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Old 07-30-2008, 12:57 PM   #1
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Normal Another laptop issue

I should make this a continuing series.

This time it's my laptop, my cheap-ass Acer.

Two nights ago, I noticed that my computer suddenly switched to battery while being plugged in to an electrical outlet. I wasn't concerned, there have been a few times when the power cord comes disconnected from the adapter. I meant to check, but got distracted. I got a message that the battery was almost out of power, so I checked then, and everything seemed to be plugged in fine, but the indicator light on the adapter was out, and the adapter wasn't warm, the way it usually is if it's plugged in. The battery drained, and the computer shut down. I tried to plug it into another outlet, but that didn't work, either.

A while later, I tried to plug my daughter's laptop cord into mine to see if it would work. I wasn't entirely sure if this was okay or not, given that they're different brands (hers is a Toshiba), but I checked and they're both the same voltage. The computer tried to start booting, the first screen came up for a second, and then it shut down again. I didn't want to tempt fate and try it too many times, so I left it alone.

The next morning, I tried to boot the computer again with my own cord, and it worked. The light on the adapter is on again, and the computer's fine. It's been working fine for 24 hours now.

Would all this seem to indicate a problem with the power cord, or does it seem like something inside the computer, or is it impossible to tell?

Also, while the computer wasn't working, I was looking up stuff online on another computer, and ran across some stuff saying that with Acer Aspires, there seems to be some sort of problem with the fan not working until you install some sort of updated BIOS thing. I didn't read it too carefully (I've been crazy busy and distracted for a few days), but does this make sense to anyone? It occurred to me that I don't think I've heard my fan running for quite some time now, but then, my computer rarely ever runs hot.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Old 07-30-2008, 01:06 PM   #2
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First of all, if the fan is not running this is very bad. Make sure you figure it out first, if nothing else. I had an older version laptop where the fan died and the computer fried itself (newer processors will shut off once it gets past a certain temp, but older ones did not) to the point where it would have been more expensive to fix it than to buy a new computer.

I had a problem with my old power cord as well. It sounds to me like it's the cord and not the computer, because you say the power pack was cold. A friend of mine had to have her Dell repaired because the power cord plug stopped working, but during that time, the power pack would still heat up (as it was still conducting electricity). This is thankfully a minor problem as you should be able to find a replacement pack relatively cheaply on Ebay.

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Old 07-31-2008, 08:17 AM   #3
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Yes, get the BIOS update ASAP to get the fans running. If you can't, then get some program that monitors the temp of the computer and will shut it off for you when it reaches a certain point and also get a USB cooling pad to put the laptop on.

The power thing could be the cord going bad (very often the ends go bad from being twisted or plugged in at an angle), but it can also be on the motherboard and the port needs to be re-soldered. It's probably cheaper and more likely to be the cord, so I'd buy a new cord. Get the right one for that model. The output amperage is important. I've seen (more like, felt) the wrong cord plugged in and it's not pretty! If it is the computer, I think Geek Squad can fix that for $60-$100 or so.
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Old 07-31-2008, 05:35 PM   #4
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Thanks for the information and suggestions.

Since that one incident, it's been running fine. Still haven't noticed the fan coming on for the past few days, but as I said, it almost always runs cool, and I haven't done anything too intensive with it lately. It's still under warranty, so if it becomes an issue, I'll call the Acer (although considering my Toshiba experience months back, I'm not looking forward to doing that).

Thanks again!
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