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  1. #1
    Silver Lounger
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    To boot or not to boot?

    Hello. Can I bother somebody here with my strange peculiar problem ? I use an Acer M1610 that has given stellar service in the last 5 years. Now, it is reluctant to boot. It goes through the BIOS thing, the 5 dots go around 3 times then stops. When I kill the machine, ON switch for 5 seconds, I can see the lock screen flash on the monitor.
    Solution : I open up the case, remove anything at all, be it the graphic card, a RAM stick, the power and data to the HD then reconnect it and it will boot to completion. Strange, is it not ? I found out that if I killed the power bar to kill it, when I reapplied power it would boot, not very recommended as a procedure but it worked. Lately, I have hibernated the machine and that also is fine, a touch of the PW will bring it out of hibernation.
    I have changed all that I could think of in the BIOS and also used the BIOS default settings, NOGO. I have a new HD in it, 4 new RAM sticks and I swapped three graphic cards so far, still NOGO. It runs W-8.1 fine when it will boot.
    I am at a loss for a solution, can anybody light my candle ? All best wishes. Jean.

  2. #2
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    Either power supply or motherboard is all that is left. I'd try the power supply first - you should be able to check the voltages in the BIOS to confirm it's an issue.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
    Silver Lounger
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    Many thanks, Paul, for your time. I respect your knowledge but I doubt that your two solutions would cure this aggravation. I have a feeling that there is a step somewhere that is missing as it will more or less boot to the lock screen but stops there. I can see the lock screen flash on momentarily when I "kill" the machine, so it booted to this point. What I will try next and obviously will report back to you, is the graphic card. I will remove it an boot to the on-board video. I think that this card, a 16x, is kept live when on hibernation thus the problem is nonextant. I will not get a fine screen resolution but what the heck, I can get it going again, I hope.

    All best wishes. Jean.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Have a look at some of these:
    Computer Repair with Diagnostic Flowcharts Third Edition - PDF Now Available

    Boot failure troubleshooter.jpg

    Some of the above charts in the link look very useful.
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  5. #5
    Silver Lounger
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    Thanks, Clint, I followed all the pertinent flow-charts and ended up always at a dead-end. But very interesting, thanks.

    Paul, this is plumb crazy. I got a revised driver for this graphic card from the ATI site, installed it and voilà, no reboot after the install. Now the crazy part : I opened up the case and pulled the logic and power cables from the D:\ optical device and tried booting, Nada ! I reconnected both cables and voilà, it boots. Crazy enough for you ? I just can not make any rime or reason to this strange behaviour. No cure as yet but I have found the solution in hibernation. I should stop while I am ahead ? All best wishes. Jean.

  6. #6
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    Do you have the CD/DVD and the HDD on the same controller? Check the disk arrangement in the BIOS.
    Removing disk one when disk 2 is the designated boot drive will result in failure because disk 2 is now seen as disk 1 and Windows is very fussy about disk location.

    cheers, Paul

  7. #7
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    Hello, Paul. Can I bring in another indication and confuse you as much as I am confused ? OK, here : when the machine will not boot past the locked screen as noted above, ( it is not seen, just a flash ), if I then use a USB key with the proper start items, it does start as required and normal. Does this help you understand where the bone would be ? If it boots this way the BIOS ought to be properly initialized, no ?

    I certainly hope that you are not loosing any sleep over this, it is peculiar and I can work around. I am still curious as to why it behaves this way.
    All best wishes. Jean.

  8. #8
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    Are you booting from the USB?
    Have you reset the BIOS? Sometimes helps.
    Read the SMART on the disk to check for issues. I use CrystalDiskInfo.
    It sounds like a hardware issue but it's hard to tell at a distance.

    cheers, Paul

  9. #9
    Silver Lounger
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    Paul, greets.
    Yes, yes and yes. I have a feeling that this is due to the graphic card as it stops on it when first accessed by the boot process, it is ready to show the lock-screen but stops there. Go search.
    I any other boot mode, ie : in hibernation or in a full power OFF. it must keep that card alive and then process along the booting sequence, a non-educated guess here, just looking at what goes on.
    This machine is on W-8.1, I will try to go to 9926 and see if this repeats, I never saw this in W-7 or prior OSes.
    You are relieved of any participation in this subject, it is now between me and that Acer.
    All best wishes. Jean

  10. #10
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Jean:

    I had a computer once which had serious issues -- it was super slow, and speedfan showed that it was running super hot. Turned out to be a bad video card. When I got rid of the bad video card, the problem was solved.

    Jim

  11. #11
    Silver Lounger
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    Thanks, Jim. I have tried three different Vidcards in this machine all gave the same results. Maybe the driver is at fault ? I went to the ATI site and D/L'd a recent one but there was no change.
    All best wishes. Jean.

  12. #12
    Lounger
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    I take it that one of the first avenues you explored was to replace the CMOS battery ?

  13. #13
    Silver Lounger
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    Ginger, greets.
    How can this cure my problem ? If the date and time are right, the CMOS cell is still good. I fancy ! Jean.

  14. #14
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    Hi,

    Although this does sound like a hardware problem, have you considered that it could be an OS boot fault?

    At the start of the thread you said that it pauses ‘after the five dots go around three times’ – so I’m assuming we are talking Windows8 or 8.1. If that is the case, I’ve seen quite a few broken booted Win8 Acers over the last few months. The start-up repair options usually fail to correct the boot fault, even if you attempt it several times, but a total re-install (rather than a non-destructive reset) invariably cures the problem completely.

    Here’s one easy hardware test to try before you consider going down the onerous re-install trail.

    Download Linux Mint17 live demo and burn it to an iso DVD.
    Set the Acer BIOS boot order to boot the DVD drive before the HD.
    Shut the system down completely and cold boot from the Linux live demo disk.
    The Linux live disk demo runs totally in RAM so if the Linux desktop finally appears you’ve almost certainly ruled out a RAM fault.
    If the Linux demo works ok then that’s a good indication that the graphics card and everything else, other than the HD, is working ok – Out of the box Linux uses generic drivers that, although not as finely tuned as specific drivers, generally work well enough to prove the hardware is OK.

    Just make sure you don’t click the Install icon on the Linux demo desktop or you could find, after a few more key stroke options, that you are about to replace Windows with Linux on your HD!
    Although that would be no bad thing as you’re using Win8.

    http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2713 scroll down the page to see the list of download mirrors - get the 32bit version to avoid hardware complications. The Mint MATE desktop version is probably easier to get on with than the Cinnamon desktop version if you are new to Linux.

    Canadian download link for the Linux Mint 17.1 MATE iso:
    http://mirror.csclub.uwaterloo.ca/li...mate-32bit.iso


    Hope this may help to sort the wood from the trees.

    Cheers, Chris

    P.S. If you need a simple iso burner, BurnCDCC is brilliant (wait for the Save box to appear):
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    Remember rule #1: If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

    Industrial electrical engineer, running a system building/repair business in Cornwall UK, for the last 15 years.

    Built my first computer in 1978 - in the days when you had to hand-solder in all the components
    and 16k RAM was considered extravagant!

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  16. #15
    Silver Lounger
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    Hello, Chris, across the pound. What a fine reply, thank you. I will attend to it tomorrow.

    I have tried Linux before and I still use it at times eg: Gparted. I quit Unix and such as I could not get the drivers for most of my devices as Windows 7, then, could. The question machine is on 8.1 and runs quite nicely save the booting. I got two run-arounds to boot it but I am still curious as regard this aggravation. I keep it on Hibernation, good ! I also got a second drastic run-around, it was a total shock to the machine, I would throw the power switch to kill it but in spite of this horrible treatment, it would boot. Really beyond me to understand the machine logic.

    Never mind the wood from the trees, I have a couple of chainsaws ready !

    NB: my Acer is 64 bitness.

    As Churchill was wont to say, all best wishes. Jean.

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