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A week ago the LCD on my Acer got cracked. I could still power on the netbook and operate it as usual but 1/4 the screen was dead. I got a replacement LCD, took apart the top part of the laptop, and replaced the LCD. Now, when I turn it on, the hard drive and the CPU fan sound like they've started up normally, but after about 3 seconds the laptop turns off (varies from about 2.5 to 3.5 seconds). The screen hasn't displayed anything by this point.

Heat is not the problem. I disassembled the bottom half and unscrewed the CPU heatsink/fan and felt the thermal grease while turning it on; it barely got warm after a few tries. The battery is not the problem; this happens whether on DC or AC power (and the battery's voltage is as expected). I tried replacing LCD with the original but with no effect. I tried removing the LCD altogether (also tried removing HDD and RAM). No such luck.

When replacing the LCD I did cut the plastic tape that was covering the connection between the laptop and the screen (the tape was covering where the connector entered the socket on the LCD). I don't think that should've affected anything though. The only other operations when replacing the screen were unscrewing a few screws and popping off the bevel. Is the only conclusion that my motherboard is fried? I don't see how that could've happened though.

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Sounds like a fuse is tripping during the boot. Since the time fits, this should be around the time the screen is supposed to turn on, so I suspect you might be out of luck. What happens if you detach the display's ribbon cable (if that is possible) from the motherboard entirely? – Carighan Maconar Feb 21 '13 at 8:29
There were 4 connections from the top half (screen half) of the laptop to the bottom half (motherboard half) - the display's ribbon cable, two wireless antennas, and I think a hidden speaker at the top of the monitor. I disconnected the first 3 (the speaker's connection is a little too firm); same problem. Guess I'll just have to assume it's the motherboard then, somehow..? – Arcinde Feb 21 '13 at 21:07

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