I got this Cloudbook from a friend and it’s been impossible to install Windows 10/Zorin on its 32 GB eMMC drive. It’s not detected by the Windows installer on UEFI boot mode, and on Legacy boot it doesn’t let me install Windows on the drive. Zorin OS fails to install with “Input/output” and “read/write” errors. I’ve been trying to fix the laptop for three days now, and even got links to buy the eMMC chip in case it’s dead, but I’m not going to give up before exhausting all my options.
Acer Aspire One Cloudbook 14 (AO1-431-C8KZ) specs.
- Intel Celeron N3060 (64-bit)
- 2 GB DDR3 L RAM
- 32 GB eMMC
- 1x USB 2.0 | 1x USB 3.0 | 1x HDMI | 1x SD Card Reader
What I’ve tried.
Disabling Secure Boot & TPM chip | UEFI mode | GPT Windows installer USB
No drives are detected this way. I get the following error:
“We couldn’t find any drives. To get a storage driver, click Load
The drivers listed on Acer’s website seem to be .exe’s, and I’m unsure if they can be loaded directly from the installer. I tried moving them to a second USB drive anyway, both as a .zip and extracted in a folder, but they were never detected by the installer.
Looking for help online, I discovered the “diskpart” tool that can be used in cmd directly from the installer (Shift + F10). In this configuration, using “list disk” only outputs the USB drive with the installer, so I’m out of ideas here.
Disabling TPM chip | Legacy mode | MBR Windows installer USB
The Windows installer does detect the eMMC drive here, but it doesn’t let me use it to install Windows, or create new partitions on it.
“We couldn’t create a new partition. [Error: 0x80070017]”
“Windows cannot be installed to this disk. This computer’s hardware
may not support booting to this disk. Ensure that the disk’s
controller is enabled in the computer’s BIOS menu.”
Interestingly, diskpart proves far more useful, and successfully displays the eMMC drive, which is shown to be in MBR mode. However, most of the commands return error messages.
CMD Commands Used | Imgur album with screenshots
UEFI & GPT USB Drive.
- “list disk” only returns the USB drive. Seems it’s absolutely invisible on UEFI mode.
Legacy & MBR USB Drive.
“list disk” returns both the USB and eMMC drive.
“list partition” returns no partitions on the eMMC drive.
“clean” is successful and cleans the disk, according to diskpart.
“convert GPT” returns our first error message. “Data error (cyclic redundancy check)”
“create partition primary” fails with the same error.
“chkdsk“ runs fine and reports errors on the drive, but it lists 3086 KB total disk space. The console also said running chkdsk on a drive “in use” could return problems when there are none.
“chkdsk /f” fails to run. Reports the volume is write protected.
The type of the file system is NTFS. Cannot lock current drive.
Windows cannot run disk checking on this volume because it is write
Other random stuff I tried.
Using the USB 2.0 port to install Windows. Some posts mentioned the 3.0 port may not have drivers installed. This didn’t make any difference.
Installing Windows-To-Go on a 32 GB USB flash drive. It boots and runs perfectly (slow) in UEFI mode. In fact, that brings me to the next point.
Updating the BIOS. My BIOS was on version 1.11, while latest is 1.12 with “Enhanced eMMC storage’s compatibility”. Using the Windows-To-Go installation I was able to update it. Sadly, after repeating everything mentioned in this post, I concluded it made no difference.
My own, unprofessional, poorly redacted, and desperate hypothesis.
The drive is protected in some way by a current Windows installation (shouldn’t it have been cleaned? + diskpart listed no used space?), Secure Boot, the TPM chip, other BIOS options I don’t fully understand, or a combination of everything.
After all, I haven’t done exhaustive testing on the use of Secure Boot + TPM, and there’s a lot of Secure Boot options I don’t understand. I’ll link an Imgur album with screenshots of all my BIOS tabs so you guys can take a look at it.
Notice the lack of RAID/AHCI options. Some posts were mentioning them a lot.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m incredibly desperate. While I do have a desktop PC, this is my only laptop, and I will need it soon. Booting eternally from a USB is an option, but I’m certain it’s gonna break the port at some point due to my stupidity and the USB drive sticking out like five centimeters. I’m here to use the eMMC drive, and yes, I know Windows 10 will run like crap. I don’t care. I’m used to it. I also know it will have trouble updating.
Referring to the friend I got it from, she said it’s not a normal computer, and that she connected it to something in order to use it. What that means, I have no idea. Was it a physical connection? Was the company she worked at using network boot (maybe because the eMMC chip was dead)? Did they brick the computer on purpose, or use some encryption program?
Anyway, I hope the extension of this post didn’t leave your head dizzy, and helped explain the whole situation in as much detail as possible.
Posts I’ve made in other forums.
This is the most detailed yet, but there’s replies in the other posts, in case you want to look at them.
- “Failed to create a file system” on Acer Aspire One Cloudbook 14 (AO1-431-C8KZ) – forum.zorin.com
- Cannot install Windows 10 on an eMMC drive ? – forums.tomshardware.com
In case you happen to need it, this is how I unlocked my BIOS options (refer to jasaroya’s last reply), as they were greyed out at first. By the way, the User password is probably 1234.