I killed it! DAMN MEEEEE

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Nemiro
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I killed it! DAMN MEEEEE

Postby Nemiro » Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:09 pm UTC

Interesting title lures lurkers..

I appear to have bricked my (second hand) aspire one, and am not sure what to do next.. obviously it's out of warranty (it's the AOA110 [ZG5]), so acer aren't going to be much help (without throwing cash at them). I'm unsure as to the extent of the deadness, really. I attempted to flash the bios using the "FN-ESC" method, which never rebooted, so I removed the cable and battery to shut it down (I'm not a patient person).. Google doesn't bring up a definitive answer one way or the other for whether this kills laptops. Anyhow, it now doesn't power up. When I insert the power cable or the battery the power light and charge light come on very briefly and then go off (pressing the power button does nothing). Did I fuck up some power circuitry or something?

EDIT: I'm probably going to first attempt changing the bios chip... Which means doing some soldering of surface mount components! Yayy! Although in previous examples of this kind of "deadness" it is recommended to disassemble the device and attempt to power it up with the bare minimum attached.. sounds odd.. input?
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luisfshort
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Re: I killed it! DAMN MEEEEE

Postby luisfshort » Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:04 pm UTC

hi Namiro,

I am guessing that when you removed the cable and battery, the BIOS flashing might still have been going on, or got hanged somehow. I don't think computers take too kindly to being interrupted when trying to flash the bios, and now your bios is in a state where you can't boot it up enough to flash the bios. That is why they always tell you to ensure you have the power attached when you do things like that.

Maybe there is a way to reset it to factory default, somehow? On old PCs, there used to be battery-backed BIOS (with a little watch battery), so if the system lost power for long enough the battery would keep the bios alive, and the clock would remain in time. Maybe there's a way to revert your machine back to the factory state, akin to removing the battery on those old PCs.

I wouldn't suggest un-soldering the chip, you're more likely to completely damage the hardware that way -- but I understand where you're coming from, if it's already busted.

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hintss
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Re: I killed it! DAMN MEEEEE

Postby hintss » Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:37 pm UTC

do you have a bus pirate or an arduino handy?

you may be able to copy that guy on hackady who fixed an eee with a broken BIOS using an arduino

Nemiro
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Re: I killed it! DAMN MEEEEE

Postby Nemiro » Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:44 pm UTC

luisfshort wrote:I am guessing that when you removed the cable and battery, the BIOS flashing might still have been going on, or got hanged somehow.

I am also suspecting that (the screen remains blank during the process so there's no way to tell). Chalk that one up to experience XD. Am thinking it may have been due to a wrongly formatted USB stick (FAT32 as opposed to FAT16).

luisfshort wrote:Maybe there is a way to reset it to factory default, somehow?

I guess I could try removing the watch battery on the mainboard and hope it reset the bios.. doubt it though.

luisfshort wrote:I wouldn't suggest un-soldering the chip, you're more likely to completely damage the hardware that way -- but I understand where you're coming from, if it's already busted.

I am rather hoping this is not my only solution :D

hintss wrote:do you have a bus pirate or an arduino handy?
you may be able to copy that guy on hackaday who fixed an eee with a broken BIOS using an arduino

Do you have a link to that? (I'll google it anyway, just want to be sure of finding the same article). Sounds interesting and I do have an Arduino - I've not used it yet though save for the "hello world" LED Blink program, so anything with that will be a learning process.

I've not soldered a lot of things and am not particularly confident in either my skills or my low quality iron.. so anything less drastic than replacing the chip would be awesome.

EDIT:
Would this be the case you meant?
http://www.electronicslab.ph/forum/index.php?topic=11287.0

Looks like soldering is still involved (excuse to buy a better iron/station I guess), but I'll give it a read.. never written C# either, but I have done Java and I hear they're pretty similar.
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hintss
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Re: I killed it! DAMN MEEEEE

Postby hintss » Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:59 pm UTC

the guy on hackaday looked up the datasheet for the chip (no idea how he knew which chip it was), then figured out how to interface it with an arduino.

I'm pretty sure that theres another way to recover from a bad BIOS flash on an aspire one. try looking through the aspireoneuser forums

and is that the aspire one that came with a poorly made linux install made by acer?

Nemiro
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Re: I killed it! DAMN MEEEEE

Postby Nemiro » Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:10 am UTC

hintss wrote:I'm pretty sure that theres another way to recover from a bad BIOS flash on an aspire one.

If there is, I haven't yet found it. If you're referring to holding Fn+Esc before boot with a USB stick with the zgiasomething.fd and flashit.exe, yada yada yada... that's what started this mess :D
(Then I pulled the power, but that's my fault).

hintss wrote:and is that the aspire one that came with a poorly made linux install made by acer?

It was indeed. I got this machine second hand (in the week or so I used it, no reason to suspect this is caused by anything but me), and the previous owner had switched it to Ubuntu NBR (and never told me the root password). I put arch on it, and was attempting to flash the bios in order to get suspend working with the SD card mounted as /home.
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hintss
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Re: I killed it! DAMN MEEEEE

Postby hintss » Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:15 am UTC

ubuntu has disabled root, just a main user account and a bunch of other accounts for pulse and such, and the card readers work if they have a card in at POST. thats why i keep a 64MB card in all the time. and in my usage, I don't need more space.

Nemiro
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Re: I killed it! DAMN MEEEEE

Postby Nemiro » Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:50 pm UTC

hintss wrote:ubuntu has disabled root, just a main user account and a bunch of other accounts for pulse and such, and the card readers work if they have a card in at POST. thats why i keep a 64MB card in all the time. and in my usage, I don't need more space.


I was just referring to the password in general - and if I can't sudo (which is why I said "root") I can't add new users nor remove one called "eee" XD. The SD card I was referring to (if I referred to one at all) was a 16GB in the left slot, which I use for /home, so it is always in. Suspend shouldn't have been a problem, and the archwiki suggested an updated bios or a custom-kernel (which is now outdated and not recommended by the maintainer).
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hintss
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Re: I killed it! DAMN MEEEEE

Postby hintss » Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:54 am UTC

can't you hold shift, get into the grub2 boot menu, then went into recovery mode (ubuntu dosen't have a password on that)?
Both my slots work if a card is in at boot, but I haven't tried big cards yet...

Nemiro
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Re: I killed it! DAMN MEEEEE

Postby Nemiro » Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:33 pm UTC

I could probably do that if I hadn't already wiped the HDD and installed arch, then bricked the bios chip ;)

Just waiting on a new soldering iron, then I can have a go at replacing the thing. Should be a fun experience, soldering surface mount components XD
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v1nsai
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Re: I killed it! DAMN MEEEEE

Postby v1nsai » Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:44 pm UTC

I think your on the right track replacing the BIOS chip. Whether the BIOS flash froze or you interrupted it basically mean that BIOS is fucked and computers with no BIOS don't do much. I never flash BIOS updates that are newer than a few months old, I once flashed a BIOS update directly from Dell's website and bricked my system, then did some research and realized I wasn't the only one. Dell replaced the board for free (damn straight) and I noticed the update pulled soon after from the support site.

I feel nothing short of absolute terror every time I flash a BIOS for customers now. It usually goes just fine but sometimes........
C:\dos
C:\dos.run
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