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Aspire iDea 500

leafmann

Novice Member
Nice :) I got a similar increase in speed, overall its well worth doing. If my memory is right the factory 802.11g card had two antenna connections, it makes you wonder why Acer never bothered shipping with two antennas as standard.



No changes are required, VG.8PG06.001 is a drop in replacement. Was the part new or used? Genuinely new ones are thin on the ground these days, occasionally I've picked up used VG.8PG06.001 that had the graphics BIOS flashed with something other than what the card ships with (for use in another manufactures system etc.) which caused the same symptoms. The VG.8PG06.001 graphics BIOS used on the cards I tested successfully was I think 60.84.62.00.29.

If it was used it could be worth asking the previous owner what system it was pulled from and if the BIOS was ever flashed, it could also be DOA :(
Thanks Johm.

Sold by AliExpress -

Item Description: for Acer Aspire 4710G 6930G 7520G 7720G 9920G Laptop Graphics Video Card nVidia GeForce 8600M GT MXM II DDR2 512MB VG.8PG06.001

used, tested in fully work condition, with A-cer Bios

Is there anyway of checking/fixing the BIOS if that is the issue as opposed to DOA?
 

JohnAddison

Active Member
Well, its a small world. I had a bad experience buying an MXM card from Eeshops via their eBay store which is now closed/unused. Long story short they shipped me a dead card, I returned it but the various buyer protections failed me and they ended up with my money and the card. The card in question was actually a VG.8PG06.001 intended for an Acer 5920G belonging to a customer, the issue of being DOA aside I did have a small suspicion that it was not a genuine VG.8PG06.001.

Hopefully in your case it is just a BIOS issue, the iDea 510 is beyond picky when it comes to MXM cards and the graphics BIOS in use. It is possible to blind dump and flash the graphics BIOS using nvflash form DOS, I have done this before but I do not have the files to hand at the moment. I should be able to dig them up over the weekend, I'm sure I saved them.

Just out of curiosity, is your 510 running the latest system BIOS - Version R02-C2?
 
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leafmann

Novice Member
Thanks John, yes I am using latest BIOS R02-C2. How would I blind flash? Set up a dos booting usb stick that flashes the card?
 

JohnAddison

Active Member
You will need an empty USB drive for this, if there is any data it will be erased. This will not flash your graphics BIOS, it will only do a blind backup of what is already there.

1. Download and extract the zip file attached this this post - nvflash.zip.
2. Connect target USB drive.
3. Run rufus-2.7p.exe extracted in step 1 - This program will write a floppy image to a USB drive.
4. Select the target USB drive under the "Device" heading.
5. Under format option change from the default selection of "FreeDOS" to "DD Image".
6. Click the icon of an optical drive next to the "DD Image" selection, navigate to the "nvflash.img" file extracted in step 1 and select it.
7. Press "Start" - It may take a few moments to write.

You should now have a bootable USB drive that when used will automatically write a backup of your existing graphics BIOS to a file called "backup.rom". To use it follow these steps:

1. After installing the 8600M, disconnect the SATA hard drive and IDE optical drive - the Acer iDea can be picky about booting from USB sometimes when there other bootable device available.
2. Insert the USB drive and power on the system, the backup will take place automatically.
3. Wait 5 minuets and shutdown - this is just a precaution, it will usually complete in a few seconds.

After following these steps you should have the file "backup.rom" on the USB drive, zip this file and attach it to a post here. Once you post the file I'll take a look at it and see if its a graphics BIOS issue.

If it is just a graphics BIOS issue I can send you an image file that will blind flash the card which will hopefully resolve the problem.
 

Attachments

leafmann

Novice Member
You will need an empty USB drive for this, if there is any data it will be erased. This will not flash your graphics BIOS, it will only do a blind backup of what is already there.

1. Download and extract the zip file attached this this post - nvflash.zip.
2. Connect target USB drive.
3. Run rufus-2.7p.exe extracted in step 1 - This program will write a floppy image to a USB drive.
4. Select the target USB drive under the "Device" heading.
5. Under format option change from the default selection of "FreeDOS" to "DD Image".
6. Click the icon of an optical drive next to the "DD Image" selection, navigate to the "nvflash.img" file extracted in step 1 and select it.
7. Press "Start" - It may take a few moments to write.

You should now have a bootable USB drive that when used will automatically write a backup of your existing graphics BIOS to a file called "backup.rom". To use it follow these steps:

1. After installing the 8600M, disconnect the SATA hard drive and IDE optical drive - the Acer iDea can be picky about booting from USB sometimes when there other bootable device available.
2. Insert the USB drive and power on the system, the backup will take place automatically.
3. Wait 5 minuets and shutdown - this is just a precaution, it will usually complete in a few seconds.

After following these steps you should have the file "backup.rom" on the USB drive, zip this file and attach it to a post here. Once you post the file I'll take a look at it and see if its a graphics BIOS issue.

If it is just a graphics BIOS issue I can send you an image file that will blind flash the card which will hopefully resolve the problem.
Above and beyond, John. Thank you! I will try this over the weekend.
 

leafmann

Novice Member
You will need an empty USB drive for this, if there is any data it will be erased. This will not flash your graphics BIOS, it will only do a blind backup of what is already there.

1. Download and extract the zip file attached this this post - nvflash.zip.
2. Connect target USB drive.
3. Run rufus-2.7p.exe extracted in step 1 - This program will write a floppy image to a USB drive.
4. Select the target USB drive under the "Device" heading.
5. Under format option change from the default selection of "FreeDOS" to "DD Image".
6. Click the icon of an optical drive next to the "DD Image" selection, navigate to the "nvflash.img" file extracted in step 1 and select it.
7. Press "Start" - It may take a few moments to write.

You should now have a bootable USB drive that when used will automatically write a backup of your existing graphics BIOS to a file called "backup.rom". To use it follow these steps:

1. After installing the 8600M, disconnect the SATA hard drive and IDE optical drive - the Acer iDea can be picky about booting from USB sometimes when there other bootable device available.
2. Insert the USB drive and power on the system, the backup will take place automatically.
3. Wait 5 minuets and shutdown - this is just a precaution, it will usually complete in a few seconds.

After following these steps you should have the file "backup.rom" on the USB drive, zip this file and attach it to a post here. Once you post the file I'll take a look at it and see if its a graphics BIOS issue.

If it is just a graphics BIOS issue I can send you an image file that will blind flash the card which will hopefully resolve the problem.
Ok, I followed your directions.

Observations:
I tried the usb boot on my exiting 7600 card and include the backup.rom I received, attached as 7600.txt (rom extension not permitted).
After inserting the new card, and plugging in, the power led strip goes orange (not the normal blue).
I tried the usb boot procedure blind several times but got no backup.rom.
I did it one final time, pressed enter a few times, waited longer than previously and pulled the stick out before powering off and got the backup.rom attached here as backup.txt.
The power light has remained blue since the first time I installed the new card.

Any insight on what the backup.rom tells us would be appreciated.

Thanks
 

Attachments

leafmann

Novice Member
Ok, I followed your directions.

Observations:
I tried the usb boot on my exiting 7600 card and include the backup.rom I received, attached as 7600.txt (rom extension not permitted).
After inserting the new card, and plugging in, the power led strip goes orange (not the normal blue).
I tried the usb boot procedure blind several times but got no backup.rom.
I did it one final time, pressed enter a few times, waited longer than previously and pulled the stick out before powering off and got the backup.rom attached here as backup.txt.
The power light has remained blue since the first time I installed the new card.

Any insight on what the backup.rom tells us would be appreciated.

Thanks
Just to clarify the power led strip, I installed the new card, and plugged in the 510. At this time the 510 is not powered on. The strip lights orange. I press the power switch to power on and the light turns blue and remains blue until I shutdown, at which time it has no light. At next power up the light goes blue and remains blue until shutdown. And this is the sequence for each subsequent power on.
 

JohnAddison

Active Member
The only time I saw the power LED orange on initial power up (outside of standby mode) was when I tested an incompatible graphics card, in my case it was an ATI HD4650.

The 7600 backup is as expected, the VG.8PG06.001 backup looks normal as well but it is an older graphics BIOS than the one I used when I had mine in use. Your VG.8PG06.001 graphics BIOS backup is dated 23rd April 2007 and mine is 31st July 2007, I cannot confirm that the BIOS being an older revision is preventing it from working though. Given my personal experience with the seller I half expected to see something a little more obvious.

What I can do is put together another image that will flash the VG.8PG06.001 card in the blind to the BIOS revision I had on mine, I'll put this up in the next 10-30 minutes or so but it would be used entirely at your own risk. I've done blind flashes before personally and it's never gone wrong for me but I'd rather you know it can be risky.
 
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JohnAddison

Active Member
Ok, I followed your directions.

Observations:
I tried the usb boot on my exiting 7600 card and include the backup.rom I received, attached as 7600.txt (rom extension not permitted).
After inserting the new card, and plugging in, the power led strip goes orange (not the normal blue).
I tried the usb boot procedure blind several times but got no backup.rom.
I did it one final time, pressed enter a few times, waited longer than previously and pulled the stick out before powering off and got the backup.rom attached here as backup.txt.
The power light has remained blue since the first time I installed the new card.

Any insight on what the backup.rom tells us would be appreciated.

Thanks
Okay, I've attached another file to this post that will blind flash your VG.8PG06.001 / 8600M GT to BIOS version 60.84.62.00.29 and then reboot the system once flashing is complete (hopefully with some display output). Same procedure as the backup only this time it will flash, it should not require any manual input.

If after 10 minutes there is no sign of auto reboot or display output press "Y" once, wait a minute then press "Y" again and wait for 10 minutes then power down and restart.

If you still get no display we will need to verify that the flash took place by doing another backup, if we verify the flash took place and we still have no output then I would have to say the card is dead. In this case I'll send a 3rd file to restore the card to its delivered state and you can try to RMA with the seller.

This is done entirely at your own risk, I cannot offer any guarantee.
 

Attachments

leafmann

Novice Member
Okay, I've attached another file to this post that will blind flash your VG.8PG06.001 / 8600M GT to BIOS version 60.84.62.00.29 and then reboot the system once flashing is complete (hopefully with some display output). Same procedure as the backup only this time it will flash, it should not require any manual input.

If after 10 minutes there is no sign of auto reboot or display output press "Y" once, wait a minute then press "Y" again and wait for 10 minutes then power down and restart.

If you still get no display we will need to verify that the flash took place by doing another backup, if we verify the flash took place and we still have no output then I would have to say the card is dead. In this case I'll send a 3rd file to restore the card to its delivered state and you can try to RMA with the seller.

This is done entirely at your own risk, I cannot offer any guarantee.
Thanks again, John.

I followed the instructions, but no display during or after the procedure.

I attach the backup.rom retrieved after the flash, but it looks as if the card is dead or otherwise incompatible. It seems that RMA is the route forward, but would like to reflash the original, if you can help as offered.


Thanks for all this help for what looks like tilting at windmills. Where to next?
 

Attachments

JohnAddison

Active Member
Well your backup confirms that the BIOS did actually flash, assuming they sent you a genuine VG.8PG06.001 if its still not working then I would have to say the card is DOA.

I've attached a file that will restore your card to the BIOS you received it with before you RMA, if you do a backup again post flash i'll be happy to verify it flashed again.

It might be worth trying another card from the seller if they offer an exchange option but if it was me i'd be looking for another supplier.
 

Attachments

leafmann

Novice Member
Well your backup confirms that the BIOS did actually flash, assuming they sent you a genuine VG.8PG06.001 if its still not working then I would have to say the card is DOA.

I've attached a file that will restore your card to the BIOS you received it with before you RMA, if you do a backup again post flash i'll be happy to verify it flashed again.

It might be worth trying another card from the seller if they offer an exchange option but if it was me i'd be looking for another supplier.
I have opened a dispute with the current supplier but am not hopeful based on your previous experience.

I have ordered another card from a German supplier on eBay.

More fingers crossed.

Once again John, thank you for all your help.
 

xor2g

Novice Member
So how easy is it to upgrade the motherboard ?


I have an iDea 500 + T7200,2gbram, 1tb WD green and a new psu which has been going strong for a few years. It's starting to feel slow but that's probably win 8.1's fault.

I've been thinking about buying and installing a mobo from the 520 + 8600M + an extra GB of ram + maybe an ssd or hybrid drive. Install W10 while i'm at it.
This would be the final upgrade

But looking at it i'm wondering how easy it is to remove the mobo and especially connectors/backplate.

Does anyone have experience with this ?
 

JohnAddison

Active Member
There is a full disassembly procedure in the service guide, Acer iDea 510 (PDF). Be very careful removing the motherboard, it would be easy to damage a couple of surface mount components on the bottom of the board. Don't forget if you change the motherboard to an MXM capable one, you will also need the MXM heatsink and fan assembly - part number HI.S500C.002.

The upgraded specification on my main Acer iDea is as follows:
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T7600 2.33GHz Socket M - SL9SD
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD2600 512MB - 55.SAG01.001
  • Samsung 3GB DDR2 800Mhz SODIMM (1 * 1GB & 1 * 2GB)
  • Panasonic BD-RE Slim IDE Slot Loading Blu-ray Drive - UJ-225S
  • Broadcom Mini PCI 802.11n Wi-Fi Card - BCM43222 + Additional antenna
  • G.Skill Falcon 64GB SATA-II 64MB Cache SDD - FM-25S2S-64GBF1
  • Windows 10 Professional
With this configuration the system performs perfectly for Blu-ray, general media playback etc. and seems fine for light day to day tasks. I've done these upgrades over the years, they are not cost effective but I've always liked the look of the system :)

Check out my Acer iDea 500/510/511/520BD Upgrade Summary.
 
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paulroberts

Novice Member
Hi John, if you're using Windows 10 what are you using as the media centre replacement? Just curious, I quite like Media Centre but not sure what to do if I ever upgrade from Windows 7.

Cheers,

Paul
 

great

Novice Member
I read somewhere that people have managed to extract media centre and imported it to windows 10 without any hiccup. Google around.
Otherwise your next option is KODI. I'm using it for about a year now and not looking back :)
 

JohnAddison

Active Member
Hi John, if you're using Windows 10 what are you using as the media centre replacement? Just curious, I quite like Media Centre but not sure what to do if I ever upgrade from Windows 7.

Cheers,

Paul
I'm using MediaPortal at the moment, I've been meaning to try Kodi at some point though.

I read somewhere that people have managed to extract media centre and imported it to windows 10 without any hiccup. Google around.
Otherwise your next option is KODI. I'm using it for about a year now and not looking back :)
I did a brief test using this patch on another HTPC, it seemed to work but I was a very brief test. There is a thread on this here over at MDL.
 

pompierecattivo

Novice Member
Hello John,
I'm using google translator to speed up my writing and also because my English is not very exciting ...
I have a question related to acer idea 510. In one of the last post you describe your configuration and I noticed that you have installed an ATI video card, namely the Radeon HD2600. I purchased an equal board to replace the original one (in my case Nvidia was hurt) but unfortunately I can not operate the PC if off the ati drivers and boot the machine with the standard windows drivers (Win 10). Otherwise the system is unstable and crashes after a few minutes. I have the latest BIOS available and I did more research to find working drivers but to no avail.
Given the experience that it is clear from your posts, you have any suggestions for me?
Thanks in advance.
Maurizio (Italy).
 

JohnAddison

Active Member
I can confirm I am using Windows 10 drivers provided directly from Windows Update, they have been perfect for me even for some very light gaming applications. I have found the ones from the AMD website to be a little troublesome, they only worked well for me under Windows 7.

Can you confirm the part number of the HD2600 you purchased or link me to the site you purchased it from? I use part number 55.SAG01.001, this card is for the Acer iDea 520BD which has the same motherboard as the 510. This specific card has been running well for roughly a year for me under Windows 7 and 10.

The crashing could indicate the card is overheating, it might be worth checking and reapplying the thermal compound. Can you provide the MXM temperate that is reported in the BIOS?
 

JohnAddison

Active Member
Gonna go for the CPU upgrade, SL9SD T7600's are now only £16.68 on ebay so it's a no-brainer!
Yea, The T7600 gives the system the kick to keep it useful. In combination with the right graphics card and Windows 10 they still do the job. I've recently added a USB DVB-S2 tuner for Freesat HD, works very well for the rare occasion I want to watch broadcast TV. That said, my main 510 I've had from new is coming up on being 10 years old (manufacturing date of December 2006) so it will have to be replaced at some point as 4k content support is out of the question.

I'm keeping an eye on eBay for a 500/510 in reasonable condition to set aside for a future Mini ITX mod project, not too worried about the paint work on metal part of the case because I can fix that but the plastics need to be in very nice condition.
 

JohnAddison

Active Member
Does anybody have the BIOS r02-c2 bin file, Acer have removed all traces of the Aspire Idea from their site, including drivers and BIOS files!
I think it's just the support pages that got changed, the FTP itself is still up for the moment and the BIOS is located at ftp://ftp.acer.co.uk/Archiv/desktop/aspire_idea510/bios/idea510-R02-C2.rar

Full Download Directories:

ftp://ftp.acer.co.uk/Archiv/desktop/aspire_idea500
ftp://ftp.acer.co.uk/Archiv/desktop/aspire_idea510

To be on the safe side I've backed up the entire contents of the FTP directories listed above, if they ever go offline I'll put a mirror up somewhere.
 
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adam-burnley

Distinguished Member
I think it's just the support pages that got changed, the FTP itself is still up for the moment and the BIOS is located at ftp://ftp.acer.co.uk/Archiv/desktop/aspire_idea510/bios/idea510-R02-C2.rar

ftp://ftp.acer.co.uk/Archiv/desktop/aspire_idea500
ftp://ftp.acer.co.uk/Archiv/desktop/aspire_idea510

To be on the safe side I've backed up the entire contents of the FTP directories listed above, if they ever go offline I'll put a mirror up somewhere.
Thanks John - I tried a few places that linked to the FTP site but none worked, so I assumed that was offline as well - must have been duff links as the above worked. I even 'spoke' to an Acer support bod via on-line chat from their website and he stated there was no archive and there was no way to get the BIOS for a legacy product anymore!

Fingers crossed I don't brick my 10 year old 500 - bought new and has been pretty much trouble free for a decade, just one replacement PSU. Has been upgraded from XP to Vista, then Win 7 and now has Win 10 running fairly well on an SSD. Mainly used for Kodi, music and occasional family Internet browsing pumped through a 56" Philips Cinema wide TV!

Thanks again.
 

adam-burnley

Distinguished Member
BIOS updated successfully - had to use a slightly newer version of Winflash (v1.92) as the packaged version didn't detect the Award BIOS properly. It even worked on Windows 10, so impressed with that!

Have upgraded RAM from 2GB to 3GB, and will think about taking the CPU up to a T7200. They still come up on ebay from time to time at a great price. Not sure if it's worth going up to the T7600 for the difference in cost though?
 

JohnAddison

Active Member
That's odd, I've upgraded a few 500's with the version packaged with the BIOS without issue. It could be that the packaged version did not like Windows 10 so I'll keep that in mind if I ever upgrade another 500.

I ran my 510 for a year or so with the T7200 on Windows 7 and it was fine at the time, that said I'd be really tempted to go for the T7600 over the T7200 because they have really dropped in price over the past 18 months.

Best price on eBay right now for T7600 - SL9SD is £12.99 + £3.00 P&P - Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile T7600 2.33 GHz 4M 667 Dual-Core Processor Socket M SL9SD 735858190077 | eBay

There is also the option of a T7400 - SL9SE for £4.98 + £2.00 P&P - Intel Core 2 Duo SL9SE T7400 CPU 2.16GHz/4M/667 Processor 5032037007122 | eBay

And lastly the T7200 - SL9SF is shockingly £1.72 with free P&P - Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 2 GHz Dual-Core CPU Processor SL9SF LF80537T7200 735858190053 | eBay
 

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