Acer Aspire T180

Hot-swapping and Boot-Block flash & Boot block flash and floppy support
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say42
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Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:42 pm

I am trying to add more memory to an Acer Aspire T180 desktop

When I rebooted after adding the memory, the machine just sat there and beeped with a dead screen. By removing power and the internal battery and clearing the bios by swapping the position of a jumper, it now reboots but just sits there showing the Acer logo on a grey background and the message Press Del to enter Setup or F12 to select Startup but neither key has any effect (tried 2 different PS2 keyboards). Only thing that works is hitting the Tab key which shows the same message but on a black POST type screen. (This identifies the BIOS as Phoenix R01-A2 and the motherboard as MCP61M-AM-6A61KE11C-00 )

Have looked elsewhere on the net and have found this to be a common problem but no-one seems to have a a solution.

Does anyone here have any suggestions as to what I can try ?

Is there anyway to update the BIOS with a bricked system like this ?

Thanks in advance

Steve
edwin
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Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:02 am

this model can suffer from the capacitor plague/badcaps syndrome/bad capacitors, the symptoms can include the behaviour you describe. more info:

http://www.badcaps.net
edwin/evasive

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System error, strike any user to continue...
say42
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Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:09 am

As the PC had been working fine until I put the additional RAM in (for the owner and for the time I was playing with it) I suspect the problem isn't with the capacitors but will have a look anyway (don't have anything else to try in any case)

Steve
edwin
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Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:51 am

Not just the motherboard can have a problem, the power supply too. The extra RAM may just have been the tiny bit expra strain on the PSU to finally blow the capacitors. Seen this on a T180, that's how I know. I recapped the board and replaced the PSU. If you have a Fortron/Source or FSP unit of about 300W in there, good chance it has this issue...
edwin/evasive

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say42
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Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:34 pm

Thanks

The Power Supply is a Delta Electronics Inc 250W unit

I don't think I have a PSU around that has SATA psu connectors to try. Will have to borrow one from another machine

Steve
say42
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Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:40 am

I tried another PSU, just gave me a blank screen. One thing I did notice was that the fan behavious was different. With the original unit, the fan started when PC ws turned on and then stopped and started again. With the new one it started turning a lot faster than before and there was no stop/start.

Does this indicate anything ? PSU was a Bestek 300W that came out a PC a while back

Thanks
edwin
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Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:52 am

Bestek is absolute cr@p, they were used in eMachines and killed more motherboards than any other brands. Please can you try and find a decent PSU?
edwin/evasive

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say42
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Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:21 pm

I tried a Heben unit from a HP server and result was the same, fast turning fan and a blank screen.

That's all the PSUs I have available at the moment, am reluctant to buy a spare on spec

Steve
edwin
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Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:09 am

with the "new" PSU, are you making sure to connect the 4pin connector near the processor socket? Else it won't work at all.
Did you put the jumper back to the original position?
Did you remove the additional memory?

You need to go back to the original situation where the machine was still working as much as possible, that's why my questions.
edwin/evasive

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say42
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Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:11 pm

I have put the machine back as it was (including the reset link and battery). I have tried using both and just 1 of the original 512Mb RAM sticks and disconnecting the CD drive and hard disk. When I tried the other PSUs, I did connect the 4 way connector.

Anything else I could try ? Thanks for the suggestions you've made so far
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