Aspire One Black Screen of Death

Updated 11/04/2012: If you can still boot into Windows, see Aspire One Black Screen of Death – Part 2 for a new utility from Acer that makes an update to the BIOS on a working Aspire One a lot easier.  

Based on the amount of traffic this post still gets, and other sites with articles describing the same problem & solution, there are still lots of Aspire One users who continue to have the same problem, I’ve updated the instructions, with my comments below, and a provided a download of the last BIOS file from Acer’s site, with the BIOS file renamed and in the Dos_Flash directory to make  easier & faster to get your netbook running again.

Updated 04/26/2010: After doing this a few times and reading some of the user comments, I’ve realized that you don’t need to use UNetbootin. It won’t hurt anything, just a couple extra steps.

After a normal restart yesterday, my Aspire One booted into just a black screen. No POST, no BIOS, no hard drive light activity, just the power button LED on and the fan running fast. I was not very happy…

I went to the Acer Aspire One User Forum and started looking thru the Hardware section. I found this thread Dead aspire one and it looked like many others had a similar experience. After reading many stories of warranty repair or replacement, I was just about to dig up my receipts when I found this post: Re: Dead aspire one.

It seems that a lot of people had success reflashing the BIOS from a USB drive using tools provided by Acer. I don’t know if it’s officially supported by Acer or if it will void your warranty, but if the computer’s a paperweight now anyway, what the hell?

It’s very easy to do, but the steps are a bit unclear so here’s my attempt to make the whole thing painless. This worked for me, but it might not for you, so do this at your own risk.

You need:

Download all the files to an easy to find location.

Steps to prepare the USB drive:

  • Format the USB drive using the FAT file system, not FAT32.
  • Start UNetbootin and choose FreeDOS as the distribution. Screenshot here.
  • Unzip the BIOS files and copy them to the USB drive
  • Make a copy of the BIOS file and rename it as ZG5IA32.FD (this appears to be very important – my reflash failed until I did the copy & rename)

Reflash the BIOS:

  • Make sure the AAO is turned off, the battery is attached and the power adaptor is plugged in.
  • Insert the USB drive
  • Press and hold FN + ESC and press the power button to turn it on. Release the Fn & ESC keys. The LED in the power button will flash.
  • Press the power button again once and wait. Mine took ~3 minutes, but I’d advise that you let it sit there for at least 5 minutes just in case your’s takes longer.

When the reflashing is done, the AAO will reboot and, hopefully, you’ll be back to normal.

If it doesn’t work, try reflashing again. The keypress sequence is a little tricky.

If the second try doesn’t work, then you’ll probably have to send it off for repair.

Good luck!!!

Credit and a boatload of thanks to for the instructions I found and hosting the BIOS files!

Original instruction from macles: Acer Aspire One BIOS Recovery

Updated instructions from Acer’s site (with comments):

Updating the BIOS will require a USB flash drive (formatted to FAT or FAT32) to store the BIOS information on during the update. To perform the update to the BIOS: (The smaller your flash drive, the better. I’ve used 1 gig and smaller drives successfully)

  1. From the support home page, click Netbook and select your product.
  2. Click confirm.
  3. Click on the BIOS tab and download and extract the latest BIOS for the netbook. (or download my version here: BIOS_ACER_3310_Windows_AOA110 & AOA150 MODIFIED. Both Acer’s & my files are zipped, so you’ll have to unzip them before you can do anything. Double clicking on the file should unzip them automatically.)
  4. The files required will be in the Dos_Flash subdirectory.
  5. Rename the BIOS file from 3310.fd to zg5ia32.fd. (the modified version above already has the renamed file in the Dos_Flash directory)
  6. Copy zg5ia32.fd and Flashit.exe to the USB flash drive
  7. Ensure that the AC adapter is plugged in.
  8. Insert the USB flash drive into a USB port.
  9. Press and hold down the Fn and the Esc keys together and press the power button.
  10. When the netbook’s power light comes on, wait a few seconds and release the Fn and Esc keys.
  11. After the keys have been released the power light will start to blink.
  12. During the BIOS update process the display will be blank.
  13. Let the unit run and after approximately 1 to 7 minutes, the unit should reboot and the BIOS will be updated. (typically ~3 minutes)

238 Responses to “Aspire One Black Screen of Death”

  1. @rendy

    I don’t have an AO532h and have never had to fix one so all I can suggest is asking at

  2. Hey guys! same problem with the AO D260

    The solution here won’t work whit this model. Does anyone knows how to do the recovery proceure for this machine?.

    My problem, was weird. I’ve updated the bios by executing the flashit command + the filename.fd that comes with the latest release downloaded from acer support. After that the screen show me “Block writed succesfully, bios updated” the system reboots and NEVER boot up again. It may be a problem known by acer, so tomorrow I’ll contact them looking for an answer, as I’ve follow all the steps recommended by them. (the funny thing? Acer seems to know about this issue with de D260, because when you go to the download page, there’s a message tellin’ you that the system may crash if you upgrade the bios without the correct aknowledgment).

    (email deleted to prevent spam harvesters)

    This is ONLY for the Acer Aspire One D260 owners, because with the other machines, seems to work very well.


  3. Hi nano,

    Just wondering if you got your problem sorted as i have the same Acer Aspire One AOD260 with the same problem and just wondering if anyone has found a solution as yet as i am still trying to find one to fix my unhappy daughters netbook 8(,

    Thanks 8)


  5. @david

    I don’t have an AOD255E so I have no experience fixing one. If you describe exactly what your AOD255E is doing, or not doing, maybe someone will have some suggestions. As far as I know, the BIOS fix above only works with the AOA 150 series.

    You can also try the Acer forums at

  6. Has anyone solved the black screen on the Acer D260? I’ve tried everything but a new motherboard. Powers on, lights come on fan spins HD spins but nothing at all on the screen, not even a cursor. I’ve taken out the battery, ac adapter and held power button, i’ve reseated the ram, the hard drive works in another acer so it’s not a bad hard drive. the screen works in another acer so it’s not the screen. I’ve tried plugging it into an external monitor and nothing there either… Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  7. i have tried the all procedure but not usb drive is not reading.what is the problem plz reply.there are too many important thing in my laptop.i have acer aspire one aoa150.

  8. @mandy

    Is your USB drive 256 meg or smaller? If not, try to borrow one or buy one. The largest reported size that’s successfully worked is 256meg. It seems, tho I have no proof, that there is a limit to the maximum size drive this reflash works with.

  9. Was having same problems as listed (black screen of death I assumed) Aspire One zg5 would power on, but nothing on the screen. Tried to do the BIOS fix,power button would flash and flash, usb would flash and flash, battery light would be on, but wouldn’t ever stop/reboot like the various directions on various sites said it would. Stopped procedures after last time of tryin (left it going for 20-30 minutes), and now it won’t power on at all, nor will the battery light come on. (Will flash orange briefly when battery is out and plugging in the cord, then nothing) Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!!

  10. […] things have changed since I wrote my original post on Aspire One Black Screen of Death way back on 01/28/2009. Macles site is no longer at Blogspot, so you can’t get the latest […]

  11. Please help I have tried this one million times with one million variations, different USB sticks. I now have the netbook apart with and taken CMOS battery out NOTHING will work. I have tried everything. It will flash the power light, but the USB light never comes on.

  12. I’ve tried manytime with my Aspire A0531h zg8(W.xp) but nothing appens. Even with bios 3304 and 3108.
    Rename .fd and .exe likes ZG5IA32.FD and InsideFlash.exe, I don’t know if it’s correct??

    Thank a lot for your help!

  13. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! As someone else said, your ‘fix’ worked like a charm and first time!

  14. With AOA110 is ok but with AO751h ?
    Thanks !

  15. Aspire One A0D260 – Black Screen of Death

    Bryan on January 22nd, 2012 at 9:29 pm
    Chris on February 5th, 2012 at 7:00 pm
    Glen on March 8th, 2012 at 11:39 pm
    Nano on April 11th, 2012 at 10:23 pm
    Kerry on April 20th, 2012 at 6:05 am
    INgrl on September 16th, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    All of the above posts had issue with Black Screen of Death on Acer D260 Netbooks.

    Did any of the above people managed to resolve their issues with D260?

    I cannot seem to find anything on the web where anyone has successfully resurrected thier D260 from the BSOD.
    Any suggestions???

  16. Hello everyone
    I followed all the steps but when I hold Fn+Esc and the start button nothing is working.I have acer aspire 5252. please HELP

  17. Oddly……. I put my acer d260 aside on a shop table for about a month or so…. had taken it completely apart to get the motherboard model numbers as I had plans to buy a new MB. Never got around to that so decided to put it back together and sell it on ebay as broken… well it powered up! Like nothing was wrong with it. The only thing I can think of is that with the cmos battery, no charge and no battery to the board for the extended amount of time something discharged and reset itself. Prior to this I had tried everything listed on this blog board.

  18. If the power button don’t start to flash…what to do?

  19. Well thats the second time i’ve used these instructions to bring me little netbook back to life. Ta very much.

  20. I was intimidated by this solution so my husband removed the battery, waited 30 seconds and reinstalled it. Then he booted up and the screen came up just fine! (My hero!)

  21. thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!

  22. My acer one aspire 756 has 2 fd files in the BIOS zip:
    “HM77x64.fd” and “NM70x64.fd”. Which one should I use and rename?
    And shouldI rename it to ZG5IA32.FD like everyone else?

    I am desperate, please help!!

  23. AO D250 Kav60 file, Bios reflash, black screen, Hard Drive formatted. After many hours and many options 1g usb flash card, 512, 256, 128, 64 sd cards, the flash drive continues flashing. Have manual and all bios updates. Any further ideas. Thanks

  24. Ohh muchisisimas gracias si me funciono, no sabia que tenian este problema esta notebook Gracias buen aporte!! ¿alguien sabe a que se debe este problema?

  25. Muchas Gracias por compartir, me funcionó a la perfección… Yo utilicé una memoria de 8Gb con formato FAT32 y los archivos de la versión modificada. 😀

  26. Thank you. The Acer Website has good instructions. Thank you for getting me there.

  27. —– Taking The Fix To The Next Level. ——
    After following the procedure provided, on many other sites, I had no avail. The instructions where crystal clear, but I failed to get past the ‘Black Screen of Death’. The BIOS flashing would never come to an end, with nothing but just a flashing green light.
    I tried this multiple times and followed many alternative repair procedures such as:
    -Removing RAM.
    -Take Out CMOS battery.
    -Resetting the CMOS.

    — Now for the fix. —
    With no hope left, I once again fully dissembled the laptop, removing the CMOS battery once more, leaving it out for about ten minuets, I then proceeded to format another memory stick in the FAT format, and to my surprise, using a different memory stick worked!

    *Also you may be required to copy ‘FLASHIT.EXE’ from another BIOS archive from ACER if one is not included in yours, like my one.

    Model: Acer Aspire One AO531h-1bk

  28. Hi all,

    firstly thanks to everyone for their comments here – very helpful.

    BUT can anyone confirm if the recovery process for the D260 model(NAV70)???
    I see peeps with similar problem but no resolution.

    Any help appreciated.


  29. DaveBoy,

    Just seen you posting…….

    Following my post “Red Fox on December 10th, 2012 at 5:39 pm”

    I have given up hope of resurrecting my D260.
    I’ve tried sahorting the Bios battery to no avail..
    Also tried several sized USB Flash drives again no result.

    If you do ever get it sorted a post here would be very useful!

  30. ok cheers fella. Me given up also }:o)

    Some you win..

  31. Thank you! This worked so well!

  32. Same issue, manufacture date is 2012/2/14. before i knew of the bios flash thing i saw the options about static build up. i was messing around with removing the battery and such and at one point got the lights to flash… but ever since then i get nothiog. same issue as above, no reading of usb drive, no flashing lights. hopefully someone figures this out.

  33. i have a problem in y laptop hp pavilion 15-n001sx after field to update bios the laptop start but screen remain black plz help me to solve this problem

  34. Give it to someone that knows what theyre doing. Clearly you dont if you’ve flashed it and itsfailed.
    It also helps to write in english.

  35. Alex Bittner on May 25th, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Acer Aspire 1810TZ:

    No black, but a very dim screen: Backlight off, but occasionally on (every few hours or so). Weird: Plugging the power in always produced a totally black screen.

    I found that the leads behind the LCD screen, from bottom to top (obviously to the backlight), had a loose connection and/or shortcut, close to the top, where the leads make two 90º turns.

  36. Hello,
    French user of an Acer One PAV70 I encountered that black screen problem. On an external screen on the VGA output I have the display. I can switch by pressing Fn+F5.
    I found the last bios published but I can’t find the tool used to flash
    Can you help me please ?

  37. i have problem LED power orange color cause not succes update BIOS power can.t off how solution


  38. Thank you for saving my grand daughters netbook.

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