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My ES1 511-C35L doesn't get to the bios Screen (Post)

jgclghrnjgclghrn Posts: 26Member Troubleshooter
We have an Acer ES1 511-C35L  laptop that has recently (about a week ago) started to go into a boot loop. It is plugged in and the battery charging seems OK. When we press the power button the blue power-light indicator comes on, a fan starts up for about 2 seconds and a clicking noise (hardrive trying to spin up?), then the cycle repeats many times. There is also a very very faint flash on the screen like it's attempting to start the screen but nothing more. It does very infrequently get to the ACER logo and then boots up in the latest version of Windows 10 if I leave it in the boot loop long enough. I can use it when this happens but when its shut down, the boot loop starts again when you try and start it up.

I have tried using the reset hole on the back but nothing seems to change the symptoms. Is it possible the clock/bios battery is the culprit. Usually this battery is just to maintain the time but I have seen a few posts on other sites that question whether a bad battery might result in these symptoms.

Any ideas as to what might be wrong, or other things to try are appreciated.

Thanks
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FAQ & Answers

  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,404ACE Trailblazer
    When it goes into the bootloop routine with the very faint flash, try pressing & holding the power button for at least 10 seconds or until the laptop is completely shut off. No LEDs should be lit except an amber or blue battery charging LED. Then what happens when you turn it back on? Jack E/NJ
  • jgclghrnjgclghrn Posts: 26Member Troubleshooter
    The same thing starts all over again. What you suggested is how I get it out of the boot loop and shut it down. I tried it again as you suggested and it just goes back into the loop. As I mentioned it does sometimes boot up if I leave it in the loop for a long time.
  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,404ACE Trailblazer
    Shut it off again by pressing and holding the power button. Then turn it back on again and IMMEDIATELY start tapping the F2 key to try to enter the BIOS menu. If successful in getting into the menu, press F10 to save settings and exit the BIOS menu. Does it still go into the loop after exiting the BIOS menu? Jack E/NJ
  • jgclghrnjgclghrn Posts: 26Member Troubleshooter
    It will not respond to F2 while in the loop (it doesn't get to the ACER logo). However when it does boot and the ACER logo comes up F2 does work and I can get into the BIOS and I have changed a setting and saved it. Unfortunately when the save and exit is used the PC boots back into the loop again.
  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,404ACE Trailblazer
    Once the logo appears, it's usually too late for F2 to work. Try this. BEFORE turning the system on with the power button, press and hold the F2 key. Then hit the power button while still pressing and holding the F2 key. If still no joy, the BIOS chip's coin cell battery may be need to be replaced. Jack E/NJ
  • jgclghrnjgclghrn Posts: 26Member Troubleshooter
    You are correct. I have been hitting/holding F2 before the logo shows but it doesn't get me into the BIOS. I was just trying to say once the logo shows I know I can get into the BIOS or boot into Windows. Do you think it could be the BIOS battery? I'm used to machines still booting with a bad battery its just that you have to set the time after every boot up. If that's the case it could be painful to change as I believe this model's is soldered in.
  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,404ACE Trailblazer
    It's still possible the BIOS has trouble reading the trusted boot file on the HDD's EFI partition. Then spirals itself into a boot loop until it can read it. So try this. Turn the machine completely off again. Then turn it back on and IMMEDIATELY press and hold the ALT key while tapping the F10 key. If the BIOS chip is still functioning OK --- AND if the hidden HDD recovery partition is still intact --- you should be presented with a recovery screen as shown below that may allow us to fix the HDD. Jack E/NJ








  • jgclghrnjgclghrn Posts: 26Member Troubleshooter
    I'm having trouble getting it to boot so I won't be able to get back to you until then. One further observation which may not mean anything. When it tries to boot the blue light comes on and then a fan starts at a slow speed (sometimes followed by the fan going to high speed), then I hear a clicking noise. The blue light goes out and the loop starts over again.

    Another question for you is at what point does the disk's boot block get read? What I would have thought was the BIOS would run diagnostics on the hardware (possibly trying to read the boot block to check its integrity) prior to trying to boot? I would have thought that a bad boot block or HDD would give me some kind of message or error beep. But I get none of that.
  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,404ACE Trailblazer
    >>>then I hear a clicking noise. >>>
    A failing mechanical HDD will sometimes produce this.

    >>>at what point does the disk's boot block get read?>>>
    Very quickly near the start of the logo screen presentation. That's why F2 and ALT+F10 sometimes don't respond by the time a few logo screen frames are drawn. It's already too late. The BIOS has already handed the machine over to the OS. So if the BIOS can't read the EFI partition it may only draw a frame or two (your 'faint flash') and simply go back to the start of its POST routine and try reading it again and again ad nauseum until it's successful.

    What's bothersome now is that you're pressing F2 and ALT+F10 with no BIOS response or beeps well before the logo screen should even start to load tne first logo frame.  This symptom suggests a deeper hardware problem. Maybe as simple as the KB connector is loose and needs to be re-seated. Maybe not so simple.

    Jack E/NJ
  • jgclghrnjgclghrn Posts: 26Member Troubleshooter
    OK, I was finally able to get the laptop restarted and reset it as per your instructions. Now it is back to the original software including Windows 8.1. Unfortunately the same problem is still there. If its an issue with the EFI partition is there a way to rest it or did the process I just did reset it? Any other suggestions?
  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,404ACE Trailblazer
    >>>did the process I just did reset [EFI]? Any other suggestions?

    Yes. EFI was reset but apparently didn't hold. And yes. You likely need to replace the HDD.  Jack E/NJ
  • jgclghrnjgclghrn Posts: 26Member Troubleshooter
    Some more information. I tried restarting it again and as usual it went into a loop. Then I eventually got this error message, "InsydeH20 - Secure Flash  Error : Decompress failed!!! Please press any key to reset system......"

    When I hit return it went into the loop again. Do you still think this is a hard drive error?
  • jgclghrnjgclghrn Posts: 26Member Troubleshooter
    My last post may be a red herring. When I reset my system it asked to do a BIOS update even though it is at the correct level. Then when it restarted it gave me that message. Maybe that's why I got the message and is not related to my problem.


  • Deejay_techDeejay_tech Posts: 318Member Skilled Practitioner
    reflash your bios.
    My personal Acer m/c's
    1) Gaming: Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-51
    Config: core i5, 16gb, 356gb ssd, 1tb, 1050ti

    2) Daily Use: Acer Aspire A315-53  59GR
    Config: core i5 8250u, 8Gb, 256 SSD, 1th HDD

    3) Linux Learning: Acer Aspire A315-53 P4MY
    Config: Pentium Gold 4417U, 8 Gb, 256 SSD, 1tb HDD.
  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,404ACE Trailblazer
    >>>When I reset my system it asked to do a BIOS update even though it is at the correct level.>>>

    What do you mean by BIOS update at the "correct level"? And how do you know it's at the "correct level"? Did you perhaps try to do a BIOS update before this issue started? Jack E/NJ
  • jgclghrnjgclghrn Posts: 26Member Troubleshooter
    No, I didn't update it before this happened. As I mentioned before, I can get into the BIOS when the machine is successful at booting and it was at the latest version (I checked to make sure). When I was able to restore it to factory settings it asked to update the BIOS to the same level so I said yes in case a reflash might fix the problem but I got the message above. So I'm thinking the reflash didn't happen for some reason.

    On another note I replaced the hard derive expecting to be able to get into the BIOS and alas I get the same boot loop (money down the drain I guess). Is there any way a bad CMOS battery could cause this? Does anyone at ACER know? Is the BIOS memory some how the culprit? Is it possible that the BIOS variables are stored in a different type of memory than the BIOS code and somehow it is bad or the battery is needed?

    As I said below once I can get it booted I can do everything I expect to with no problems or errors.
  • jgclghrnjgclghrn Posts: 26Member Troubleshooter
    Some more information. It just got out of the boot loop and entered the BIOS. I'm now going to try and restore the operating system and see if anything changes.
  • Deejay_techDeejay_tech Posts: 318Member Skilled Practitioner
    manually reflash the bios. 
    My personal Acer m/c's
    1) Gaming: Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-51
    Config: core i5, 16gb, 356gb ssd, 1tb, 1050ti

    2) Daily Use: Acer Aspire A315-53  59GR
    Config: core i5 8250u, 8Gb, 256 SSD, 1th HDD

    3) Linux Learning: Acer Aspire A315-53 P4MY
    Config: Pentium Gold 4417U, 8 Gb, 256 SSD, 1tb HDD.
  • jgclghrnjgclghrn Posts: 26Member Troubleshooter
    I tried this twice but I get the funny error message I noted above through using windows. Is there a DOS version I can use through the USB? Do these flash utilities allow a re-flash only if you are going to a new version?

    I replaced the drive with an SSD and was able to restore the operating system. However I still get the same loop problem with the occasional successful boot to windows. Other than the possible CMOS battery being bad (?), what does the BIOS check that could be putting it in a loop until that test passes? As I said before when I get windows running I can leave the machine running and use it for a long time and get no software or hardware related errors.
  • jgclghrnjgclghrn Posts: 26Member Troubleshooter
    I tried re-flashing again. This time I noted the sequence of events. I ran it from windows. It said my firmware and the latest download version were the same. Then when I initiated it, the message erasing and writing came up, then the machine rebooted into the loop again. When it exited the loop presumably because it was getting into the BIOS, I got the ACER Logo followed by the decompress failure message as above (looks like a BIOS message - blue outlined box). So what does that mean? I selected "OK" which appears at the bottom of the message box and it went back into the loop.

    By they way I do appreciate your help. This must be as frustrating for you as it is for me.
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