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Aspire 9520g - suspect corrupt BIOS + no password for win Vista

poolekitemanpoolekiteman Posts: 5Member New User
edited November 10 in Legacy Laptops and Netbooks
I have been given an Acer Aspire 9520G, that looks to have been messed about to a degree where I am on the verge of putting it on Freecycle for somebody with more time and brains than myself to try to fix. It is loaded with with Vista Home Premium and XP - the F2 key does not work to access BIOS and it only progresses through boot sequence if I tap the space bar! It boots to the win Vista sign in screen, and asks for password - which of course I do not have! 

By pressing F8 during boot, I can access "Advanced Boot Options" but I cannot see anything there which is likely to help me. did "Repair your computer" once - nothing changed.
I have tested the HDD in a caddy on my main PC - seems fine - The plan was to do a clean install of Win 10 (I have bought an install disk & product key) but I cannot get it to boot from CD unless I can change BIOS settings!

I have also bought a 16GB Sandisk USB memory stick, with a view to making a bootable stick that will do something good - but as this is something I have not tried before, I'd prefer to be flamed for my ignorance and look to you good people for advice - if I am snookered, please say so, and I'll not waste any more of your valuable time!

Details on laptop labels as follows:-
MFG date:0807 
Aspire 9520G - 6A4G25BI
Model No. ZD1
Intel WM3945ABG   CE0336
(plenty more on that label if needed)
TIA - Richard

[Edited the post due to personal or inappropriate content posted. Acer-Harvey]

FAQ & Answers

  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,740ACE Trailblazer
    Shut the machine off. Turn it back on again and ***IMMEDIATELY*** start mashing the F2 key to enter the BIOS menu. Don't wait for the ACER logo screen to appear cuz it's usually too late by then even with some Vista era machines. Jack E/NJ 
  • poolekitemanpoolekiteman Posts: 5Member New User
    thanks for that Jack - no joy I'm afraid - even started mashing F2 key before hitting power button!
    Strange thing, after the Acer logo screen appears, it does not progress the boot sequence unless I press another key - what's that all about?
    Then boot sequence pauses 2 or 3 times more en route to the user login screen - all of which leads me to think BIOS is corrupt - or am I missing something else?
  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,740ACE Trailblazer
    It's possible the function Fn key behavior has been set to 'on' in the BIOS Main tab. So try Fn+F2 to try to enter the BIOS menu instead. Jack E/NJ
  • poolekitemanpoolekiteman Posts: 5Member New User
    thanks again Jack - Fn key made no difference to F2 behaviour - BUT... when I plugged in a USB keyboard, that F2 key did the trick!
    So, here I am in the Phoenix TrustedCore Setup Utility.... F12 boot menu is now enabled..... SATA mode is in AHCI mode... or do I need IDE mode?
    Interesting that only some of the Acer Function keys work... for example F5 works - F6 does not .... so I cannot advance the system date to 2019
    Also, left arrow does not work, but right arrow does work! Up & Down arrows both work ok
    All further advice gratefully accepted, as I'm not at all sure what to next (apart from F10 Save & Exit) - if Acer F10 does not work, will reconnect USB keyboard - here goes - YES! F10 worked  ok and I can now access Boot Menu with F12 key - HOORAY!
  • poolekitemanpoolekiteman Posts: 5Member New User
    I think I saw a thread somewhere about Acer Fn keys not working - as I still have that problem on some of the Fn keys, I'd prefer to resolve that issue, before going for a windows 10 clean install - if you could assist me to do that, I'd be very grateful (I am a pensioner and brain not as sharp as it was 50 years ago) 
  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,740ACE Trailblazer
    You can try to re-seat the KB ribbon cable on the mainboard. The service manual seems to be available on line at manuals lib if you search aspire 9520 service manual. Replacement KBs also seem to be fairly inexpensive. Jack E/NJ
  • poolekitemanpoolekiteman Posts: 5Member New User
    so you think I have a faulty keyboard? ok - that makes sense... tried re-seating the KB connector... that made no difference... found a replacement kb on ebay for £10 which I can afford! Will post update when new kb arrives - hopefully, I can then go on to do a regular clean install of Win 10 - any tips, warnings or advice please?
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