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Fixing an Acer Aspire ZA3 Netbook with Cracked Screen (In Burnaby)

Updated on August 25, 2013
New and old screens.
New and old screens.
Installed new screen and started the creation of recovery DVDs.
Installed new screen and started the creation of recovery DVDs.
System specification
System specification
Good resolution under Windows XP.
Good resolution under Windows XP.
Keyboard has some wear.
Keyboard has some wear.
Brilliant and bright screen.
Brilliant and bright screen.
Bottom cover with front legs cut from a wide ruber band.
Bottom cover with front legs cut from a wide ruber band.
Front cover after cleaning by rubbing alcohol.
Front cover after cleaning by rubbing alcohol.

This Acer Aspire 11.6" netbook came in on 27July2013. It had a cracked screen. The owner had been looking for screen in reasonable price but did not find one.

Next to motherboard, screen is the most expensive part. I tried eBay and Amazon. The deal in Amazon is good but shipping is nearly double. I finally ended up to order screen which is shipped from North Vancouver. It is still expensive. The screen arrived in 2 days. It was easy to replace.

The netbook has a 160 GB hard drive and has the factory recovery inside. I tried to create a set of recovery DVDs from the eRecovery program. However, it got stuck in the first step. I restored the netbook to factory image and tried again to create the recovery DVDs. This time, the recovery DVDs were generated successfully.

I have a set of Windows 7 Starter recovery DVDs from a newly Acer netbook that is used by my daughter. I was interested to test if they work on this older netbook. The installation was successfully. However, Windows 7 put in a default video driver which does not provide the high resolution as in its Windows XP version. Also, it asked for Windows activation key. I keyed in the product code from the COA of my other Acer netbook but the activation failed. It means that if my netbook is dead, I could not re-use its Windows 7 Starter version in another older netbook. The OS will be gone together with the hardware.

After testing Windows 7 Starter, I ran the XP recovery DVDs to restore the netbook back to it legitimate Windows XP version. Restore completed successfully and did not ask for Windows XP activation. I tested wireless connection, ran several YouTube videos to test the sound and display. All are working fine. I then tested the Webcam to ensure the screen replacement did not disabled the Webcam. I checked the bottom cover. A front rubber leg was missing. A cut two legs from a wide rubber band to replace both.

The 6 cell battery at 100% shows 4.48 hr. When I started running video for a minutes, it re-calculated the dropped to 4 hr. I cleaned up the netbook by rubbing alcohol. Although it is ready to serve again. However, finding a user at cost will be difficult. That is the reason why the owner did not replace the screen.

On 25July2013, it was picked up by a student who traded in a bigger laptop which had keying problem.


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