Acer AspireOne “Netbook”

NOTE: The Acer AspireOne netbook has went missing, and can’t be located.

This computer is a standard run-of-the-mill netbook from the late 2000s, but this computer has a lot of sentimental value to me. Thus, this page is going to turn into more of a book. 🙂

The Netbook Craze

Starting in the mid-2000s, people wanted smaller, cheaper computers that could be used for one purpose: surfing the web on the go. Computer manufacturers started see this as a chance to make some money, and then the netbook was born.

Netbooks typically sold for anywhere between $200 and $500. Netbooks typically were based on the Intel Atom processor series, as the Atom was smaller, consumed less power, and produced less heat. However, you sacrificed performance with the Atom, it was good enough for surfing the internet.

Eventually, the netbook was replaced with tablets. Tablets were smaller, more portable, and usually included a better screen. Tablets also included a touch-screen display, and the iPad and other tablets had more powerful processors over the Atom.

The Story Behind Mine

I actually received my netbook as a present after an unfortunate and tragic event. On October 8, 2010, our house was reduced to ashes following a fire which started near the water heater. Thankfully, a family member allowed us to stay in her house in a spare bedroom.

The next morning, I had received the AspireOne. A neighbor knew I was into computers, and I had (of course) lost my computer, a HP Pavilion, in the fire. I set up the AspireOne and it served as my only computer until my birthday the following year, when I received another computer as a gift.

When the hard drive on my Asus MintMachine failed, I used the AspireOne as a temporary computer between the time the hard drive failed and I purchased the Late 2014 MacMini.

The Upgrade to Win10 (Spoilers: FAILURE!)

Running Windows 10 Home Edition on a machine with an Intel Atom processor clocked at 1.6GHz was never a good idea, especially with 2GB of RAM inside. However, I felt it could be done, and it met Windows 10 minimum requirements.

I performed the upgrade before I purchased the ThinkPad T420, to “test the waters.” Windows 8 was a failure in my mind, so I wanted to try Windows 10.

The Acer reacted kindly to Windows 10 at first. Besides being slow (remember, we’re running this all on a computer that is 5 years old, powered by the Intel Atom processor, and only contains 2GB of RAM.) However, it wasn’t long before problems started.

One of the first problems was that the system would not boot into Microsoft Windows. The system would boot into BIOS, and would pass POST. However, Windows would shoot me back into the diagnostic and repair prompt. I’ve only had this happen when the hard drive is failing.

Due to the age of the system, and its mechanical hard drive, I feared the worst. I disassembled the machine (which, for the record, is a difficult machine to disassemble. Disassembly required removal of the hard drive, which inevitably meant the F8 key went “snap!” before completely breaking free from the keyboard) to remove the drive from its little carrier. (Reassembly, for the record, is even worse. A thin ribbon cable makes it extremely difficult to connect the keyboard, as the cable has to be positioned just right before the THIN plastic holding clip can be secured.)

Once the hard drive was removed, out came the MintMachine. The drive was connected to power and data cables inside the MintMachine, and I retrieved files from the drive in Mint as a backup, in case my fears were realized. Strangely, the drive appeared to be completely fine.

I haven’t had much time to properly diagnose the machine or the cause of the issues, as I rarely use the machine. The machine is more of a novelty than a useful computer, even when it was new. The netbooks were all like this, they were only useful for browsing the web (hence, the name.) As a result, the memory is limited, they typically have slow Atom processors, and absolutely no optical drives. A low-end Android tablet or iPad has more hardware than your typical netbook, and that is one of the reasons the whole netbook industry went bust.

(Due to my horrible memory, and the thing refusing to enter Windows, I’m unable to retrieve all of the specifications of this machine. While I could find many of the specs in BIOS, I’ll do that at a later date.)

The AspireOne has been missing since I moved, and despite trying my hardest to locate it, it still is missing. Even if it is found, I’m worried it may be damaged beyond repair.

Processor Intel Atom CPU @ 1.66GHz
Hard Drive (Storage) Western Digital
Memory (RAM) 1GB
Displays Built-in LCD; VGA port
Optical Drive none
USB Ports 3 USB 2.0 ports
Other Ports Headphone/Microphone Port (separate)
Internet Connectivity WiFi, Cat5e ethernet
Other special features Built-in SD Card reader, Kensington lock port
Operating System Windows 7 Starter (originally. Currently Windows 10, but it will not boot completely into Windows 10.)
Usage Missing