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.



eee PC Problems

My initial favorable reaction to my eeePC, which I used as a lightweight travel computer on the China trip, has turned sour after a serious crash left me in the “booting loop” described by others.   Although the problem was fixed after a couple attempts using a memory stick formatted with the eeePC on another computer, I lost about 200 pictures from Hong Kong.    The initial plan was to backup those using Flickr but I could not get the linux uploader to work on the eeePC, so in some ways this has been a sort of “two strikes”  lesson on the perils of using the eeePC as a travel machine.     I’ll do a separate post in a minute to describe the recovery process, which may be a big problem in the future given some recent indications that flash memory drives are not nearly as reliable as normal disk drives.

ASUS, eee PC, and cheap computing: Watch this company!

I’m very impressed with my eee PC so far and it appears ASUS has a lot more cleverness in store including a 200 desktop and a larger ultra mobile computer in May.     This is an interesting play in that they are breaking ground in two computing areas that may have a lot of potential:  mobile internet computers for business and personal use and cheap desktops to capture the market of the millions who have one computer and want more or don’t have one at all.    The brilliancy here is that ASUS has set the price points so low that they are really no barrier to purchase.     Other UMPCs have been so expensive that the viability of buying one for the x/365 number of days a businessperson needs one was very limited, but at $300 for the cheapest eee PC  most traveling onliners can hardly afford to be without one until perhaps mobile phone technology creates usable keyboards and comfortably viewable screens. 

I recently wrote an analysis of the Airbook, suggesting it would have limited appeal.    Technically it is not a UMPC but it’s close, and I was also skeptical of much growth in the UMPC market.   However, as prices plummet things could change considerably as even school kids may start to sprout eee PCs as an alternative to tiny mobile phone surfing and higher priced, heavier, and clunkier laptops.   

ASUS appears to be a privately held Taiwan company, so … no stock available on public exchanges.