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PC Repair

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by aw69, May 16, 2007.

  1. aw69

    aw69 Byte Poster

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    I have been given a pc to look at, which belongs to a friend of my boss's son. The only thing that I have been told that's wrong with it is that there was smoke coming out of the machine, and thats all I have been told so I open the pc to see if anything blown or was burnt,all I could see was dust so I thought I would plug in a power lead and all that happened was the led on the power switch lit up the fan on the cpu didnot turn and the power switch was stuck and would not switch off, so I unplugged the power lead and plugged it back in nothing, checked the power plug on the mobo seamed ok plugged the power lead back in the fan spun once then nothing. The pc is an emachine 420 2.60ghz intel celeron processor 80gb hd 256mb ddrm winxp home. I have had a look on google for any similar problems and it sounds like psu mobo is knacked, I might have a spare psu to try out but my other question is any idea where I can download a userguide or anyone have any idea how to get the front cover off to get to the power switch I have had a look and all I can see is what looks like two plastic clips
     
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  2. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    It is very unlikely that the power switch is faulty - they are in fact just contact devices. To test it just unclip the wires from the motherboard, put a DVM across those wires in resistance mode and press the button.

    To test the PSU you need a PSU tester - available from Maplins fairly cheaply.

    If there was smoke coming from the machine then that indicates a fairly major failure - I'd take out the drives and test them individualy. If these are OK and the drives are OK then that indicates motherboard failure. If so then I'd say write the machine off - emachines are just too flakey to bother with trying to repair.

    Harry.
     
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  3. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    all the e-machines I have seen have died of a similar scenerio.

    they cram so much in those tiny cases they run hot until they can run no more. If you have a spare PSU put it and try it but sometimes jobs lilke that can snowball. PSU, mobo/cpu (or both) then you will have the windows debacle (most owners don't have the key or disc).......

    Boyce

    Edit

    Outyped by Harry!
     
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  4. aw69

    aw69 Byte Poster

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    Cheers thanks for the replies I think you could be right about it snowballing but as for the key for this pc is stuck on the back of the machine how handy is that for some one to nick it:rolleyes:
    The other thing this is my first pc to fix other than my own or sorting out viruses but I suppose I should learn to walk first rather than run
     
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  5. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I've also seen a couple of E-Machines die of PSU failure. And unfortunately, those that I worked on used non-standard PSUs... they're mini-PSUs. Can't just go buy a standard one at CompUSA or BestBuy and install it.
     
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  6. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Perhaps take the hard drive out and install it in another PC as a slave and try to restore some data?

    Replace the PSU if you can but if it doesnt work just hand the PC back, these projects can take up loads of time.
     
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  7. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Actualy - Microsoft got wise to that one ages ago. For many machines the key on the sticker is 1) not actualy used, and 2) won't work on any machine. This is for machines with 'restore disks' where you aren't actualy asked for the key on restore.

    If it isn't that system, then if it was activated (hard not to) then attempting to reuse it will cause the new activation to fail, and a request to phone Microsoft to explain!

    Harry.
     
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  8. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Yep - I used to work for a company that did refurbs of e-machines PCs as part of a project for some kind of 'Personal Computers For Teachers' initiative.

    They were gash of the highest order - and it was a well-known fact that the main cause of failure was the fact that heat couldn't dissipate because of the tiny cases. No way they had any business piling all they did into something that small, and not having any decent cooling.

    Actually, I still have one sitting (a 960) that I (ahem) 'inherited' on my workbench with the side off the case running BackTrack - it's the only way i can get it to stay up for more than two days at a time. Its also on its second HDD, has had new RAM put in it, a new heatsink & fan and a new graphics card. In fact, its a bit like Trigger's broom from Only Fools & Horses...
     
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  9. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Zeb,

    Oh yeah - the broom that had 4 new heads and seven new handles!
     
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  10. juice142

    juice142 Megabyte Poster

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    Just to confirm, every emachine that I've looked at has died this way as well.

    The PSU goes fritz and takes the mainboard with it.

    The only sign of life is the light on the board.

    One odd thing - I built a PC to replace one of these, and when the customer plugged in all his emachines peripherals (monitor, mouse, keyboard) it would boot, but no display. No beeps, nada. I took the box back and plugged in all my stuff and up it came, welcome screen, everything. After much head scratching and faffing about it turned out that the emachines keyboard was the problem - never have been able to get my head round why the keyboard would affect the display! :blink

    Cheers,

    J.
     
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