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Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/03/2011 9:42 AM

I posted this problem about a month ago and received dozens of suggestions and ideas however since the unit would not turn on it was virtually impossible for me to follow up on these ideas. Since the unit only cost 300 dollars I reluctantly concluded to give up. It sat on my workbench for 3 weeks and one day, feeling fresh of mind, I decided to give it some more tries.

I resolved the problem yesterday and wanted all of you who were so kind to hear what I did.

The only time during all of this that I had been able to get it to start was after completely discharging the battery while inside the unit with the on button pressed and the power supply disconnected. It takes a very long time to discharge the battery this way because the only load is the green LED in the on switch. Also when it is in this mode if I press my ear down hard just to the right of the touch pad I can hear the HDD try to start and then shut down. This start try, then shut down cycle goes on until the battery is dead. Once the battery is dead I can start the unit BUT only once and only in a very special way.

If I press the on button with the battery dead and WITHOUT the power supply connected I get a very short window of power from the dead battery because batteries tend to rebound a bit once the load is removed. During this very short window the unit STARTS NORMALLY but then crashes as soon as the battery dies again. Then I must wait about 20 minutes before I can make a second attempt. So on the next attempt I tried plugging in the power supply just before the start attempt. Again nothing happened so I unplugged the power supply and while waiting I built an outlet with a very fast switch which I could manually activate at the instant I got a start. With the switch off I plugged in the power supply deenergized, hit the start button and as soon as I saw the ACER logo I activated the switch. In this way I was able to get the unit up and running. However after using it for awhile it freezes up forcing me to do a manual shut down by holding down the on switch for several seconds. Then of course it wont start again unless I go through a complete battery discharge and restart following the steps above. In this condition the unit is useless.

From what I have been able to learn reading tons of articles it would appear that my unit is fine physically but has a very succesful virus which has deemed my machine to be useless. Reading the ACER manual I saw a part about recovery systems. My ACER has a 6Gbyte section on its HDD which is used to restore the computer to its original settings like the day I bought it.

To do this it says first start the unit then hit F2 when I see the LOGO and ensure that the BIOS D2D Recovery setting in Main is Enabled.

I tried this after about 4 attempts and got in, made the settings and then started another discharge cycle.

The next step is to hit Alt + F10 at the instant you see the logo to get into the recovery process. This was a tough one because of the very narrow time window I had during the start up on dead battery sequence. With the help of an additional hand and about 5 attempts over one whole day I made it in.

Since the unit was going to the trash can anyway I had no qualms reformatting the HDD and losing everything on it. what the heck?

End result: My ACER is now working perfectly!!! Albeit with a lot of trashy programs you get when you buy them but it didn't have to go to the trash can.

I removed the MacCaffe Virus program and downloaded AVG on the advise of my friends but proudly told them how I fixed the unit on my own.

The 6Gb portion of the HDD is in a "hidden partition" so does that mean viruses cant get there. I sure hope so. I dont want another one like this again.

Man oh Man, what a virus!!! What human a------ses would do such a thing and for whose benefit, Anti-Virus program Companies??????? Could that be possible.

I hope this information can help somebody else with similar problems. Remember to follow the steps exactly as described.

Best Regards

John

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#1

Re: Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/03/2011 11:14 PM

Your experiences, trying as they must have been, are very important, and should be shared as widely as possible. Good work.

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#2

Re: Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/03/2011 11:15 PM

PS. Switch to Linux...

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#19
In reply to #2

Re: Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/05/2011 6:12 PM

P.S., boot sector virus...BIOS dependent...not OS.

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#3

Re: Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/04/2011 1:48 AM

Thank you, it was informative.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/04/2011 6:20 AM

Yesterday I used the ACER all day long turning it on and off dozens of times. It ran perfectly. In the afternoon I downloaded STELLARIUM, an astronomical assistant I had on the ACER before the crash. Apart from that and the AVG virus plan nothing else was downloaded.

This morning the ACER WONT START AGAIN. I'm flabergasted!!! I must have let the virus back in or it was down in the back up section of the HDD just waiting for me.

I'll repeat my procedure one more time. Now it takes about 12 hrs to discharge the battery so after that I'll post the results.

John

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#6
In reply to #4

Re: Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/04/2011 10:40 AM

You can try locating in the mother board the internal battery that is soldered on it. This tiny battery keeps and maintain whatever system setup / configurations pre-programmed in the computer. Disconnect or cut one of the battery terminals, once disconnected, put a temporary jumper wire from the ground plane / common side of the ckt. board (negative side of filter capacitor(s) - normally one of the fat capacitors found by the power supply side of the mother board). Jump the negative side to the positive side, either through a small current limiting resistor, or directly shorting it together. Leave the jumper in place for a couple of minutes to completely drain any energy and info left in the system. Take a sample voltage measurements from the 5 volts and 12 volts levels, be sure they're all zero! This approach will enable you to reset all system's prior configurations, or any predefined operating controls that were stored or pre-programmed in its memory.

Re-soldered /connect the battery terminal and all other connectors back, and reassemble the PC together. Do a normal power up and you'll be prompted to load some basic configurations as as the system goes on its POST.

You have to reformat and re-partition the whole HDD, then do a clean install of your operating system. It is possible the original backup system, although residing in another partition may also been contaminated by the virus! And that is why reformatting the whole HDD is advisable to avoid any problems?

Good luck

vsar

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#11
In reply to #6

Re: Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/04/2011 12:52 PM

I am capable of doing what you said but first I removed the battery and waited 25 minutes then reinstalled it. In previous attempts removing the battery I only waited about 10 seconds and I guess the tiny battery and capacitors are capable of holding up the voltage for more than 10 seconds. After the 25 minutes I got a start but wasn't quick enough to hit ALT and F10 so I missed the window. Another 25 minutes with the battery out was done and then with poised fingers and intense attention I got ALT+F10. So then I reformatted everything again and now I'm back typing to you on the ACER right now.

Can the virus reside in the secret partitioned sector of my HDD where all the info lies to recover my system? Could the virus have come back to life when I downloaded Stellarium?

Since all the stuff on my system is now 2 years old everything wants to do updates and the Maccafee Virus program keeps popping up saying I'm not protected and need to pay for an update.

If I'm not protected right now what should I do? Yesterday I downloaded AVG but also got to a place where they want money. I don't mind paying if thats the best solution but have been ripped off before.

Any ideas are appreciated

John

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/04/2011 1:51 PM

In my experience, the whole process suggested should only take no more than 3 minutes, maybe 5 at the most, depending on your familiarity of the computer! You will need to spend more time to reformat and re-installing the new operating system onto your hard disk drive.

Once a virus has invaded the system and was not immediately caught or blocked by your antivirus program, It is very possible that other partitions in your drive has also been infected! That was why I suggested to do a full formatting of your HDD to completely eliminate the virus.

A good antivirus program will block any suspected virus even before it reaches the hard drive. Its effectiveness most of the time is limited on how up-to-date its internal libraries are. That is why the virus definitions has to be updated everyday - as soon as the computer is turned on! AVG has a free version which also good. You may go to CNET.COM - a safe site to learn and download programs that has been tested or be trusted! You can also filter your searches depending on what your preference.. free or with fee.

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/04/2011 3:24 PM

I always run this after a restore

http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/

get rid of anything you don't understand & isn't windows related

decrapifier will even get rid all the bloatware that come preinstalled

run all the microsoft updates

avg Free

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/04/2011 8:20 PM

ok will try right now.

john

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#15
In reply to #11

Re: Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/04/2011 10:36 PM

One of the issues with Windows (newer versions) is that they apparently permit software vendors to write secret codes for licensing protection in the boot sector. We need a Windows guru to verify this, but it seems to cause problems when one tries to set up a dual boot system with Windows 7 at least.

It could be that some virus has figured out how to corrupt your boot sector.

If this is the case, the only solution that may work is a complete reformat and reload the system.

Before trying that, I would suggest getting a Linux LiveDVD or LiveCD (any popular distro would work) and determine if you can boot from the CD and operate normally. This is the easiest test for determining if you are dealing with a software problem or a hardware problem.

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/04/2011 11:44 PM

Good point - it may well be the HD is dying.

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/05/2011 1:17 AM

He won't be able to run a live CD

no cd player

he can do a USB flash drive

http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/

I would pull the HDD & fire it up, which would let John go to bios, leave it run for a few hours

see if it will crash

a sata HDD $40-$50

no idea how you get a new copy of W7

probably call up support & they can do something like sell you a replacement install CD

you could buy something like

http://www.amazon.com/Inland-8412-USB2-0-SATA-Adapter/dp/B001JQMEBM

& use the cd on another computer to do an install

I of course would turn it into a linux box

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/05/2011 12:54 PM

Hello there: You guys are going a bit beyond my skill levels although I have learned a whole lot about these kinds of problems during my incident. Yesterday I restored this unit for the second time then did as you suggested, the Decrapifier and the Microsoft programs. Today it started up perfectly and is running fast and sweet. I do still get some annoying pop ups asking if I want to fix such and such a thing or run somethings but since all seems well so far I am ignoring the pop ups and after awhile they seem to give up and go away.

As I said at the very start I have some but not a lot of computer skills. The question arises in my head. Shouldn't it be possible to take a computer like this one and totally erase everthing on the HDD and then gradually reprogram the VIRGEN computer with only those things you need and like. I guess the answer will be no because as soon as I load anything from the Internet my Virgen is exposed to everything thats out there and no single antivirus program can protect you from everything.

I'm waiting for the day that somebody can detect a virus makers location and reverse feed that person some kind of program that will make his computer explode. Maybe a sub program which alters the voltage applied to the Lithium battery which causes it to burst or catch on fire. Then we could get even. Wouldn't it be great???

I'll keep using this baby until something goes wrong and keep everybody informed. I love this Forum because it gives the average guy a chance to fix his stuff and also fight back.

Thank You All for being helpful decent folks. Maybe we can still beat the bad guys.

John

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#7
In reply to #4

Re: Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/04/2011 11:08 AM

Hi John

VASR gave good advice on how to more quickly reset the cmos

what do you want to do with this computer?

are there any windows only apps that you just must have?

easy enough to have a nice little email, surfing machine running on linux, which just won't have the vulnerability to crud that a windows machine will

Stellarium has a linux version

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#5

Re: Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/04/2011 9:23 AM

For obvious reasons i wish to remain anonymous but many years ago a good friend had a job in a Company that specialised in Anti virus programmes and he mentioned he could hardly move in the "Goods out " Area of the Company because it had pallets of programmes (long time back)waiting to be sent out.I asked the obvious question ,why not send them and he replied,"Because the virus hasn't happened , yet ! ".Believe it or not.That left me with a complete Hatred for these people as you could imagine.This wasn't a case of a friend of a friend's,uncles,Barbers,Pool cleaners ,sister,this was from the Horses mouth as it were .Make of it what you will but the speed of repairs ,patches ect, seems very fast at times,bordering i suspect, on Genius, considering the volume of very smart people around the planet suffering from these things.

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#8

Re: Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/04/2011 11:23 AM

Just for future reference, you could have posted this update to the original thread. Or, add a link here to the original thread.

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#9

Re: Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/04/2011 11:35 AM
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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/04/2011 12:14 PM

Thanks!

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#20

Re: Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/05/2011 6:15 PM

Nice job.

If you have your restore disk, it also has the restore partition and will place it back on the disk if you wipe it clean. I use Darik's Boot-n-nuke to wipe my drives, then restore or reload as needed.

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#21
In reply to #20

Re: Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/05/2011 6:32 PM

once again

no cd reader

so no restore disc

that's why a netbook is cheap

along with a 1.3ghz processor

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#22
In reply to #21

Re: Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/05/2011 8:06 PM

sorry...it has USB ports, no? You can network it to a sacrificial desktop on a MS network (assuming you are running MS) across the USB. That can be used as your "CD" to re-create the restore partition on your SSDD.

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#23
In reply to #22

Re: Acer Wont Turn On Final Repair

07/05/2011 9:01 PM

well sure

you could do that

I'm not sure why?

John is just doing a little surfing

any one of 100's of linux versions would be far more secure than windows giving access to the registry to any app off the net

stellarium would require a change of permissions & allowing it to run as an executable

I haven't found anything [quick search] to lead me to believe this was the source of John's infection

maybe if there were some windows only app john just had to have

it would make sense to continue on in the windows world

hey to each his own

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