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Aspire 1 One

October 29th, 2009

Two Acer Aspire Ones have died on my watch.  A pink 150 and a sapphire blue AOA 150-1447.  Both were almost a year old.  In both cases the failure occurred after closing and opening the lid (when they should have gone to sleep mode)  They act like they want to boot, make hard drive spin sounds, but never display on the screen.  The good news is that Aspire has built-in a BIOS recovery routine, so it is possible to flash the BIOS even if the system doesn’t boot anymore.  (note that the windows license sticker is right where it will rub off.  Put some clear tape over the product key so you don’t loose it.)

The following steps completely recovered one of my two Aspires:

1. Format an USB thumb drive as FAT.  (My Computer – right-click the USB drive – select FAT and format.)

2. Download the latest BIOS to your USB stick: (ftp://ftp.acer-euro.com/netbook/aspire_one_150/bios, ftp://ftp.acer-euro.com/netbook/aspire_one_110/bios).

3. Open the downloaded BIOS file and put both “FLASHIT.EXE” and the BIOS file (named like “3011.fd”) in the root directory (main folder) of the stick.  Rename the BIOS file to exactly “ZG5IA32.FD” < – – everything between the quotes.

4. Connect your USB drive to Aspire 1 while it is powered off.

5. Make sure the battery is installed and the power adapter is connected.

6. Hold both the “Fn” and “Esc” keys down together, keep them pressed and press the power button to turn the Aspire on.  Release all these keys after a couple seconds, the power button should be blinking.

7. Press the (now flashing) power button. The power button will continue to blink.  Your Aspire should initiate the BIOS flash at this point.  Do not interrupt this process!  You should see it briefly access the USB drive (USB lights blink), the Aspire will reboot shortly after.   You will see the Aspire power lights go on and off and then it should reboot.  Wait patiently.

8. If a full reboot happens rejoice when you see life on the screen again!  Your BIOS has been updated and all settings will be at default.  This whole process should be no longer than 5-10 minutes.

This worked for my blue Aspire, and not the pink one.  No matter how many ways, different BIOS files or USB formats I tried nothing worked.  The Pink one would not access the USB.  The only difference between the two was that the USB light never flashed during the process.  It ended up requiring an RMA and a new mainboard.  The warrantee process was quick, within about two weeks total the original pink machine came back fully repaired.

Computers

  1. Byron
    October 30th, 2009 at 16:37 | #1

    Just think, you could have avoided all of this if you had gotten an iMac he he he he 🙂