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Acer Aspire E15 laptop short to ground

This is a discussion on Acer Aspire E15 laptop short to ground within the Laptop Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hello everyone, this is my first time posting here, been reading for some time as well as watching countless videos


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Old 06-06-2019, 02:00 PM   #1
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Hello everyone, this is my first time posting here, been reading for some time as well as watching countless videos for the past two weeks to try to fix this issue.

long story short, I accidentally used the wrong charger on my laptop and shorted something in the motherboard 19 volt circuit and now the laptop will not charge and the charging adapter light will go off as soon as I plug it into the laptop. Indicating a short to ground from what Iíve been reading.

So I decided to open up the laptop and test the motherboard to see if I could find the fault. Testing with a multimeter concluded that the short begins as early as the charging port and continues thereafter on the 19v line. Somehow the laptop worked fine other than not being able to charge. after watching hours of videos I decided that the best method to find the shorted component is to inject some voltage at the 19v line and find the component taking the current by finding the heat. So I used a DC power supply and attempted this method, but I am not finding anything getting hot. I am getting as much as 10amps through it. Which is all my power supply can give. Iíve been holding it at 2-4amps and cannot feel anything getting hot. I removed several components and mosfets right by the DC port thinking they May have been the culprit but they tested fine and the board is still shorted.

i donít understand how something can be taking as much as 10a and not getting hot. is there any other approach?
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:02 AM   #2
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Quote:
board is still shorted.
You shorted the motherboard by using the wrong power adapter. You will now need to replace the whole motherboard, not just chips or resisters on it.
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:48 AM   #3
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High chances you shorted a fuse, look either for a fuse or a 0 Ohms resistor, that might have blown, replacing it is a good place to start.
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Old 06-07-2019, 05:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spunk.funk View Post
Quote:
board is still shorted.
You shorted the motherboard by using the wrong power adapter. You will now need to replace the whole motherboard, not just chips or resisters on it.
Not true, if you don’t know what you’re talking about just don’t post please and thank you. If you read correctly, the laptop still works fine 100% operational. The only thing that does not work is charging. Clearly the short is isolated to the charging/power/19v circuit in such a way that it’s not shorting the power going into the cpu/gpu, hdd etc. The motherboard is clearly not “FUBAR” and fried, it’s isolated so either read correctly or don’t post nonesense.


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High chances you shorted a fuse, look either for a fuse or a 0 Ohms resistor, that might have blown, replacing it is a good place to start.
Yes that is what I’m leaning towards, I honestly thought I shorted the first or second mosfet right off the DC jack but they both test fine, I removed one to test off the board, and it tests fine. I tested a few capacitors that were in short, but the capacitors were fine, the short was somewhere down the line.

There are two big resistors labeled “R01” right by the power supplies and coils so I’m going to test those two. I found some schematics so I think I have the value for it. Either way, if it’s shorted it’ll be obvious.

Whatever component is shorted, is “really short” because I only get about 0.4ohm from negative to positive terminal on the DC Jack, it’s very low resistance which explains why it’s sinking all the current my DC power supply can produce, and the resistance is so little that it’s free flowing and therefore the voltage is really low, I’m getting as much as 10a and as little voltage as 0.5v through the short, and I’m thinking that such low voltage it’s not producing enough power (watts) to heat up the faulty component.
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:02 AM   #5
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laborchet, we're here to help, but the tone of your post is not appreciated, in spunk's experience, this is the best and easiest solution for users, and if you were a novice user, that's what I'd recommend too. You could have made your point across more politely.

Coming back to your issue, you need to trace every component in the line where the voltage flows and need to validate specs of every component in that line based on the schematics. Unless you get every possible failed component replaced, you're still looking at issues down the line.
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:18 AM   #6
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No doubt, im sorry Spunk for coming off like that. So let me give some more background like i probably shouldve before.

I am not a novice when it comes to electronics, circuits etc. Ive designed me own circuits, printed PCBs and stuff like that so im not uncomfortable with SMD soldering, pulling chips to test and troubleshooting like that.

The reason why i want to repair this laptop is the following, money. Its a great laptop (i5 chip, nvidia GPU, SSD, etc) but its not a fancy one. All that comes at a pretty low price tag of around 550$ when i bought it. A new motherboard is looking like will cost around 200-250$ depending on source and i am having a hard time finding the EXACT same one so it may not even be as easy as buying and replacing.

Given that the mobo is half the value of what the laptop cost new, its just not feasible to repair the laptop by simply throwing a 200$ mobo at it, at that point i would just put 200$ down on a new laptop but that isnt something i want to spend on either because this laptop actually works, except for being able to charge the battery.

Anyhow, sorry for coming off harshly. lets try again. Today i have some free time so i will pull the resistor and test it, and follow the line from there. The short is somewhere down the line but not too far based on trace resistance (sont have a very fancy multimeter though) but i am pretty confident that the failed component is nearby the charging port.

The main problem I am having with troubleshooting by following the line down is mainly that the schematics i have might not be the right ones. Its listed under the same model but there are many variations of this laptop under almost the same model, and i think the schematics i have are for the cheaper version without the standalone GPU..

Are there any free sources for schematics?

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Originally Posted by tristar View Post
laborchet, we're here to help, but the tone of your post is not appreciated, in spunk's experience, this is the best and easiest solution for users, and if you were a novice user, that's what I'd recommend too. You could have made your point across more politely.

Coming back to your issue, you need to trace every component in the line where the voltage flows and need to validate specs of every component in that line based on the schematics. Unless you get every possible failed component replaced, you're still looking at issues down the line.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:17 AM   #7
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Thanks for apologizing, it shows a lot of maturity, on the lighter side, if a user plugs in a wrong charger and blows up the charging port, there is now way any of us could've anticipated that the user was good with electronics

I'm not really sure around the schematics, but if you can post the complete name of your motherboard and the revision we at TSF have a web crawler by the name of @joeten hopefully he is able to pull out some schematics for you... But it'd be tough to find.

IMO, even if there are different variants of the board, high chances that the track for charging would be consistent, a good place to start would be a service manual/schematics which are closest to your model..
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Old 06-08-2019, 03:41 PM   #8
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OK I have had a brief look on what is already posted and I would. need more info to even start to yield anything viable and that is not guaranteed, some companies keep things very close to the chest but when I have some free time I will dig around provided I have more to go on, as there are a few different versions.
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:13 PM   #9
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If my reading was correct, a couple scenarios are still unanswered.

Laborchet,
You stated the laptop operated fine, just won't charge. My initial assumption from your post is that the battery is at least partially depleted and you were watching movies using a power adapter (the correct one), which won't charge the battery.

You stated you connected a bench-type power supply capable of providing up to 10A, and got it to max out at the 10A. Exactly what did you do to get the laptop to use 10A of power without smoking the MB? The 2-4A is standard for the laptop depending on the USB connected devices.

When you had the bench supply connected, did the battery charge at all? If not, and if I were to suspect a component, it would be the system battery itself.

If the bench supply did charge the battery, I'd then replace the power adapter.

I do agree that MB replacement isn't a good investment, laptop replacement would be better; especially if you were to look for the refurbs that come with a 1 year warranty.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:09 PM   #10
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What originally happened was; I was working on an important project and had a deadline coming up. Was working on battery power when the battery got too low, and the laptop shut off.

In a rush, I scrammed for the charger, grabbing what i thought was the right one but in the heat of the moment, i was wrong. I used the wrong charger and the laptop hasn't been able to be charged, with the correct one, ever since.

Thinking i probably fried the battery (which was already in need of replacing) i bought a new battery and replaced it. The laptop returned to normal operation and I thought the problem was fixed. About an hour after replacing the battery with the brand new one, i went to charge the laptop only to find the same issue persisting. (charger adapter light goes off when I plug it into the laptop, but the laptop itself works perfectly fine)

So I opened the laptop and started testing with a multimeter to try to find the short. With ALL components disconnected off the motherboard, I was testing at the DC jack positive and ground leads for resistance and found that the positive is shorted to ground. I am only getting about 3-4 ohm between the positive and negative pins on the 19v DC input jack for the charger.

So this tells me that whatever current the charger is supplying instantly gets dumped to ground which explains the light on the adapter going off, and the battery not charging.

So i continued testing components on the same line by following the PCB since i dont have schematics and i lifted a couple mosfets and capacitors with a hot air solder iron because I suspected them to be defective, but they were not, and the short from 19v to ground persists. The components were soldered back in place after testing they were not in short, and the laptop still works after that.

After watching hours of repair videos on youtube and reading to familiarize myself with repair/test procedures i found that the most straight forward way to find the component shorted to ground is to inject some voltage at the 19v rail to see if the faulty component takes a current. So i did that using a 10a power supply set to 5v and slowly cranked the current up to 2-4 amps at a time to feel around for the shorted component getting hot. But i never felt any heat build up anywhere. No matter how long i waited, i even tried cranking it up more. Momentarily getting pretty high, as its being directly dumped to ground with almost no resistance.

So after that, I put the laptop back together and tested that it still works after my poking. Which it did.

So i took it to a professional laptop motherboard/electronics repair shop that does this kind of stuff. They didnt want to work on it because i had already touched it, even though the behavior didnt change after i poked at it. Still fires up, works but its at really low battery and needs to be charged.

When i was bench testing, none of the other components were hooked up to the MB, so the battery did not charge. I would suspect it would not have charged even if it was hooked up, because any and all current being supplied by my bench power supply or the laptop charger is being directly shorted to ground before it gets to power anything

Here below I link one of the videos I watched about the voltage injecting procedure to find the short.

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Old 06-18-2019, 08:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeten View Post
OK I have had a brief look on what is already posted and I would. need more info to even start to yield anything viable and that is not guaranteed, some companies keep things very close to the chest but when I have some free time I will dig around provided I have more to go on, as there are a few different versions.
what kind of info do you need? I will post up some pics of the numbers on the board.

Theres many versions of this laptop with different CPU/GPU combos

This is the aspire E5-575G-53VG i5 6200 CPU with an Nvidia GTX 940M 2GB GPU, 8GB DDR4 RAM and SSD.

<a href="https://ibb.co/k06sxX2"><img src="https://i.ibb.co/WFp46fv/IMG-3522.jpg" alt="IMG-3522" border="0"></a>
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:56 PM   #12
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Old 06-19-2019, 06:46 AM   #13
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The image only takes you to the ibb site not the specific image even after removing the "s" in https.
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Old 06-19-2019, 06:52 AM   #14
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Try the link now, its a picture of the numbers on the motherboard for identification.

https://ibb.co/k06sxX2
https://i.ibb.co/WFp46fv/IMG-3522.jpg

The picture below shows where the DC jack plugs into, has 4 pins. 2 ground 2 positive.

I removed the mosfet or diode (not sure which it is) that connects the path from the DC jack input to the path going to the right side of the board. After removing that component, that side of the circuit is no longer shorted, the short remains on the path that goes down from the DC jack input, but of course, the short could be ANY component from there to ground. So too many and im not even sure which one to begin testing without some schematics.

https://ibb.co/whKth2Q

I know it looks a little burned, but its mostly just flux that needs cleaning. The board still works as it did before. Turns on, everything works but it will not charge. Even with that missing component, still turns on and works but the charging circuit is currently incomplete and somewhere it is still shorted to ground
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Old 06-19-2019, 06:55 AM   #15
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Works now. Good job. I'm on the road and trying not to actually work on a problem, so hopefully someone will jump on this thread.
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Old 06-19-2019, 07:05 AM   #16
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Thanks, here i edited the pic a little to show what I was trying to explain.

https://ibb.co/x3VyCTP

By removing that component, i isolated the short to the path going "down" from the DC jack input. At any point down that path there is a short to ground, so it could be any component. I tested the components nearby and found nothing.

I tried injecting voltage between ground and that point at the diode marked with the thin line arrow, and got a big current flow as expected since resistance is nearly zero, but felt no single component getting hot, as it did in the video i linked above.
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Old 06-19-2019, 05:50 PM   #17
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Laborchet,
I continued to read entries after my post, and for the time & effort you've already expended my best recommendation is to replace the laptop. I say this for a couple of reasons.
1. It isn't an unreasonable assumption that you got a bad battery from the supplier, even if it is OEM (batteries stating OEM could indeed BE OEM, which means the battery is likely of similar age as the laptop). If it's aftermarket, quality of manufacturing is a distinct concern.
2. Without the schematics, you can only make guesses and suppositions as to which board components to open to take a reading. The schematics would give you specific test points with the correct reading values, and likely culprit components if readings are not acceptable. Also, without the schematics, you can only guess that your MB is only two layers deep (top & bottom). You may have a multi-layer board (especially if it's physically small given the case size).

Good refurb laptops can be had for less than $300 unless you want something with a screen larger than 15" or you have a machine suitable for graphics work. Some even come with a 1 yr warranty which you can extend with a Square Trade warranty for up to 2 yr.

I wish you best of luck in your decisions looking forward.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:15 PM   #18
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The problem is definitely not caused by the battery. It goes beyond that.

I am testing almost zero resistance between the positive and negative charger input leads. the motherboard is shorted, I’m 100% sure the battery is not the problem. If it was, then that is two batteries exhibiting the same behavior. And that still doesn’t explain the short to ground.

I appreciate your input but it’s obvious that the battery isn’t the cause here. I am measuring a short from 19v to ground, even if the battery is disconnected.

At this point I’m probably going to go deep into removing components and trying to find the one that is shorted, worst case scenario I’ll have to fork out 175$ for a used mobo which is still cheaper than a new laptop.

I was hoping maybe one of the guys here could help me find the schematics. I found some but not sure if it’s the same model, they don’t seem to make sense...
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:35 AM   #19
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Joe's on the road and might be tied down, give him a few days, let's see if he can pull up something for you...

In my experience, you're either looking at a fuse or a mosfet which travels in the circuit track for charging...
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Old 06-24-2019, 06:36 AM   #20
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Well, did some more testing. Found a bad diode, one of the first components after the DC jack. Removed it, but I can still find large groups of shorted capacitors down the board..
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