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Acer Aspire 5100 laptop black screen after upgrading to 4GB RAM

By CMichael ยท 11 replies
Aug 3, 2011
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  1. Hello.
    I have an Acer Aspire 5100 laptop with Windows XP Media Center Edition. This past weekend, I tried to upgrade to 4GB of RAM. After replacing the old RAM sticks with the new, I am getting nothing but a black screen after turning on my laptop. The mouse and keyboard I usually keep plugged in the USB ports do not work. There is no sound, nor does any monitor that I've tried hooking up to my Acer display anything as well. I've tried every key combination I could come in mind with, but nothing works. I can't access the BIOS, nor anything else. The HDD indicator light flashes green for only a few seconds after powering up the laptop. I'm not for certain if the laptop keyboard is functioning either. I'm unable to turn the NUM LOCK on or off. The CD/DVD drive runs normally, I assume. I'm able to pop in a disc and can hear it running normally. I've also tried placing the old RAM I had previously used back in the laptop, but there is still no change.
    I've run out of options and am curious if anyone here would be able to assist me. Your help is much appreciated.
    Thank you.
  2. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    If adding the old RAM doesn't change the way it behaves there is another issue.

    When you added the RAM, did it involve stripping the laptop down? Or simply removing a cover on the underside of the laptop?

    If it involved a strip down, it sounds to me like the video connector has been disturbed, or not been reconnected, hence you cannot see anything as the display is not powering up.

    Obviously if you didn't strip it down there is another issue.
  3. CMichael

    CMichael TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for responding to my thread. I did not strip it down as you said. I simply removed the back cover, took out the two 512MB RAM sticks and replaced them both with the two 2GB. I'm concerned though, because I forgot to remove the battery. After replacing the RAM, all is displaying is just a black screen, with no sound at all. The mouse nor keyboard I plug in the USB port are working. I'm not for certain if the laptop keyboard is functioning, either. I assume something did go wrong, but I'm not for sure what exactly happened. I'm worried that my laptop is now ruined. I have important files that I did not back up. It's a shame that this happened.
    I'm not a major computer tech or anything for that matter, so I can't basically fool around with it and suddenly know what the problem is. I'd also rather buy another laptop than take it to a shop and pay someone to tell me that I'd have to buy this/that in order to have it fully working again.
  4. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    Was the laptop powered off or in standy?

    Remove the battery and give it a couple of mins, then re-insert and see if it will power up.

    Also try swapping around the two 512mb RAM sticks, and see if it boots. It could be badly seated RAM, but I've come across the same issue a few times before and swapping the sticks around solved it. Strange but true. :haha:
  5. CMichael

    CMichael TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The laptop was powered off when I placed the new RAM in the first time.
    I tried to swap the two 512MB RAM sticks around, but still no change.
  6. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,839   +193

    Replaced what you installed and see what happen? Does it work now. Your BIOS should be updated before you add any RAM. Some RAM might be BAD too or just won't work with your laptop.
  7. CMichael

    CMichael TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The RAM I bought is "4GB (2x2GB) SODIMM PC2-5300 Acer Aspire 5100 MEMORY" as it says from the description off EBAY. If that's not compatible, then I must be either blind or ignorant.
    I've swapped both the old RAM with the new so many times I believe I lost count, which is why I'm seeking answers. Did I update the BIOS? Apparently, I did not. Perhaps I should have looked for a better guide.
    Any suggestions?
  8. CAMusing

    CAMusing TS Enthusiast Posts: 179

    The battery can still hold charge which can surge your hardware.
  9. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,839   +193

    Was this memory in a sealed OEM package? I've got memory off ebay for ACER/Gateway desktop tower and it didn't boot-up the tower. The issue was the memory was faulty one stick.

    You should always know which RAM is good but keeping it away from the other. Use a marker to mark the good RAM you had in there. Just one stick at a time to see which one works. Some ACER laptops don't like certain memory stick. I had upgraded 3GB 17.3 ACER to 4GB and it didn't seen the new RAM. I had to match what was being used with the same brand. Then it worked.
  10. CMichael

    CMichael TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The RAM I bought did come in sealed OEM packages. And when you say "Use a marker to mark the good RAM you had in there", I don't quite follow you.
    The RAM I bought off EBAY is a completely different brand, but is supposed to be compatible. I've checked with the seller, and even online on numerous sites.

    I've reinstalled the two 512MB RAM sticks I had in there, and no change.
    I've swapped around the two 512MB RAM sticks and still no change.
    I did the same with the two 2GB RAM sticks I bought, and still no change.
    I've tried to install only one 2GM RAM stick in there as well as one of the 512MB RAM sticks, and still no change,
    I powered up the laptop without the battery inside, but with the charger plugged in.
    I powered up the laptop with the battery inside, but with no charger plugged in.
    When installing the RAM, I DID NOT leave the battery inside, except for the first time.

    I appreciate your effort to help, but it doesn't look like I'll be getting any results soon. If I find a solution, I'll post back later just in case others end up in the same

    Thanks again.
  11. kristain

    kristain TS Rookie Posts: 46

    Acer Aspire Laptop Black Screen


    Try following method to get rid of Black screen problem.
    2) REMOVE YOUR AC ADAPTOR CORD, that's the wall power, remove it.
  12. SimonW

    SimonW TS Rookie

    Acer Aspire 5100 Black Screen

    Hi CMichael, Not sure if you've fixed this yet. I had the same problem at first (but mine worked ok with one 2 GB stick). I found the solution after a search online. Disconnect the power supply. Remove the battery. Remove both memory cards. Underneath you'll find a jumper (two small bare electrical connections) which you can short with a flat head screwdriver. Put the memory cards back in, replace the battery etc. I was nervous about doing it but when I put both 2 GB cards back in it worked a treat.

    I then backed everything I needed off my hard drive and went for a Win 7 (x64) rebuild. I now have a Win 7 64-bit 4GB on my Acer working great. It's like having a new pc for a fraction of the price.

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