Step 5: Misc. Tweaks

These are a collection of tweaks I learned over the past few months using this laptop. Most of them should be applicable to other makes / models.

Tweaking the video:

The X3100 Intel video is hardly for gaming. However, there's a few things you can do. First off, it is advertised as having "Up to 252MB" of shared graphics memory under Vista. Installing XP, it becomes 384MB! Not a bad upgrade (either the increased video memory or the faster OS) ;)

To get a little more of an edge, download and install the latest driver from Intel. Open Graphics Properties. Under Display Settings, hit Power Settings. Here you can improve things (slightly) by being more energy-wasteful. Under 3D settings, you can also change the "Driver Memory Footprint" to High, which supposedly may help.

Tweaking the performance:

I've already written an XP tweak-guide, so I'll keep this short. Get rid of all those background / startup applications, defragment your drive overnight every few weeks, uninstall / delete things you'll never use, Turn off System Restore unless you actually use it, and turn off Automatic Updates! If you have 14 taskbar icons next to your clock, it takes five minutes to boot up, and you keep getting "low disk space" warnings, you don't need new hardware. You need an hour of easy software maintenance.

Tweaking the battery:

A while back I forgot the charger for my laptop when I left for work. Bugger, I thought, I can get an hour, maybe a little more out of this battery! What on earth will I do for the next 3+ hours till I can run home on lunch?

Everyone's usage will differ, but here's how I stayed chatting and surfing online for three hours, just using the ~6 month old stock battery.

First, I used the under-voltage trick. Remember, less voltage, less heat, less power consumed.

Secondly, I have Windows Power Options set to Max Battery. Not only does this keep standard hardware use to a minimum, but it runs the T5250 cpu at 997Mhz instead of 1.5Ghz while unplugged. If you're websurfing or typing, 2/3 of the CPU is plenty.

Thirdly, I used XP's Hardware Profiles to create a super-battery-extending profile. The how-to from Microsoft is here for setting up Profiles. I created a new one, rebooted, and entered it. Setting the timer at 5 or 10 seconds instead of the default 30 might keep you from gnashing your teeth in impatience during startup. Now the fun begins...

We open the device manager and start disabling anything we can live without for the next three hours. DVD drive? Not needed. PC Card slot? SD card? Firewire? Webcam? Disable them all. Since I'm on Ethernet and have the volume muted, I disabled Wifi and the audio card as well.

I then turned the brightness down as far as it would go, and closed every application but the Firefox tabs I was using. Turning off the auto-hibernate at 3%, I managed to chat on Meebo for three hours and seventeen minutes- at which point I ran home on lunch and grabbed my charger. I keep the Uber-battery profile just in case this happens again, or I need to finish / retrieve some work with the last trickles of power.
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
Nicely done. Everyone seems to think that laptops can't really be improved by anyone but professionals.

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