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Acer Aspire laptop will not boot.

tcarrillo
tcarrillo asked
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I am working on an Acer Aspire 5100 that will not boot into Windows XP, safemode, ERD Commander or UBCD4Win.  There is never an error- the boot process just halts.  When trying to boot to XP it stops at the splash screen.  When trying to boot to safemode it halts while loading drivers.  Memtest shows bad memory but I have replaced the memory and the results are the same.
Any ideas what is going on or where I should go from here?
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Maybe the memory tested bad not because the memory its self was bad, but because the motherboard doesnt read or write from the memory correctly, and that is what is causing the problem.

Author

Commented:
Is there a way to verify that it is indeed the motherboard?
Try some of these things:

1.) Make absolute SURE that you can access the bios and it is working correctly, if it freezes or has any problems it IS a motherboard problem hands down.

2.) Sounds like it could be a hard drive problem as well. Use a friend's computer to boot off of drive fitness test and test the hard drive. When a hard drive starts to fail, you will get symptoms like this as well.

http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/IBM-Hitachi-Drive-Fitness-Test-Download-3966.html

3.) Make sure you unplug ALL peripherals. anything plugged into the computer besides the power adapter could be the culprit.

4.) Test your current memory with memtest too! Sometimes functioning memory with the right specs can still cause problems. Also try using one stick at a time, just to test the memory SLOTS. Use one stick and place it in one or the other.
(keep in mind that this could alert you to a bad memory slot, but sometimes a computer will only work with one memory stick when it's in slot 0).  
JUST MOVE AROUND THE MEMORY AND LET ME KNOW WHAT HAPPENS. DON'T TOUCH THE CONNECTORS.

5.) Your bad memory could have corrupted some OS files, or messed with some driver files that is causing the freezes. It is always helpful to see if you're able to successfully boot to UBCD for Win. (It's basically a Windows XP operating system on a cd)  It's free.

http://www.ubcd4win.com/downloads.htm

If your computer works pretty well with the UBCD, chances are you don't have a hardware problem.

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Let me know what you find, any info would help us diagnose the problem. Determining weather it's hardware or software is still a necessary thing at this point, especially since you've already replaced the known memory problem.

Hope this helps

-Jeff
compaq presario may be right about the motherboard, but Memtest 86 should show if that is the case. Of course you would have to know if you have good memory or not.

Author

Commented:
Jeffiepoo,
I have done all the things you mentioned.  The computer will not boot to the installed OS nor will it boot to any Widows based OS from a CD- UBCD4Win or ERD Commander.

I put known good memory from another laptop in the affected laptop and have the same problem.  
Well,

1.) What does memtest say? Are there still errors? -This is important
2.) What did the hard drive test say? -This is imporatant
3.) I assume the BIOS is working correctly in all circumstances? - Make sure the bios detects all the hardware properly and all the entries are as you expect them. Sometimes you can navigate the BIOS fine but there are very odd entries in there.

As far as not being able to boot to ERD Commander or UBCD, do you have any more info? Does the CD drive have a problem? Can't get to boot device menu? Can't set bootup options in BIOS? Does the CD itself crash or have an error?

I should be able to tell you what's wrong with it if you can answer these questions, thanks for your patience - hope this helps.  (Be as descriptive as possible)

-Jeff
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Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
can you boot to the BIOS? and is the drive priority correctly set (to cd?)
then remove the disk, and try to boot from cd.
 try resetting the bios
if this does not work, you have a bad motherboard

Author

Commented:
Everything in the bios is correct.

When booting to the OS or a Windows based CD- ERD or UBCD4Win- booting just halts.

No luck with resetting the bios.
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Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
= bad mobo imho
rid

Commented:
When you try a bootable CD, do you remove the hard drive? That might be a good idea to try, as a sick HD may cause boot to halt even if it's trying to boot from CD.
/RID
Since you put known working ram in the laptop, and it still crashes on boot, then it can only be the Motherboard, unless what rid said is correct, then it could be the motherboard or the HDD. I'd say try moving the HDD from the down computer to the working computer. If the working computer is able to boot off the HDD from the down computer, then it has to be the motherboard or something that isnt easily changeable on the motherboard such as the ram slots and not the ram its self. You could try using a different CPU as well, however i doubt its the CPU since its in use from the time that you hit the power button on the computer.

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Ya, it's the motherboard, sorry man. Those ACER motherboards are more prone to problems and failure than other brands.

-Jeff
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