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Quiksilver07070
Quiksilver07070, Computer Support Specialist
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 793
Experience:  Consultant within every computer and networking category. Troubleshoot and maintain various operating systems. Sales Engineering.
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I've bricked (pretty much) my Acer E-15. What kind of

Customer Question

Hello, I've bricked (pretty much) my Acer E-15. What kind of expense and it's relation to success in solving this problem?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Computer
Expert:  Quiksilver07070 replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for choosing JUSTANSWER.com

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It depends on HOW the machine was "bricked" to determine IF it is possible to recover, and the approximate cost would be.

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So, How did you manage to "brick" this machine? Was it dropped? Did you flash the BIOS? Is there any water damage?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Running via the PXE boot off a server. Finally just installed Debian on the device. After trying to reset it to boot off the HDD instead of the PXE boot rom, it would never change and continue to boot off the PXE server. After a few days of this, this is a passworded option for the BIOS, that Acer claims is not theirs. I purchased this new and it came out of the box with these passwords in tact. I finally, out of frustration and no help from Acer, I removed the motherboard and un-soldered the battery (CMOS). After 10 minutes I reassembled it. It then started with the no boot deviceA new motherboard is about 150 bucks, this PC cost under 200 bucks and a newer quad core is less than 200, but I hate to just pitch it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Still there?
Expert:  Quiksilver07070 replied 1 year ago.

Okay, that shoudl NOT have bricked the device. I suggest you change the BOOT order priority, and maybe try to boot from a CD, or from a USB.

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Also, when you take the CMOS battery OUT, it does not remove passwords from the OS, or from the TPM chip....all it does is clear the BIOS, but it should clear any BIOS passwords. Also, when you remove the CMOS battery, you have to also touch the battery terminals together, to drain any remaining power left in the motherboard capacitors.

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When you get the NO BOOT DEVICE, all that is saying is that it cant find the MASTER BOOT RECORD. So again, change the boot priority, and boot from a CD or USB. The hard drive may be corrupted or too messed up to boot from it. REinstall the OS, and you shoudl be good to go!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You seemed to miss what I said in that I don't have an option to change any device. If I could have changed it, like when I originally changed it to boot off the PXE rom. Now there is only the option of:Legacy CD
1.) Unknown Device: Unknown Device:
Legacy Hard Disk
2.) Unknown Device: Unknown Device:These are the only options, after going through a Fn-F10 Key on power up. There are no other options, I have a bootable CD in the CD and a bootable HDD. I keep getting the same error. I can care less about the OS as that's NOT where the password ***** is/was. I KNOW it can't find the MBR, but both devices are bootable. Which leads me to the CMOS getting hosed up some how. I gave it plenty of time to discharge, along with shorting where the battery connected.I feel what I need is someone with Acer access to information. I have tried to follow another suggestion, which sounds like what it's trying to do. I can't find the BIOS code (firmware) or I would try another solution of putting the firmware on a cd and seeing if it will load it directly. Others have had success with this. Any suggestions?
Expert:  Quiksilver07070 replied 1 year ago.

Well when you openeed up the machine, and UNsoldered the CMOS battery, you might have INADVERTANLY caused damage to other components. Not saying that IS THE CASE....but its certainly a possiblilty.

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Heres what i would do.

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If you CAN get into the BIOS, which sould like you CAN. Do a BIOS factory RESET.

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If you are NOT able to boot from the CD/DVD to install windows....then you have motherboard issues. The BIOS should NOT need to be flashed.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If I could FIND the BIOS firmware, or I would try other methods. I cannot find this and was hoping that for my money you could locate it for me in the least. The only option I have in the bios is what I typed in. That's 'as in' the bios as I can get, that's why I think it's somehow damaged. I am quite adept as soldering, not saying it's not impossible and I will get my magnifying glass out and look over the connections in case there is a bridge I could have missed. I've been over it a few times, once more won't hurt. However this is NO bios reset available. One of the messages on boot failure is:Default Boot Device Missing or Boot Failed.
Insert Recover Media and Hit any key
Then Select 'Boot Manager' to choose a new Boot Device or to Boot Recovery MediaAt this point the only 'Recovery Media' that Acer refers is Windows, I run Linux anyway, but it eludes to the fact that maybe it is smart enough to load off a cd. There was never a boot option for the USB and I don't believe there is a USB stack in that software model, so I wouldn't think it would even look at the USB device at this stage of the boot process.Do you think you could locate the proper BIOS firmware? I would be willing to say you sure helped if you could do that. It needs to be the binary firmware that will not require it to be run in an OS to be installed. I can unzip or whatever, but all I've been able to find is .exe (Windows programs that upgrade or replace the BIOS). If I could get any OS up, I'd be smiling.It's an Acer ES1-511-P1T9 (Aspire E-15)
Expert:  Quiksilver07070 replied 1 year ago.

So, you're NOT able to RESET the BIOS to factory settings? REALLY?! Every BIOS has an option to reset the BIOS back to the factory settings. It might be hard to find....but i assure you....it does exist.

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Unless and however, this is a CUSTOM BIOS made for an employer to protect their machines....which i have seen.

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Flashing the BIOS isnt something that should NEED to be done.....as if it is done incorrectly....it really WILL BRICK the machine.

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In order to find the CORRECT BIOS for your machine.....i need some information:

1- Make and Model ( I gathered it is an Acer, and is an E-15 ) are there any other numbers/information?

2- Serial number

3- Date of manufacture

4- Where was it purchased? what store, or online retailor?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I assure you it's not in this version, unless it's under the password ***** which still is intact. Only request passwords and the entries I've sent you are all available via the bios, unless it's some weird key combo. I, luckily found the Fn-F10. But that one does the same for either entry, and the one that says OK. No other options... Not sure if I can dig up a receipt, usually I have them but we've done some extensive re-modeling and some had 'accidents'... Purchased it a few days before my knee surgery. Used it a lot to ssh into my servers...Here is the infoAcer Aspire E15 ES1-511-P1T9 MFG Date: 2014-05-05
S/N NXMMLAA012419035123400
SNID *********** Purchased Fry's Electronics Phoenix, Arizona In person.
Date was for my August 18th, 2014 surgery recover.Thought I'd add a few pictures....
The computer, close up of bottom right label, back label with serial and SNID...
image
0217 Laptop
0218 Label bottom right of above
0219 Label on back
0220 Power on boot result
0221 After pressing 'Enter'
0222 After 'Enter'
0223 Enter again
0224 Password ***** then enter and
0225 Enter junk in the 0223 password ***** enter
0226 Beats me, nothing so far, I get
0227 this.These appear as the only options...ThanksJack
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I skipped0228 Holding ALT-F10 on power up
0229 then this, but no options works with bootable media..Sorry I missed them...
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am going to bed for a while. Get back to me when you can... Thanks, ***** ***** you understand this isn't a typical 'cant boot problem'. I will keep my eye on my e-mail... ThanksJack Wilborn
Peoria, Arizona USA
Expert:  Quiksilver07070 replied 1 year ago.

Hey Jack,

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I dug up the USER manula for that machine, and now i need to ask you a few questions.

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According to the manual...as soon as you hit the power button (to turn it on) you need to start hitting the F2 button repeatedly, and THAT will get you into the BIOS.

However, if after you hit F2, it asks you for a password, then somehow the Supervisor password ***** been enabled, and it is NOT by default.....the USER has to set this.

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SO, what happens when you press F2, right after powering the machine on?

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Oh and thank you for the images......they HELP immensly...thank you!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did not enable anything in the bios to require a password. I just don't do that. I had an original PC and then an AT, the password ***** was nothing but a headache to most, no security anyway.Anyway, if I boot and repeatably tap F2, it's no different if I power on with F2 held. I get the "Enter Current Password:" prompt, which is one of the pictures.I have to specifically do a ALT-F10, to get into the boot menu, which is useless... It's the screen that shows the "Select 'Boot Manager' to ..."Did you have any luck with the firmware?
Expert:  Quiksilver07070 replied 1 year ago.

Yeah, okay...then the SUPERVISOR password ***** definietly been set. There is NO way around this....i promise. You cant get into the BIOS to change anything, so THAT is why it wont boot.

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The BIOS firmware wont be able to load, because you HAVE to gain access to the BIOS to update it.

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The manual says that if the supervisor password ***** ***** and has now been lost....that you MUST take the machine into ACER for support. It requires an ACER technician to be able to fix this issue.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I got this new out of the box and these passwords were set, new out of the box and packaging. I asked the salesman about it and he didn't give me much of an answer. I did not set anything like this, so whom ever is stating this incorrect, whatever the manual says. Even Acer claims it's not set by them. Did you find any BIOS firmware. Until I can find that and try one of the other 'fixes' I won't be satisfied that it's really dead. There is so much mis information out that I really wonder sometimes. Why would anyone want something like this? You can still take the disk out and copy whatever, that's why I encrypt the HDD and could care less about passwords, I did NOT SET THIS, don't care what the manual says. Please let me know about the firmware. This device goes out to check the devices, it cycles up the hard disk and the cd drive, then gives the error. This doesn't really follow what you are saying... Please attempt to locate the BIOS firmware... I don't think Frys Electronics carry this model, but I'm going to investigate another model(s) and I bet they are similar. Again, let me know about the bios firmware blob.ThanksJack
Expert:  Quiksilver07070 replied 1 year ago.

Was this computer a DISPLAY model by chance? You know how they set out computers for folks to play with or look at? It may be hard to know if it was, as sometimes they dont tell you, all they say is that it is discounted because it is an OPEN-BOX item.

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Those display models can be hacked and messed with, some jerk set the supervisor password ***** it was on display, or the manager of the store set the supervisor password ***** KEEP jerks from changing the BIOS, but then NEVER unlocked it before it was sold?

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There are SO MANY ways this could happen.

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But please take a moment to rate my performance, when you get a chance....Thank you!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They had a few of them and I took it off a few rows in, so no it wasn't a floor model, still sealed in the plastic with tape. They had a bunch of these on sale for 195 bucks, if I remember right. I'm also sure this is not a supervisor password. I've seen those before and it doesn't do anything when entered incorrectly, aside from the error message. This cycles everything up and then fails with the boot message, doesn't sound like a supervisor password. After grabbing an older drive, I found some notes that I took when doing the configuration for the PXE Net boot. I noted that this password ***** up with the F2 key and added a note to call Acer about it, which I never did (bad me.) An it's been booting this way with no problem, until the battery episode....It is F12 that sets the boot device on this box. Pressing F12 on power on (or reset) invokes the Boot manager. However It's got no options, so again useless (photo 0222). The only other options seems to be the ALT-F10 key (picture 0228.) Did I mention that the original HDD, that was never run, will not boot either. I took the drive out, saved it, installed new WD drive, then Linux, Windows was never running while in my possession.It will go out to the HDD and the CD, but fails to boot, with boot-able media. I did read where, on some computers, look for the firmware in the root of the boot device. Since it's never had the option for a USB boot, I'll have to burn a 20 cent cd to try it, but I have to find the BIOS blob (linux term for the raw firmware) to at least try this. I really can't give up until I exhaust the options, the last seems to be finding the bios firmware and attempting a install as described.I have the manual, pretty useless. Do you know of any other Acer bios key-combos that I may try? Didn't know if the picture would be more problem than help, but I thought I'd include them so you could see what I'm seeing.Sill kind of sick, so am hitting the sack for a while. Get back to me when you can, no real rush.Anyway, please find the BIOS firmware...ThanksJack
Expert:  Quiksilver07070 replied 1 year ago.

I did find the BIOS firmware for you.....the link i provided you (WAY ABOVE) is the link that downloads the latest firmware BIOS for YOUR machine.

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But i have put the link AGAIN here:

http://global-download.acer.com/GDFiles/BIOS/BIOS/BIOS_Acer_1.10_A_A.zip?acerid=635796453282139729&Step1=NOTEBOOK&Step2=ASPIRE&Step3=ASPIRE%20ES1-511&OS=81P1&LC=en&BC=ACER&SC=PA_6

Expert:  Quiksilver07070 replied 1 year ago.

Also.....are you saying that YOU CAN get to the BIOS?

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The manual states, to hit F2 after the machine has been powered on, and that will take you to the BIOS.

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If that does NOT happen....then the machine needs to be service repaired.

Expert:  Quiksilver07070 replied 1 year ago.

Enjoy your Slumber.....talk soon!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
P.S. I have that firmware zip and if you look inside it's a windows .exe program...
Expert:  Quiksilver07070 replied 1 year ago.

There are 4 BIOS firmwares available on the Acer website for THAT machine......and the one i gave you is the LATEST one.

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see the image i attached.

Expert:  Quiksilver07070 replied 1 year ago.

I highlighted the BIOS version i linked you to.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
All of those from Acer have a Windows program to do the work. There is no bios firmware. Unless you know of some way to extract the bios from these exe windows programs? I downloaded and extracted all of them, they are the same. Just read one of the text files, they run it in windows....Jack
Expert:  Quiksilver07070 replied 1 year ago.

Yup, looks like Acer used a BIOS that is only updated from within windows.

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THANK YOU ACER!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You know it exists somewhere. I found some European acer site that had the blobs, but they didn't have my model in the list. I will hunt around to see what it takes to try and extract the blob, if possible. I'll tell you what, this isn't very satisfactory, but I know you spent time and sometimes it helps to get someone to bounce ideas off. This cost me 36 bucks, I'll split the cost with you. Further, if I do find a solution, I'll e-mail you with what happened, if I don't I'll also e-mail you... Sometimes it's a learning curve for everyone...ThanksJack
Expert:  Quiksilver07070 replied 1 year ago.

YOU CAN extract the BIOS firmware and then load it onto a USB or CD (in your case) and then FLASH the BIOS that way....but that is VERY VERY tricky.

Expert:  Quiksilver07070 replied 1 year ago.

And yes.....this is very UNIQUE problem you have, and i sgree, we dont know everything and bouncing ideas off eachother can lead us in the direction of the solution.

Expert:  Quiksilver07070 replied 1 year ago.

It doesnt matter what machine you have....extracting the BIOS file from the zip file, is the same.

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And, in my experience, flashing the BIOS is the same.

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Boot from the USB or CD that has the BIOS file, and then RUN the BIOS file from the command prompt

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Flashing program will run and auto complete, and then restart