Fixing lost CMOS on Acer Aspire One

Now it is summer then computer equipment can overheat. An odd problem appeared on an Acer Aspire One model ZG5 also known as the AOA 150 after it got run on a bed. If you are going to watch movies or do work in bed then I recommend to everyone that you buy one of those melamine tea trays and turn the tray upside down and then use that as a laptop support. When the Acer powered up then it had no display. It had power and the hard disk unparked as if to start up but nothing like normal booting activity and always a blank screen. Over-enthusiastically I pulled this computer apart before I looked around for a less screw-driver related fix. The laptop is easy to dismantle once you know how to remove the keyboard (I have already replaced this before – there are no screws but three tabs that are just above the top row of keys and you click these in. The keyboard is then removed, taking care to unclick the flexible ribbon). But I digress and re-assembled it and did this Acer emergency BIOS recovery trick which is detailed on the ACER web site here,


  1. format a USB key using Windows FAT. Probably work with FAT32 but I used FAT. I used an old 1 GByte key but probably any size would work. It does not have to be bootable – just formatted.
  2. download the latest BIOS ZIP file from the Acer website at  This will currently be
  3. unzip this BIOS zip file contents into the USB key
  4. rename the ZG5_3114.fd to a new file name ZG5IA32.FD (it must be that name). You should now have at least this ZG5IA32.FD file you renamed and the FLASHIT.EXE Note that the file names are case insensitive – this is DOS.
  5. Insert the USB key into the left hand USB port on the broken Acer.
  6. Insert the Power socket
  7. Hold down the Fn and the Esc keys and then push on the power button as normal keeping the Fn+Esc keys pressed.
  8. The power light will go on then flash and the USB key activity light may also blink. Once the power light has flickered then you can release the Fn+Esc
  9. After all the lights have stopped blinking then it is finished. It should reboot by itself and then it will now be working fine. You will have to reset the date/time.

If it still doesn’t work but it still has the power coming on then retry the process above to make sure you are doing all the steps right as this should fix this problem.