Some time ago I posted about installing Windows XP onto my new Acer Extensa 5620-6830 laptop. It's a nice little machine- the price was right, and standard specs aren't bad. But here's some information that could be helpful to anyone with this budget best Buy laptop and wants to get the most bang for their buck!

This guide will cover tips for upgrading, maintenance, plus tweaks and tricks specific for this and other similar model laptops. Learn how to double your battery life, what hardware can be replaced, and if it's smart to do so. In conjunction with my other Instructables, this has some valuable tidbits specific to notebook computers.


3.CPU (hardware)
4.CPU (software)
5.Misc. Tweaks
6.Final thoughts

Step 1: Memory (RAM & Hard Drive)

The Extensa 5620-6830 comes with 1GB of DDR2 memory. That's two sticks of 512MB. This unit technically supports 4GB; 2 x 2GB modules. However, unless you're running a 64-bit operating system (if you have to ask how you'd know, trust me... you're not) then only about 3GB will be usable. There's no fix for this, it's just a fact. All standard 32-bit operating systems are coded this way.

Due to this, I decided to purchase two 1GB modules (making 2GB total). I find that to be plenty sufficient; I've never run out of memory in XP. Keep in mind, Vista will use about 1GB just to boot and run. You'll want to buy 667Mhz modules. There are 800MHz modules out there, but 99% of laptops on the market can't operate at that frequency. You'd be paying extra money for nothing, plus risking incompatibility.

There is an obvious single "hatch" on the bottom of the unit through which we access nearly everything- wifi card, RAM, hard drive, and CPU. You'll need a small philips-head screwdriver to open this. You shouldn't have to apply force once the screws are out, though take note of the plastic tabs along one side.

The stock hard drive is a TOSHIBA MK2035GSS 200GB drive. It runs at 4200RPM, has an 8MB Cache, and uses Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) combined with Tunnel Magneto-resistive Recording (TMR) Head Technology. All that jargon supposedly means it's roughly as fast as a 5400rpm drive. I find it acceptable. There's faster drives out there, but is it worth wasting the $165 on a 200GB 7200rpm drive just to replace the original 200GB? You'd see a lot more heat, less battery life, and a big chunk out of your pocketbook.

The choice is yours, but I'm waiting for a faster (or equivelent-speed) 320GB drive.
<p>I was considering to replace Intel Celeron 530 1,73Ghz with Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 or Intel Core 2 Duo T9500 (difference between those 2 CPU's is that the T9500 have 100 MHz more in clock - 2,5Ghz vs 2,6Ghz - specs are all the same for both models (but both of them are awesome CPU's, you won't make a mistake if you choose one of them)). But will update BIOS to v1.35 (without update CPU won't work i assume). Now the thing is will my Acer Extensa 5220 support 800MHz RAM instead of 667 MHz RAM? Also i have switch for Bluetooth but no 4 pin connector found :( It seems Acer Extensa 5220 doesn't have support for Bluetooth module ;-;</p>
<p>Oh i found the 4 pin connector on motherboard. YUS!!! Oh and will use 667 MHz RAM Modules (silly me, i didn't saw the comment about ram speed) (2x2GB). Well i can't find Intel Core 2 Duo T9500 but i found T9300. HDD is 80GB Hitachi - idk but maybe it's possible to replace it with SSD Hard Drive. But for now i'm laying low -huhue *evil laugh of a mad scientist butchering his laptop*</p>
<p>My Acer Extensa 2508, Model No: MS2394 won't let me connect to the internet due to a device/system update, I have looked to update my laptop but can't ssem to come accros a solution. </p><p>I'm a student in my seccond year of college and really need to complete my college assighments, this happens every two months or more and is very fustrating. Sometimes my laptop won't let me log on because of an update. </p><p>Is there anything I can do without gettting an IT technition to come and fix it as he has already been sereal times to fix it on previous updates. </p><p>Hope you can help. </p><p>Kind reguards, Amy. </p>
I want to install Windows 7 on my Acer 5620, from windows XP. Before I do the upgrade I wanted to upgrade the memory. I have bought two 2gig memory modules, to upgrade from two 1gig modules. Upon startup the message 'Starting Windows' appears, with the scroll bar, then a blank screen, followed by a restart. Inserting one 2gig module and the machine starts up. Install both and it doesn't. I reinstalled the two 1gig modules and everything is fine. Please help!!!!!!
hi,is it possible upgrade it to 3.0GHz processing speed sir??????
I have an Acer 5620 with the power connector pushed in. I took all the visible screws out, but it wont come apart near the screen which is where the power port that is pushed in is. I looked for a guide on taking it completely apart and didn't find one. I've worked on computers for years, but not normally laptops. If you have any advice on this you can email me at d.dufford@gmail.com. Thanks for your help.
I upgraded the laptop from vistato windows 7 and the onboard mic doesn't work, the drivers installed correctly, but the mic just isnt working. when i check the volume settings, the mic seems to be maxed out even though there is no input.<br>I googled some other sites and others have ben having problems with tis as well. Do yo have any solutions?
I'm having same problem. Did you ever find a fix ? Anyone ???? I've checked the usual suspects....mute...levels...reinstall driver (at least i think i reinstalled but *&amp;^%$% Microsoft gave the driver an ambiguous &quot;Sound Device&quot; name to suspect driver which could be anything. I presume to be the mic driver).
I'll check what driver version I am using next time I'm at home with the laptop (I, too have upgraded to Windows 7) and verify the mic is working.
I too have upgraded from Vista to XP to Windows 7.<br><br>Mic works.<br><br>BUT the battery went completely downhill. Used to be over 2 hours in XP and within week of installing W7 the battery went to 15 minutes.<br><br>Any fix, possible to update battery driver??<br><br>Thanks.
I have a acer extensa 5620-6830 with&nbsp; a 1.5 CPU. If I change the CPU to T8300 will I have to change the bios?<br />
Probably, yes. But flashing the BIOS is not very difficult.<br />
I am using BIOS version 1.35 which works well with the T8300
I've upgraded my T5250 CPU to a T8300. The new chip has an FSB of 800. Checking my memory chips, I find a 2 GB DDR2 chip with a speed of 400 and another 2 GB DDR2 with a speed of 333. <br><br>The two mismatched chips seem to work well with each other, but would I have an increase in speed if I replaced the slower chip with a faster one?<br>
can my 5620 run windows 7<br />
Yes! Very well, in fact. These days I no longer use XP at all, but dual boot between Windows 7 and Mac OSX.<br />
Hey i wanna run Mac on my 5620 as well, i have iatkos S3 v2, that i run on another system. What version of Mac do you run on your system?
Hi Charred, I have the same Acer and now my HD makes noise when it spins. Does that mean it's about to break? I am guessing the answer is yes.
Yeah, noises when spinning is an internal hard drive problem. The good news is that they're fairly cheap now- if you hunt around, you can get a 500GB replacement for under $100.<br />
and how would i go about doing that<br />
yap<br />
I have this same exact laptop, and ws thiking, does yours overheat ALL THE TIME?!?!?!? and was wondering if it does, did you fix it and how?
Mine never overheats, so I'm betting your cpu fan and / or heatsink is clogged up. Check my latest Instructable to find out how to open up the laptop, then try cleaning out any crud you find. You might also try carefully cleaning off the cpu, and re-applying a think layer of fresh thermal paste or Arctic Silver.<br /> <br /> Also, it may sound funny, but upgrading the cpu is a big help. The original has a 65nm core, which puts out quite a bit more heat than the newer 45nm design. My temps have gone down since installing a 2.6Ghz T9500!<br />
Did you need to upgrade the BIOS? where do get the bios upgrade in this case?
Can you tell me where I might buy these memory modules ? Any specsI need to watch out for on the modules ? Also, I'd like to back my HD up. I do so with a RW DVD and the backup utility. Problem is this, after it finishes with 1 DVD, I am prompted to insert another one whereupon nothing happens after I close the tray. Any ideas ?
I installed Rightmark and my temperature dropped by 25 degrees. Thank you!<br /> Also I am thinking about putting Windows 7 on&nbsp;my Acer 5620&nbsp;as I can for free, do you recommend doing so?
Windows 7 runs quite well on my 5620- if you can install it for free, by all means, do so. <br />
i have 1 quest pls help..... Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile 2,26 GHz P8400 works on acer extensa 5620?<br />
Probably way too late to help you, but for posterity: <br /> <br /> The P8400 will not work in our 5620's, or any GM965 chipset for that matter. Our maximum FSB speed is 800Mhz; the P8400 uses a 1066Mhz FSB. <br />
The DC-in jack on my 2 year-old 5620-6830 has failed.&nbsp; I know it's the jack, because I bought a new AC adapter and it still doesn't work.&nbsp; Question - Is it likely to be the jack itself, or something worse (the motherboard).&nbsp; Can I replace the jack or is it integrated into the m-board?&nbsp; I tried cracking the case, but couldn't get one edge to come up and I didn't want to force it, so I don't know how it's set up.&nbsp; Assuming the jack can be pulled off and replaced, I don't know how to do it or even if I can get a replacement jack - will have to contact Acer I suppose for the jack.&nbsp;&nbsp; Anyway, if anyone has some guidance it will be greatly appreciated.&nbsp; <br /> By the way, when I bought this the first thing I did was take it to my local geek shop and to have Vista removed.&nbsp; They installed XP and it's run perfectly ever since.<br />
Good news - I just did a search online for the jack and found lots of them available on line.&nbsp; Apparently it just plugs into the motherboard.&nbsp; So I bought one and it's on the way - now I just need to know how to open the case without breaking it....<br /> <br /> Thanks.<br />
Yes, the DC jack is meant to be replaceable. You do have to disassemble the entire laptop, but then it's as simple as unplugging the bad on and plugging in the new one. If you can track down the 5620 service manual, it described how to take everything apart. <br />
Thanks.&nbsp; I'll look for the service manual.<br />
hi i have extesna 5620-6830 and i want windows xp but i cant install it somebody can help me&nbsp; <br />
As I understand it from the guy who installed XP on mine, XP can't be installed on a computer built for Vista without an additional driver that isn't included on the XP installation disk.&nbsp; You have to obtain the driver (I don't know where, but it's probably on the Microsoft website), burn a new XP install disk with the extra driver included, and then use that disk as your install disk.&nbsp; Mine has worked perfectly now for 2 years so I know it can be done.&nbsp; Good luck.<br />
You can install XP on most modern laptops, as long as you go into the bios and change the hard drive from AHCI/SATA mode to IDE. Otherwise, yes, you would need a driver that isn't on the XP disc.<br />
Hey CharredPC, Do you do repair work over the mail? I have this laptop. Acer Extensa 5620 on Vista Home Premium SP1, Intel Core 2 Duo T5550 1.83 GHz 3Gig Mem. No one will downgrade my Laptop to XP Pro for fear that the drivers will not be compatible. What do you charge to do this to my laptop? Thanks, Eric Sotelo esotelo@earthlink.net P.S. How does Leopard run on the Extensa? Can you do that to my laptop too? LOL.. .Thanks. I would rather just pay someone like you who knows how to do this the right way then me screw up my laptop.. Thanks for responding.
I have a question about my laptop Acer Extensa 5620-6830 .Need to know where to purchase a AC/DC adapter so I can use it in the truck as I don't have wireless service yet. Acer stated they didn not make any for this computer but is there a universal one that will work?
I found it... unfortunately its quite large... <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.dcacpowerinverters.com/itemdesc.asp?ic=PW200-12">http://www.dcacpowerinverters.com/itemdesc.asp?ic=PW200-12</a><br/>
I think there is one. i'll post another reply once i find it.
well i improved my laptop with ensane result myself. i am laptop expert (no joke) i dont have tutorials, because i either dont have time or well it's not always easy to explain.
Can I upgrade my graphics (Current: X3100) with some external graphic card. Regards.
Unfortunately not. This laptop has no way to upgrade the videocard.
someone told me that it will support a Nvidia 8600 Mobility GT GPU. can anyone tell me if this is correct or not?
As I said, unfortunately there is no physical way to upgrade the video card in this laptop. There simply isn't a slot to be able to do it.
Hi there! I have a Extensa 5220 with Celeron M 540 ( 1.73 GHz), without Bluetooth and without Webcamera . I want to upgrade with some duo core processor about T-5500, it's possible do that ???, Motherboard is support for duo core???? I want to include Bluetooth to internal NB too, But i don't know open the cover and keyboard, it's here some instruction for open cover of Extensa series??? I was include the internal Webcamera from Aspire 3100 to This Extensa NB, it works very good, I have this camera when I buyed the display from Aspire 3100.
I really enjoyed your Instructable, I guess if you upgrade the processor you would need to update the bios possibly. I put a 7200RPM hard drive in my Dell Laptop and I think the difference in performance was quite noticeable, with only a minor hit in battery life. I'm using a Hitachi if that matters, I know some hard drives consume more power than others.
Please update me if it is possible to upgrade my Extensa 5620 Core 2 Due 1.86 GHZ CPU with a higher one. Regards
As this guide says... yes.
Agreed, great job. I followed but still cannot get audio nor Mobile Intel 965 Express Chipset family drivers loaded. Sheesh...see notebookreview. Walt

About This Instructable




More by CharredPC:Rebuild Your Car's EL (electroluminescent) Lights!Acer Extensa Laptop 5620 Hotrod Overhaul GuideAcer Extensa Laptop (5620 / T5250) Upgrade & Tweak Guide
Add instructable to: