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If thelaptop battery is more than 3 - 4 years old then the battery could be worn out.Rechargeable batteries have a finite number of charge and discharge cycles andwill lose their charge capacity over time, i.e. won't charge to 100% andgradually the charge reduces until the battery won't charge up at all. OR Thebattery shows a 100% charge but when the adapter is disconnected the batterydrops off to zero capacity in a very short time. If the battery drops to anunacceptable charge level then the battery needs to be replaced.
You will have to navigate this site; enter 'notebook', 'Aspire', and scroll to 5100; after that, you will have to choose 32 bit or 64 bit. That being said, Acer does not support Windows 7 yet-you can try the Vista drivers; more often than not they will work. One note-I cannot tell just from the info you supplied whether you have the Atheros or Broadcom chip-You should be able to determine that in Device Manager.
Hi there. You must only use power supplies which are specific to that particular laptop, even if you have a power supply of the same voltage but the amps are different it may power the machine but in my experience they have blown the PB (power board) which has resulted in no charge at all right down to the motherboard itself being blown. I suggest you use the power supply specific to that laptop.
The Aspires should have no issue booting without the battery installed. Have you done a static reset? (i.e. hold the power switch for 20/30 seconds without power or battery in) And the voltage range on the Aspire 5100 should be +19v - +20.5v on the inner part of the connector so it might be worth checking that the power adapter is outputing correctly.
If it works without battery, then it can be checked by testing the voltage between pins 1 and 6 on the battery (the ones either end) and should be 7.5v or above if the battery is charging correctly.
Hope that gives you a starting point, if you've done all those things already then appologies and best of luck with it.