Question about Acer Aspire 5600 Series 5630-6951 Laptop

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Hi I could use some advice, I have an Acer Aspire 6935g which died while i was out of the house for about 10 mins, came back and it had turned itself off with no signs of power at all, not even the usual LED light that comes on when its plugged in. I have run some diagnostic checks to see if i can track down the problem. -> done a Hard Reset (removed battery/power cord, held the on switch for 30 secs, replaced power cord and tried to turn back on) unsuccessful. -> Had another power cord/brick, tried that, nada -> bare component tests, took out the cpu, gpu, ram, and HD, plugged it in, LIFE!!!! - charging normal LED came on. disconnected and sequencially added in components and checking power, the issue seems to be the GPU or power going to the GPU (9600m gt - known for having a high die rate). Done a couple of tests with the GPU in and out. Basically no power signs at all when its in but when its out, everything seems fine with the exception of no display at all. Power comes on, seems to be booting, HD light flashes, charging light shows power going to the battery, media controller lights up etc. So i suppose the question is: is this issue most likely the GPU needing replaced or a motherboard power issue? (power socket is not at all loose and with battery fully charged its still not showing signs of life trying to boot up with the GPU in and mains power disconnected) Thanks, Kelpi

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  • kelpi Jan 01, 2011

    Thanks Firetree,

    that was my thoughts as well, I had already picked out a replacement GPU on ebay, a Quadro FX770 which is basically the same card except optimised for 3d work/rendering (which is what i mainly use the lappy for).

    And yeah i do love my lappy :)) also cant really afford to replace it at the moment. Great thing about these laptops is that they are designed as desktop replacements so the vast majority of components can be upgraded/replaced including the GPU (mxm II slot) so it was fairly easy to the diagnostic.

    Will update the thread when the new card arrives in-case anyone else has the same issue.

  • kelpi Jan 25, 2011

    Great news,

    After waiting over 3 weeks to arrive my new graphics card arrived today (nvidia quadro FX 770m.)

    Opened up the Lappy, attached the frame to the graphics card, applied some thermal compound, stuck it in the lappy, plugged it in............ WORKED!!!!!!!!

    had a bit of trouble with the latest 26 series nvidea drivers so opted for the 25 series and its been stable and lovely since.

    Im a happy bunny :)))

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Hello Kelpi,

Hmmmm. So with the video card installed, no life, no joy. With the video card out, signs of power, but no joy. Since this just sort of 'happened' out of the blue, it sounds more like the card than the mobo. First, inspect the video card for signs of scorching (look at the chips on it) and any 'brown' areas on the card which may have happened as a result of excesive heat. Also, try cleaning the contacts on the card (and the mobo socket) with a pink pencil eraser to remove oxidation - dont rub so hard as to remove the gold plating on the contacts if present.

If there is a vga port on the laptop which is not attached to the video card, try booting it up with an external monitor connected. I haven't seen one of those laptops for a couple of years, but some research showed that some of them have an onboard intel gpu and pci express support for the discreet video card. You may be able to get video with an external monitor, go to the bios, and change the primary graphics to onboard.

Here's another option: Take it to an authorized Acer repair shop. They can order a video card from Acer and if it doesn't fix the issue, they can return the part to Acer within 15 days (that's the return policy in Canada) You may have to pay shipping and a restocking fee, but this is still an option. Also, Acer is very reasonable with their repair rates. You may be able to send it to them directly and have it repaired for a flat rate. Acer is also very reasonable with their parts pricing, so if the video card option doesn't fix it, you can likely get a new mainboard for $100-150.

Hope this helps! Let me know how you make out.

Regards,

Joe

Posted on Jan 01, 2011

Testimonial: "very helpful and provided a lot of well informed possible avenues to resolve"

  • kelpi Jan 02, 2011

    Thanks Joe

    I'll look into the intel GPU, its a bit of concern really, I thought this lappy only had the discreet GPU although there are several models of it out there, the concern is that with the GPU out it doesnt show the bios, screen is blank so if it does also have an onboard then i would expect this to kick in for at least the bios screen, been in the bios a number of times and never saw an option to flick to onboard.

    I've already ordered a new GPU (mxm II slot) on ebay, i wouldnt really trust acer support with a dead chicken nevermind my laptop!! I will likely wait for the new card to arrive and post back with the result.

    The card had no signs of overheating but these cards are well known for just quitting, big line of problems on macbooks resulting in apple replacing them free regardless of warranty. I monitored the temps during high stresses and it never went above 70 and sat at 35-40 when idle, partly due to the artic silver 5 thermal compound i put on there last year when i upgraded the CPU, the fan was quite clean and there wasn't much in the way of dust or lint around it, i tend to clean out the vents/fan every 6 months or so.

    I am glad that you also don't think its the mobo though, fingers crossed the new gpu will work otherwise it looks like something on the mobo needs reflow.

    thanks

    Kelpi

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This is a complex situation, actually...but you've very thoroughly (and courageously...I don't know many people who would go to board level and start removing chips on a laptop) done your "eliminations" work already.

I would have to agree that it does not seem to be a motherboard power issue. The first choice would be a new GPU...it does have a bit of a rep for short MTBF (mean time before failure). If you love the laptop that much, go for it.

Hope that's helpful.

Posted on Jan 01, 2011

Testimonial: "excellent feedback, quick to reply :))"

  • Elaine Albertson
    Elaine Albertson Jan 25, 2011

    Glad to hear it worked out for you. This wasn't the easiest of solutions...but your akamai (Hawaiian for skill) in doing the diagnostics was invaluable.

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