Acer 5100 - southbridge shot. What next?

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by petr, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. petr

    petr MDL Novice

    Mar 14, 2010
    Acer 5100 - southbridge shot. What next?

    First, Thank You guys for having such a wonderful forum - I have found here info I never dreamt existed.

    I bought an used laptop (Acer 5100).
    It booted up nicely into the great desktop of win XP, everything worked - but froze completely after about half a minute. I tried to reinstall, but the installation froze after 2 minutes, when the screen said that windows will start. THen, I tried to install an old SuSE 7.1 Linux - it formatted the disk, installed 18 parts and froze when istalling glibc, The Shared Libraries. I tried to boot - it shows a nice picture of a penquin, starts booting, checks the disk... and freezes later on again.
    After lots of research and dismantling, days, I have found that ATI IXP 460 must have gotten hot at some point - the clear plastic above it is partially melted/glued to it and there is even a small melted dent at the bottom edge of the keyboard, to the left of the touchpad.

    So, the chip is the culprit.

    I spent all my money on this laptop... is it really GONE?? is there any way how to make it work?? If not - can I make the laptop work partially at least? (with some very old system, or external keyboard, etc...)

    THanks a lot
  2. kukubau

    kukubau MDL Addicted

    Dec 15, 2008
    You've been had. The one you bought it from was pretty aware of the 'brick' he sold.
    I'd take my money back if I were you.
  3. 2centsworth

    2centsworth MDL Senior Member

    Feb 12, 2008
  4. WindDrake

    WindDrake MDL Novice

    Jun 2, 2008
    If the IXP460 has s**t the bed, there's a couple easy ways to check it out. I work on these all day long, and I know the failure mechanisms.

    First and foremost, the 5100/3100 have a known Div/0 Interrupt failure problem. Make sure you've updated to the latest bios ( before screwing with it too much. The latest bios fixes this. Edit: This only applies to machines that stay running outside windows.

    If the left side of the palmrest has a clear "Melt" divot in it, the southbridge is SHOT. The SATA controller has failed and damaged the southbridge at the physical level. The ONLY way to return the unit to workable condition is to have the IXP460 replaced, which requires specialty equipment. Nevermind that the IXP460 SB is ~$65+ a pop, and new parts don't exsist. Just refurb pulls from existing hardware.

    Return the laptop if possible, file fraud claims, etc.
  5. petr

    petr MDL Novice

    Mar 14, 2010
    dear people, thank You all very much for responses. Unfortunately, I did not get online until now, so the laptop is already back to the seller. Which is probably good - I do think that it was shot. Why? When I tried to install the old linux (partial success only) and booted it, it showed messages like No USB ports, Kernel panic etc - quite scary.
    I would love to run the tests though! It would be a good idea to test the HD, and easy, since it is a normal IDE. When I was attempting the linux install though, it formatted the whole drive though.

    The BIOS: I would not know how to update it: the USB ports are not working. Could I update it from a CD as well?

    Yes, the melt is quite distinct. ANd, under the cover, the clear plastic is completely glued to the chip by heat.

    Summary: thank You guys again, it feels SO GOOD that there is someone out there who is willing to help. I feel good about returning the laptop to the seller: the condition was not as described, and there are probably better laptops. I have heard IBM X40 is rather old model but very dependable? They sell them really cheap these days. Or, any suggestions for good cheap dependable, but bigger display than X40?

    Thank You.