Question about Acer Aspire 5100 Notebook

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Aspire 5100 Recently while using my notebook, I had a problem similar to what Im reading about with the black screen. I have lights indicating hard drive is active but the screen has no activity. No blinking, no flashing, nothing. It sits as it is turned off. I also noticed that I have no keyboard control either. hitting the caps lock key does not turn on the cap key indicator light. I cannot do a safeboot, I cannot tell weather anything is loaded correctly. I checked all my connections and it seems there are no loose wires. Notebook was not dropped or nothing was spilled on it. No new programs or no new updates were installed before this. I am using Windows XP Media edition 2005, with service pack 2. No aftermarket add-ons or memory inprovements have been made. Any ideas?

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  • rojam47 Nov 25, 2007

    ok well after some further investagation and reading, I removed the hard-drive and re-installed it again. Did the same with the memory. I dont know what the point of that was but thats what people suggested. Well something worked and I did get my moniter back completely. But for record, I did not have anything on the screen. Not even a slight image. It was truely as if the rest of the notebook booted up and the screen stayed asleep. I also tried hooking up an external moniter and had no results. Actually the moniter went into sleep mode when plugged in and awoke when I unplugged it. But like i said, un-installing and re-installing the hard drive seemed to do the trick. I would like to know what that has to do with anything though.

    On the second note, I still do NOT have keyboard or mouse support. Tab, enter, Fn, none of it. Num lock, cap lock dont light up when pushed. I have tried to hook up a USB mouse with no results. Disconnected the keyboard, looked for damage or dirt and nothing. Re-installed it with no results.

  • rojam47 Nov 25, 2007

    Well would love to try the driver idea but since I dont have and input devices that I can use, I cant log on to get that far. I hate to give in but I think its time to send it back to Acer...



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First thing to do is to try to hook up an external monitor. If that works OK, you will have verified that you have an LCD display problem.
Before I can go any further, I'd need to know if there is a faint image on the LCD during operation. You may have to hold a flashlight up to the screen at an angle to see this.
As soon as you let me know, we'll continue on to the next step.

Posted on Nov 23, 2007

  • Ron Roske Nov 25, 2007

    You went exactly where I was headed. Reseating the memory and HDD can take care of the "dead system" symptom. And that was exactly what I was going to suggest in the case of you're not having any, even faint, display on the screen. Not real sure but suspect that since these laptops are usually moved around a lot, the components get "jiggled" loose. Anyway, glad to hear that the reseating did the trick.

    Regarding the remaining problem. Since an external mouse won't work, I'd be inclined at this point to look at removing and reinstalling the drivers for those devices. I suppose that you could have a bad keyboard assm, or possibly some bad logic on the system board, but would doubt it.

    The only other thing that crosses my mind is to double check the keyboard/touchpad cable, looking for the possibility of any damage to them. While in the area, you might want to check the bottom of the keyboard for any cables/connectors that might have gotten knocked loose.

    The only things that you have involved in that area are the mechanical assembly, the cable, the drivers and the connector and logic on the motherboard.


  • Ron Roske Nov 25, 2007

    Ooops! Guess I misinterpreted your statement. I read it as you're having partial keyboard function.
    Yep! I would say that your plan of action is probably for the best. Might be able to do more for you if I could actually lay hands on the critter.
    Sorry we couldn't get it resolved. ;o( Maybe next time?



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White screen but plugin monitor works. is it the screen?

So you PHYSICALLY checked the connection of the Video Cable, TO the motherboard, TO the screen Inverter, and TO the back of the LCD screen?

Visual inspection will NOT do. If either motherboard connector, or LCD screen connector is loose, the width of this letter -> I < you won't see it, and it will affect the video signal.

The Video Cable connects to the motherboard under the Middle Cover, above the F4 and F5 key on the Keyboard. (Left edge of F4 key over to middle of F5 key)

[Middle Cover is Acer speak for Switch Cover. The cover strip above the Keyboard, and below the LCD screen ]


Click on the view to enlarge. Top left side connects to the LCD screen. Rectangular Black connector with thick round cable, at the bottom, connects to the motherboard. Small cable coming off at the bottom, connects to the screen Inverter ]

From the motherboard connector the Video Cable routes up under the left Hinge, and into the Display Assembly. It then connects to the screen Inverter, and LCD screen.

From normal opening, and closing of the laptop, repeatedly, the Video Cable may become pinched.
This can lead to loose connections.

It can also lead to damage of the Video Cable.
If the sheath of the cable shows apparent signs of damage, the tiny wires inside may be damaged also.

This means to ENSURE that the Video Cable is NOT the problem, a continuity test needs to be performed on all of the Video Cable's wires. (OHMS)
If an economical multimeter ($5 to $12) is not available, suggestion is to take it down to the nearest 'Mom and Pop' computer store, and have them check it. Labor charge should only be a few bucks.

Video Cable checks out it's on to the screen Inverter, for the diagnoses.

This diagnoses is for an Acer Aspire 5100 Notebook PC. Uses a single (1) CCFL for a Backlight, and has a screen Inverter. Laptops that use LED's for a Backlight generally do not use a screen Inverter]

Did you test the screen Inverter, or replace it?

Takes a sensitive multimeter. Read fairly expensive.


An LCD screen cannot produce light by itself,

Click on the monitor. Suggest start out with your audio turned down ]

It needs an additional light source.
A Backlight is the additional light source.

A Backlight can be a CCFL, (Or two of them), or a series of LED's.
(Light Emitting Diode)
The Acer Aspire 5100 Notebook PC uses a single (1) CCFL.

A CCFL is a Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp.
Similar to Fluorescent lighting used in homes, and businesses, but on a MUCH smaller scale.

[Average thickness is 2mm. That is a little larger than 1/16th of an Inch.
Average length is almost as long, as the LCD screen is in height, ]

A screen Inverter is used to convert the power (Electricity) from the laptop, for the LCD screen, and Backlight.

90 PERCENT OF THE TIME the fault is a bad screen Inverter.

Primer over.

If the screen Inverter is good, the LCD screen is bad.

[The LCD screen, and the screen Inverter are a MATCHED unit.
When purchasing make sure you get the correct screen Inverter, or LCD screen ]

For additional questions please post in a Comment.


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