Acer Aspire M5640 won't boot.

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by Demonbart, Sep 13, 2010.

Sep 13, 2010
  1. Demonbart
    OP

    Member Demonbart GBATemp's guitar hero

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,623
    Location:
    Lazytown, yarr
    Country:
    Netherlands
    People I really do need your help here, I'm writing this from my father's computer. Here's what happened:
    During normal usage with firefox, my pc, an Acer M5640 suddenly decides to hang. Last time I scanned (last week) there were no viruses on it.
    So it froze, and after waiting a couple of minutes, I tried to get to the task manager via ctrl+alt+del. (My mouse was stuck too) This didn't work either, so I decided to do a hard reset. So I switched the thing off, waited some time, then turned it on again. A little flickering white bar appears at the top of my screen, and nothing happened, not even after 30 minutes of waiting. Then I turned it off and took out the power cable. I waited 15 minutes, then put it back in and turned on my pc again. I get the Acer boot screen as I'd normally get, but it hangs there.
    Now everytime I try to reboot, it either hangs on the boot screen (and doesn't react to button presses), or it hangs at the flickeringbar, or it gets past the flickering bar but hangs on a black screen.
    One of my neighbours is tech savvy, but he's on vacation right now and he'll only return on friday [​IMG]
    This is getting me really depressed so please tell me what to do!
    I have checked all the cables, I tried booting a windows CD and I looked around other forums already but all of them either had a laptop and required you to press fn+(some key) to get it to work, or it was a different problem. So nothing of that list has worked, please tell me what I SHOULD do.
     
  2. tk_saturn

    Member tk_saturn GBAtemp Psycho!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    3,327
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    The flicker bar I assume is a cursor.

    Try disconnecting all internal drives including the card reader and then see it boots to the point where it tells you it can't find an oprtating system. If it still doesn't boot have a look if it has a graphics card, if it does remove it and connect your monitor to the motherboards built GeForce 7xxxx. If that still doesn't work, try removing all external devices ie keyboard/ mouse. If that doesn't work, check the manual to see if there's a jumper to clear the cmos, and if there is clear the cmos.

    Failing all that you'll need to get hold of a floppy drive and try a bios recovery.

    While you have the case open, check the motherboard for anything iffy and make sure the fans are spinning/ clear of dust.

    I believe the key to get into your bios is simply the del key, and it tells you this when it boots. F12 is the boot selection menu.
     
  3. Demonbart
    OP

    Member Demonbart GBATemp's guitar hero

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,623
    Location:
    Lazytown, yarr
    Country:
    Netherlands
    Thanks, but I have no experience in opening pc cases whatsoever, so I guess I'll have to wait till my tech savvy neighbour gets back on friday [​IMG]
    He might be able to help me in not fucking up while doing what you just said [​IMG]
    Thanks for the reply [​IMG]
     
  4. tk_saturn

    Member tk_saturn GBAtemp Psycho!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    3,327
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    It's easy enough. On the back there's 2 thumb screws, and a black lever you have to push down. The side of the case will then slide off.
     
  5. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    Messages:
    5,151
    Location:
    London, UK
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I think leaving it to your experienced friend is your best course of action.

    I know several friends who have no technological aptitude who, upon advice they saw on the internet, proceeded to yank out the IDE cables of their HDD and ODD. The cable came away sure enough, but the actual IDE connector was stuck in each drive. It took a while to pry it out, and an even longer while to find a replacement IDE cable to replace the one they ruined (and this has happened eight times so far).

    The two most common reasons for a computer failing to boot - corruption in the boot sector of the main hard drive, or (and I think this applies to you), one or more of the parts in your computer are dying. My reasons for guessing this is that when you turn it on, it crashes at different stages (corruptions tend to crash at one stage only).
     
  6. Demonbart
    OP

    Member Demonbart GBATemp's guitar hero

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,623
    Location:
    Lazytown, yarr
    Country:
    Netherlands
    If what you say is true and multiple parts of my pc are dying, then I'm kinda fucked, since I barely have enough money for a new graphics card, let alone for more parts [​IMG]
     
  7. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    Messages:
    5,151
    Location:
    London, UK
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I say "one or more". It could be the CPU, RAM, Motherboard or the PSU. It's not likely to be the GPU because you can see something on the monitor, although a faulty GPU has been known to cause resets (but not hangs, at least not in my experience). Then again, it could just be a corrupt boot sector on the HDD (or BIOS, but that's more tricky to find out), in which case the fix is relatively straightforward.

    If it's the PSU, then the cause of the hangs would be power fluctuations, usually voltage droppages. The 2 ways to check are to try using the PSU in another computer and seeing if it works normally, or to use special tools for measuring the rails. It can also help to strip down the computer to a minimal setup (i.e. 1 RAM stick, integrated graphics if possible, no HDDs and no DVD drives) to see if it still crashes.

    If it's the RAM, then try removing RAM sticks (until you have 1 left) and see if that works. Try both sticks on their own, in different RAM slots, to make sure it's not the connection or one specific RAM stick. You can also try bringing in RAM from a different computer, but I've yet to see that actually work. My experience is that when RAM fails, it's usually accompanied by either hangs and/or BSoDs, although usually a reset fixes it.

    If it's the CPU, then you'd have to take the CPU out and check all the pins and contacts for any signs of foreign agents (i.e. dirt) or damage (e.g. bent pins). In my experience, dying CPUs lead to BSoDs for a long time before actually failing (i.e. random hangs, resets, etc). CPU is the least likely part to die in a PC, so long as the HSF is doing it's job and it's not subjected to an extreme environment (namely, high heat and voltages). If your CPU is overclocked, one of the first things to do to regain stability is to clear BIOS and get it back to factory settings. Since you are not very confident with technology, I doubt your system is overclocked.

    Then there's the most likely part of the system to fail: the motherboard. I've seen so many motherboards fail that I've lost faith in Asrock (and a couple other budget board makers). It's not easy to diagnose a faulty motherboard because it does so many things and there are many ways for one tiny part of it to fail and die, leading to a range of symptoms. This is why I suggested leaving it to your tech-savvy friend. Sometimes a faulty motherboard can be fixed by simply clearing the CMOS. Sometimes it just needs grounding (to clear out static fields) and dusting (enter the can of compressed air). Sometimes it's the VRMs or the capacitors that've blown, in which case you should be able to see it if you look close enough. Someone with experience should be able to go through the steps to find out what exactly needs to be done.

    At the very least, don't start pulling out your wallet until you know exactly what is wrong and what needs to be done to get it working again.
     
  8. Demonbart
    OP

    Member Demonbart GBATemp's guitar hero

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,623
    Location:
    Lazytown, yarr
    Country:
    Netherlands
    Ok so I looked at it with my neighbour yesterday, and it seems my graphics card is working, but my BIOS is f'd up.
    He himself couldn't fix it as my pc didn't react to my keyboard, but he advised me to go to a computer expert who lives in my neighbourhood.
    Just to get a second opinion and hopefully a fix.
    Good thing is, my parents said they'll pay for reparation cost cuz me occupying their computer everyday is a pain in the ass to them. Which shows that a little nagging can go a long way [​IMG]
     
  9. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    Messages:
    5,151
    Location:
    London, UK
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Nagging your parents into getting results is not something to be proud of, but never mind.

    BIOS repairs aren't too difficult. In the best of cases, it just requires a simple reflash. In the worst of cases, it requires a replacement BIOS chip. Either way, a specialist should be able to do it in around 10 minutes if (s)he had the tools/parts ready.
     
  10. Demonbart
    OP

    Member Demonbart GBATemp's guitar hero

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,623
    Location:
    Lazytown, yarr
    Country:
    Netherlands
    We replaced the battery and switched the jumper if that's what you mean, but that didn't work.
    And I thought BIOS chips were soldered to the motherboard nowadays?
     
  11. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    Messages:
    5,151
    Location:
    London, UK
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    You're describing the method to clear CMOS, which is supposed to reset BIOS to factory defaults. Some people also recommend leaving it without power for 2-48 hours to make sure everything resets. I've actually seen it work a few times, but it's not reliable and not everybody wants to wait 48 hours for what may just be a temporary fix.

    Flashing BIOS is something entirely different - it involves overwriting the BIOS chip completely. In normal conditions this can be done through an OS or, in some cases, through BIOS itself (probably using a floppy disk to hold the BIOS image). Since you can't access BIOS, it would need to be done manually, with the proper electronic tools. I'm not an expert (I haven't yet done it to my Xbox360), so I can't give more details.

    I'm not too sure if BIOS chips are always soldered to modern motherboards. Most motherboards I've looked at in the last couple years have been higher end motherboards which feature dual-BIOS, meaning if one fails (due to corruption or a bad overclock/volt attempt) the other will load automatically and give you a chance to fix your mistakes. In such an event, there's no need for a replacable BIOS chip because there's a failsafe built in. As for budget boards which won't have such a feature... well, I really can't say - I've not used them in years.

    EDIT: A thought just occured to me - if BIOS isn't responding to your keyboard, have you tried a PS2 keyboard (as opposed to USB)? I know a few times in the past when BIOS suddenly didn't recognise any USB devices for some reason, and later it turned out that the USB devices were the reason the computer kept resetting within 5 minutes of turning on (BSoDs). I fixed it in the end by disabling USB from BIOS then reinstalling the drivers in Windows to clear any corruption (and I gave every port a good cleaning out, just to make sure there were no foreign substances causing trouble).
     
  12. Elritha

    Member Elritha GBAtemp Addict

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,037
    Country:
    Canada
    If it's your bios corrupted you could probably try a bios recovery. Often it only involves renaming your bios image to a certain name and putting it on a floppy and booting your computer up with it inserted. Sometimes it might require a key combination at bootup.

    http://bios-repair.co.uk/bios/bsrecover.htm

    Chances of it being your actual bios that is corrupted are slim however, unless you were actually updating your bios recently. A more likely explanation would be a hardware fault. Stripping the computer down to the bare essentials is usually a good place to start. One stick of ram, no hard drives, cpu+heatsink, psu and gpu. No other pci devices.
     
  13. Demonbart
    OP

    Member Demonbart GBATemp's guitar hero

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,623
    Location:
    Lazytown, yarr
    Country:
    Netherlands
    Ok I got a professional to look at it, and it seems that something on my motherboard went kaput.
    So he put a new motherboard in it and now my pc is working again [​IMG]
     

Share This Page