Acer Aspire 5601 Notebook

I recently purchased an Aspire 5601AWLMi Notebook for school and as a mobile development and testing machine. I paid about $599 for it after rebates from CompUSA and it is replacing an aging Celeron M Toshiba notebook that I had had for quite some time. I needed some more speed, a better and more intergerated wireless solution and something that could handle a bunch of tasks at the same time. I thought hard and long about getting a beloved Mac but real world needs overshadowed my Mac fetish.

Out of the box, the Aspire 5601 comes with 512MB of RAM, Windows XP MCE and a 100GB hard drive but there are some gotchas. Click here for the full specs. The hard drive had a small factory partition on it along with two other partitions for the OS and data respectively. The laptop was shipped without any media and there was a whole bunch of Acer software loaded that was really annoying and useless.

Before I made any changes, I created the factory suggested OS and application backup on the excellent DVD RAM drive that is included. It was quick and painless, though I later realized that the OS backup was useless without the provided partition types on the hard drive. Luckily, I had a copy of Windows XP MCE from Jennifer’s laptop. I wiped the drive clean, created a single partition and installed Windows. I then loaded the applications from Acer that I would use, especially the power control program that regulates the battery usage. Then I proceeded to install the apps that I mostly use. These will probably vary with user but I have provided a list of them here in case someone finds it useful. These are in no particular order. Some of these are from Matt’s suggestions.

Once all of this was installed and after a few reboots, I was ready to test out the speed and memory. I am well aware that I am going to need to purchase more RAM for this laptop as time goes on, but at a reboot, without closing anything, the laptop was using about 250MB. With most apps open, it ran a tad under 512MB. It seems to run a lot better without the default partition structure and the Acer stuff. Time will tell.

In the meantime, if anyone wants to purchase a cared for Toshiba s103 with 512 MB RAM and everything it came with, please let me know. I will probably eBay it pretty soon.

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80 thoughts on “Acer Aspire 5601 Notebook”

  1. Any idea if the memory slots are 200 pin or 240 pins for the Acer 5601AWLMi. I have bought it and have it at home. Right now I am outside and want to buy more RAM for it, but am not sure which one to buy (as in 200 pin or 240 pin)

    Let me know if you know this.

  2. I bought one on Monday. So if I wanted to wipe the disk and re-install I would first need to buy the WinXP MCE CD? Is it kosher to \’borrow\’ a CD and do the re-install? I take it there\’s no legal issues there. Wonder if that would void the warranty.
    On a side note, I booted up with an Ubuntu Dapper Live CD. I noticed the System Monitor does not display 2 CPU\’s as does Windows Task Manager. I\’ve heard that the sound card is not yet supported by ALSA.


  3. did you have to download these drivers from the ACER web site or are thet available from the back up DVD created??

    What about the power saver utility–where did you find this??

  4. where did you find the drivers after the new install…were they avaiable on the back up DVD created after start up?? or off the ACER web site??

    where did you find the power saver utility???

  5. Jay, I did end up using my wife\’s Windows MCE DVD to re-install but used the key provided by Acer as a sticker on the bottom of the notebook.
    Yaffe, I installed most of the applications including the power utility from the application backup dvd.

  6. I am trying to install W-XP Pro on the C: drive. I spoke with ACER. They said once you format the HD in NTFS you cannot go back to FAT32. If you totally delete data on the C: drive and install W-XP Pro – while leaving the ACER crap on the D: partition – you can re-install the factory settings [ to the C: drive] and not void the warranty. I tried to do this and my W-XP install disc wanted to format in NTFS. How do I force the format to FAT32 ???

  7. I had purchased Acer Aspire 5601AWLMi in one of the hot deals at CompUSA, but to my surprise I did not recieve any CDs.

    Though I feel they should have given atleast Windows XP Media CD. Do I need to contact acer support for this?
    Also by creating backup CD will it replace the need of the Windows XP Media CD ??? I am sure that I am not the only one with these questions.

    any response/comments appreciated.

    PS – However I am satisfied with the acer system apart from these software issues.

  8. Sactel, The backup CD will backup your XP but can only be re-installed on the original partitions and not if you repartition the drive.

  9. Thank you Mark for the information.
    But can I use any other Windows XP Media CD and install with the licence key provided on the sticker (i need to check this)? will it work ?

    Besides nobody, who has purchased the acer, have not received any CD\’s right!!! I want to make this thing sure and makes me feel much better than to know that I am singled out 🙂


  10. I did re-install with a windows XP media center CD and it works fine. You will end up removing the Acer partitions and that will render some of the functions useless. No-one else received CDs with the latop.

  11. From my query to Acer Support regarding drivers and warranty.


    —– Original Message —–
    From: Dennis Lopez
    To: Jay Ramlakan
    Sent: Monday, September 25, 2006 8:50 AM
    Subject: Re: WEB30404 Operating System

    Dear Jay,

    We do not offer software support on a retail version of windows only the OEM version. The acersupport website is the correct place to find the latest drivers, it is just that the Travelmate 4220 uses the same onboard hardware as the Aspire 5601/5600.

    Dennis Lopez
    Acer America E-Mail Technical Support

  12. hello
    I recently purchased an Aspire 5601AWLMi. i forgot its BIOS password and given the wrong psw 3 it is disabled..any plz tel me how i can enter my system..

  13. I have acer aspire 5600 laptop. I have installed Linux ubuntu , its soud does not work. on windows my souncard work wel.
    what shall I do ?

  14. I bought a new Acer Aspire 5600 . it is okey is xp os. But I have installed also Ubuntu flavor of linux. but I cann\’t fix the sound problem on ubuntu. any one who can help me what can I do to fix the sound problem?

  15. Amero –

    Update to a newer version of Ubuntu. I have installed the latest beta of Edgy and sound works fine on my 5601AWLMi.

    Sadly, I am still trying to get suspend and hibernate to work.

  16. My ACER 5601 sometimes stops working for at least 15 to 30 seconds. One cannot move even the mouse during that time. Music becomes noise because the current wave is repeated the whole time. Does anybody else have the same problem? Does anybody know if it is a hardware or software problem?

  17. I have the same problem as you. Everything stops working for 10~15 seconds, mouse, keyboard, etc, when it does this while playing video or audio, the sound wil stutter. I am not sure why it does that. If you have a solution, please let me know. This is starting to get pretty annoying.

    1. You have remarked very interesting points ! ps nice internet site . “He that will not sail till all dangers are over must never put to sea.” by Thomas Fuller. Thank you, very much.

    2. Cj, the screen shot function is supposed to still work in XP. I’m not sure why yours doesn’t. I use it all the time. You might google it and see if someone else had that problem and found a way to fix it.

    3. Heya i will be the first time here. I discovered this board and that i find It really useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and aid others like you solved the problem.

  18. Hello, I believe I have a similar problem. It looks like DMA is being disable for the hard disk drive. I seem to have found a fix on this website: . It appears that DMA is being disable for the hard drive. After implementing the changes the situation became much better. However, I am concerned that this is a result of a malfunction in the drive itself which is a bigger problem. I suggest that you contact acer support. If you have any other questions or would like to coordinate our discussion with acer, feel free to email me at javirosa *put the appropriate at symbol here*

  19. hy!I have recently bought an acer aspire 5601. When i run windows for the first time it prompt me to create a backup DVD. Unfortunately, i didnt have an empty dvd at the time so i postponed this. Now, the message doesn\’t appear anymore and i don\’t know how i can create this backup dvd. Can anyone give me a clue? Thanks!

  20. nastasia I\’m really sure how to do that,but maybe if you try using eRecovery under AcerEmpopwering under programs it will ask you again, but you really should get those. If you have any other questions feel free to email me, my address is in the post before yours.

  21. Does anyone have a copy of Windows XP MCE? Called up Microsoft and they said I have to contact ACER for it. Contacted ACER and they will only send the recoverable disk. Looking for a copy of the original XP MCE CD and using the Product Key that came with the Laptop.



  22. my laptop is acer aspire 5600, today i did 3 partitions in HDD and now I can\’t reinstall opetating system becuase it doesn\’t want boot for system.
    Please reply to me soon that how I can do it.

  23. I have the same problems with the 5601. Took it back 3 times, had to scratch everything each time, worked for several days and went back to freezing, long delays in starting and shutting down. Don\’t let anyone fool you. This is a design problem by Acer which they won\’t recognize. Get rid of the computer, that\’s what i\’m doing, too frustrating.

  24. I have the same freezing problem (for 10-15sec), I have talked with acer 2 and they told me i was lying and I must have gotten a virus/spybot/worm. It is funny cuz i dont have internet and never connected to the internet…

    I am trying duo-OS with different flavors of Linux in the one partition right now…fedora was my frist, im looking at Ubuntu now.

  25. Using partition magic to re-partition the drive is the best option. Leave the PQSerivce partition as is then allocate as much to C: as you like of the remainging space leaving at least 180MB to D:, as to alleviate start-up errors for the eRAgent service. For some reason the agent has to recognize a D: partition or an error message appears after start-up.

  26. Used partition magic to re-allocate drive space. Leave PQService as is, then remaining to C: leaving a 180MB D: to alleviate eRAgent error at end of start-up. For some reason that service needs to recognize a D: partition, and I found no way to turn it off using msconfig or other Windows options…

  27. I found all the Drivers for the Aspire 5601AWLMi at this site. Pick notebook for the Product line. And then choose Aspire 3680 in the other dropdown. Next to each of the Driver links it will say Travelmate 4220. Clink a link for a Driver and it will bring you to the actual driver page you want and it shows you that the Driver is for this laptop as well.

  28. Same freezing problem as others have posted, but I have found what I think is the problem. After calling Acer and having them tell me they never heard of this problem before, he then proceded to tell me to set all power options to maximum. I have used the computer for 10 days and seems to be OK. I beleive what others have posted. Wipe all of the Acer junk off and start with a fresh install from MCE disk, which I do have a copy and will use the OEM key from this computer. I do computer repair/Tech stuff and I may just remove the power profile software and try to salvage what I have before doing a complete wipe and reload in NTFS. The computer is just sweet other than that hiccup. A great bang for the buck!!!!

  29. The DMA fixed the problem permanently… until my computer went through a botched partition to install Mandriva. Since then, the fix is basically useless, though I\’ve learned to live with the 10 second freeze-lag. I think I may have installed part of Mandriva onto one of the partitions that came with the computer.

    Does anyone know what are the preexisting partitions on the Acer 5602 WLMi computer? Actually, any Acer 5600 notebook would do.

  30. I used partition magic to merge the C: and D: partitions. I then used convert /fs:nfts in the dos prompt to change the C: from Fat32 to NFTS. I didn\’t lose any data and all the programs were in tact. The only issue is the Error message that comes up at the start \”eRAgent: An Invalid Argument Encountered\”. Despite the error message everything works fine. I\’ve been trying to find a way to get rid of the message, but no success. I just read that it needs to see the D: partition and thats why the error message pops up. I\’ll try adding a small D: partition and hope for the best.

  31. I have recently bought an acer 5601 and am very pleased so far,although this is how I set up mine: Initially used fs change to ntfs on both partitions( but ran into a problem with eSecurity on D:) this is where it actually has a third lodical drive for the PSD ( personal secure disk ) Thankfully I did create a back-up,I ran the back-up and C: went back to fat 32/ D: remained ntfs. I did away with norton av and installed ZONELABS security suite, WINASO to keep the registry clean and spybot search and destroy to keep an eye on that stuff. So far this baby is sweet!! Can\’t wait to upgrade to the maximum supported 4 GiGs of ram. I bet she will really scream then !!!

  32. Could someone tell me about the rectification to be done to correct the problem which stretches the Windows Screen and make the Laptop in a slow phase.


  33. I have bought a new acer aspire 5601 notebook. It has issues with it\’s sound. Every time I try to run an mpeg file or any sound file, the sound stutter for long. It is very annoying as i\’m not able to play any music on it. I have tried the DMA solution that is mentioned above but didn\’t worked for me. PLease help.

  34. where did you find the drivers after the new installâ?¦were they avaiable on the back up DVD created after start up?? or off the ACER web site??

    where did you find the power saver utility???

  35. Hm, interestingly enough, the hard drive stuttering goes away after prolonged use (I\’ve been using this for at least a month since my last reformat). The tics only occur once every other week or so. However, sometimes the system still fails to detect the sound card after I put it sleep for a few hours. It\’s kind of annoying.

  36. Same sound problem as many on here, even garbles windows sound on every resume.(I think some of these 5601 laptops are lemons.) Better described as a \”freeze\” of the system with a resultant garbled sound. I sent it back to Acer and of course they did nothing but stripped the software and reloaded it. It worked when it came back, but after updating windows, again it was the same as before. It freezes fairly frequently, but most noticable when playing all windows sounds, video/sound from the DVD drive OR video/sound the hard disk. I believe it is some bus or DMA problem, but of course Acer swear they have not had any other similar problems.Intend to do the DMA fix above then will report back. I bought one of these for a friend and she claims no problems………..interesting. DVD also runs at best at 3.5x, not 8x (Sisoft Sandra Tests), this is slower than most 4x DVD players. Maybe run some tests walongside my friends 5601. Tired of messing with this crappy thing. Nice to find this forum, I don\’t feel so lonely now…

  37. I sent in my computer to Acer for the 5-10 seconds freezing problem. They told me that they did an extreme diagnostic test with no external devices attached for 45 minutes but had found nothing wrong. I just got my laptop back today and the freezing occurred almost instantaneously when I began to use it. I called in for the tech support and she told me to unplug the external mouse and any other external devices. Now that my mouse is unplugged, I will be waiting to see if the problem arises again.

  38. Well, I just booted mine a few minutes ago, and the sound is gone. I still think that the DMA error goes away by itself after a few weeks- I\’m happy to say that it doesn\’t occur on mine anymore- for the time being. But this is all still very disappointing- I thought that Acer was supposed to make quality laptops that make good alternatives to Dell, Sony, Lenovo, etc.

  39. I have downloaded the sound driver from Acer website. Still no good. Its really frustrating. I\’m disappointed with the product and feels like throwing it away.

  40. I have been having the freezing issues from my first week of buying this pice of junk. I sent it in to Acer and they told me that windows was corrupt and that they reloaded it and all is ok now. First day back it started freezing again. Has anyone had any luck getting Acer to make good or replace their lap tops?

  41. I\’ve had the Acer Aspire 5601 Laptop for 2 day so far and I have noticed the audio distortion and freezing problems people have posted on the internet, it appears to be a hardware issue. The first thing I did was run MSCONFIG and clear all start-up items, uninstalled the Norton anti-virus software and set the CPU and LCD to maximum power usage then I disabled the onboard modem and secondary IDE channel. I did not change the DMA/PIO settings because that did not resolve the issue, in fact it slowed the machine down. DMA should be set for both the HDD and DVDRW in the Device Manager although some Dell desktop audio problems are resolved by doing just the opposite. Remember that the front side bus is only 533mhz and that is the first thing you look for when buying any computer.

  42. I\’ve had the Acer Aspire 5601 Laptop for 2 days so far and I have noticed the audio distortion and freezing problems people have posted on the internet, it appears to be a hardware issue. The first thing I did was run MSCONFIG and clear all start-up items, uninstalled the Norton anti-virus software and set the CPU and LCD to maximum power usage in the Acer utility then I disabled the onboard modem and secondary IDE channel. I did not change the DMA/PIO settings because that did not resolve the issue, in fact it slowed the machine down. DMA should be set for both the HDD and DVDRW in the Device Manager although some Dell desktop audio problems are resolved by doing just the opposite. Remember that the front side bus is only 533mhz and that is the first thing you look for when buying any computer.

  43. I have a similar 1 month old Acer Aspire 5633 which suffers the same go slow mode. Appears to only occur when playing a DVD – freezes up them knocks hard disk from DMA to PIO. Goes from less than a minute to boot up to over 5 minutes. Get the Windows audio distortion. Have put a copy of quick fix on my desktop to reset the drive back to DMA. Reluctant to send back to Acer as customer support is meant to be poor. Has anyone found a permanent fix?

  44. Recently I bought a new acer aspire 3680. It has a problem with DVD player, which is not function at all after I reformatted my notebook. Have anyone here can help me to solve this problem? Thank u.

  45. I bought acer aspire 5601 last Sep., the freezing problem happen so frequently right now. I hate ACER! If I can go back to the old time, I would NEVER choose this brand!

    And often something is wrong with the sound, I have to restart to make the sound normal.

    Does anyone know how to solve freezing and sound problems ? Thanks a lot!

  46. i have bought an Acer aspire 3680 laptop,i couldn\’t able to download the supporting drivers. i am getting a response as error in connecting to the server, but i can access all oyher stuff apart from this.. get me a solution or any other alternative websites..? need to download the supportive drivers .

  47. Hi sIR
    Previously also i have request for the driver of my ACER ASPIRE 5601AWLMI as Mention Below
    Intel Graphics Media Operator 950
    Sound Card for this same laptop
    Plz do reply Faast and Your Early resplose will be highly Appreacite.

  48. try changing the realtec HD audio manager to output CD quality samplerate as standard (16bits, 44100) or (24bits, 44100) works aswell. Stopped the audio stuttering on my aspire. seems to be a problem with 48000hz sample rate

  49. Perfect SOLUTION!!!!!!! Ubuntu 7.04 fully supports all drivers that are important out of the box! then use Wine or similar program to run windows programs. The resolution is not perfect out of the box but their are ways to fix it. Best of luck, I took the dive into linux and im not looking back!!!

  50. I am looking drivers for acer Aspire 5601 ALMi Notebook, specially for Wireless lan drivers.

  51. Well, my Acer\’s freezing-garbled-sound issue went away for a few months, though occasionally it would startup/return from sleep with no sound. However, recently I played some DVDs on it with speakers hooked up, and it\’s been having issues again. However, I took the advice about Realtek and fiddled around with it, and for a few days later the sound issue was gone again. Then, we hooked up external speakers for DVDs, and the problem is back. So I think I\’ve pinpointed the issue. Unfortunately, I think that regardless of the settings, the only real solution is to tweak them a little, hope for the best, and wait out the freeze ups- after a few days to a few weeks, they go away by themselves.

  52. Hey, i have an aspire 5600, i also have this freezing problem. As i have found no permanent solution, the best way i have found to avoid the problem is to always keep it at max cpu speed. Strangely enough i found the problem is much worse when the vent|fan holes are \”blocked\”. it tends to get very hot and then freeze, but if you keep the vents as clear as possible from obstruction, it barely ever happens. The vents under and one the side must not be blocked. there must not be anything under the vent.. just elevate it from the table or chair for better ventilation.. Anyway, that made my problem almost dissapear.

  53. hi i have had an Acer Aspire 5600 laptop for just about a year now and just recently the keyboard and mouse-pad wont respond when i switch it on. when i load the laptop up i can get into the [ F2 ] Boot Menu \” and the keyboard responds but as soon as windows loads up they dont respond atall. There is also an Error Message once the home screen comes on saying something about System32.dll is missing and another error message saying \’ amvo.exe – Application Error – 0x10011ccb referenced memory at 0x00000000

    help please?


  54. iam asking for the same problem in the 15th question please help me
    I recently purchased an Aspire 5601AWLMi. i forgot its BIOS password and given the wrong psw 3 it is disabled..any plz tel me how i can enter my system..

  55. I\’ve got an Aspire 5601 that\’s freezing at random intervals. Installed new CPU, checked RAM by getting new module, installed Ubuntu, still freezing. Also backlight is now going out as well. Any help?

  56. I got the Acer 5601 as well with the freezing/slow problems…I\’m not very techie, but can someone tell me how to fix this????

  57. my acer 5601 awmi mousepad and keyboard have stopped working but they work on startup page but not on windows logon i can plug usb mouse and keyboard but then this kind of makes the whole point of laptop useless plkease help does anyone know whats up?

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