starting to experience an intermittent, but (more) frequent windows forced close due to device driver problem. "Geek" at unnamed store where I bought it suggested the motherboard may be bad, or at least the graphics card might be at fault. can I get a new motherboard for it, should I, and what should I expect to spend for it? thanks in advance
Your original board uses an nvidia 7100/geforce 630a chipset and ddr2 if you can find it; ebay or pricewatch may be your best bet. You may also need a new windows coa; the original only works with an acer board. $50 should cover it. Or you can use an Intel g31 or g41 chipset board for about the same price.
Without knowing for sure it looks to be smaller than a normal mATX which makes things complicated. Found a couple of expensive ones on google shopping but for the price you could get a replacement mATX and a case at retailers.
I have to agree with rolli59. Buying a standard-sized case should be considered an investment rather than an expense; once you buy a standard-ATX case, the only thing standing in the way of any upgrades you would ever want is a new motherboard and processor.
That being said, some information I found online suggests that the X1700 uses a microATX form-factor motherboard. There are a number of Sandy Bridge microAtx motherboards; recommend that you run a search of newegg with the term "lga1155 microatx."
A couple of other notes and amplifications -- the yahoo answer that I cite above makes the determination that since the Aspire x1700 has a NVIDIA MCP73PV motherboard and since gateway also has a NVIDIA MCP73PV motherboard that _happens_ to be micro-ATX, the Aspire's is micro-ATX as well.
Frankly, in my opinion this is too tenuous of proof -- I can't seem to find any other information on the public web about this and the Acer documentation seems loathe to say what the form factor of the motherboard actually is. I would imagine that Acer could have put the MCP73PV set-up in any form-factor it wants.
Additionally, some documentation from Acer (https://support.acer.com/acerpanam/desktop/0000/Acer/As...) suggests that this unit has a 220watt power supply. I would question whether a power supply of this size could power a third-party motherboard, particularly since the P67 version of the new Sandy Bridge motherboards do not have on-board video -- you'd have to get the H67 version of the SB motherboards, which do offer an on-board video interface.