Acer Aspire IRSQL error

By sfiliber
Jun 16, 2011
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  1. About an hour ago my Acer Aspire 4530 laptop got the IRQL not less or equal error and then froze. I managed to get it turned off, took out the battery for a moment, then put it back in and started up the computer. Now the computer won't boot properly. It will turn on, but the screen will remain black. I can hear the fans going but they sound a bit louder than normal, and I'm also hearing a noise (I don't quite know how to describe it) multiple times that sounds like it's trying to boot, but still nothing is happening. Is this a driver problem? As I know that's what the IRSQL error is usually related to. At this point I'm just hoping it's not dead....any help would be infinitely appreciated!!!
  2. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    This is the official list of possible errors from an IRQL not less or equal BSOD. Did you see a blue screen with the error information?

    Kernel mode driver, System Service, BIOS, Windows, Virus scanner, Backup tool, compatibility.

    So there is more possibilities than just drivers, but memory should also be in that list as this is often the cause as it makes the system believe that a driver is at fault.

    First thing to try is to remove one of your memory modules, then if there is still no boot up swap them over.

    Let us know if this works. Have you installed any new software recently or updated drivers?
  3. sfiliber

    sfiliber TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I did see a blue screen with the error information, but I don't have anything else except the IRQL not_less_or_equal part itself, which I'm sure doesn't do much good at all. From what I vaguely remember, I'm 99% sure virus scanner, backup tool, or compatibility weren't included in the message,though. But like I said I'm sure that doesn't do much good without the exact specifications.

    I haven't updated drivers or installed any new software either, recently, for the record.

    And I'm a little wary of removing the memory modules, mostly since I've never done so before.
  4. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    Don't be scared of taking out the memory but you should only do this when the PC is switched off and the battery removed.

    As you have had a BSOD there should be a minidump saved in your system which you can attach to a post to be analysed. The list of causes I gave above would not have been displayed on the blue screen, windows does not do that it only names the driver that caused the crash, if it has seen one.

    Follow this guide to find and post your minidump file.

  5. sfiliber

    sfiliber TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm going to ask what may be a very stupid and ignorant question, so if it sounds like that I do really apologize.But...

    Is there a plan B since I can't actively GET to my system to see the minidump, since the laptop won't boot properly - and thus, turn on to let me do that - ?
  6. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    Sorry, I was assuming that on occassion you could get it to boot.

    Questions are never stupid just that some are very easy to answer. Plan B would be to take the hard drive out and hook it up to another PC, you can then retrieve the memory dump. There is also plan C to try and boot the PC with a Windows disc (if you have one) and a couple of other options to get things going, have you tried to boot into safe mode?

    The RAM is one of the most common reasons for a PC to fail so try removing the modules as I suggested. Just make sure you remove the power supply and the battery first. Do you know where they are or even if you have more than one?

    Have you got a Windows disc or just Restore discs or neither?

    Do you have access to another PC, laptop or desktop?
  7. sfiliber

    sfiliber TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I do have access to a desktop (thank goodness for that). And I also have a Windows disc, not sure about a restore disc - right now I can't seem to find it, but I do have the Windows one.

    I haven't tried to boot in safe mode, only because nothing is showing up on the screen when I turn it on. The screen is staying black and, like I said, it sounds like it's TRYING to boot but after a minute or so it just shuts off.
  8. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    OK, first try connecting the graphics output to your desktop monitor and see if anything shows up. I think on this laptop you need to hit the Fn and F8 together to get it to switch over or the Fn and F5 keys. You may need to look in your manual.

    Then try what I suggested with the RAM.

    If still no go insert the Windows disc when powered up and then reboot and tell me what happens.
  9. sfiliber

    sfiliber TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, another question before I try anything: how exactly do I connect the graphics output to the desktop monitor?

    As a quick first resort I did try loading the Windows disc and got nothing. Still sounded like it was trying to load/boot but did nothing, screen stayed black, etc.
  10. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    You need to unplug the cable, that goes between the desktop tower and the monitor, from the tower end and plug it into the graphics output on the laptop.
  11. sfiliber

    sfiliber TS Rookie Topic Starter

    That's what I figured, just double checking.

    Tried connecting the graphics output and got nothing on the desktop screen, I take it I should try the RAM option next?
  12. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    Did you use the key combinations that are required to switch to another monitor, as suggested.

    Some laptops will output to an external screen without using any keystrokes but I believe with some you do have to use the Fn key and F5 or F8. You may see an F key that has a picture of a monitor on it. I just want to make sure the external monitor test has been done correctly or the wrong conclusion may be reached.

    And, yes, try the RAM next.
  13. sfiliber

    sfiliber TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah,I was able to find the key combination (the F5 key had the monitor picture on it) and tried that when I did the external monitor test - still got nothing on the desktop screen. I asked a friend of mine who fixes computers for a living and he seemed to think based on what I said it was the RAM, also. So that will be the next thing I try today.
  14. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    Fingers crossed when you pull out one of the RAM modules it will burst back into life, just make sure you unplug the power supply and remove the battery.
  15. sfiliber

    sfiliber TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Alright,at first I tried just popping the RAM out and then popping it back in with no luck. Then I tried swapping them out, also with no luck. FINALLY - I tried removing one of the RAM and it's back up and running! So it looks like the issue the whole time was one bad memory module - which is easily enough replaced.

    I do have one other small question though - since this happened my fans have seemed awfully loud. Louder than normal, that is. Should I be worried about this? It's not an issue of overheating because I just felt the back and bottom and they're cool. But they just seem louder than they were before. If it makes a difference, I did clean the dust off of it when I had the back off of the laptop a few days ago.
  16. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    Glad you found the problem which is as I suspected, that is why I suggested the RAM in my first post. It is one of the most common causes of system failure.

    Not sure what to say about noisy fans, could just be that after removing the dust they just sound louder. If you want to keep an eye on temperatures then use this free software. You can set it up to display the temps in the taskbar. A noisy fan is unlikely to cause a problem, one that isn't working can be fatal.
  17. sfiliber

    sfiliber TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah, the fans aren't really an issue. It was more of a curiosity thing, really.

    Either way thanks for all of your help, I really appreciate it!
  18. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    Your welcome.

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