Sounds like pretty classic bad caps (google it) symptoms, which means the laptop is probably a goner. Getting Acer to do repairs under warranty can be difficult enough, and since this thing is out of warranty, the cost of a new motherboard is likely going to be more than a new laptop with similar specs.
There's no easy way to test this, and visual inspection isn't always enough, but if you keep repeatedly trying to turn the unit on, and it eventually works every couple dozen attempts, that's almost certainly bad caps.
Got a Acer 5552 Aspire laptop, with Win7 64-bit, AMD processor - at least 2.-something GHz. 8GB ram, ATI Radion graphics card. Don't have the rig around at the time of posting this, otherwise the description would be more detailed.
The thing won't even so much as reach the BIOS screen when it is turned on. The fan spins up, the power button glows, and the CD drive blinks, but that's it; it doesn't even give you the hard drive indicator light.
It just started doing this a few days ago, and was rather unprovoked. The rig is about two years old, and hasn't taken any sort of damage - no drops or impact, no liquids, no heat or cold. It's seen standard use: school work with the occasional game.
First the wireless card would randomly stop working for no reason, and, after completely disassembling the computer, cleaning it (though it wasn't dirty), reassembling it and rebooting, would work for a bit. Then the only way that we could get it to boot up was by attempting to turn it on without the CMOS battery in place. The CMOS battery, but not the computer parts around it, wound up getting hot enough to cause mild burns when it was still in the computer, so we pulled it out before it melted something. (We had the computer open while we were running it in an attempt to isolate faulty machinery)
I've tried everything listed online: it's been completely disassembled, checked and cleaned, reassembled with fresh (and carefully applied) Antec thermal paste, subbed out the RAM sticks, got a new CMOS battery, even flashed the (proper version of) BIOS.
The BIOS flash took for a bit, because apparently the BIOS had somehow gotten corrupted, but then the black screen and no-response started happening again. (For the record, the BIOS flash also required the Acer recovery sequence of Fn + Esc while having all power supplies out, reattaching the AC power, then mashing the power button in until it came on, followed by releasing everything.
As per stated online, the Fn + Esc combo caused the fan to spin up, and then the BIOS screen to come back. Or at least it did. Even this has stopped working now. The laptop will get no further than just spinning up the fan and staying stuck that way. While the CD drive does "spin" it's more of a "hey, I have a CD drive" check than an actual attempt at reading the drive - already tried to get it to read another BIOS flash from both there and a flash stick. Fail on both accounts.
I've spent the last week researching this, and from all I've read, usually the BIOS flash completely fixes any sort of problems like this, and I've not found where people have continued to have issues with black screen and such afterwards.
I've got a new internal AC-to-MB connector coming soon, because I saw where someone mentioned that faulty AC connections could sometimes lead to this, and that the solution would be to replace the internal plug, but I'm really doubtful that this is going to do anything different.
Does anyone have any other ideas on how to fix this thing or what went wrong? It's warranty just ran out, and replacing it really isn't financially feasible.
Thanks ahead of time.