Acer Aspire 5100 forgets it's plugged in during boot

Just joined this forum after several Google searches yielded no helpful results.

 

Anyway, I have a 2007 Acer Aspire 5100 (it's running Windows Vista Home 64-bit, if that makes any difference; and yeah, I know - old laptop is old) which, over the past several months, has developed a peculiar "quirk" which has gotten progressively worse.

 

Basically, when I turn it on and it starts booting, it will "forget" that the AC power supply is plugged in and then switch to battery power. Once it does this, there's no way to make it "remember" that it's plugged in (disconnecting the cord and then reconnecting it doesn't work, and neither does anything else I've been able to think of), and when it's running on battery power, it dies within a couple of minutes (because the battery is as old as the computer is). The only solution is to shut the computer down by hitting the power button, and then power it back on again and keep doing this until eventually, it makes it through the boot sequence without issues.

 

I've never encountered this issue beyond a certain step. It only occurs during the boot sequence - never when I'm fully logged in and actually using the computer. Basically, this means that once I've made it past a certain step, I'm safe - until the next time I have to boot. Also, because the issue only occurs during the boot sequence, I don't believe the power supply is the source of the problem (although, if your experience says differently, please speak up).

 

Like I said, the problem has gotten progressively worse, and yesterday, for the first time, it was impossible for me to get the computer to make it all the way through the boot sequence without switching to the battery. The power supply light would go out almost immediately (i.e., within a couple of seconds after I hit the power button), and then when I shut the computer down (again, by hitting the power button) the battery light would go out, too, and the only way for me to make it "remember" the battery was connected would be to remove and then reinsert the battery.

 

I've experimented with various things, naturally. I've tried different wall outlets, which doesn't appear to make a difference. I've tried removing the battery and then hitting the power button (it powers on for about a second and then shuts down again). And I've experimented with the amount of time I leave it plugged in and charging before turning it on. When this problem first started occurring, leaving it to charge for a good long while before powering on seemed to make it more likely to make it all the way through the boot sequence without switching to battery power, but lately, this doesn't seem to make any difference, either.

 

So what are your theories? Could this problem be battery related somehow? Or perhaps motherboard related? If there's a cheap and easy way for me to fix my computer, I could see myself doing that. If, on the other hand, the fix involves throwing lots of money and/or time at it, I'll probably just bite the bullet and buy myself a new laptop.

 

Thanks in advance, guys.

Best Answer

  • NoHatManNoHatMan Member Posts: 2
    Accepted Answer

    Thanks for commenting, guys.

     

    Just thought I'd chime in again as I've found a solution to my problem. Or rather, the solution found me.

     

    Those of you who have read my OP may remember me stating that I didn't believe the AC power supply was the cause of the problem. Well, turns out I was wrong about that.

     

    Long story short, a coworker happened to have a spare AC power supply (for an old Windows XP laptop which he hadn't used in years but had never gotten around to disposing of), and he offered to let me have it free of charge. I wasn't too optimistic, but figured, "Oh well - no harm in giving it a shot." I got home, plugged it into my laptop, hit the power button, and ... it worked. My computer made it all the way through the boot process on the first try, without switching to the battery.

     

    That was the day after I started this thread, and the problem I described in the OP hasn't occurred since. I wouldn't have imagined that a faulty power supply would cause those particular symptoms, but there you go. Electronics are weird.

     

    So yeah. I've already thanked my coworker, and will probably be buying him a beer in the not-too-distant future. Obviously, I'll have to get myself a new (or newish) computer within a couple of months, anyway (due to Windows Vista going extinct), but in the meantime, my nine-year-old Aspire is - surprisingly - back to being fully functional.

FAQ & Answers

  • Acer-MaryAcer-Mary Acer Crew Posts: 868 Acer Crew

    This could be battery or mainboard issue. It would be difficult at best to say for sure but I suspect more mainboard. Unfortunately due to the age of this model Acer would not be able to offer repair. You can check with a local repair shop to see if they can assist but please note there may be a problem locating parts for this older model. 

  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 27,281 Trailblazer

    >>>2007>>> battery is as old as the computer is>>>

     

    If it were mine, I'd prolly google the keywords "aspire 5100 battery" to see if a new battery pops up for less than $15 with free shipping. Then, if it does, I might be tempted to spend $15 to see if it fixes the issue. Yep, thaty's prolly what I'd do if it were mine. 8^)  Jack E/NJ

    Jack E/NJ
  • NoHatManNoHatMan Member Posts: 2
    Accepted Answer

    Thanks for commenting, guys.

     

    Just thought I'd chime in again as I've found a solution to my problem. Or rather, the solution found me.

     

    Those of you who have read my OP may remember me stating that I didn't believe the AC power supply was the cause of the problem. Well, turns out I was wrong about that.

     

    Long story short, a coworker happened to have a spare AC power supply (for an old Windows XP laptop which he hadn't used in years but had never gotten around to disposing of), and he offered to let me have it free of charge. I wasn't too optimistic, but figured, "Oh well - no harm in giving it a shot." I got home, plugged it into my laptop, hit the power button, and ... it worked. My computer made it all the way through the boot process on the first try, without switching to the battery.

     

    That was the day after I started this thread, and the problem I described in the OP hasn't occurred since. I wouldn't have imagined that a faulty power supply would cause those particular symptoms, but there you go. Electronics are weird.

     

    So yeah. I've already thanked my coworker, and will probably be buying him a beer in the not-too-distant future. Obviously, I'll have to get myself a new (or newish) computer within a couple of months, anyway (due to Windows Vista going extinct), but in the meantime, my nine-year-old Aspire is - surprisingly - back to being fully functional.

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