TechSpot

Avoid Emachines!

By Tedster
Sep 5, 2006
  1. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,934   +167

    Emachines computers are not proprietary by any means. They are just made from "below standard" power supplies and crippled motherboards. I never worry about replacing a motherboard. All that needs to be considered, is if the motherboard will run the old CPU and memory. A fresh OS install works fine
     
  2. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985


    How can you say that when you yourself have provided no evidence whatsoever to back up your statements.

    Don't get me wrong, i am not defending emachines at all! But i would like to see what evidence you can produce in the way of links to back your claims up with.
     
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    The tattoo on the motherboard makes it proprietary. The motherboard, as configured, is available nowhere else. Look up your standards for proprietary. It cannot be duplicated by any other manufacturer without the code for the EPROM in that machine. Without the "proprietary" motherboard, the Windows XP that came with it is unavailable and unusable. That makes that model one of a kind.
     
  4. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 638

    Maybe the power switches get defective after awhile. I don't know. The
    T2080 at my kids house got turned off after 15 months when they just moved. I guess if you are a computer repair guy you just get jaded after awhile. I can only comment on the one I have. It's rock solid and at just under $500US after the rebates, with monitor speakers keyboard and mouse 512MBs DDR2700 80GB HDD and Athlon XP 2000+ was a heck of a good deal back in late '02. And you are dead wrong about the "tatoo" I have run the OS that came with the system on a L7VMM, P4VXASD2+, P4M500Pro-M all ECS and a M952 PCChips board. All bought retail except for the L7 which came with the original system. That being said I only run ABIT on my personal system. The key is the chipset. It has to be VIA for the OS to install.

    Edit: Oh ya they threw in a HP printer too.
    Edit2: The ECS mobos are pure crap performance wise. Don't get me wrong about that. But except for a bad LAN on one, they are still running. I mean even my ABIT IC7 had a dead USB port when I bought it. $#@* happens.
     
  5. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,934   +167

    That tatoo is a motherboard manufacturers logo. There also should be numbers on it that can be used to find the exact model number. I was surprized to find an MSI motherboard in a recent Emachines repair. Of course, it was a stripped down (Bios) version board
     
  6. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 638

    I thought the tatoo he was referring to was the E-machines splash screen that pops at the beginning of the post. That screen is tied to the recovery disk and not the CMOS chip, like it is with Compaqs, which I consider proprietary. Let me add that things may be different with eMachines after the Gateway takeover. I can only speak for my system.
     
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    The tattoo is NOT a motherboard manufacturers logo.
    The Tattoo is a software burned into an EPROM on the motherboard that identifies that particular computer, model number, serial number in some cases, and other identifying information. It can be removed by somebody who knows how to program EPROMS but hardly anybody does.
    The EPROM is NOT a LOGO, and I cannot imaging how you got that idea.
    This code on the EPROM is located by the Recovery/Install discs at startup. If the disc or Windows does not find the correct EPROM code, the computer will not allow the install the "Proprietary" version of Windows that was authorized for that machine.
    They call it a Tattoo because it is coded into the EPROM and cannot be erased, damaged or manipulated by software geeks.
    Somebody VERY GOOD at performing a cold solder on a flat chip without pins, can remove the EPROM, and replace it, but still CANNOT change the tattoo unless they know how to program EPROM chips.
    A new Tattoo can be coded into a new EPROM that has no tattoo using a specific software install disc for that task... once on there, it is there for good, or until an EPROM programmer comes along to change it.
     
  8. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,934   +167

    My bad,

    Damn keyboard... Where's my Jack Daniels
     
  9. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,934   +167

    Raybay must be a little snowbound...

    The EEprom is the bios or CMOS chip. It is probably Award or a few other types. This EEprom is programmed for each motherboard's chipset. I guess you could say it is proprietary. If I change the motherboard, I change this EEprom too. Some motherboard manufacturers allow you to update the bios or program the CMOS with or without a logo or splash screen on boot up.

    "They call it a Tattoo because it is coded into the EPROM and cannot be erased, damaged or manipulated by software geeks".

    We called this an "EEprom Program"...
     
  10. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

    raybay, would you please take a look at my post #27.
     
  11. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 638

    sigh.....this thread is taking a weird turn. You guys can argue tattoo semantics. etc. all you want. All I'm saying is I can take my proprietary recovery disks from eMachine, and load the whole XP plus bundles package on a non eMachine system provided the mobo has a VIA chipset, and is made by ECS or PC Chips. No reprograming anything and no changes to the disks themselves. Just set the boot to CDROM, fire it up, and let it run. I didn't hear this or read this. I've done it. With 3 different mobos.
     
     
  12. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Ok, you win the prize for baloney. Except you have to give the model numbers to get the trophy. As we will attempt to duplicate you feat. We have several ECS and PC Chips motherboards here with the VIA chipset... and we have 24 different eMachines recovery disc sets to test. Cash award comes with a report on the motherboard model numbers. Since we can buy the PCChips motherboards for $44 and the ECS motherboards for 51, we can save computers for a lot of poor old people who shop at Wal-Mart and Best Buy so they can get back online, and so they can type their important papers once more.
     
  13. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 638

    Well that's fine ray. If you think I'm a liar, you should at least have the decency to read all of my posts. Especially post #29 that has all the information you seem to be daring me to give you. I'm surprised that seeing as how the T2080 came out in 2002, if you were as good a tech guy as you seem to be implying, that you would have figured this out by now. Since I have the OS running on two boards presently, the L7VMM, and the
    M952, I'm almost tempted to download AIDA32 and post screen shots of the system stats and the matching activation keys. But then i do have paint shop and photo shop that could doctor the info so why bother. I sure got nothing that needs to be proved to you. I was just posting what I know for the original poster. I'm too old to be making stuff up. I don't have the time, and it's not my style.

    Edit:The L7VMM has the VT8375 KM266 No. Br. and VT8233 So. Br. The original T2080 that I'm typing this on right now.
    The M952 has a PT800 No. Br. and VT8237 So. br.
    Those are the 2 currently running.
    If you want chipset info on the other two, I'll let you do your own homework.
     
  14. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    No, I don't think you are a liar. I just want to replicate your efforts as I deal with the elderly, and handicapped. If we can fix these machines, we can make a lot of people happy.
    Our team has tried what you suggest for two years... and we cannot get any of them to do what you report. We have two good engineers working on it.
    Just give me information so I can make some of these people happy. I have their dead units here on hand.
    You information will also be useful for the class action as well.
     
  15. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 638

    The P952 is running a P4 1.8A with a Seagate 80 GB HD that came out of the T2080

    The P4VXASD2+ was using the 1.8A with a Maxtor DM Plus 9 120GB, but now is just retired to the closet as a back up.

    The P4M500Pro-M is running a Core2 Dual E6400 with Maxtor DM10 200GB

    They were all loaded with eMachines T2080 v.1.1 XP Home Recovery disk (2 disc set).

    The original T2080 now has a 30GB Quantum Fireball (that came out of an old Compaq 5100US), and Athlon XP 2000+

    PM me if you need my snail mail address to send the prize money to. I'll be looking forward to receiving it, right after my $21 class action award from MS gets here! <g>
     
  16. CrossFire851

    CrossFire851 TS Rookie Posts: 1,058

    I feel as in mid 04' when the company underwent some company changes, owners etc. That was when Emachines started and continuity became worse. Before that Emachines where the best bang for your buck in any scenario, but as many have pointed out they are junk now.


    What I am getting at is that in the past they where very reliable but now they are just junk.
     
  17. TVCRCAMAN

    TVCRCAMAN TS Rookie

    Tvcrcaman

    To Luvhuffer and Raybay, you're both right depending on how system specific any given computer builder makes their installation/recovery CDs. With the "sysprep.exe" tool and an appropriate number of product licenses and keycodes purchased from Microsoft, the said builder can make their CDs as model number and hardware build specific as they want. Drivers, Programs, Applications, even optional Windows components can be specific to a particular model's recovery CD(s). Or they can be as generic as they'd like as well. As far as PROM's, EPROM's, and EEPROM's go though. Raybay? PROM's are the progammed one time only chips. EPROM's and EEPROM's can be reset or changed. PROM stands for Programmable Read Only Memory, EPROM stands for Erasable Programmable etc,etc. EEPROM, Electronically Erasable etc, etc. Bios's, chipset's, and boot up initialization are comprised of examples of all three. In today's new HD TV's I can go into factory menus and change certain settings, reset others to default, and others are set when the IC's are initially created and shipped to the manufacturers. For example I programmed a Sony 32" I recently worked on to think it was a higher model set with more features than it initially have, but I had a 37" Philips plasma that I had two similar logic boards for, one was for a 32" the other was for a 37". The section that contained the data that discerned the differences between the screen sizes was burnt into the PROM from the factory as wasn't able to be altered. I hope this helped some, I ran across your posts while reading about another matter...take care...

    David
     
  18. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,934   +167

    I also work with the elderly and the disabled, repairing and building computer systems. I use http://www.retrobox.com to buy used Compaq 800+ MHz computer systems, that I upgrade by adding additional memory, a CD/DVD R/W, and a larger hard drive. I can do this and make a small profit for $250...

    You can study these Emachines failures all you want, using the best engineering techniques, and staff. To me, this is a futile effort at best. All this mess comes down to making the most money, for the smallest investment. Isn't this exactly what we all do, to a certain extent?
     
  19. Jack Tucker

    Jack Tucker TS Rookie

    How do I check a power supply? Should it run when I plug it in to 110 volts? Where do I check the voltage?
     
  20. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 638

    Use a volt meter. It depends on what kind of power supply it is. If it's a standard ATX power supply,you need to take a small piece of wire and connect from the green wire to a black wire on the 20/24 pin connector. Then turn it on/plug it in. What makes you think it is bad? Can you boot up to the desktop. If so you can use a diagnostic program like Sisoft Sandra, or Everest, to check your voltages in windows. The voltages should be within the 10% range of rated voltages. 10% is usually what the makers say, but most people including myself use 5% as a guide. Volt meters are cheap. You can pick one up for $5 or $10 bucks, or if you're unsure how to use it you can pick up a power supply tester for around $15.

    Standard ATX PSU
    Black=ground
    Red=+5V
    Yellow=+12V
    Orange=+3.3V
    Blue=-12V
    Grey=PSU Sensor
    Green=off/on switch
     
  21. Jack Tucker

    Jack Tucker TS Rookie

    New ps is a Hipro ATX H11-1010. I can plug in power cord to it and nothing happens. I thought the fan would come on. There is an off/on switch and I push the "0" down and nothing. Shouldn't a ps plugged into 110 volts do something with no wires running to the computer?
     
  22. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

    A PSU should not power up like that, if it did it would be faulty.
    A PSU will only power up (when not connected to motherboard) by shorting the green wire to any black.
     
  23. Jack Tucker

    Jack Tucker TS Rookie

    I will jump the black wire to a green wire and see if ps comes on. If so, will check voltages. If they are ok, must be something else wrong.
     
  24. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

    What exactly are you trying to achieve?
    Testing a PSU the way you seem to be trying will only tell you if it powers up or not. PSUs are very difficult to fully test and they can often only show symptoms under certain circumstances. For example, a PSU giving low voltage outputs will normally only show that problem up when it is heavily loaded.

    If it is a Bestec 250 watt PSU then believe me don't bother with it, they are crap.
    I know what I am talking about as I spent almost 15 years in the electronics trade and I'm one of the few people that is able and willing to actually fix a PSU.
     
  25. Jack Tucker

    Jack Tucker TS Rookie

    The emachine had a Bestec ATX-250-12E REV:p7.
     
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