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Aspire iDea 500

daJAck

Novice Member
Hi there, happy to find some guys still relying on the good old iDea...just like me...until yesterday :(

My idea 510 does not boot anymore (to HDD): "...BOOT FAILURE...". It still boots from the optical drive. I checked with a Rescue CD, the HDD is still accessible this way, I also tried the old original Harddisk with Vista on it (I still had this HDD around...), but the same here. So I don't think the HDD is damaged (bootloader,...). Some other strange symptoms: Can't enter BIOS or Boot selection screen anymore, the system does not recognize my keypress. The system fans run on maximum power, once the boot error message appears. It appears to me to be some kind of hardware failure. Some years ago I've already replaced the damaged PSU, so I don't think it's this again? What do you think, do you have any further clue for me?

kr, jack
 

JohnAddison

Active Member
That's a new one on me, I've never seen a faulty PSU produce those symptoms on an iDea but if the correct voltages are not being supplied odd things could happen.

My first thing to try would be to clear the CMOS, see pages 67-70 in the service guide to locate the jumper - http://htpc.jwaiv.co.uk/sg_aspire_idea_500_510_book.pdf Alternatively you can fully disconnect your 510 and remove the battery for 5 minutes, this should have the same effect as shorting the pins on the jumper. If this helps then enter the BIOS, load setup defaults and then save and exit and see what happens.

Just out of interest, can you confirm that the keyboard is still paired to the 510? It should respond to CTRL+ALT+DEL after the boot failure message and reboot. If it does not respond try bringing the keyboard closer to the 510 with both powered on and press the RESET button on the back of the keyboard, the keyboard LED will flash for a few seconds until it's connected. If it's still not responding after this it might be worth trying a wired USB keyboard if you have one.
 

daJAck

Novice Member
Hi John,

I've been quite busy since then so I didn't have time to check my IDEA until now. So that's the result: After trying to remove the CMOS battery I've noticed that the system didn't switch on anymore after reconnecting the PSU cable, the front display was dark too. So I tried to replace the PSU with the old faulty one I still had (had a standby/hibernate issue, but it still "worked"). I was quite surprised when the IDEA booted again... So I will try to get a new/refurbished PSU, I think that's the cause.

kr, jack
 

JohnAddison

Active Member
Sounds like good news then :) There are a lot of new old stock PSU's on eBay at the moment but if your ok with a soldering iron it's possible to repair these PSU's just by replacing a few dead capacitors. I've repaired one myself but that was when the PSU's cost £80+, these days you can get them for around £20.
 

JohnAddison

Active Member
A few weeks ago one of my 510's blew it's PSU, not the usual dead PSU (cap death) but a charred burning wreck of a PCB. Luckily the damage was contained inside the PSU housing and it caused no damage to the other components.

I still have two 510's and they are in use almost daily but they are coming up to 10 years old, both have been upgraded to the same specification. The blown PSU made me want to do a little refurbishment in the PSU and fan area.

PSU's were the easy part, I picked up two new PSU's from eBay. Unfortunately one of the new PSU's had a high pitched whining noise but the seller is replacing it this week, I got mine from here and I can't recommend the seller enough - excellent service.

The CPU and GFX fans are where it gets tricky, I can't find a reliable source for these anywhere. I'm not too concerned about these specific part numbers but I can't even find 50mm PWM fans at all.

GFX Fan: AFB0512MB - 50x50x15mm - 4-pin PWM
http://www.delta.com.tw/product/cp/dcfans/download/pdf/AFB/AFB50x50x15mm.pdf

CPU Fan: AFB0512MD - 50x50x20mm - 4-pin PWM
http://www.delta.com.tw/product/cp/dcfans/download/pdf/AFB/AFB50x50x20mm.pdf

Has anyone had any luck finding these fans or something close to them? I'm starting to think it's going to be faster, cheaper and all round easier to try fitting some entirely new 1u heatsink/fan units and ditch the existing cooling entirely.
 
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mvginkel

Novice Member
for some time I am working with an Acer Idea 500. I've upgraded the RAM and it works like a charm.
But.. the original HDD died some days ago. And now I've lost the recovery partition!
Is there anyone over here who could help me with a copy of the partition?
I've installed windows 10 on a SSD, and it works, but I'm not so happy to see that some of the original integrated functions do not work anymore. Acer only supplies one driver for the TV-tuner...
 
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JohnAddison

Active Member
for sometimes I am working with an Acer Idea 500. I've upgraded the RAM and it works like a charm.
But.. the original HDD died some days ago. And now I've lost te recovery partition!
Is there anyone over here who could help me with a copy of the partition?
I've installed windows 10 on a SSD, and it works, but I'm not so happy to see that some of the original integrated functions do not work anymore. Acer only supplies one driver for the TV-tuner...
I think I might have it, I'll try to find out later tonight.
 

JohnAddison

Active Member
that would be superb!
Okay, I have a ghost image for the Acer iDea 510 recovery partition. I believe it is identical to the one for the 500, the image contains graphics drivers for the 500 and 510 and I'm fairly certain I used it on a 500 I once owned.

I have put the ghost image into a bootable Windows PE ISO image and I am uploading it now, I will send you the link via PM once the upload is complete. You will need a dual layer DVD to burn the ISO to, once burned boot your system from the DVD and it will write the original factory recovery partition to your new hard drive.
 
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JohnAddison

Active Member
Sorry for the delay, the upload broke for no reason I could see when it got to 99%.

1. Download ISO image - Acer_iDea.iso
2. Burn ISO image to dual layer DVD using ImgBurn or any other suitable burning software.
3. Boot Acer iDea from burned DVD (May take a few minutes to load).
4. When asked to confirm partitions just click OK.
5. Wait for image to be written to hard disk and once complete remove DVD and click restart.

Please note that this will destroy all data on the target hard drive but once its done you will have the Diagnostic/Restore partition along with an untouched original install. In case you wonder when booting the DVD, it does use a Windows 7 based preinstallation environment but it does actually restore the factory original OS.
 

mvginkel

Novice Member
thanks a lot! I may put it on a bootable usb drive, suppose that it must work as well :) If not, I do have some dual layer discs somewhere.
 

JohnAddison

Active Member
thanks a lot! I may put it on a bootable usb drive, suppose that it must work as well :) If not, I do have some dual layer discs somewhere.
WinPE can be booted from USB, the only thing to watch is the file system. The ghost image I included is just under 8GB so you would need to use NTFS on the USB drive instead of FAT32.

Let me know how it goes.
 

sandalini

Novice Member
Someone has a dump of BIOS Acer Aspire Idea500?

Replaced the processor and the system does not boot ... just a black screen with a blinking space
 

JohnAddison

Active Member
Someone has a dump of BIOS Acer Aspire Idea500?

Replaced the processor and the system does not boot ... just a black screen with a blinking space
Which CPU have you installed? Upgrading the CPU on the 500 will most likely require the flashing of the 510 BIOS to support the newer CPU before it is installed.
 

paulroberts

Novice Member
Hi all, who is still running a 500/510? I was until yesterday when my second PSU went pop and tripped the main RCD, so we lost all power in the house! I measured the output voltages and there's nothing, no 12v or 5v, it is completely dead. Took it apart tonight and one of the large caps has a bulge on the top but I was expecting to see more serious damage. Anyhow, I found a new one on ebay for £18.50, wow they have dropped in price! :) Looks like he has one left if anyone needs one or fancies a spare... Original Acer Idea 500 510 520BD 120W Power Supply PY.12008.002 FSP120-40GLS 5704327251361 | eBay

I never did get around to upgrading the graphics card, it has been working faultlessly for years (until yesterday). I've upgraded the wifi to 802.11n and added a second antenna on the back, also upgraded the CPU to the 2.33GHz, that's about all really.

I still seem to be getting EPG updates even though I heard Microsoft stopped supplying these some time ago, I'm assuming that is either wrong or I'm getting OTA EPG updates, either way it's still working well with Windows 7 MC, I don't really know what I'm going to replace it with when it does finally go pop!
 

JohnAddison

Active Member
I still have 2 x 510's upgraded with T7600/T7600G, HD2600 512MB Graphics, SSD, 3GB Ram, Blu-ray and 802.11n. They mainly play media from my NAS but my main 510 has a USB DVB-S2 tuner for Freesat HD which at some point I will install internally. I'm pretty shocked that they still perform so well, the HD2600 allows Windows 10 Pro to work flawlessly. I run MediaPortal, works great for my downloaded stuff as well as a PVR for Freesat HD.

I'm not sure what I would replace them with either (Maybe an Intel Skull Canyon NUC), I brought a lot of spares from eBay over the years just in case but with 4k becoming more mainstream time is probably running out. Still, 10+ years service for a HTPC? Not bad Acer, not bad :)
 
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facade

Novice Member
I have 2 510s still working, one lost the ethernet on the motherboard after a storm, the other is fine, and is upgraded to 2TB, 2GB ram and a 2GHz processor.
They work perfectly in 1080, except they can't manage 10 bit H265 without stuttering.

Far better than the Acer Revo RL100 I tried to replace one with, it was never as quick, and it gave up years ago.

All I can replace them with is a SFF PC, there isn't anything on the market now smart TVs are pretty much the norm (They won't play 10bit H265 either)
 

pyor6

Novice Member
I still have 2 x 510's upgraded with T7600/T7600G, HD2600 512MB Graphics, SSD, 3GB Ram, Blu-ray and 802.11n. They mainly play media from my NAS but my main 510 has a USB DVB-S2 tuner for Freesat HD which at some point I will install internally. I'm pretty shocked that they still perform so well, the HD2600 allows Windows 10 Pro to work flawlessly. I run MediaPortal, works great for my downloaded stuff as well as a PVR for Freesat HD.

I'm not sure what I would replace them with either (Maybe an Intel Skull Canyon NUC), I brought a lot of spares from eBay over the years just in case but with 4k becoming more mainstream time is probably running out. Still, 10+ years service for a HTPC? Not bad Acer, not bad :)
My Idea 500 finally gave up on me recently and I gave up on it - but after a good 10 years as you say John. I have just finished a new build of my own using some of the parts removed from the 500. I purchased:

1. TACENS-IXION mini-tower case for mini ITX or mini ATX mobo with a 300W PSU built-in at €52

2. ASRock T48EM1 mobo ITX with an APU AMD T48E processor (integrated graphics on CPU) mobo - SATA 6Gb/s - USB 2.0 at €56

3. LG GH24NSD1 SATA-3 CD/DVD player at €28

4. WD Blue HDD 1TB recovered from Idea 500 - no cost

5. 4Gb DDR3 PC3 10600 1333Mhz 240 pin DIMM removed from desktop which was overpowered - no cost

For €136 I have a smart new outfit ideal for TV and I am astonished at the quality of picture and sound compared with Idea 500. Streams HD no trouble. I followed and adapted advice on: How I Built the Media Center of My Dreams for Under £310

Sorry to see the end of my 500 but 10 years is a long time! :( .... :thumbsup:
 

JohnAddison

Active Member
I will probably look at replacement sooner rather than later but for now they still do what I need. If I ever get around to cooling mods I think I could squeeze a little more performance (10-15% maybe) out my 510's but they will never do 4k or smooth H.265 so aside from doing it for fun there is probably little point.

Do you still have the faulty 500?
 
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pyor6

Novice Member
John,
I have the PSU and DVD drive but have put the case and mobo etc in for recycling - probably not too late to recover.
 

jmackin2

Standard Member
YGPM.

If anyone ever scraps one let me know, I've been looking for units in good cosmetic condition for a possible case mod with ITX parts.
If you've done any research on components be great to hear thoughts. I'm thinking about reusing a 510 case with a new ITX mobo and maybe making it fanless (with a DC adapter for cool and silence). No longer need all the outputs obv, but hope to reuse the display, antennae and DVD drive.
Love the 510 but endless Windows updates are making it too slow to get going - though still plays ripped DVDs stutter-free from drive or server.
 

JohnAddison

Active Member
I've got no specific components in mind at the moment but I'm thinking along the same lines. Right now they can still do blu-ray and 1080p x264 so I'm not in much of a hurry.

The VFD/IR/Buttons are normal USB devices on a non standard USB connector so it should be easy to get them working, the card reader should also be possible to rework. I've just taken delivery of a cheap iDea 500, when I get a few hours free I'll start trying to decide on component layout using some old spares.
 

daJackAtHome

Novice Member
Hi there,

I recently upgraded my idea 510 with an external DIY expansion box containing an DVB-S2 twin tuner and dual Common Interface (CI) decryption card interface. The following components have been used:
Some old connectors and tuner cards had to be removed from my idea 510 to connect the new hardware, but that's worth it. Now I have DVB-S2 HD TV, recording and playback right out of Windows Media center. Additionally, I did the T7600 CPU upgrade, which makes media center perform much better during live TV, recording and playback. No cheap upgrade, but it expands the lifetime and usability of my beloved idea 510 tremendously. :clap:

20190215_141644.jpg 20190215_131941.jpg
 

daJackAtHome

Novice Member
Hi John,

Here are the prices:

Amfeltec:
  • SKU-054-02 Flexible MiniPCI to MiniPCI Express Adapter [power from standard ATX psu] $115.19
  • Freight Shipping and Handling $ 46.47
Digital Devices:
  • 092403 Doppel Common Interface (CI) Erweiterung - DD DuoFlex CI €74.79*
  • 091014 Twin Tuner TV Karte DVB-S/S2 (4 Port Bridge) - DD DuoFlex S2 Octopus mini V2 (mini-PCIe) €167.23*
  • 094132 Power Cable Sherlock Sherlock - ca. 25 cm Order number €3.32*
  • Sum: €245.34* Shipping costs: €0.00* Total amount: €291.95 Total amount without VAT: €245.34 Plus 19 % VAT: €46.61
Some other material:
So all together about 460 EUR

Of course I tried to mount the parts inside of the idea case first, but with all that cards and cabling it was to difficult to find a stable solution...I gave up after a while ;)
The CI slot was the main problem: how to fix it in a way, that you can add/remove the encryption cards without opening the idea case each time? I removed one of the stock tuner cards, the Scart/Euro-AV connector module and tried to fix it in this position, using the scart-aperture to reach the card from outside the case...but that didn't work either.

If you need a more detailed building instruction...don't hesitate to contact me.

Maybe you can find a better solution as well ;))

kr jack
 

JohnAddison

Active Member
Very nice, I keep pricing up a new HTPC build but I can never quite bring myself to do it. Once I decide to go 4k I guess there will be no choice :)

I've got various bits hanging around for a mod, I'm still missing a few but its mainly a time thing at the moment. I've got two beat up 500's specifically to practice any butchery on so I don't have to ruin my 510's, to make room inside my first two paths would be:

PSU - It would require modification but it could eliminate the need for the bulky internal PSU, would require a small external AC adapter however:
mini-itx.com - store - power supplies

SSD - Maybe not this specific one but with such a small form factor it could be easily hidden away (All my media is on NAS):
US $45.6 |Half Slim Size 64GB SSD Sata Mini SSD Solid State Drive For MID Table PC Laptop 3years warranty-in Internal Solid State Drives from Computer & Office on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group

As for a tuner there are things like this floating around.....

TBS5990 - I'd probably remove the casing:
USB DVB-S2 TV Tuner Box-Dual Tuner and Dual CI

Connecting a USB DVB-S2 device internally is possible. There is an unused USB header on the motherboard intended for use with a Bluetooth module, with a custom cable I could use it for the TBS5990. Some small panel mounted F connector fly leads on the back of the case and an internal power hook-up should be fairly straight forward. It's all just theory and would need a case cut but I'd probably try to mount it so the CI slot facing out to the right of the case behind the VFD. I was a little worried about USB DVB-S2 products but I did a test with two cheap (eBay) DVB Sky S960CI a year or so ago and it handled the setup quite well.

Speaking of mods... I really need to look into replacing the heatsinks, quality 50mm PWM fans are impossible to come by. I've noticed a slight noise increase over the past month or so :(
 

paulroberts

Novice Member
Hey all, hope your Acer iDea's are still going strong!

I had a message come up recently saying that Microsoft are going to discontinue EPG guide updates over the Internet in a couple months time. I can't remember if the system gets updates over the air or via Internet to be honest. Do I need to do anything to continue getting guide updates?
 

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