Somehow in the first day she managed to set a bios password and a windows password that didn't work anymore. From talking to her over the phone it sounded like she had put a password on the hard drive. Thus encrypting the drive and making it useless. Acer wanted $100 to fix the password problem. So my mom decided to buy a new version of the same netbook and give me the one with the broken password. I thought if nothing else I could put a spare hard drive in it and have a new netbook to replace my old hp.
Once I got my own hands on the netbook, I quickly realized it was a bios password and not an encrypted hard drive. To google I hurried and searched for how to clear the bios password from an acer aspire one. It took a bit of searching but I eventually found this forum thread http://www.laptop-forums.com/
I followed the instructions and it worked. I am going to do a slightly more detailed instructions below since a few steps were left out or unclear in the forum post.
- Go to http://www.acer.com and download the latest bios for you model from the support area. Mine is the 722
- Format a USB stick using the FAT filesystem
- In the DOS directory of the extracted bios zip file is a .bin file. Mine was P1VE6111.bin
- Copy that .bin file to the USB stick and rename to BIOS.fd
- Remove the battery and power cable from the aspire one
- Plug the USB stick into a USB port. I used the one on the left side of my aspire one 722
- Press and hold "fn" and "esc" keys.
- Plug in the AC cord
- While still holding the "fn" and "esc" keys push and release the power button
- Continue to hold the "fn" and "esc" key until it starts beeping (boy are they loud)
- It will beep loudly for about a minute
- Then after another minute or so it will reboot and you should be able to access the bios without a password.