Peculiar problem with Acer aspire 1690

  silver_surfer108 18:19 31 Mar 2008

My acer aspire 1690 is about 3 years old. About 3 months ago, a peculiar problem began to occur whilst using my laptop. Be it browsing on the net, or chatting on IM, a clicking-beep sound would occur ONCE (which I believe was coming from the HDD) and the laptop would just freeze while the 'busy' LED would just remain constantly lit. A few seconds later, the plug n play theme sound would play, the same as when you insert a usb device and remove one.

The clicking beep sound is exactly the same as when I hold and press the power button, and the laptop turns off. Its from one of the components inside the laptop, but I think its the HDD. Occasionally if I was lucky, a few seconds after freezing, all would return to normal, only for the whole thing to occur again about 30 mins later. Eventually when it did happen again, it wouldnt 'unfreeze' and remain like this until I had no option but to hold the power button and turn the laptop off.

After a few days, the laptop refused to boot up, instead I would see the message:

Broadcom UND1 PXE-2.1

PXE-E61 : Media test failure, check cable.
PXE-M0F : Exiting Broadcom PXE ROM
Operating system not found.

It would do this every time I turned the laptop off and then back on. Occassionaly, if I was lucky after about 20 times, the laptop would boot up, only for the whole freezing thing to start happening again in exactly the same way.

My father and I thought there was something wrong with the HDD. I scanned it using chkdsk, and I also downloaded the manufacturers scanner, none showed any problems with the HDD. Nevertheless we still thought it was the HDD that was the root of the problem and so my father bought a new one about 6 weeks ago.

After taking the old one out and replacing with the new one, I re-installed windows on the new HDD and everything was working well. However, about 6 days ago, that dreaded plug n play sound started playing, and the click bleep sound would occur, though this time it was different (I suspect its because of the new HDD). However, the laptop wouldnt freeze, I was still able to use it as normal. That changed today however, and now 3 times in the last 2 hours, its began to freeze completely with the HDD LED lit constantly. I've left it for about 5 minutes, but it still remained frozen, so I just turned it off.

I would appreciate any input from members here, as I have no clue to as what is happening. I'm convinced it can't be the HDD, as the new one is only 6 weeks old.

PS- After turning off and turning back on, its booting up as normal, but I don't want to turn it on any more until I have this problem sorted, as I fear it could damage the HDD.Also, my powerjack has been damaged for quite some time, it only works when the adapter is plugged in 'a certain way'. I'm not sure if thats relevant but I thought it worth mentioning.

Thank you.

  woodchip 18:25 31 Mar 2008

Have you tried running Disc Checker on the C:\ drive? double click My Computer Right click C:\ Properties\Tools Disc Check do full check.

I would say you need a new drive. So you should Image the Old Drive while it still works with Acronis True Image. You can then restore the Image to the new Drive

  silver_surfer108 18:32 31 Mar 2008

Hey woodchip, yes I've scanned the drive using disk checker and also the manufacturers scanner, none showed any problems. I did the same with my previous HDD and again it didn't show any problems. However we originally believed the HDD was damaged so we bought a new one, however the exact same problem has began to occur on this new HDD. I don't see how the HDD could get damaged so quickly.

I've had a few responses from other forums, I've been told that the problem is either with the motherboard, or the DC Jack has caused some problems.

  woodchip 18:39 31 Mar 2008

The the first thing to fix, Is what you know is Broken But it means at least the Laptop taking in bits, Not to be recommended if you have never tried it. Then the Socket either re-soldering or a new socket fitted on the motherboard. It may even need a new MOBO. But you will not know until you investigate it

  silver_surfer108 18:45 31 Mar 2008

Thanks for the advice woodchip, much appreciated. Yes the first step is to fix that DC jack problem, for all I know it might have caused damage to the motherboard and this could be the cause of the entire problem.

However, I'm still confused about one thing. Why did the laptop work fine for 5 weeks after fitting in a new HDD, and only now the problem has started to occur again. I think its impossible for me to have damaged a brand new HDD in only 5 weeks from regular downloading/usage.

  woodchip 20:12 31 Mar 2008

Printed circuit may have been partly torn, and lasted for a bit before it finally packed in

  silver_surfer108 21:07 31 Mar 2008

Thank you woodchip for your informative answers, its much appreciated :)

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