eee PC problems and recovery using memory stick

When my ASUS eee PC was stuck in the endless boot loop (failure to boot) I managed to use the memory stick formatting method to recover the system, though this scrubbed all my files and restored the computer to original state.  

NOTE:  You may be able to access the system restore by hitting F9.   Jab at it constantly after rebooting or you are likely to miss the window of opportunity.  

If this fails the general USB method of eee PC recovery for Linux systems went like this for me:

FORMATTING memory stick:
Put the eeePC recovery CD in a separate computer.
Plug in a USB stick
Bring up the eee PC disk and click “Utilities”
Select ASUS Unix Flash Utility
Select “Format”    You’ll be prompted to pull and reinsert the memory stick.
Select “retry” after reinserting the memory stick.

Put the USB stick in the eee PC
Now you’ll need to start the eeePC and hit F2 a lot.   It may take a few attempts but eventually you’ll bring up the bios settings.  
Change the “boot” setting to use the USB stick.    I also wound up selecting and then disabling the hard disk before this worked, which took several attempts.



14 thoughts on “eee PC problems and recovery using memory stick

  1. I thought I’d mirror my Twitter responses to you on this here as well.

    I love my own EEE PC, but I wanted to really use it immediately. If I had kept the default OS on it I’d be riding a learning curve rollercoaster that, although geeky fun, would’ve dragged my productivity down tremendously. So after a week I installed XP on it, and it’s served quite well ever since.

    Also, it’s worth purchasing an SDHC card to use as a data drive. Even though I have a fair amount of free space on the onboard storage when I create or download anything, transfer digital pix off my camera, etc. I store it immediately on the card. There are risks, but if I ever had an emergency and had to reload the default OS I know I won’t be losing my data in the process.

    Anyway, a few tips there. Have a great one!


  2. my eeepc701 had same boot loop prob, but managed to solve with f9 & 3rd option of restore factory settings. asus tech support useless & told me to go to manual, but my support cd had no usb recovery option! thanks for your help!

  3. if you google, you can find instructions on creating a rescue mode and you can delete some files when you’re in there and that should restore things. the boot loop problem seems to happen when the harddrive gets too full. very annoying. i’ve successfully brought back my eee in the rescue console before without losing anything (other than some non-vital files i deleted).

    this time i managed to screw up something when i went into rescue console – deleted something vital to the system by mistake, i think, and now can’t get into rescue mode or any f9 options.

    but what has worked for me is knoppix on a usb stick, and from there you can see your various partitions and copy files. my partitions are too corrupted and won’t show any data, but i used the dd command to copy the drives to another usb stick. i popped that in another computer and it shows no contents, but the usb stick is full. so i used a data recovery program on it (drive rescue) and recovered lots of files.

    i’m an absolute newbie to linux and not literate with IT stuff at all and have managed to do all this just following instructions online. just wanted to let you and others know it is possible to fix this problem without losing data.

    btw, could not get knoppix to boot on the eee until i entered this at the boot screen: knoppix vga=normal noagp (advice found here).

  4. My Asus Eee PC just went into the “boot” loop. I’ve only had this system for a year so I am very disheartened. But, I searched for help on the web and found this posting. It was sooooo helpful! I hit F9 and I was able to get my system to recover itself! Thank you for sharing your expertise on recovering the system! I appreciate it very much!

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