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dodgey emachine.

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by keithmoon, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. keithmoon

    keithmoon Byte Poster

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    I all ,

    I have an emachine here thats acting strange. Its refusing to power up at times and when it does power up its not acting as it should . Its making a kind of , for lack of a better description , steam train type noise :blink the amber hard disk light is also flashing away constantly along with the dvd drive light. I have tried disconnecting various peices of hardware ( HDD, DVD, RAM) to see if its sorts itself but to no avail. The fans on the power supply and the cpu are spinning away.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    can you get intot he bios if so please post the temps and voltages.

    This sounds like a power or heat issue.

    Have you checked the drives are connected properly.
     
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  3. BosonMichael
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    Unfortunately, you have an eMachine that's acting normally. If it were acting strangely, it'd be functional, unlike most eMachines.

    Which part of the steam train do you mean? A rhythmic chuff-chuff-chuff sound like it's trying to get moving, rattling down the tracks, a whistling sound, what?

    If you've disconnected all that stuff and you've stopped all the fans and it still makes the sound, I'd guess power.
     
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  4. chuckles

    chuckles Kilobyte Poster

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    My bet is on the power supply. When my father's eMachine didn't boot last year I took the power supply to a PC shop so they could check it and if bad I could buy a replacement. The dealer asked me if it came out of an eMachine! Seems they have replaced a lot of those. The are cheap and under powered. At least one voltage was 15-20% low. BTW if any voltage is more than 10% off you should replace it. Since that time I have gotten my A+ and a power tester. You can get the testers for around $25 if you want to do your own testing and repair. When I opened up the old power supply (which by the way you shouldn't do unless its been unplugged for a very long time...) I saw a capacitor that had fallen off the board because of bad solder and heat. When I soldered it back and tested the power supply (I did this just for :biggrin) it's 5-volt standby voltage was around 9 volts I think!! If you're curious on the voltage outputs here's a reference: www.duxcw.com/faq/ps/ps1.htm
    Be aware that the power supply would need a couple of pins shorted (that would act like the power-on switch) before you make the measurements. That's why a tester is so handy (and so is a PC shop that sells Power supply because they might test it for you). Oh, I don't even consider repairing it if it is the power supply. Just buy one with a couple hundred more watts than what came with your machine.....
     
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  5. BosonMichael
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    Chuckles, are you good at soldering? I've got an Amiga 500 that needs fixing...
     
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  6. kat731
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    kat731 Megabyte Poster

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    EMachines, UMMMMM my favourite:rolleyes:

    I want my Amiga back.....:cry: Saved for ages in 1991 i think it was 91... Thunderhawk..Yaayy!!
     
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  7. keithmoon

    keithmoon Byte Poster

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    yeah kind of like a chugging sound when a train starts to gain momentum.
     
  8. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Is there any smoke comming out ? Have you stoked the boiler and topped up the water ? :twisted:

    Loved my Amiga, got it in 1988, oh joy! :biggrin

    Chuff Chuff sound gotta be something mechanical spinning and brushing or stopping I'd have thought, fan or DVD drive maybe, since you said you removed DVD prob not that.

    Are the fans clear of any debris ? Any cables dangling near fans ? Anything stuck in any removable media drives ?

    Try removing uneeded drives from the boot order.

    When you say its strange, does it boot from the hard disk at all or does it sit there black screen, no beeps, flashing I/O lights ?

    Do you get a POST beep code ? Does display work, do you get visual feedback of boot process ?

    If the machines dead or shutsdown part way through boot with power off most likely dodgy PSU. If emachines have a record for bad PSU's I'd be tempted to replace it with a quality one anyway, maybe check the brand, if its crap or its rated under 550W and energy efficiency less than 80% replace it.

    You could test the PSU, but since its probably garbage not much point, PSU testers are good for regular techs, otherwise I'd get yourself a multi-meter, its far more general purpose and you can use it around the house and on the car for other stuff.

    If this doesn't fix it you may have a broken mobo, emachines are apparently garbage and their PSU's can take out the motherboard and other components when they blow (another reason to replace early). Its upto you if you want to try and replace mobo with same spec or go for a new build.

    Its likely most of the rest of the components are low quality garbage too, or at least low spec, old or outdated or small in capacity. You could spend time gettting new fans, heatsinks, thermalpaste, RAM, HDD, graphics etc. However you are probably best just taking the components you think are ok (DVD, keyboard, mouse ?) and putting them in a new build, even then they are probably low spec and could be replaced for a few pounds with better kit.

    If you're the type that doesn't really care about a quality machine (and thats face it you bought an emachines!) you can get old stock/used mainboard kits off ebay from reputable shops, they come tested as working, you get a MOBO, CPU, Heatsink/FAN, paste, RAM, these and a new PSU could get your emachine working ok for less.
     
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  9. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

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    I'd say power supply as well, but be prepared as Dmarsh says it may well have toasted other things when it went. If the motherboard has suffered you may be able to see the damage, there could possibly be some blown capacitors for instance.

    Wattage isn't the only thing thats important in a PSU and many manufacturers are still pulling the same old tricks of claiming their PSU can handle more than it will. Custom PC magazine actually did their annual PSU round up recently, well worth a look, their testing is fairly comprehensive.
     
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  10. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    I agree with the others, if a power supply fails or is messing about you dont know what it will take with it, you could fix the supply and everything will be ok but you never know. Do they still even make emachines? For all the time and possible unexpected expense you might have you might as well spend a few quid more and get a new base unit.

    All the emachines I've ever seen were budget types so it shouldn't be a problem to replace it with a low end new machine and still be better off.
     
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  11. greenbrucelee
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    Agreed. I have seen rosewill power supplies that claim the 700w but only have a max of 14 amps when you add it all up it makes about 475w.

    Sesaonic and Corsair are the best followed by CWT,PC Power & cooling, OCz extreme,Thermaltake (toughpower units only).

    Coolermaster are starting to make good ones now.

    EDIT: To the OP check the mobo for bulgin, leaking or domed capacitors and look for any burn marks.
     
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  12. chuckles

    chuckles Kilobyte Poster

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    BosonMichael, I won't say I'm that good at soldering. I was curious what would happen if I tried since I was going to throw the PS away anyway. BTW, when I pulled it out of the emachines I could here a loose part (the capacitor) rolling around inside. That was a pretty good clue that the PS was bad !!!

    Never had an Amiga. But I had some Atari 520 and 1040. What a machine! the whole graphical OS running in only 512 Megs. Who would have thought.....
     
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  13. greenbrucelee
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    I had an ST and an Amiga 500 and to be honest I never got the whole Amiga is better than the Atari thing. The only difference I ever saw was the Amiga had workbench and the ST didn't.

    I still have the Amiga and it is fully working and I have 500 games which I think still work, I was playing IK+ the other day :D
     
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  14. BosonMichael
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    ...and beautiful graphics - the Amiga could display 4096 colors (and some models up to 16.8 million colors! :blink), whereas the Atari ST could display only 512 colors.

    ... and wonderful sound - the Amiga used four-channel, digitally sampled sound, whereas the Atari ST used a three-voice Programmable Sound Generator (plus one-voice white noise generator).

    Sure, you didn't initially see the difference in early Atari ST and Amiga games, because many early games were straight ports from Atari to Amiga. But eventually, game developers started taking advantage of Amiga's superior capabilities.
     
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  15. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Interesting read here :-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_ST
    http://www.experiencefestival.com/atari_st_-_technical_specifications

    I think on the whole ST models did not have the array of custom chips to take load off the Motorola 68000 processor, the Amiga had Angus, Paula, Lisa, etc.

    Initial models had no blitter which is a pretty big difference as blitting operations would have to be done by the main processor.

    GEM also always looked pretty crappy to me in comparison to workbench.

    The Amiga was generally better for games which is what most people did with them. Just as today game devs would do lazy ports and just write 68000 code, meaning those games would look about the same on both systems.
     
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  16. greenbrucelee
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    Yep technically the Amiga was a superior machine but as you said it was all down to the developers I never notice a difference between Lotus Esprite challenge on either machine or Janes ATF combat simulator.

    Although there was a difference when it came to shadow of the beast, especially the sound. Good memories :D
     
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  17. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    You didn't really get 4096 colours like we do today, HAM was a trick of changing the palette on each scanline I think.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hold-And-Modify

    You could easily see it was a trick in paint packages because you would often get weird grey or pink pixels when doing operations on radically different colors like back and white the border between the two zones would have to have some pixels with only some colour components changing.

    It was never used for games.

    It wasn't until much later with the Amiga 1200 and the AGA chipset that 16 million colors were possible.
     
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  18. kat731
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    GBL, I LOVED THAT...Lol.....
     
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  19. chuckles

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    Boy, the Wikipedia article sure took me back.... My Atari 520 ST was the first computer I owned at home.:) Thanks for the link! One thing that was not mentioned at all in the article was the Macintosh emulation. I actually used that. I bought some Mac ROMS and plugged them into a cartridge that plugged into the side. Then using the software I could boot the atari up and it was a Macintosh at a lot less cost! Later we bought a Mac. The mac emulation was so good that I actually saw my first mac virus on the emulation machine!
     
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  20. BosonMichael
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    In any case, it was better than what the Atari ST could do.

    You might not have seen any games that used it... but I certainly played them.
     
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