Advice Needed Acer nettop stopped booting

jeallen01

jeallen01

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The N4620G nettop is, I think, a laptop-based motherboard in a mains-powered very SFF chassis, and has been working fine for a long time, and even over last night and for most of today.

Then, having left it ON but not in use for a few hours, I noticed that it had rebooted to the ACER Flash screen and just halted there - then no change after multiple manual reboots, and, whilst, it emits one single beep and tries to respond to keyboard (wired) key presses, it just freezes at that screen. Won't even enter the BIOS setup screen after pressing the correct access F-key.

From what I've read, it could be due to anything from HDD failure, RAM failure/displacement to M/B failure - so will have to take it apart (which is a very fiddly job!) in a day or so to see if I can find anything obviously wrong but does anyone have any other ideas as to what's gone wrong???
 
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Mickha

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The beeps should tell you what's wrong, if you can find the motherboard manufacturers website and get a list of beep errors.
Usually a PC runs in a set pattern, based on the BIOS, starting with the memory check, and then finding devices connected, like your hard drives, and DVD writers, the fact that your not able to access the BIOS, which you should even before the hard drive is recognized, suggests that the problem lies with the memory check, or the keyboard not working, at the point of booting up.
Often the first part to go, on any PC, is the PSU, but this doesn't appear to be your problem.
If it was me I'd first remove the memory, which you might have access to, and check if the error beeps are the same.
 
jeallen01

jeallen01

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Mickha

Thanks - 1 beep is quite normal for ACER m/b's, and I don't think there's an issue with the keyboard as such (has worked fine before), However, but I tend to agree that a likely cause is the RAM (2x 4GB DDR3 SODIMMs) which may have become slightly displaced during longterm heat issues, or else one of them has failed - but I have a spare one in another chassis. At least I hope that to be the case as it would mean more time "lost" but no more expense!
 
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Terryl

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What I get from some sites about beep codes is that a single beep and nothing working after that could mean a BIOS failure.

This all depends on the motherboard manufacture, a single beep on some means everything OK and ready to boot from hard drive.

On one site it shows that a single short beep means that the memory refresh circuitry has failed, or a DRAM refresh failure.

Do you have more info on the motherboard?

Is it a short or long beep?
 
jeallen01

jeallen01

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@Terryl

As I said to Mickha, 1 beep is quite normal for this m/b, and I will check the other N4620G I have (and in which I "killed" the CPU with a ham-fisted "repair" a couple of years ago) to find the model of m/b. Therefore a DRAM issue seems to be a "prime suspect".
 
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Terryl

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Yes one beep is normal, but is it a long or short beep??

As a short beep may mean the DRAM is the problem.
 
jeallen01

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Yes one beep is normal, but is it a long or short beep??

As a short beep may mean the DRAM is the problem.
Good point as, TBH, I never really noted how long that 1 beep was when the m/c booted normally, so it could have been either a short one or a long one!

Can't do much tomorrow as other jobs will have priority, but on Tuesday I will (carefully!) take the m/c apart and reseat the existing DRAM and see if that fixes the problem.
 
jeallen01

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Long-overdue update: traced the issue to a loose "something or other" after the m/c "responded" to a "good thump" and then did boot! Happened several times over a few days.

Finally fixed the problem last week when I took it apart to clean & reseat both SODIMMS, and installed a 120GB SSD.

The SSD has to be a very "funny one" though because. whilst the existing HDD uses a normal SATA connection, there is a 2nd - but totally dissimilar and with a much smaller connector - space for a second solid state drive - it looks like this 3.5mm Mini mSATA SATA 6.0 Gbps Internal Solid State Drive SSD PC Laptops Desktop | eBay !

Was a bit dubious if it would actually work, but, having installed it, I managed to clone the C:\ partition of the existing 500GB HDD to it using Macrium Reflect Free, and Windows "Intelligent Boot" then automatically reassigned that to be the Boot drive - with the old C:\ partitition assigned a new drive letter (H:\ as the HDD already had D:\, E:\, F:\ & G:\ partitions) - and it all works pretty well :D
 
Terryl

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A good THUMP from a big hammer (BFH) fixes a lot of problems, glad you got it working.

I use a standard pencil eraser to clean up any contact before putting things back together, my big problem now is what to do with all the left over parts that I can't remember were they go?
 
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my big problem now is what to do with all the left over parts that I can't remember were they go?
Yes those screws breed like rabbits, always one or two spare after reassembly
 
jeallen01

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The Acer is a real "LEGO job" as the construction is totally different to a normal desktop, or even a laptop - but I used an old egg box to hold the many and various screws and other small bits when I took it apart - everything then went back in its right place and there were no bits left over :D
 
jeallen01

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AND THEN a BIG W10 Update last week totally "fried" the ACER - won't even boot past the Splash screen or let me into the BIOS , and, after a lot of testing, I finally concluded that it has become an "ex-PC", probably due to excessive overheating of the CPU during the "update".:angry:

Anyway, finally decided that I had had enough of those nettops and went looking for something else, and with more expansion possibilities.

So, I found this - HP ElliteDesk 800 G2 = good iCore I5-6500 quad core processor, 8GB RAM,500GB HDD, 4x expansion slots (my DVBSky 952 DVB S2 card is now already in there), lots of USB3 ports, Win 10 Pro (+ wired k/b & mouse) for £170 delivered (but a 4GB upgrade to 8GB of RAM cost an extra £20) with 60 day warrantee.:D

Very clean and (at least by my standards) very quick even without an SSD, and so I'm very pleased with it and almost tempted to buy another one to take over as the main PC - but holding off on that I have spent an awful lot on other things over the last few days!

Only "fly in the ointment" was the totally ABYSMAL delivery performance from DPD, the courier service - it should have been here last Friday, but it "got stuck" several times and only arrived on Tuesday!
 
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We use quite a few of these 800 G2's at work. Thet are decent little machines.
 
jeallen01

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We use quite a few of these 800 G2's at work. Thet are decent little machines.
I think it was a relative bargain at that price.

Once the warrantee period has expired, I'll put an SSD in as the boot drive (usefully, it has 3x SATA ports on the M/B, so I won't lose the DVD drive) and then it should be even quicker, and a VGA port and TWO displayports - so, currently, one monitor connected to the VGA port and another to one of the displayports, but I'll dispense with the VGA o/p now that a cheap displayport-VGA adapter has arrived.
 
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"Old" Dells & HPs can be a really good buy for the value of the parts alone. In saying that the prices of the Optiplex models by Dell have creeped up a lot no doubt due to these bloody YouTubers:-doh
 
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With the 'value of parts', are you talking about metal recovery or use as a modern machine with some refinements such as SSD ?

I'm rather shocked at the number of Apple G5 aluminium towers that have been appearing at the local tip. These have an almost perfectly shielded chassis and the power supplies go on almost indefinitely.
 
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Reuse of the machine, sometimes the value of the RAM and CPU alone make it a worth while venture, just slap in a £20 Kingston SSD for a boot drive and of you go.
 
jeallen01

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According to ebay, the CPU in the HP goes for around 90 quid, + a tenner for the heatsink & fan, and then add another £25 for the HDD - so that's around £125 to start with :D
And then twenty quid for 4GB of DDR4 :D
 
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