Multiple issues on my Acer Aspire A715-71G-79BN

CatarinaFCatarinaF Member Posts: 13

Tinkerer

Good evening.

Multiple issues on my Acer Aspire: USB, camera and bluetooth not working; can't shut down completely

I have an Acer Aspire A715-71G-79BN laptop for about 3.5 years now, runing on Windows 10 Home 64bit (version 21H2), and recently (more or less for the past 2 months) I've been facing multiple issues that I can't solve, so I was wondering if anyone here could give me some help. I will list below all the symptoms I could observe:
  •  My USB ports are not working, any of them:
If I go to the "Device Manager", I can see that there is a problem with the Intel(R) USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller - 1.0: Under "device status" it says
"This device cannot start. (Code 10) {Operation Failed} The requested operation was unsuccessful."
I already tried to update, uninstall... this driver, but the problem persists.
I also checked in the registry that I don't have any upperfilters or lowerfilter subkeys.
  • The camera is also not working, as well as the bluetooth and the fingerprint sensor:
These issues I didn't check in further detail, as I think they are related to the problem above.
One the other hand, the Wifi, HDMI port, sound (both buit-in speakers and 3.5mm jack), built-in microphone and touchpad all seem to be unaffected and working normally.
  • I can't completely turn off my computer:
After the screen goes black, the blue power light on the side continues on and (if not connected to the electric current) the battery continues to drain. The only way of completely shutting down the computer is by pressing continuously the power button for few seconds.
In this regard, I already tried to force a full shutdown, to turn off fast startup and to reinstall the Intel Management Engine interface driver but nothing of that works.


Basically, I already spent quite some time searching in the foruns for similar problems, individually, and I already tried most of the solutions proposed there. For instance:
https://community.acer.com/en/discussion/564559/nitro-an515-31-usb-stopped-working-cant-boot-from-usb/p1
https://community.acer.com/en/discussion/456452/laptop-wont-shutdown-or-sleep
(and other similar). But, unfortuanately, it hasn't worked so far.

Importantly, I have Ubuntu 20.04 installed in a different partition of the same SSH disk (dual-boot) and all of these issues affect Ubuntu as well.

Now, the only thing that sometimes works (for a very limited time) is to reinstall the lastest BIOS update (in this case 1.21), downloaded from https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/support-product/7296?b=1. To be clear, my BIOS is already in the latest version, so I'm not strickly updating the BIOS, but rather reinstalling it.
When I'm successful, this trick solves all my issues simultaneously and the computer is back to normal, both in Windows and Ubuntu.
However, it does not always work (for instance, in the last week I've tried this multiple times without success) and, when it does, after a couple of days the problems return.

In one of the rare occasions when USB ports were working, I managed to do a full reinstallation of Windows 10 which seemingly fixed the issues for a few days, but soon after the problems returned. I suspect that the root of the problem is related to Windows Update, since the problems became more permanent since the last feature update (since then, the BIOS reinstallation trick never worked anymore). I already tried to uninstall the lastest Windows updates and to restore the Windows to a restore point previous to the update, but I always get an error message saying that it is not possible so they will revert to the version that I have currently installed.

So, I was wondering if anyone here in the ACER community has an idea of what my problem can be or of what should I test or do to make it work. It seems to be BIOS related (since it affects both OS's and could be temporarily mitigated by a BIOS "update") and somehow triggered by Windows Update.
If you need me to send any particular information about my computer or the errors I have, please tell me and I will gladly share it.
Thank you very much in advance!

​//Edited the content to add model name.   ​
«1

FAQ & Answers

  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 31,073 Trailblazer
    Open Windows Control Panel. Search 'button'. Click 'change what the power buttons do' in left pane. Click 'change settings that are currently unavailable' near the top of the next page. Scroll down and make sure the box for fast startup is UNchecked. Then go into Control Panel programs and uninstall any non-Microsoft virus scanners. Try to shut down Windows normally. If it won't shut down, follow these steps.

    (1) Press and hold power button till laptop is forced off.
    (2) Unplug charger. No LEDs should be lit.
    (3) Insert paper clip into reset pinhole on bottom for about a minute
    (4) Plug charger back in but wait till battery charge LED turns from steady orange to steady blue
    (5) Only after battery charge LED turns steady blue, turn laptop back on and immediately press the F2 key to enter the BIOS menu
    (6) Press F9 in the BIOS menu to load defaults. Press F10 to save defaults and exit the BIOS menu
    (7) Click to start Windows from the grub boot loader.
    (8) Open Device Manager. Right click on and uninstall all drivers with a red or yellow warning.
    (9) Try to shut down Windows normally again hopefully without forcing it to shut down.
    (10) Turn machine on and start Windows again from grub.

    Jack E/NJ
  • CatarinaFCatarinaF Member Posts: 13

    Tinkerer

    Hi JackE.
    Thank you very much for your quick and detailed answer!

    I have followed all the steps you told me, but unfortunately the problem persists.

    Just a detail, when I tried to perform step 4 I didn't see any orange light, it immediately turned on blue. I had the battery already at 100% when I unplugged the power cable, so I assume it was the reason. Is this expected? I repeated the whole process twice just in case, with no changes. In particular, I had to force it to completely turn off both times.

    Other thing that I noticed was that the USB driver changed name after uninstalling and re-installing it. Now it's "USB xHCl Compliant Host Controller". However, it continues displaying the yellow exclamation point with the same error message.
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 31,073 Trailblazer
    >>>Other thing that I noticed was that the USB driver changed name after uninstalling and re-installing it.>>>it continues displaying the yellow exclamation point>>>

    Not normal. This should only be UNinstalled. NOT be manually re-installed. Just UNinstalled period. Then shut down and let Windows auto re-detect the USB bus hardware and auto re-install its software drivers. Try it again.  UNinstall the yellow warning driver. Then shut Windows down.
     Cold boot restart to see what happens.

    If DeviceManager red or yellow warnings persist, then download and install iobit's DriverBooster freeware to see if it'll pick any new drivers on line to remove the warnings. Double check that no non-Microsoft scanners are still lurking and running in the background.


    Jack E/NJ
  • CatarinaFCatarinaF Member Posts: 13

    Tinkerer

    Good morning JackE, and thank you once again for your comment.

    Probably I wasn't clear in my previous post:
    When I uninstalled the driver in the Device Manager it really uninstalled it. Windows just re-installed when I restarted the computer (as expected). But this time the driver installed was different (but still had the yellow exclamation point close to it).

    In any case, I tried it one more time, doing a cold boot restart, but the problem persists.

    I also downloaded the iobit's DriverBooster software and ran it. It found around 20 new drivers and installed them. But the problematic one continues as it was. In addition, I have now two extra drivers which are giving me the yellow exclamation point problem:
    • Other devices -> Detection verification
    Error code: "The drivers for this device are not installed. (Code 28) There are no compatible drivers for this device. To find a driver for this device, click Update Driver."
    • Sound, video and game controllers -> NVIDIA High Definition Audio
    Error code: "This device cannot start. (Code 10) {Operation Failed} The requested operation was unsuccessful."



    I also checked that I have uninstalled all non-windows malware scanners, and also looked in the task manager to make sure that there was nothing similar running in backgroud.
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 31,073 Trailblazer
    >>>(more or less for the past 2 months) I've been facing multiple issues >>>

    Open Control Panel. Search 'restore point' Click 'create a restore point' in left. If System Protection is turned on in the box that pops up, click the System Restore button. Click next. Do you see any restore with date stamps about a month or so ago?
    Jack E/NJ
  • CatarinaFCatarinaF Member Posts: 13

    Tinkerer

    Good evening.

    All the restore points available are quite recent.
    Follows a print screen:


  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 31,073 Trailblazer
    >>>on one of the rare occasions when USB ports were working, I managed to do a full reinstallation of Windows 10>>>

    Yeah, whatever automatic restore points were created 2 months ago are usually overwritten  by now unless a lot more disk space is allocated for restore points.

    (1) Was this a generic Win10 reinstallation using Microsoft's USB media creation tool?
    (2) Was this done before or after the grub bootloader was installed?
    (3) Did you UNcheck fast boot in Control Panel's power button app before installing grub?
    (4) Can you boot a live Ubuntu session with Windows fast boot off using the F12 key on statup?
    Jack E/NJ
  • CatarinaFCatarinaF Member Posts: 13

    Tinkerer

    Hi JackE!
    Thanks a lot for the time you're taking to help me.


    Regarding the questions you just asked above:

    (1) Yes, exactly, I have done it a few times in other computers and the procedure went normally

    (2) As usual, the Windows instalation "killed" the grub, so, after installing Windows, I booted Ubuntu from a USB and rebuilt the grub using boot-repair

    (3) Yes, I did

    (4) Yes, I can. But I still experience the same problems when I'm using Ubuntu.

    Note: The problem usually appeared after going to Windows and shutting down the computer, not when I used Ubuntu.
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 31,073 Trailblazer
    >>>The problem usually appeared after going to Windows and shutting down the computer, not when I used Ubuntu.>>>

    This strongly suggests fast boot has again been enabled in ControlPanel's power button app. Usually defaults to fast boot on a re-install or  updates.  Better UNcheck it again. Fast boot leaves Windows boot remnants in powered DRAM even after shutting down. It has high potential for messing with grub and carrying over to Linux. DRAM needs to be unpowered and cleared when system is shut off --- aka cold. Completely cold boots are the only way switch between systems in dual boot machines. Re-starts and fast boots don't cut it.

    BTW, the USB ports seem to functioning outside of the operating systems if the BIOS lets you boot from them.

    Jack E/NJ
  • CatarinaFCatarinaF Member Posts: 13

    Tinkerer

    Hi JackE.
    Thank you once again for your answer!

    The fast boot is off, but to make sure it was not that the cause, I turned it on and then off again, and I restarted the computer. Unfortunately the problems persist.




    I'm sorry, maybe I wasn't clear in the part of the Windows installation through USB: the instance when I could boot from USB was the exception and not the rule. Even now, if I try to boot from USB, I simply can't because BIOS does not recognize any device plugged in.

    Like I said in the original post, I was able to boot from USB by using the trick of the BIOS reinstallation I explained there; now this trick is seemingly not working anymore. I hope this clarifies the situation.
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 31,073 Trailblazer
    Shut the machine off. Turn it back on and immediately start tapping the F2 key to enter the BIOS menu. If possible, please post phone photos of the BIOS Information and Main tabs.
    Jack E/NJ
  • CatarinaFCatarinaF Member Posts: 13

    Tinkerer

    Good morning, JackE.

    Here are the photos of all BIOS tabs:






  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 31,073 Trailblazer
    >>>I'm sorry, maybe I wasn't clear in the part of the Windows installation through USB: the instance when I could boot from USB was the exception and not the rule. Even now, if I try to boot from USB, I simply can't because BIOS does not recognize any device plugged in.>>>

    Have you ever set and saved a supervisor password? Then re-entered the BIOS with the password and disable secure boot?  Then try to boot from a USB stick with F12 on startup? The BIOS can be touch-y when trying boot from media --- especially external---that doesn't already have an EFI trusted file in its memory. I usually leave secure boot disabled in my dual boot machines.
    Jack E/NJ
  • CatarinaFCatarinaF Member Posts: 13

    Tinkerer

    Hi JackE.

    Thank you once again for answering me!

    Yes, I have a supervisor password in my BIOS. So I used it to disable the secure boot, and after that I tried to boot from a USB stick containing the iso file of the Windows 10 made bootable using Rufus (the one I used previously when I reinstalled the Windows on my computer). I checked it on all my different USB ports, but unfortunatelly I still can't see it the list of bootable devices. All I have is the grub (Unknown Device) and the Windows Boot Manager, as shown in the photo bellow:


  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 31,073 Trailblazer
    >>>So I used it to disable the secure boot, and after that I tried to boot from a USB stick containing the iso file of the Windows 10 made bootable using Rufus (the one I used previously when I reinstalled the Windows on my computer).>>>

    (1) Please explain why secure boot still seems to be enabled.
    (2) Re-make the Win10 installation stick using Microsoft media creation tool instead of Rufus
    (3) Temporarily disconnect the internal m.2 card because of multiple (messed-up) EFI files on the exact same m.2 card
    (4) Try to boot from the Microsoft stick again without the m,2 card connected










    Jack E/NJ
  • CatarinaFCatarinaF Member Posts: 13

    Tinkerer

    Good morning, JackE, and thank you once again for all the patience!

    Regarding the questions you asked me:

    1. The image with the secure boot enabled was taken before you suggested me to disable it. Now it's disabled, as you can see in the following photo:




    2. 3. and 4. Already did all the steps, but I was unable to boot from the USB driver. The USB driver itself does not even blink, so it was probably not even detected. So, without the m.2 card I don't have any options in the boot list (F12) and when I start the computer I get the error "No bootable device"



    The two "systems" that appear in the boot in the same device are the Windows 10 and the grub ("unknown device" - now turned into a blue square for some reason, as you can see in the new picture).
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 31,073 Trailblazer
    OK, if none of the USB ports boot trying different boot sticks, it is either a mainboard USB bus failure (since all ports are affected) or more likely corrupted BIOS firmware. We can try to reset the BIOS. If it fixes the USB boot issue,  you should then be able to reinstall the operating systems. If not, the machine would be essentially bricked since a BIOS reset erases its EFI-file memory on the m.2 card, rendering it unbootable.
    Jack E/NJ
  • CatarinaFCatarinaF Member Posts: 13

    Tinkerer

    Good evening, JackE.

    I imagine that the problem is probably not a mainboard USB bus failure because other components are also failing at the same time: camera, bluetooth, fingerprint sensor... And they either work all or fail all. Do you agree?

    Regarding the BIOS reset can you please indicate me how to do it? And, to make sure I understood correctly, the risk is that the M.2 disk is wiped clean and, without USB ports, I cannot reinstall the OS, right? But in that case I would still be able to reuse the disk in another computer in the future, or would disk become unusable?


  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 31,073 Trailblazer
    >>>probably not a mainboard USB bus failure because other components are also failing at the same time>>>

    All those components either directly or indirectly use the mainboard USB bus. So yes it could still be a mainboard issue.
     
    The BIOS reset does NOT wipe your m.2 card. The m.2 card WinLin system and personal files should stay intact. The reset only wipes the BIOS memory of a hidden partition on the m.2 that it needs to read to boot from the m.2. While that hidden boot partition on the m.2 seems to be messed up as far as the BIOS is concerned, normal WinLin system partitions should remain OK.

    However, if the BIOS reset does not fix the USB problem, then the machine will likely be bricked. It won't boot from a USB stick. And it won't boot from the m.2 card even though the card's WinLin system files and personal files can still be accessed from another working machine.




    Jack E/NJ
  • CatarinaFCatarinaF Member Posts: 13

    Tinkerer

    Hi JackE.

    All those components either directly or indirectly use the mainboard USB bus. So yes it could still be a mainboard issue.
    Well, I hadn't thought about that, but it makes a lot of sense. However, I suppose that, if it is indeed the mainboard USB bus, there's no solution, right? 

    Regarding the BIOS reset, let me ask your opinion about a possible option. I originally bought the laptop with a 128GB M.2 card, which I later replaced by a 1TB one (very long before all these issues). Luckily, I still have the original 128GB card with the original Windows installation untouched, from which I can successfully boot to Windows 10 (I just tried, to be sure, and it worked). (Let me clarify that the problems with the USB, etc., are still happening after booting from the old disk, in case it is relevant). If I understand you correctly, I could reset the BIOS with the 128GB disk plugged in and, worst case scenario, I should still be able to boot from the 1TB one, right? Even if the Windows in the 128GB disk becomes unusable (that's no problem). Do you agree?

    If so, could you please point where I could find instructions for the BIOS reset?

    Thanks in advance!!

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