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Repair guides and support for the laptop line of Acer's Aspire series for casual home and business use.

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Acer aspire 5542 power on, fan spinning but no display

Hi,

I have an acer aspire 5542 laptop that turns on, the fan spins but I have no display. I'm pretty sure the issue is with the motherboard or the gpu on the board, but don't know how to test it.

First, I'm wondering if a dead gpu can be hot? Can he produce some heat?

I don't want to buy another board, this is a old laptop and I just want to learn and try to fix it by myself. However, I don't know where to begin with.

I was thinking about testing voltage on the display connector to know if atleast the current goes there, but as I said I'm not sure and this is my first time so I don't have any kind of experience and for the moment I'm just trying to figure out where to begin with.

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Hi @inception ,

Do the simple things first. You haven't mentioned that you have tried the following unless this is included in your “tried everything around the web“ comment. If you have then apologies ;-)

Connect an external monitor to the laptop and check if its' display is OK.

If there is a display on the external monitor, the GPU is OK. It points to the video cable, (also backlight power cable if separate cable idk), display panel, lid switch or backlight power supply being faulty.

Have you tried the "torch" trick?

With the laptop powered on and an image showing on the external monitor, shine a torch at an angle close to the laptop screen to check if you can see an image at all.

If you can see an image, you have a backlight problem. Either in the panel, backlight power cable (if separate from video cable), lid switch or perhaps a backlight power problem on the motherboard.

If you cannot see an image then most likely a video cable or panel problem.

If there is no display on the external monitor either then you have a motherboard or CPU problem

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Hi,

no, I don't have any display at all. Even with an external monitor.

I'm wondering if a bad cpu could get hot?

Can a laptop turns on with a bad cpu?

However, I'm still thinking the problem is probably the gpu.

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Hi @inception ,

Just because the fans are running doesn't mean that the CPU is working.

I think (and I may be wrong about this, that the fans are turned on first so that they can spin up to speed first before the POST process starts. It's no use starting the process and getting the CPU "hot" if the fan is not working. It'll only shutdown.

I'm wondering if it is even getting as far as checking the GPU during POST.

Try removing the RAM entirely and starting the laptop.

According to this link you should get a "beep" error code for RAM error.

I'm thinking if you don't, then the problem is with the CPU or motherboard and not the GPU as you haven't got that far yet in POST

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Even without the ram the laptop doesn't beep.

I remember long time ago I had a xps m1730 with a bad gpu (gtx 8800) and I had the same issue until I replace it. That's why I'm thinking about the gpu, in this case the integreted graphic.

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Hi,

Looking at the teardown video in @annielservitec 's answer, there is a separate chip for the video (I think), so it's not integrated with the CPU, it's just integrated into the motherboard, so perhaps you're right

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That's what I meant by integrated (to the motherboard).

However, I don't know how to be sure about that and how to try to fix it.

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try taking out the battery and charger and hold down the power button for 60 seconds. if that doesnt help it could also be a ram issue

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As you said, that´s an old laptop. So, the first thing you have to do is disassembly it. Because one of the possible problems could be a contaminated board, you need to do a deep maintenance.

This is a youtube video of how tear-down your laptop: link

You should use a paint brush (clean of course, we don´t want to make a piece of art with the motherboard ;)) ). And air can, or something to blow off the dust.

While you are cleaning your laptop you should take a close look to the mainboard, and look for damaged areas and heat mark on the GPU.

I also recommended to clean up the RAM memories. You could do that with an eraser (clean the golden contacts and make sure no remains of the eraser stays in the memories).

When finish try your laptop and if it works, then you must change the dissipation paste in the CPU and the GPU, the GPU might have a dissipation rubber, you can get that online.

If the problem persist leave a comment, so we could continue helping you.

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I forgot to mention that I already disassembled to laptop as well as tried different ram and reset the cmos battery.

I mean, I think the problem was the motherboard or the gpu because I have already tried everything around the web.

The capacitors seems all good and I cleaned the whole board.

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Which GPU does the laptop have?

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Integrated graphic hd 4200

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There are two kinds of possible CPU in this model, so if yours is Intel, have you seen if there is another GPU besides the intel?

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The cpu is an amd.

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