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Acer Aspire 4738 laptop intermittent shut off

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting and Repair' started by mikey5791, May 1, 2020.

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  1. mikey5791

    mikey5791

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    Jun 7, 2013
    Hi,
    I have been using this Acer Aspire 4738 laptop for many years with no issue. Running windows 7 and use for my daily work but for last two months it is shutting off intermittently. Complete blank display, sometimes it shows blue screen and asked me to restart.
    After restart it still the same problem of shutting off after about 2 min running. I have changed to another internal hard disk to see if it is a software issue but sadly it is not. Also i have replaced new thermal paste and new thermal fan but the same problem occur. The power adapter is tested 19vdc from my dmm.
    Can anyone kindly assist in helping to solve the intermittent problem? Thank you in advance.
     
  2. mikey5791

    mikey5791

    123
    13
    Jun 7, 2013
    Hi,
    Attached two image of aspire 4738 motherboard and thermal fan unit.
    Hope it will help. Thank you.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Bluejets

    Bluejets

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    878
    Oct 5, 2014
    Intermittent problems are the most difficult to track down especially when the unit is in front of you only.
    Ever more again when it is a laptop.

    Blue screen sure sounds like software to me.
    Might be a good time for a trade-in....should be a lot of bargains around in the near future.
     
  4. Martaine2005

    Martaine2005

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    796
    May 12, 2015
    Is this HDD identical with identical software and drivers? Cloned?. It needs to be.
    BSOD is hardware failure or software related.
    Mainly driver issues. Make sure you have the latest drivers.
    This will be difficult as Win 7 is no longer supported. So a WWW search for the latest that support Win 7 is necessary.
    Check Acer web site first.
    The last updates from M$ were deliberately opening a new page explaining no further support. This made mine crash every so often.
    Look at what services are running. Turn off any that you don't need or want. Again, a WWW for each service will explain whether it's required or not.
    The above is a lengthy process sometimes. But you could be lucky and sort it quickly.
    Check what's been changed in the last two or three months and change them back..
    Check and re-seat the memory and anything else that is accessible first.

    Have you run it in safe mode? Do it and see. Try without network settings first.
    Do you have restore disks? This might be your last and final option.

    Martin
     
  5. mikey5791

    mikey5791

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    Jun 7, 2013
    Hi Martin,
    Appreciate your reply. Initially when i thought it might be the hard disk, so i swap a Windows xp installed hdd. It lasts about 10 minutes running Windows xp, then it goes blank.
    It is a regret i didn't keep an identical hdd as backup. Nor do i have any restore disks.
    Whenever i restart the laptop from cold, it brings up a screen saying "windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change.....launch startup repair or start windows normally". I had selected both option of repair and start normal. The repair action is restore and result is completed successfully. Sadly after restore i still can't get into windows. It is surprising that pressing F8 key also unable to lead me to safe mode. Is the windows software corrupted?
    Thanks for being patient enough. I hope for your answer on so many questions.
     
  6. debe

    debe

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    Oct 15, 2011
    Having similar problems with a Toshiba Satellite Pro laptop & Windows 7. Now will not acept Microsoft at all, now going to get a new laptop after 6 years.
     
  7. mikey5791

    mikey5791

    123
    13
    Jun 7, 2013
    Hi,
    I tried changed a new 1GB ddr3 ram and assume the old ram is spoiled. Turned on the laptop, go to bios and saw the ram. Restart but windows still failed to boot. It is the same blue screen. That means it is not a ram memory problem.
    Can anyone help me on this?
    Thanks for any advice out there to fix this issue.
     
  8. Martaine2005

    Martaine2005

    2,909
    796
    May 12, 2015
    Ok, so you seem to have ruled out software, HDD and ram.
    It does sound more like a thermal issue now. But having said that, there are a couple of other things to try first.
    Take the HDD out and turn on the laptop. It will more than likely say "no operating system" or similar.
    Leave it on and see if it shuts down by itself. If it does, put HDD back then take out the battery and try again.
    Purpose of removing the battery is to see whether the power supply will be able to start the laptop. Although you measured 19v with your meter, it may have insufficient amperage due to it failing.
    The messages you are getting suggest it is not starting up properly or shutting down properly.
    Try those first and let us know the outcome.

    Martin
     
  9. mikey5791

    mikey5791

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    13
    Jun 7, 2013
    Hi Martin,
    As you suggested, i took out the hdd and switched on laptop. It displays " no bootable device. Insert boot disk...." It continues on more than 10 min without shut down. Later, i removed the laptop battery and run from mains.
    I inserted Ubuntu live cd and run it for an hour with no shut down. No blue screen or black display or intermittent shut down. From your help it looks like we are reaching towards somewhere now. I hope this is a good sign.
    Do advice on what is the next step to remedy this laptop to full use. Thank you.
    Michael
     
  10. Martaine2005

    Martaine2005

    2,909
    796
    May 12, 2015
    Hi Michael,
    You say that you've been using the laptop for several years with no problems.
    Couple of questions to get me thinking....
    Do you hear the fan when you turn the laptop on? (HDD connected).
    Does the fan continue running or slow down? (HDD connected).
    Same two questions with no HDD and run from LIVE CD....

    Is this laptop a 32 bit or 64 bit?
    The XP and Win7 on both HDDs, are they 32 bit or 64 bit?

    Finally, can you re-check that the unit works and stays on when HDD is disconnected and crashes/shuts down when BOTH xp and win 7 O/S try to boot.
    You still need to try SAFE MODE. F2 as soon as the Acer logo is seen. (be quick)...

    Martin
     
  11. mikey5791

    mikey5791

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    13
    Jun 7, 2013
    Hi Martin,
    Back to your questions, the fan continue to spin with or without hdd.
    This Aspire 4738 laptop is a 64 bit os but the hdd running win xp is a 32 bit system. The system crash when i try boot using the xp hdd. Maybe due to a different bit system detected.
    The other day you had suggested i removed the Win 7 hdd and run linux which i tried. The live cd runs with no hitch. So i had the idea of putting the problematic Win 7 hdd in an external case and perform check disk at my friend laptop which is running Win 7.
    Using his Mini partition tool feature, i click the Rebuild MBR on my hdd since my Win hdd has a boot problem.
    Later i installed this hdd in my Aspire laptop and voila! It boots direct to Win 7 and i test run it for hours last night. Shut down and start test again this morning. It runs smooth and browse internet like before.
    Well, many thanks to you and few others who has been patiently helping to get this laptop to working condition.
     
  12. Bluejets

    Bluejets

    4,150
    878
    Oct 5, 2014
    :rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  13. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    13,617
    1,881
    Sep 5, 2009

    highly probable that's the reason
     
  14. mikey5791

    mikey5791

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    Jun 7, 2013
    Hi,
    Sad to inform this morning the laptop show blue screen displaying "A problem has been detected....the system encountered an uncorrectable hardware error. Tech info stop:0X00000124"
    Guessed i had celebrate too early by not doing enough on further test run.
    I did what i did earlier by rebuild MBR again but this time the hdd do not boot normal to Windows. I ran out of what to do next.
    Can anyone help me on this? Thank you.
     
  15. Martaine2005

    Martaine2005

    2,909
    796
    May 12, 2015
    I think your HDD is failing.
    You should be able to hear it clicking.
    You may have encountered massive areas of bad sectors while scanning the drive?.
    OR
    You have virus/es that have corrupted the MBR again. Some software will also do this too.

    Your 64bit laptop will run 32bit software.
    You can freely download Win 7 and do a fresh install by providing the serial number on your laptops MS label.
    But why?, there is no support or security updates anymore.
    Get another HDD and try.
    Or Migrate to Ubunto of various flavours.
     
  16. bertus

    bertus Moderator

    891
    320
    Nov 8, 2019
    Hello,

    Does the laptop have a CD/DVD drive?
    If so, try to boot for instance a dvd like Hiren's boot CD:
    https://www.hirensbootcd.org/
    Perhaps you will need an older version, wich can be downloaded here:
    https://www.hirensbootcd.org/old-versions/

    When it boots from the CD and keeps running, there is a problem with the HDD and software on the HDD.

    Bertus
     
  17. mikey5791

    mikey5791

    123
    13
    Jun 7, 2013
    Hi Martin,
    Fyi, the hdd no clicking noise. I had checked for virus. Nothing found.
    I had tried with a different hdd running a working Win 7 professional loan from another laptop. The Win 7 os boots properly, then i play a movie which just run about 2 minutes, then the laptop just reboots back to the screen before bios. It is a strange problem that the laptop just auto reboots even with a completely different hdd. Just can't seem to figure out why is this happening.
    I think it may stir the same problem if i install Ubuntu. But it is not possible to install Ubuntu as the laptop does not run more than 5 minutes.
     
  18. mikey5791

    mikey5791

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    Jun 7, 2013
    Hi Bertus,
    Yes, the laptop has a cd drive.
    I will try run Hiren boot cd and hope it keeps running. Wait for my report then. Thanks.
     
  19. mikey5791

    mikey5791

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    13
    Jun 7, 2013
    Hi Bertus,
    It runs and boots from Hiren boot cd and i keep it running for hours. Then i use Avast to scan the hdd, resolved the issue created by Google Chrome. Maybe Google Chrome crash or conflict with my Windows 7. I uninstalled Google Chrome and use Mozilla Firefox now.
    Restart Windows 7 after virus scan and installed Firefox. This time i will shutdown and restart few times and run the os for another week to see if it stays. Hope it is.
     
  20. bertus

    bertus Moderator

    891
    320
    Nov 8, 2019
    Hello,

    As you see, the Hiren's boot CD is good to have around.
    There are many tools on it to solve computer problems.
    I hope that all problems are solved.

    If you want to see if some linux is running on the laptop, you could try some of the many live cd's:
    https://livecdlist.com/

    Bertus
     
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