Aspire XC-605 - no POST, fan on, one long beep Does anyone have any idea of anything else I can try?

ButenButen Member Posts: 13 New User

Hi all, I have an Aspire XC-605 that I was upgrading. I installed some extra RAM a few days ago and was all good.

Today, I was upgrading the HDD to SSD and noticed the SSD didnt show up in the BIOS so I couldn't boot from it. I swapped back and did a BIOS update from P11.A2 to P11.B4. Everything seemed fine, I rebooted and was able to get back into Windows 8.1 from the HDD.

Then I tried to reboot again and Windows was taking a really long time at the "Rebooting..." screen so I shut down with a long press on the power button.

Now however, when I try to start it up, the PC turns on and the fan goes on, but I get one long beep and thats it. PC and fan stay on until I press the button again. No display or anything. Monitor is plugged in to the VGA port on the mobo (tried the HDMI as well though).

I know one long beep is generally a RAM issue so I tried reseating the RAM, swapping it, using one, using the other, swapping slots, cleaning the slots etc but no dice.

I also tried removing the BIOS battery for 5min, tried using the CMOS reset jumper and left it for 5min, held power button while off for a few mins as well but nothing seems to work.

Does anyone have any idea of anything else I can try? Any help is appreciated!

[Edited the thread to add the issue detail]

Best Answer

  • ButenButen Member Posts: 13 New User
    edited December 2022 Answer ✓

    for anyone with a similar issue and failed bios update etc. i managed to fix the issue with some help from some great people on several bios forums.

    first of all, for anyone working with a failed bios update/bricked machine, take a lesson from me: ALWAYS BACKUP THE BIOS

    this is both prior to updating and also prior to flashing a seemingly corrupted chip, back it up even if you think its already messed up!

    anyways, the issue was directly related to a failed bios update, the acer bios update gui is terrible software, do not rely on it! always use the command prompt or direct bios update method for best safety.

    once my pc was bricked, i tried all the normal steps to attempt recovery from usb, this did not work! from my research, acer is not very good with these types of recoveries. i obtained a dump of the bios for the xc-605 online and programmed it to the chip manually. once complete, my pc was fixed!

    do not attempt to flash the bios file from acer directly, this will NOT work!! the bios file is missing some parts known as the ME region which contains some specific mobo and system data. best bet is to find a clean full dump online for your system or to use your backup to build a working bios dump (takes some skill above my knowledge level)

    i purchased a CH341A device from amazon (cheap) and used a program called NeoProgrammer to manually reprogram the chip. you can find guides for these easily online. basic steps follow below (please do your own research as well as this is a fragile process already):

    1. insert the clip to CH341A and plug into a separate PC install drivers from NeoProgrammer zip
    2. ensure the clip is attached in the correct orientation (NeoProgrammer has a nice image guide)
    3. clip the device onto your BIOS chip (find some schematics for your mobo or check online to find the BIOS chip)
    4. scan in NeoProgrammer, if clipped correctly it will pick up the chip family, read the label on the chip and select the correct one
      1. you may need power plugged into the mobo for the scan to work
    5. do a read in NeoProgrammer, wait for it to finish and then SAVE!! -- this will be your original BIOS dump (IMPORTANT)
    6. open your complete bios file (not the one directly from acer) in NeoProgrammer
    7. on the write drop-down, enable all checkboxes and click write
    8. wait for completion, ensure every step passes successfully
      1. if you have any failures, ensure you are properly clipped to the chip with pin 1 in the right orientation
    9. unclip the CH341A from your BIOS chip
    10. clear cmos using the jumper and remove the BIOS battery and power cable for about a minute or so
    11. plug back in and test!

    fingers-crossed if all went well it should work. in my case all was good but the pc still didnt start. i found out the bios file from acer is incomplete and needed an actual dump of a bios from a working machine to flash (i didnt have a backup so had to find online which was a bit tough). once i flashed the dump bios from a different pc, i was up and running! in my case, the acer bios was 4mb and the chip was 8mb, so something was missing. the full dump i obtained was the perfect 8mb and contained all the necessary data for the system to post and start up again.

    ive attached both NeoProgrammer (contains CH341A drivers) as well as a working bios dump for XC-605, this is a P11.B4 dump.

    hope this information, and my struggles, helps someone in the future!


FAQ & Answers

  • What are the upgraded ram specs and what is the manufacturer that you upgraded to and what is the type of 2.5" SSD that you upgraded to. With the mechanical OEM HDD, make sure that the bios "Boot" is set to 1st boot order and its the HDD as your desktop should boot perfectly. Also, and if your ram is incompatible, you could have the problems that you are having as the XC-605s ram should be of the following specs, DDR3-1600 • CL=11 • NON-ECC • UDIMM • 240-pin • 1.35V • 2Rx8 • PC3-12800 type ram, as the OEM ram 4GB module suggested by Acer is the SODIMM 4G ACR16D3LSI1KFG/4G DDR3L 1.35V - Acer part#: KN.4GB07.015 or SODIMM 4G HMT451S6AFR8A-PB DDR3L 1.35V - Acer part#: KN.4GB0G.022.

    Have you also checked the SATA cables and PSU cables connections and if they work and/or are connected properly, as that could be a problem also. As the symptoms that you are getting with a long booting process of the mechanical OEM HDD is of a drive that is damaged and/or not making a connection, which mechanical drives suffer from extensively and their data can get damaged, especially a boot drive.

    I know that its always great to be smart retrospectively but, you should have first cloned the mechanical boot HDD OS to the SSD drive first and then done all the upgrades of the ram, updated bios (as a bios update should not have been done) try to upgrade the bios to the last Version: P11-B4Ltitled "Modify version for Capsule update function." as that could improve some aspects of your desktop to boot.

    In my opinion there are numerous things that you should look at:

    1. With your boot problem, its because your mechanical boot HDD was damaged in whatever you have done (as connection a mech HDD lots of times to a faulty system can damage these drives) so don't try to boot from that drive as it will not boot.
    2. With the SSD its a connection problem of the SSD drive to the mobo, as a new drive and especially an SSD dive should be recognised automatically, and then you should have the option to format this drive.
    3. Make sure that you systematically annul problems by booting with different components connected, like use the system without the boot drive, and boot only with the ram and see if it boots and the bios info is displayed, then add the HDD and systematically analyze the faults.
  • ButenButen Member Posts: 13 New User

    @StevenGen, thanks for the reply and helping out!

    The RAM specs are one 4GB stick PC3-12800U and one 2GB stick PC3-12800U, the upgraded RAM was an 8GB DDR3 1600. (note that the 4GB+2GB was the original OEM (Kingston) RAM that came with this PC). I've tried all combos of the RAM, single and together since getting the single long beep.

    The SSD is a 1TB Samsung 870 EVO, the SSD works fine as well, and has been tested in terms of booting etc. on another machine. However, it did not appear in the BIOS at all and I couldn't boot from it initially in this computer which prompted me to do an update on the BIOS.

    The OEM HDD does not have any issues in terms of data or booting capabilities. The drive works fine and I tested booting from it in another PC (after this issue) and it worked well and got me into Windows 8.1.

    I have also tried multiple SATA and power cables so those should be fine as I also verified the cables in a different PC.

    Regarding the BIOS version, are you sure we should use the P11-B4L? I did do some research initially and the general info was the 'L' versions are for Linux boxes and to also stick with the same category of BIOS as original. Since it was originally P11.A2 (not P11.A2L) I used the P11.B4 (non-L) version.

    The problem right now does not seem to be directly SSD or HDD related, when I turn on the computer it powers on and I get one long beep and that's all, unfortunately. The fan turns on and the light is solid, but no display or anything on the screen to further troubleshoot. I have also tried booting without the RAM and with/without the SSD/HDD, but I get the same issue.

  • LarryodieLarryodie Member Posts: 963 Seasoned Specialist

    Leave it unplugged OVERNIGHT with the bios battery REMOVED is your only hope unless you can find a way to reflash the bios.

    Powering on when booting probably destroyed the bios but possibly leaving the battery out and UNPLUGGED will get you the default bios. Good Luck.

  • ButenButen Member Posts: 13 New User

    Thanks @Larryodie, I will try leaving it unplugged and removing the BIOS battery overnight.

    In addition, is there any BIOS recovery mode I could enter? I know some laptops have this option but unsure if it is possible on this specific desktop.

  • LarryodieLarryodie Member Posts: 963 Seasoned Specialist

    I copied this but personally., I don't know that it works. One of the conditions would be that you could/can actually boot the USB other than that

    Ebay has some pre-programmed chips for the XC-605. $18.00


    BIOS


    1. On the 8Gb USB stick, create a Windows boot disk. You can do this from here : https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/create-installation-media-for-windows-99a58364-8c02-206f-aa6f-40c3b507420d


    2. On the other USB stick copy the unzipped BIOS update. You can download it from the Acer model's product support page.


    3. Put both of these USB sticks into USB ports on your PC.


    4. Boot to the Windows boot disk. On my Acer, I had to press F12 to select a boot drive, and pick my Windows boot disk.


    5. When the Windows boot disk loads, select "Repair My Computer". It's a small link in the window so look for it.


    6. From the Windows repair options, find the DOS command prompt and open it.


    7. Once in a command prompt, poke the ***** out of drive letters until you find the drive that was assigned to the USB stick which contains the BIOS you want to flash. Mine mounted to drive E.


    8. Once in the drive that contains your BIOS you want to flash, find the .bat file to flash your BIOS.


    9. Execute the DOS command to run the .bat file.


    You may get an error after the .bat process completes, but for me, it actually flashed the BIOS properly.

  • LarryodieLarryodie Member Posts: 963 Seasoned Specialist
    edited December 2022

    My Bad as I didn't see the XC-605 listed on EBAY eprom list but maybe you can ask the seller ?

  • ButenButen Member Posts: 13 New User

    @Larryodie, so i left the BIOS battery out overnight and it didnt help, i still get one long beep and no display.

    The USB boot options you mentioned sound good but unfortunately i cant get to that point in startup as it seems like the system is failing at POST.

    I do think it must be a failed BIOS update, but i feel like there must be some way to restore the BIOS rather than resoldering a new chip (which i have 0 experience with and would likely do more damage lol)

    i also tried making a bootable USB with rufus and placing the update file as RCVBOOT.CAP on root and it didnt seem to help.

  • LarryodieLarryodie Member Posts: 963 Seasoned Specialist

    I'm out of suggestions, perhaps a local computer repair shop could help you, replace the chip or most should have a programmer to do it.

  • ButenButen Member Posts: 13 New User

    ya that might be the next option sadly, thanks for the help!

  • billseybillsey ACE Posts: 26,322 Trailblazer

    Long beep is a ram failure early in POST. Likely one of the sticks isn't fully seated, they are installed in the wrong slots, or a stick has gone bad.

    Note that if all modules aren't the same speed it will run them all at the slowest speed module. So, 1600 across the board is best. (1066, 1333 and 1600 are supported.)

    Click on "Like" if you find my answer useful or click on "Yes" if it answers your question.
  • ButenButen Member Posts: 13 New User

    @billsey yes, unfortunately, i did try the RAM in all configurations several times but no luck :(

  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 40,783 Trailblazer

    ButenIt doesn't help to start multiple threads on the exact same issue. Please try to stay with one thread so we avoid re-hashing and repeating suggestions that haven't resolved the issue yet.

    Jack E/NJ
  • ButenButen Member Posts: 13 New User

    @JackE, both threads are different, one is a request for a bios dump, this is a request for help on the problem im facing overall

    they are related, but different requests

  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 40,783 Trailblazer

    It is unlikely that you'll get the proper dump on these forums. Accordingly I suggest making a request on bios mods forums. Or perhaps trying to find a pre-programmed chip. They are rather large surface mounts that can be changed with ordinary pencil tip tools.

    Jack E/NJ
  • ButenButen Member Posts: 13 New User
    edited December 2022 Answer ✓

    for anyone with a similar issue and failed bios update etc. i managed to fix the issue with some help from some great people on several bios forums.

    first of all, for anyone working with a failed bios update/bricked machine, take a lesson from me: ALWAYS BACKUP THE BIOS

    this is both prior to updating and also prior to flashing a seemingly corrupted chip, back it up even if you think its already messed up!

    anyways, the issue was directly related to a failed bios update, the acer bios update gui is terrible software, do not rely on it! always use the command prompt or direct bios update method for best safety.

    once my pc was bricked, i tried all the normal steps to attempt recovery from usb, this did not work! from my research, acer is not very good with these types of recoveries. i obtained a dump of the bios for the xc-605 online and programmed it to the chip manually. once complete, my pc was fixed!

    do not attempt to flash the bios file from acer directly, this will NOT work!! the bios file is missing some parts known as the ME region which contains some specific mobo and system data. best bet is to find a clean full dump online for your system or to use your backup to build a working bios dump (takes some skill above my knowledge level)

    i purchased a CH341A device from amazon (cheap) and used a program called NeoProgrammer to manually reprogram the chip. you can find guides for these easily online. basic steps follow below (please do your own research as well as this is a fragile process already):

    1. insert the clip to CH341A and plug into a separate PC install drivers from NeoProgrammer zip
    2. ensure the clip is attached in the correct orientation (NeoProgrammer has a nice image guide)
    3. clip the device onto your BIOS chip (find some schematics for your mobo or check online to find the BIOS chip)
    4. scan in NeoProgrammer, if clipped correctly it will pick up the chip family, read the label on the chip and select the correct one
      1. you may need power plugged into the mobo for the scan to work
    5. do a read in NeoProgrammer, wait for it to finish and then SAVE!! -- this will be your original BIOS dump (IMPORTANT)
    6. open your complete bios file (not the one directly from acer) in NeoProgrammer
    7. on the write drop-down, enable all checkboxes and click write
    8. wait for completion, ensure every step passes successfully
      1. if you have any failures, ensure you are properly clipped to the chip with pin 1 in the right orientation
    9. unclip the CH341A from your BIOS chip
    10. clear cmos using the jumper and remove the BIOS battery and power cable for about a minute or so
    11. plug back in and test!

    fingers-crossed if all went well it should work. in my case all was good but the pc still didnt start. i found out the bios file from acer is incomplete and needed an actual dump of a bios from a working machine to flash (i didnt have a backup so had to find online which was a bit tough). once i flashed the dump bios from a different pc, i was up and running! in my case, the acer bios was 4mb and the chip was 8mb, so something was missing. the full dump i obtained was the perfect 8mb and contained all the necessary data for the system to post and start up again.

    ive attached both NeoProgrammer (contains CH341A drivers) as well as a working bios dump for XC-605, this is a P11.B4 dump.

    hope this information, and my struggles, helps someone in the future!


  • LarryodieLarryodie Member Posts: 963 Seasoned Specialist

    Congratulations and thanks for the feedback.

  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 40,783 Trailblazer

    Yes, congratulations. Thanks for in-depth report. Where did you find the RAR?

    Jack E/NJ
  • ButenButen Member Posts: 13 New User

    thanks guys for your assitance, i found the bios file through a deep google search, was a random telegram channel that had a large amount of bios dumps, got lucky and found one for my machine

  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 40,783 Trailblazer

    Thanks. Haven't used them. Seems lucky indeed. 🙂

    Jack E/NJ
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