Acer Aspire Laptop with wierd boot problem - Is it the RAM or something else?

I have a weird problem with my laptop, an Acer Aspire 5542G.

It's been a week now, since my laptop started having boot problems. By pressing POWER ON, the laptop did not boot. That means: no BIOS, no POST, no HDD led, no keyboard locks, no display (even on external monitor, VGA and HDMI). But, there was action inside, like CPU (fan), HDD, DVD starting. It even heated up normally.

But after some trials, it worked perfectly, like there was no problem. And it had stayed on for at least five hours, without any freeze/bsod/etc, until I shut it off.

The next day the same boot problem appeared. I believed that the problem was the RAM (3GB, 2 modules 1GB, 2GB). I tried playing with those two modules (replacing, using just one in both slots, etc). The result was that sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. There was no pattern, so as to prove me that either RAMs or slots were the issue. But it is the only place which affects the boot result, after a little change. Battery or adapter changes did not have any impact.

The problem became more complicated and, well, bizarre, after realizing that sometimes, with a little push on the plastic region above the RAMs (left of touchpad) or shake before pressing power button, the laptop would boot normally (which probably meant that the there was a problem with handles of the RAM slots). But, once started, it works like a charm. No freezing, no sudden shuttoffs. Windows works normally. Even after mildly shaking the whole thing! And frustration rises to the roof, when by turning it off and back on again or by rebooting, guess what: No boot!

To sum up, it feels like it there is a problem, that prevents the laptop from booting, located around the RAM region. But if the problem is overcome, there is nothing preventing the laptop from working flawlessly for hours.

I didn't try using someone else's laptop parts for testing, because of the fear of them getting damaged too.

I am running out of ideas. Your help would be much appreciated!

Thank you for bearing with me in this long post and for any ideas you can think of!
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  1. Hmmm, Well I can only think of two things that can be causing this issue. Here are a few ideas to finding a solution to your issue.
    First, You should open up the back of the case where the fans and grills are, when inside give the laptop a good cleaning(Although this depends on how much time you have actually had the computer). Its just good practice to clean the fans out every now and again if you don't. Anyway, Whilst inside the case. Find the RAM which as you said is located in the touchpad region of the laptop. Now Acer Aspire series laptops can get quite hot when running. And underneath the RAM there is the socket which the RAM connects into. When inside due to the heat and in such an enclosed area the sockets can gather dust and block the connections to the RAM which can mess up the ram. As you said when you shake the laptop it boots correctly. Now just unclip the RAM and pull out "Gingerly" xD. Now give the RAM a good blow with some Good ole' air. Or canned air in a canister. I personally prefer canned air as it gives more force when it hits the component, Therefore, getting more dust and whatnot off that component. Then when you are done plug the RAM back in. Oh, and don't forget to blow on the part where the RAM connects into the socket.

    Anyway, My second idea is that it may be a good idea to buy some new RAM. Its pretty cheap depending on what size and speed it is. It may be faulty, and not connecting into the socket correctly.

    Last, if all else fails then you can always contact the Acer support(They are very friendly and will get to you in a very short space of time).

    All regards and good luck with your RAM,
    -James(The guy who just answered your question xD).
  2. Thanks for the reply!

    Yeah, my laptop overheats a lot, and I had to dust the grills and heatsinks off plenty of times, even had to reapply thermal paste on the CPU couple of months ago, which helped dropping down those temps (never had any other problem those past two months, though).
    I have just finished cleaning it, and the problem goes on.
    I don't know... It feels like it works whenever it wants to, just to piss me off! xD!
  3. Hi, I have a similar issue with my acer aspire 5542G, were you able to solve your problem?
  4. jpo1976 said:
    Hi, I have a similar issue with my acer aspire 5542G, were you able to solve your problem?


    Not entirely. Back then, I sent it over to an electrician. He found a burnt component around the RAM sockets on the mobo (i can't remember what it was, since it's been over ten months). It had been working fine for around three months. Around June, the problem came back and is still here, but it's not as annoying as before. By that, I mean that it will turn on after just two trials. After turning on, it can reboot, go to sleep and wake up without any problems.

    I need to note that sometimes, when i use just the battery, i turns on instantly. I may have a broken power supply right now...
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