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Acer Aspire 3000 bootup issue


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#1
programmer4life

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Not sure if this is hardware or BIOS related, but definitely seems to have something to do with heat.

When totally cool, the laptop seems to boot just fine, but after a short time, screen goes blank and computer seems to just shut off, yet power light remains lit. I can turn it off by holding down the power button. Computer will not boot right away. Instead, fan turns on, cdrom reads, hard drive seems to spin, but fan shuts off after about 5 seconds with no beeps and nothing on-screen.

My best guess is that this is an overheating video chip issue because when it does boot, the video seems to constantly adjust luminosity up and down.

Before I bother ripping this thing apart, does anyone have any experience with fixing this same issue?

Thanks.
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#2
phillpower2

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Hi programmer4life
Try using canned compressed air to blow out as much dust as you can, remove whatever parts that you are comfortable doing battery, HDD, CD drive, Ram and any other covers such as over the modem/wi-fi card etc, use short blast through any openings including exhaust vents, do the Ram slots and be sure the Ram is seated securely on reassembly.
A cautionary note, if you do use canned air do not upend the can as it is possible for fluid to be emitted.
I hope this helps and let us know how you get on or if we can help further.
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#3
programmer4life

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Thanks for the reply. I did try all those things already. The inside of the laptop is pretty clean. I was just now able to use the laptop for nearly an hour. I updated several drivers that requested a restart. Now, just like before, it does not boot. The fan shuts off after about 4 seconds, cd rom tries reading, and power light stays on. No POST nor beeps.

I removed the back panels and nothing seems unusually hot. Both video and CPU feel pretty cool, but still not starting. Cracked solder possibly?


What else should I try?
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#4
phillpower2

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Have you tried removing the battery and running using only the AC adapter and vice versa using only a fully charged battery and no AC adapter connected.
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#5
programmer4life

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Yes, I've tried both of those. No difference. It actually tried booting just now but froze and 'shut off' just after clicking my name to enter Windows. Before, it did this same thing while using the Internet. When it does this, the fan shuts off, screen goes off, everything powers off except the power LED above the keyboard. This seems to be the only clue as to what is going on.

I'm stumped. Never had this issue before.
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#6
programmer4life

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Is it possible a main board or processor can sometimes work? My guess is that one of those is the issue.
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#7
phillpower2

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Does the power LED above the keyboard normally stay on at any time, how many sticks of Ram do you have?
If more than one try one stick at a time in each slot until all sticks and slots have been tested.
Are you aware that you should not be able to always hear the CPU fan, it should only be heard momentarily every now and then.

NB: I asked about the power LED to try and establish if this is a thermal issue as in the system shutting down to protect the CPU from overheating due to a failed cooling fan.
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#8
programmer4life

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Have 2 ram sticks, tried each one independently, no change. The power LED always goes off when doing a shutdown through Windows.

I actually just noticed another clue: I left the laptop be for a minute after it did this freeze up again. The fan indeed does stop (I have the fan cover removed), but the fan kicks back on and spins again after about 30 seconds. It even sounds like the hard drive is reading. The biggest clue is the fact that I just noticed that the screen is not totally off; it's actually showing the Windows's wallpaper. I at first thought maybe it's burned into the screen, but I'm fairly sure that's impossible with LCD screens. So, I powered it off by holding down the button and sure enough, that very faint image went away.

I am now nearly certain this must be some kind of video chip issue, but would that also freeze the computer as it does? The mouse freezes and within a few seconds I was mistakenly thinking the computer was powering off.

hmmm

Edited by programmer4life, 19 November 2011 - 01:15 PM.

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#9
phillpower2

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Thank you that confirms what I was thinking (the backlight or inverter had gone bad) can you try connecting the laptop to an external screen via the VGA port?
I will try and find some information and replacement costs for the backlight and inverter.
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#10
programmer4life

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Thank you. :) I'll also look up backlight inverter since I never heard of it before.

Update: I plugged it into an external monitor and it goes 'off' also. The external monitor was still getting a signal though because the powering off indicator did not display. :yes: That confirms it, right?

Edited by programmer4life, 19 November 2011 - 01:35 PM.

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#11
phillpower2

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Can you toggle between screens by pressing the Fn and F5 keys at the same time?
Inverters are easier to replace but slightly more expensive I`m afraid http://www.laptop-lc...spire-3000.html backlight http://www.etech.com...-334mm-2mm.html
Disassembly guide http://tim.id.au/lap...0 3500 5000.pdf
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#12
programmer4life

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I wasn't seeing anything except that very faint image on the laptop screen and nothing on the other screen plugged in even when pressing fn&f5 buttons

I also noticed that when I try to start it and it does not get past BIOS, nothing at all appears on either screen and the extra monitor does not even get any signal (the light remains amber & never turns blue)... Does it still seem light an inverter issue?

I'm hoping that is all that's wrong.
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#13
phillpower2

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Sorry no it points more to the video chip if you don`t get the external display, I can`t understand you getting the feint display though are you sure that you have a good VGA cable and connection?
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#14
programmer4life

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Well, like I mentioned in an earlier post, when it does actually boot, it seems to constantly adjust brightness up and down slightly.

I imagine it may actually be both the chip and inverter, but what are those odds?

Sometimes it gets past BIOS, other times it does not...

Edited by programmer4life, 19 November 2011 - 02:45 PM.

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#15
phillpower2

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It is possible that both may be bad and the hard part now is deciding on how you proceed, repairing laptops is not a task that can be undertaken by the average user and is in the main best left to a Tech and sadly this would most likely make the laptop beyond repair due to the costs, the same can be said for the video chip because if that is bad it will mean a new MB so at this point the only way for you to proceed without incurring costs is to dismantle and investigate the issue yourself.
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