Eleven months ago I replaced the internal battery of an Acer TimelineX 3830TG.  Now it cannot power up, after pressing the power button the power indicator does not light up or flash.

Internet searches suggest:

  1. Remove the battery and retry with AC charger.  Since this model uses an internal battery that was not meant for the end user to remove, the closest thing to do is to use the battery reset pinhole on the back.
  2. Cooling fan failure.
  3. Motherboard failure.

Battery

Initially I suspected the replacement battery failed, since it had dubious quality.  To check it I first did a charging test.  Charging LED turns orange / amber (without flashing) when charging.  After fully charged it turned blue.  Since some users suggest that the original battery will fail to turn the LED blue after several months of use, I am pleased that the unprofessionally refurbished replacement battery managed to accomplish that.  This ruled out the battery being bad.

RAM

If this is a desktop PC, trying different RAM configuration or moving them around must be one of the first things to try, after confirming the power supply is not faulty.  So I tried each RAM modules in the laptop individually, and swapping them.  No luck.

Cooling Fan

Then I inspected the cooling fan.  It does not seem to have much dust, and since it never moved or responded to manually assisted rotation at all I don’t feel like it is faulty either.

Power Button Cable

It looks like the unit is not getting power, or the motherboard is indeed faulty.  During the previous battery replacement I had very much trouble reconnecting the power cable, so I must now suspect it becomes loose after eleven months of use.

Checking that of course implies the need to remove the eleven screws at the back, and carefully pry up the blue palm rest.  It does not look like the power button cable become loose.  Anyway, I have to remove it again.  After reattaching the cable the unit can now be powered up (after switching on the button at the back first, then pressing the usual power button).  So this is a case of bad contact.

I am very willing to accept the fact that it might have been my mistake in how I dealt with the power button cable eleven months ago.  However, if I did not reconnect it properly in the first place, it should have failed in days, not eleven months.  Seeing that cable connector again I think it is badly designed, and I believe its design can easily lead to bad contact.  Although it’s inconceivable every TimelineX that fails to power up with working battery and cooling fan must have a bad power button cable connection, I think it’s possible a few of those cases could fail for the same reason.

Hopefully what I report here can help somebody.

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