It clicked then died. The power adapter has a light on it which is continuous until you plug it in and then it starts flashing. Please please tell me it's the battery and is rescueable, we haven't backed it up since dd2 was born a year ago!
Another bump to ask if you think it's a new battery I need, or whether something else may have gone wrong with the power supply. I'm afraid I'm clueless on the internal workings of computers. I've found replacement batteries on amazon, would be great if it was that simple...
A quick nose around suggests that it could very well be a fault with the laptop itself and not a faulty power supply, so replacing it (or the battery) might very well not fix the problem and just be a big waste of money.
Apparently this laptop does have a known issue where the power connection on the laptop can break and that will cause exactly this problem.
In an ideal world you'd find another Acer laptop to test out the power adapter on, is that possible?
Thanks for looking. I've called a local pc repair place who said even if I took the battery pack out the laptop should still work, so I guess buying a new one won't help! Think I'll take it in to them and stop trying to diagnose it the problem myself.
Yes, the laptop should still work without the battery inserted if the power adaptor is working. I'd second BadgersPaws advice that it'd be great if you could find someone with another laptop charger of the appropriate voltage, power rating and connector type, to try that and see if it solves the problem.