I have had my Acer TravelMate 4501LCi laptop for nearly 2 years. I switched it off as normal yesterday but when I switched it on today for some reason it wouldn’t boot up. It starts and as it tries to load Windows I get some error message on a blue screen which only stays on for about a second so I can’t read it. Then it reboots itself and I get a message saying there has been an unexpected error etc and asks me whether I want to try booting again normally, or in safe mode etc. I’ve tried in safe mode and all the other options but it just does the same thing. When the Windows XP logo appears and it seems to be loading, it then takes me to this blue screen with an error message and then straight away reboots itself. I’ve had no problems like this before, and it seemed to be working fine when I switched it off yesterday. Any ideas and suggestions would be much appreciated.
A blue screen error might occur because of corrupted software or a faulty hardware and there is no way to say what’s causing the problem without some testing. Very often you might get a blue screen error (BSOD) on startup because of a bad memory module or a bad hard drive and you should test these parts first. If you have two memory modules installed and you can easily access them, then try removing them one by one and start the laptop after each removed module. If you have only one memory module, then you’ll have to test it. Download Memtest 86+ for memory testing and Hitachi Drive Fitness test for hard drive testing. Both utilities are free and they are pretty accurate. When you test the hard drive, run the utility in advanced mode (not quick). If the memory module or the hard drive failed the test, then most likely you found the problem and you’ll have to replace it to fix the laptop.
If the memory module and the hard drive pass the test, then I would try to reload the operating system back to factory defaults. I’m not sure about Acer laptops, but usually you can do that if you use a recovery DVD or set of CDs. To start the recovery process you have to place a recovery media inside the CD/DVD drive and make the laptop boot from the drive. After that you follow the wizard to finish up recovery.
Before you reload the laptop back to factory default, you have to back up any important data from the hard drive because it would be erased and reformatted. To access the data, you can remove the hard drive and connect it to any working desktop PC using a USB hard drive enclosure (slower data transfer) or laptop IDE hard drive adapter (more advanced but faster data transer).