Design flaw can lead to data loss on AA1-ZG5

Discussion in 'Laptop Hardware' started by seatiger, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. seatiger

    seatiger

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    Mar 26, 2009
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    A design flaw that can lead to total data loss on 8.9 inch Acer Aspire One has been found by one user of HardwareCult, a Mexican-based hardware enthusiasts site.

    The Acer Aspire One was originally designed for a very small SSD flash memory unit, yet market trends made Acer release a hard drive version that was pretty successful in the marketplace, pushing Acer to the best selling netbook vendor out there.

    The problem is that the mechanical hard drive unit on the AA1 is subjected to vibration and/or magnetic interference when the right speaker is playing loud music or sounds, generating read errors, ATAPI errors on the system log, and even logging Raw Read Errors on the hard drives´ SMART health monitoring system.

    -I was able to reproduce the problem in the machines on display at the local SAM´S Club- the user wrote -and it was present on all of them.

    The procedure for making the error appear involves playing loud music on the Acer Aspire One -in this case U2´s Kiss Me, Kill Me from the Batman movies- and then the hard drive led goes stuck to the "On" position and read errors occur.

    This design flaw can lead to the hard disk unit to reset from UDMA5, the normal setting for the controller, down into PIO, slowing down the machine to a crawl, to read errors in the SMART log, to a complete catastrophic failure of the hard drive unit. The association of the hard drive failure and the loud music was made when playing a flash video featuring Batman´s logo evolution, with the U2 song on the background. "You´ll see, after some seconds the hard drive LED will get stuck and the machine could freeze or get a BSOD, lower the volume or plug in some headphones and the problem magically dissappears".

    Several users have been able to replicate the problem, and the La Paz, Mexico service center, Microdata, has been receiving lots of dead lappies with the hard drive needing a replacement.

    The finder contacted Latin Americas´ ACER representatives who are researching the problem, and as most of the Acer Aspire Ones are still under warranty, the fix could be found and the machines fixed before the warranty ends.

    http://www.hardwarecult.com/index.php?o ... c=10805.30

    The video: http://drawn.ca/2009/03/19/batman-logo/
     
    seatiger, Mar 26, 2009
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  2. seatiger

    jackluo923

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    Check out the post in the hardware section about the same problem from 4 month ago. It was written by myself and has more detail on it. It also offers better theory to the data corruption data. I've also discovered many other design flaws apart from the "speakers".
     
    jackluo923, Mar 29, 2009
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  3. seatiger

    dack001

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    Could you point us to the thread?
    You have written quite a few posts, so the searchengine is not that good to use.
    Thanks in advance!
     
    dack001, Mar 30, 2009
    #3
  4. seatiger

    Shad0wguy

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    Saw this on Engadget the other day. Makes me glad I opted for the SSD.
     
    Shad0wguy, Mar 30, 2009
    #4
  5. seatiger

    jackluo923

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  6. seatiger

    Takahashi

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    Yes, this very thing happened to me with my first AA1. It came from blasting some music while doing a few meaningless tasks without the presents of external speakers of which I will always opt to plug in. Anyway after a month or so I noticed the drive started to take longer to load data. Soon I got lockups and then the loud clicking sounds coming from the hard drive. Typical. Thank goodness for Costco. I got it replaced through them way over the return time... I am glad I use dropbox when it comes to all my important data.

    Be warned this is no myth!

    Sucks the article came a little to late for me.
     
    Takahashi, Apr 4, 2009
    #6
  7. seatiger

    dattaway

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    This must be why the maximum sound volume on mine is quite low. I guess there was little or no provisions for sound deflection around the hard drive.

    I've noticed the heat sink pad material on the CPU's is spongy and might make a good vibration/sound damper material. Now I'll have to find a source...
     
    dattaway, Apr 5, 2009
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