Greetings all, I’d like to share with you an interesting tidbit of information that I ran across recently. I have several customers that have purchased and been very happy with the Acer Aspire series of Netbooks. I liked them so much I even got one for myself, and I too am very pleased with this little dynamo. I’ll post a review later maybe, it really is a great machine. Especially considering the price, but now I will get back to the topic at hand.
One of these customers suddenly had a problem with the battery not charging. In fact, the battery was non-existant, it wouldn’t charge or give an error light or really … anything. Now, the little netbook ran fine when plugged into the AC adapter, so that ruled that out as being bad. The logical assumption of course was that this customer simply had a dud for a battery. You know, a bad cell, and open connection, whatever it is it rendered the battery useless much quicker than it should have.
Here’s the neat part of this and the reason for this post. Before contacting Acer to get a replacement battery, I did some research just to be thorough and also to get options for replacement batteries in case a longer life battery was desired. What I found was that many other folk out there in the great wide open Internet were having similar problems. Again, initial thought was a run on bad batteries. However, as I read more, it seemed that a bug in the netbook firmware had cropped up and would cause the BIOS to stop recognizing the fact that there was a battery in the machine at all. Well now, isn’t that interesting?!
The information I got specifically referenced netbooks running on firmware (BIOS) versions 3305, and then suggested upgrading to the (at that time) latest version of 3309. I check the netbook that was in for service with the battery problem and found that it was actually on version 3301(!), so I upgraded to the latest version as of yesterday which was 3310. Now, here is where I have to be honest with all you folk and tell you that in my case, this did not fix the problem. I was really hopeful that it would, but no dice. Why am I posting this then, if it didn’ t work? Good question! In my research, among the forum posts and websites and such that talked of performing these BOIS updates for this problem, the majority of the folk reported success with the procedure. I’d say probably 75% to 80% had the update fix the battery problem after all, and did not have to purchase (or submit for warranty and wait for) a new battery.
All this being said, I am going to file this tidbit away for future reference. If I run across this problem again, be it with my own netbook or another customer unit, this is a fast and easy thing to try, and if it solves the problem even half the time it will be worth it. Now, you know about it too so you can add this to your kit for when you run across this problem too. You never know, it might save you some time and buckage some day. Enjoy!
Here is a link to the Acer support site where you can pick up updates for your model of netbook: http://support.acer.com/