One more shot in the dark before you try a reinstall of Vista. You could try
registry patch. I've used it in XP Pro and although it says for XP only, it was created prior to Vista and I've read where users have run it successfully in Vista. I can't vouch for it in Vista personally though.
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Restore Missing CD Drive
Just to add to Whappo's advice, I saw this from Tech Support Forums. Looks like it might be Alt + F10 to fire up recovery.
[I]"Here is the standard Acer Recovery Instructions
- Power on the machine
- At the white ACER BIOS screen, hold the â€œAltâ€ key and press the â€œF10â€ key simultaneously to start Acer eRecovery
- Once eRecovery has loaded, click â€œRestore to Factory Default Settingsâ€
- Click â€œOKâ€ to continue
- From here, the eRecovery process will update all the data on the C: drive and restore a fully functional factory image (approximately 10 minutes).
- Once eRecovery has run, press â€œOKâ€ to reboot unit"[/I].
Here's the link: