, lightweight computers, running a custom version of the Debian distribution of Linux called Xandros in the less-expensive models, and either Windows XP or Windows 7 in the higher-end models. These little machines can be customised by the user extensively, but should the user's customisations and tweaks cause the machine to be rendered useless, Asus provided easy methods to unbrick them---to reset them to their original factory settings.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • External media drive (optional)
  • New AC adaptor (optional)
  • Eee PC Support DVD (Windows XP only)
  • Windows Installation CD (Windows XP only, optional)
  • Genuine Windows product key (Windows XP only)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Determine if the machine can still power on in some fashion. You may have to try several settings and configurations. If the PC does not turn on with battery power, remove the battery and plug it into an electrical socket, then try to turn it on. If it still does not turn on at all, try replacing the AC adaptor with a new one. They are inexpensive and easy to find on eBay. The adaptors that ship with Eee PCs can wear out faster than the rest of your PC's hardware; replacing it may be all that's necessary to repair the PC. If the computer turns on but doesn't boot properly, you'll need to undertake additional steps.

    How to Unbrick an Eee PC
    Repairing the Asus Eee PC can be as easy as replacing its AC adaptor. (ac/dc image by Maxim Kulemza from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Remove any peripherals attached to your computer. This includes printers, an external mouse and keyboard, external optical drives, and even any media cards or flash drives that you have inserted into the machine. One of these may be causing a problem at boot. Reboot the computer. If it does not boot normally, you'll need to reset the machine.

    How to Unbrick an Eee PC
    External media drives can interfere with a proper boot due to corrupt drivers. (external drive image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Back up any photos, documents, media files and any other documents, if possible. The next step in unbricking your Eee PC will involve resetting it to its original factory configurations, which will delete any files and settings you've added since you first turned on the machine. If you're not able to get onto your hard drive, or if these files weren't stored on an external media card, they will be lost in the reset. Reboot your computer.

    How to Unbrick an Eee PC
    An SD card is a portable way to backup any important files on your netbook. (sd cards image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com)
  4. 4

    Press "F9" repeatedly while the computer is booting up if your Eee PC is running Xandros, the distro that Asus installs onto its Linux machines. Eventually, you will get a four-color screen that gives you three options. Follow the onscreen instructions to reset the machine to its original factory settings, and confirm that you really want to do so by typing "yes" when prompted. Reboot your computer, and it should be good as new.

  5. 5

    Reboot the computer from the Eee PC Support DVD that came with your computer if your machine is running Windows XP or Windows 7. Plug an external DVD drive to any available USB port on your computer. Insert the DVD into the drive, then reboot your computer, which will automatically begin rebooting from the optical drive instead of the hard drive. Follow the on-screen prompts to repair and reset your Windows installation, rebooting when prompted. Your Eee PC should boot normally, the way it first did when you got the computer out of the box.

Tips and warnings

  • If you do not have the Eee PC Support DVD, you can still reset a Windows Eee PC by booting the machine with a Windows installation disk in the external media drive.
  • If the machine still does not turn on at all after replacing the AC adaptor, the problem may be a bad power supply, which is soldered directly onto the PC's interior. You should not try to fix this yourself unless you have expertise in soldering, as it can cause serious damage to the hardware and will void your Asus warranty.

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