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Acer 4520 *Sometimes* no display, but green power light on

Posted on 2010-11-20
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Okay, so please bare with me while I go through all of these details.

I have an Acer 4520 that was given to me because it was unreliable.  It is periodically having issues where it will not show anything on the display.  When I received the laptop, it had XP Pro x86 installed.  Immediately upon receiving it, hoping it would be a software issue, I nuked it and put Windows 7 Pro x64 on it.

The issues appear to only be when the system goes into hibernate or standby mode.  I think every time the system has been fully shut down the display has come back.  This happens on both AC (with and without battery connected) and battery power.

Here is what happens.  When the unit is in either hibernate or standby and you turn it on, the green power light comes on and you hear the fans momentarily run as it is waking up.  However, no display comes on so it sits there with the green light still lit.  No fans running or anything except for the first moment.  I have found a common fix to be to unplug the power and let the battery completely drain while in this mode.  When I come back with the dead battery, plug the unit in, and power it on I usually get a display and it resumes from the saved session.

So this leaves me at, what the heck?  I contacted someone who repairs these and they blamed it on poor heat circulation (GPU overheating).  However, this doesn't make sense because it doesn't happen a) while the device is on or b) it will occur hours after the devices last use.  

Oh yeah, and when there is no display, if I hook up an external monitor there is no signal there either.

Suggestions welcome.  Thanks,

Kris
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Question by:kparrent
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by:kparrent
ID: 34181558
I have also tried swapping out RAM.  No success.
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Tom earned 500 total points
ID: 34181605
Bios update?
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by:Tom
ID: 34181625
More with same problem:
http://www.fixya.com/support/t187732-acer_aspire_4520_display_off_suddenly

Bios update and VGA share:
I am Using 2 Gb Ram. when vga share 256 MB , shut down suddenly and sometimes my screen goes frezze. With 512 Mb My problem is gone
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Expert Comment

by:Grant1842
ID: 34181895
Try getting an updated video driver. Seems to me I worked on one like this and a new driver fixed it.

If you have trouble finding an updated driver go to

www.drivereasy.com it is FREE and will pick up the correct driver for your laptop.
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by:kparrent
ID: 34182087
Hm, before I read these posts I actually thought of the same thing with the BIOS.  I haven't tried updating it yet, but I did reset to defaults.  The video buffer size went from 64 MB to 256 MB.  Could this cause it?

I don't think it would be the driver since we're having the same symptoms with both XP and Windows 7.

If I get it again I'll look into BIOS update.  Thanks,

Kris
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Expert Comment

by:faizbaig
ID: 34182110
Video Buffer size should not cause this problem.

-> How you are trying to bring back laptop from hibernate or standby mode ? ?
    by pressing "power switch" or "Space bar "  or " Mouse"  ?

If you have tried above possible ways to bring back and still a problem mean
Yes, do BIOS Update and see if any difference  and look for setting in Bios referring Hibernating or stand by.
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by:kparrent
ID: 34182303
Hmm, does anyone know where on Acer's site the BIOS update is for this model?  It doesn't appear to be in the driver download / support section.  (The issue still hasn't reoccured, but I may just be getting lucky)
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Expert Comment

by:faizbaig
ID: 34182328
Yea, If you looking below link...we don't find any BIOS update.
http://support.acer.com/

but if you could change setting via BIOS under 'power management" and see if any difference.
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by:nobus
ID: 34182787
i have seen many problems with hibernation - and avoid it..
what you can try is testing ram and disk thorougly (since hibernation uses a disk file to start from)
best download ubcd and run the proper disk diag :
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by:nobus
ID: 34182788
here ubcd link :  http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      
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by:Tom
Tom earned 500 total points
ID: 34182819
" The video buffer size went from 64 MB to 256 MB" you should change this to 512 as one user reported that problem was gone with this setting.
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by:kparrent
ID: 34319255
Resetting the BIOS to default fixed the problem.  I assume it was the increase in video buffer size.  Thanks for the help.
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