Jul 27, 2012
Hi, my Acer laptop switches on but does not boot at all.
The screen is black, as in no backlight, no cursor, no OS, nothing visible.
No signs of life on screen.

No HDD light. Barely any sound (maybe faint sound of power on though)

I shone a light on the screen just to be sure
and still nothing. Like there's no input on the laptop screen.

I connected the laptop to my TV
via HDMI and VGA cables on separate occasions
and still nothing shows up on the TV.

Guessing this rules out the screen being the problem.

What say the experts?
Is the GPU dead?
Static damage somewhere?
Is there something going wrong with
the CMOS battery or
is the motherboard circuitry not discharged properly?

Some background:

This happened before (might be the same problem)
and last time I fixed it by replacing the CMOS (BIOS) battery
after it (probably) ran out after 5+ years of owning the laptop;
it was a CR2032 coin shaped battery.

A temporary fix that sometimes worked the first time this problem happened,
was to boot the laptop with the help of a USB which had some kinda
software to help booting. Recovery tools? Can't remember.

Either the battery ran out again a few months later
or something else has gone wrong.

The first time this problem happened, it appeared to have happened while using hibernation
a lot of days in a row. (Which for 99% of the time I had the laptop I did not do use that feature
and most of the time just switched on/off the PC and offed it from the socket usually.)
Perhaps that caused the CMOS battery to drain faster both times?

But I think I tried BOTH replacing the CMOS battery AND
trying the boot USB temporary fix and THIS TIME NEITHER are working.

Also tried swapping the RAM sticks and all other (2 RAM sticks / 2 SLOTS) combinations
including trying no RAM sticks at all
(I don't think I have any other RAM sticks to test out).
Still nothing on screen.

Any ideas?
What could I try?
And is this a software or hardware problem?
Ask questions if it would help narrow down the problem. :)

It seems to me that it's a hardware problem already. (GPU) You've pretty much done all the possible troubleshooting steps to identify what the problem is.
- First you've already tried connecting an external monitor which didn't work.
- You've also had reseated the RAM's.
- Replaced the CMOS battery already

Additional troubleshooting.
- Remove the battery and connect just the AC adapter and see if that will boot up.
- Next is to open the laptop, disconnect the ribbon cable that connects the LCD to the motherboard then connect your external monitor.
- If both these will not work then the problem lies in the GPU.


Jul 27, 2012
Ok in regards to your additional troubleshooting steps:

-When you say remove the battery, you mean the CMOS battery right?
I've tried booting withOUT the CMOS battery in and still won't boot.

-I will see if I can try the ribbon cable disconnection thing you said.

-Is it possible I need to let the circuitry discharge before putting the new battery?
How long should I wait? I've tried short circuiting the contacts that
connect to the CMOS battery (instead of waiting a day or whatever) then
just added the new CMOS battery. Did I do something wrong?
The laptop doesn't have jumpers for this thing as far as I can see.

In the mean time, does this indicate anything?
Hoping the GPU is not the problem as last time
I couldn't boot (probably due to dead-ish CMOS battery after 5+ years)
short circuiting the CMOS contacts for 10 seconds and adding
a new CMOS battery worked but now it won't.

Really hoping the GPU is still alive but
if it's dead, what could have caused it?
Seems so random. And would there be any way to get it working again?