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Windows 7: Acer Aspire x1800 - need help locating and reconnecting RAM.

20 Sep 2012   #1
shortforharriet

Windows 7
 
 
Acer Aspire x1800 - need help locating and reconnecting RAM.

Hi,
I've run into trouble with my desktop computer (Acer Aspire x1800), and have identified the likely issue as being related to improperly connected RAM. The problem is, I have no idea how to find the RAM and get to it so I can fix the connection. I've opened the casing on the tower, but I understand that further disassembly is required to get to the RAM.
I'm very very un-savvy with tech, so if anyone could walk me through exactly how to take apart the necessary parts, and how to identify the RAM, that would be wonderful. I've attached an image of the inside of the computer for easy reference.
Thanks in advance.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Sep 2012   #2
bobafetthotmail

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

I don't see any attached image. Still, working with RAM is pretty straightforward.
this youtube video will teach you all you need to know.

just touch a big metallic object (like the computer's casing or a window) before touching RAM to discharge static electricity (that can damage chips).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2012   #3
shortforharriet

Windows 7
 
 

Thanks for that video, I feel good about how to handle the RAM now.
I've uploaded the shot of the inside of the computer again, along with another angle in which I've circled the visible RAM. As you can see, I need to do some further disassembly in order to get to the RAM - do you (or anyone) have any hints on how to take this apart? I don't want to disconnect anything which shouldn't be touched, or anything like that.
I hope to avoid paying a professional to come in to do a simple job that I could handle myself, but if you think I'd be better off deferring to the expertise of someone who handles these things for a living, just let me know. I don't want to do more harm than good, but if I can fix the issue on my own without all the time and expense and bother of calling someone else in, that'd be wonderful.


Attached Thumbnails
Acer Aspire x1800 - need help locating and reconnecting RAM.-computerguts.jpg   Acer Aspire x1800 - need help locating and reconnecting RAM.-ram..jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Sep 2012   #4
tman69

win7 ultimate 32bit
 
 

you said..."I've run into trouble with my desktop computer (Acer Aspire x1800), and have identified the likely issue as being related to improperly connected RAM."

I have to ask--what makes you think that's the problem---does the machine boot?

usually if there's a ram problem the machine will emit a series of beeps when you try to boot it--with intel compatible motherboards usually 3 beeps indicate a ram 'seating' problem.

can you describe the problem you're having? (other than how to get your DVD drive out of the way to get to the ram slots).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2012   #5
shortforharriet

Windows 7
 
 

Ok - it started off with the computer freezing. It wouldn't turn off, the screen would just freeze as it was, the mouse wouldn't move, and none of the buttons on the tower would respond. I'd have to just switch the power off at the wall and then turn it on again. It started after I had been using the computer pretty exhaustively for a few days, so I originally just assumed that it had overheated. The problem quickly escalated so that I would end up switching the computer off and on again several times before it would finally settle and stop freezing - it would usually freeze up within a minute or so of being switched on. The freezes are not related to the running of any particular program (unless it's something the computer runs immediately from startup), and they're unpredictable - sometimes it freezes during the startup process, before I've even logged on. I started getting a lot of blue screens, often decrying a different problem, and then eventually, the computer simply wouldn't go into startup at all. Both the tower and the monitor would turn on, but the computer wouldn't boot. If I switched it off for 5 to 15 minutes and then tried again, it would work, but then after it froze again I'd have to wait another 5 to 15. These waiting periods lengthened to an hour, and then as much as half a day or so.
I originally thought this was something to do with outdated drivers, but my attempts to locate and fix the problem were unsuccessful (and altogether this became very difficult when I could barely get the thing to work for a minute at a time in the course of the entire day). However, from what I read online, no single driver problem seemed to account for the problems I was having, which had gotten progressively worse pretty quickly, but didn't seem to be following a logical pattern (as far as I can tell - I'm not that computer savvy). When looking for a way to solve the black screen that was coming up instead of the compuer booting up, I found one site which suggested that the problem may be related to dust in the computer and poorly-connected RAM. This all seemed to make sense to me, which is why I've been pursuing this solution. Since cleaning the dust from inside the computer, I have had much more success with getting the computer to boot up, though the freezing issue is still there.
When the computer fails to boot up, it doesn't make any sound. When it does start, it makes a single beep - this is the same as what it normally did back when it worked fine.
Any advice to point me in the direction of the real problem - either for fixing it myself or knowing what to tell the tech guy (if I have to call him) would be fantastic.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2012   #6
tman69

win7 ultimate 32bit
 
 

with the case open--try starting up the machine--see if the fan on the CPU is spinning--it's the round thing in your posted pic--if it's not spinning that's part of the problem--your CPU is getting hot--if it is spinning--then shut down machine and use some 'dust off' or similar to blow any chunks of dust out of the CPU heatsink--it's the thing with many fins under the fan--the problem you describe sounds like overheating--and--a single beep is normal so your ram seating is probably not the problem--but something IS overheating
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2012   #7
shortforharriet

Windows 7
 
 

The fan is spinning - so, would you say that the problem is probably all to do with dust build-up and overheating, and that dealing with the dust should effectively get the computer back up and running right again? I read in another thread from a very computer-savvy user with this same model that it is very prone to overheating issues.
From my description of the problem, would you suspect that the heat and dust is the whole problem? Or is there anything else I should look out for?
Any extra advice on how to clean out the dust would be much appreciated - you've been very helpful.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2012   #8
bobafetthotmail

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

hmmm, I had the same issues as you with my rig and it was a overheating issue. (in my case it was the PSU blowing its hot air on the CPU fan)

Small form factor computers like yours are more prone to overheating if they aren't designed that well (i.e. if they were cheap, and Acer isn't an awesome brand, although better than e-Machines and Packard-Bell)

I don't see a lot of dust from the pics, but in case you want to do some cleaning, pros use a can of compressed air to blow the dust out, not brushes nor vacuum cleaners (again static electricity issues, you can fry electronics if you do so). And usually do this outside the house for obvious reasons (lotsa dust is going airborne, you don't want that in your home).

In your case, I see the CPU fan (the black fan in the images) that is just a few cm from the casing's panel (that is removed in the pic). It's not a good thing imho.

Run with the machine open for a while and see if it's still freezing. If it runs fine without the panel, then you must find a way to let air get out of the case more easily.
Drilling holes, changing case, adding a case fan (if you have some pins/cables from mobo or PSU to power it anyway).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2012   #9
shortforharriet

Windows 7
 
 

I've given it a good clean and am running it with the case open and so far so good. I don't want to jinx it, but I think it may be ok. I guess if it's not, I'll be back, but otherwise, thanks so much for the help guys, I was running in circles thinking there was some awful huge problem. I don't know why I didn't think to come to a forum like this sooner.
I'll be sure to keep on top of the heat and dust issues, and hopefully, you won't hear from me again, because all will be well.
Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2012   #10
anyoneanyone28

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 
Same computer, same problem!

I have the same computer, Acer Aspire X1800 desktop slimline and I've been having the exact same issues. I took it to a tech guy who ran some tests and charged me $50 to tell me that there's nothing wrong with the hardware but he can't figure out what the problem is. He advised reinstalling windows 7 home premium 32bit (clean install) deleting all of the partitions and updating the drivers, which i did. I also opened the case, leaving it off and cleaned the dust. This problem has been ongoing for a few months but it's at the point now where it freezes half the time I use it and blue screens regularly. I've ruled out any peripherals being the problem and atm the only software installed is Modzilla Firefox, Modzilla MS, Adobe Flash, MSE and MS Silverlight. That's it... At this point I'm thinking it must be overheating. Is there a way to find this out? If anyone can come up with some ideas or shed some light on the problem I would be extremely grateful! Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Acer Aspire x1800 - need help locating and reconnecting RAM.




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