Avoid Emachines!

By Tedster
Sep 5, 2006
Topic Status:
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  1. thebaronjocelin

    thebaronjocelin TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 196

    Whaddy'a mean, like the IGP memory usage is automatically subtracted from the sum total of installed memory? I don't think that's right, because I popped a PCIe x 16 card in there and disabled the IGP, and it still reads 433MB under DXDIAG.
  2. cubecompMTDX

    cubecompMTDX Newcomer, in training Posts: 88

    maybe there's something else that has to be disabled in the bios for physical memory usage. When I upgraded it changed the memory sharing setting automatically, however, in my boards bios, there was a setting 4 it.
  3. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Put the memory module on another computer brand motherboard, and you will get 512 MB
  4. thebaronjocelin

    thebaronjocelin TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 196

    I always thought eMachines made theirs single-sided so it wasn't compatible anywhere else, but I'll try it.
  5. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    No... eMachines has tried a bunch of gimmicks over the years. And after all, they are the third largest computer company in the world... But usually their hard drives and memory are the same as anybody else...as are modems... but they usually license board designs from others, then make their own duplicates in their plants in Korea. Something is lost in translation, as no other company has the number of board failures... and intermittently, power supply failures.

    The problem with eMachines is they make no effort to tell their customers and users when they discover the problem... in fact they do not acknowlege the failure... saying the end of the warranty ends their responsibility...

    Our belief is that when they have such high failure rates, the customers deserve to know they are about to lose their data and and their computer... but there is not much they can do.

    The hard drives remain good, so do CPU, and CPU fan, as does the memory, usually. The motherboard goes, and with that, the Windows license, and the failing motherboard damages other components such as power supply, modem
  6. pdalger

    pdalger Newcomer, in training

    Emachines' Power Supply are time bombs

    I fix more emachines then any other brand. Usually the Motherboard is fried. I can replace the motherboard with a brand new Asus mobo and within a week it will be dead too.

    99% of the trouble with emachines are due to their crappy power supplies. Heed my warning. If you own an emachine, replace the power supply asap.

    If you are fixing an emachine due to a bad motherboard, replace the power supply along with the motherboard or it will come back to haunt you!

    REMEMBER, EVEN IF THE POWER SUPPLY TESTS GOOD, REPLACE IT!!! It will save you a lot of grief and come backs.
  7. linden77

    linden77 Newcomer, in training

    Hello to all, this is my first post. Please feel free to give me advice and to point me to correct forums when I am not in the correct place. Oh, Gateway bought emachines, not the other way round. I just bought the emachines T3642 that is on sale (rebate) at Office Depot for 250 so I could mess around with Vista to see how I liked it (vista) or not. Slow but cheap. Has only 1 meg ram at 667. Also, after researching whether or not this was a good deal it seems that the very well known power supply problem was with different power supplies than are being used now.. I still need to double verify that. You don't want to cook your motherboard cause vista, it seems, is licensed to the machine NOT the user. Yeah, thanks Microsoft.
    Anyway, first thing I did on getting it out of the box was to try to identify the motherboard so I could see if I could add more ram and maybe a better processor. According to the sticker on the motherboard, it's a Foxconn MCP61SM2MA-RS2H. Problem is, the motherboard does not match the description Foxconn gives of the MCP61SM2MA-RS2H. That motherboard is supposed to have 4 DIMM slots, this motherboard has two. Also this motherboard has on it an Athlon 64, socket AM2 which is a single core processor. Foxconn says that the prviously mentioned motherboard will support X2 processors tested up to the 5800+. What I'm wondering is whetherr they built aspecial board just for emachines for that specific CPU.
    I've got more info, but tell me if I'm in the right forum for this and I'll add more or move to the right one. Thanks!
    BTW, the power supply is a Delta Electronics, Inc. 300W
    +12 is 15A max
    +5 is 20A max
    +3.3 is 18A max
    I've got other power supplies and will probably put one in if the warranty doesn't look too hot; I haven't read it yet, supposed to be one year according to the salesperson. Hope he's right. Bought it with a credit card just in case there was a problem. Can alway get them to get in the middle of a dispute and sometimes that does wonders......Linden77
  8. linden77

    linden77 Newcomer, in training

    Just bought emachines T3642. Need some advice

    Hello to all, this is my first post. Please feel free to give me advice and to point me to correct forums when I am not in the correct place. Oh, Gateway bought emachines, not the other way round. I just bought the emachines T3642 that is on sale (rebate) at Office Depot for 250 so I could mess around with Vista to see how I liked it (vista) or not. Slow but cheap. Has only 1 meg ram at 667. Also, after researching whether or not this was a good deal it seems that the very well known power supply problem was with different power supplies than are being used now.. I still need to double verify that. You don't want to cook your motherboard cause vista, it seems, is licensed to the machine NOT the user. Yeah, thanks Microsoft.
    Anyway, first thing I did on getting it out of the box was to try to identify the motherboard so I could see if I could add more ram and maybe a better processor. According to the sticker on the motherboard, it's a Foxconn MCP61SM2MA-RS2H. Problem is, the motherboard does not match the description Foxconn gives of the MCP61SM2MA-RS2H. That motherboard is supposed to have 4 DIMM slots, this motherboard has two. Also this motherboard has on it an Athlon 64, socket AM2 which is a single core processor. Foxconn says that the prviously mentioned motherboard will support X2 processors tested up to the 5800+. What I'm wondering is whetherr they built aspecial board just for emachines for that specific CPU.
    I've got more info, but tell me if I'm in the right forum for this and I'll add more or move to the right one. Thanks!
    BTW, the power supply is a Delta Electronics, Inc. 300W
    +12 is 15A max
    +5 is 20A max
    +3.3 is 18A max
    I've got other power supplies and will probably put one in if the warranty doesn't look too hot; I haven't read it yet, supposed to be one year according to the salesperson. Hope he's right. Bought it with a credit card just in case there was a problem. Can alway get them to get in the middle of a dispute and sometimes that does wonders......Linden77
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,536   +858

    And on the sixth month it rose again from the Dead....!

    I suppose we should say welcome to the forum, so, welcome to the forum.

    I would like to point out the this thread is 6 months old. More importantly, it's on an issue that doesn't actually have one discreet answer.

    I'm of the opinion that since Gateway bought Emachines they're a bit better, possibly even much better than they used to be.

    Emachines with certain tri-gem motherboards and Bestec 250 watt < (very important) PSUs have the unpleasant habit of either blowing out and destroying the mobo or vice-versa. (They are 2 camps, and probably 2 truths at work here).

    First, the machine carries a 1 year parts and labor warranty.
    Second, later emachines have 300 watt PSUs. They're still made by Bestec, they still suck and burn out However, they don't seem as likely to take out the motherboard when they go.

    I would buy a power supply for your new toy. See the previous paragraph, you have a year to do it.

    Actually I don't remember if the PSU in my T-5026 lasted a year but, when it simply failed to boot, I made a wild guess that it was the PSU, and stuffed in an Antec. End of problem. Well, that is till the Antec failed. They gave me a new one though under their 3 year warranty.

    Well, it really wasn't such a wild guess. The computer smelled funny, (electrical fire funny), the entire 100 degree day before, at least for the 6 hours or so I was using it.

    As to your question about the motherboard they are "tatooed", so that you would have to buy a new copy of Windows should the board fail. The BIOS is also probably pretty well locked down to prevent user modifications. (My Emachines has an Intel board, and Intel boards permit very few adjustments anyway). Point being, I'm guessing about that with your computer.
  10. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Gateway, with eMachines, has been sold to an Asian company with roots in both Singapore and one province in China.
    There is a wide impression that the power supply causes the motherboard failure. We have run subtantial numbers of tests and live experiments which will prove in court that the motherboard causes the power supply failure. Any power supply will fail in the 14 eMachine models we have tested under laboratory conditioins.

    Also, the same power supplies that fail in eMachines work well for a long time in the low end Gateway, Compaq, and HP without an unusual history of failure. These include the Bestec, Astec, Delta, and Powman. The same power supplies all die within two years in the eMachine, but are killed by the failures in the Tri-Gem built motherboard, not the reverse.

    Wattage makes no difference. You can put a 500 Watt Antec or Seasonic in the eMachine, and it will eventually die when the mottherboard dies.

    We have 304 eMachines stored in our barn loft awaiting possible legal action
  11. ShipMaster

    ShipMaster Newcomer, in training Posts: 95

    Amazing something that we all already new xD.
     
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,536   +858

    Perspiring Minds Want to Know......

    raybay, it would be helpful to know exactly which models are in question, and over what time period of manufacture they span. The horrors of Emachines hasn't inflicted itself on me as of yet. Which is in no way saying that it will or it won't.
    It does make a great deal of sense to make a sticky out of the facts you are sure of, since those facts should apply themselves to separating fact from myth, to all of our mutual benefit.

    The Singapore or China or Korea point of origin in 2008 should almost be an non-issue, since like it or not, no one is going to start building computers from the ground up in Southern California. If you want it, it's going to be coming from the Pacific Rim, and there's nothing we're going to be able to do about it.
  13. linden77

    linden77 Newcomer, in training

    How can so many different motherboards kill power supply

    Hey Cap Cranky, what's your theory on how the motherboards kill the power supplies. I know of at least four different motherboards used in the emachines that had problems. Is it possible that there is something emachines sticks in their BIOS that doesn't control something correctly? I can't replace the motherboard in this machine without losing my Vista license, which is why I bit and bought the extended warranty with this box (I NEVER do that) cause I usually build and fix my own machines, but I wasn't willing to pay so much for Vista but I wanted to check it out. I want to hear your theory on what the motherboard problem could be. You have me very curious! And thanks for the quick reply to the noob here!
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,536   +858

    Ok......Let's go with Capacitor Conspiracy Theory.....

    Some people hold that using a water based electrolyle in capactors causes the caps to fail, which in turn shorts out the board, and breaks everything else. A decent PSU would have protections implemented to preserve itself. Cheap supplies don't.

    Gigabyte is using the capacitor issue as a talking point for some of their new mobos. Solid capacitor and extended life premium boards.

    I have to say that 14 emachines models are a drop in the bucket to the dozens of models they've had over the years. Some of the computers that are being held up in example are old, old boxes, with 3 digit model numbers.

    The nice thing about litigation is that it's cathartic and uplifting. I'll sue! Saying that is better than singing the battle hymn of the republic. The bad thing about litigation is that it's always pending., ad infinitum. Pending without ending, it's the American way. Give more money to the lawyers, then it pends some more. Just ask an American lawyer, there's no such thing as a statute of limitations when you're charging $300.00 (and way up) per hour.

    I have to say, that in a venue where everybody buys a new CPU every time one's released, why is there so much furor over a 5 year old, obsolete POS biting the dust? How long is it supposed to last? Can you even access the internet with a P2 still, a P3 maybe?
  15. cubecompMTDX

    cubecompMTDX Newcomer, in training Posts: 88

    I noticed in the post, he said that it is a Delta PSU, not a bestec. I know Bestec PSUs blow out all the time and take out the mobo, but I haven't heard near as bad things about delta PSUs. I'm just curious if I should trash all of my Delta PSUs as well
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,536   +858

    By all means......

    If you accept this as true; that computer manufacturers by in large, only install a PSU sufficient to power the equipment on-board when the machine leaves the factory.
    And that,you're planning to keep the machine for a while.
    And/or you plan to upgrade the machine or use it for high-stress applications, then buying yourself a new high quality PSU is the best idea you've had all day!
  17. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,732   +156

    I agree captaincranky, replacing the power supply in an eMachines is good advice. The Delta supplies do not have the bad reputation that the HiPro and Bestec supplies have, and Gateway does own eMachines, not the other way around. Most all computer and electronics gear is made in China these days. Heck my new Remmington pocket knives are made in China...

    And linden77,
    good luck with Vista and your eMachines system. Running Vista with that poor eMachines CPU, motherboard and 1GB of memory will be a real challenge
  18. linden77

    linden77 Newcomer, in training

    Oh it's a challnge alright. I only got the thing home yesterday at 4 pm, played with it until midnight or so. First look at Vista, which is why I bought it even though the specs ar poor. I turned off the Aero interface so at least things pop up faster now. I'm maybe going to upgrade the ram in it. emachines support said it could use 2 gb ram and that dual core processors were not supported. The bios is a barren wasteland. No settings for memory changes at all. Looking now for bios upgrades. Can't seem to get a definite on the motherboard. It's definitely made by Foxconn but doesn't seem to match what the sticker says on the board. It does seem to match one that is sold in Europe. This board has only two DIMM slots and the board that the sticker says it is has four, as do all the boards in that class. However, the board that the sticke says this is does not use GeForce 6100 for video and this has the GeForce 6100 for video. So I;m toying with trying to use the bios for the board that I think it is. Thsi may not be a good idea....but I got this thing to play with it. If it's the board that it seems to be, then it should be able to use 8 gb ram (2 X 4gb). All of the foxconn boards say they will support 8 gb ram. But what I don't know is whether this is some specially built under contract board, which it well may be. I'll keep you posted. There's a chance that it can be hacked into a much better computer than emachines meant for it to be. I'll definitely put in a better power supply if I make any changes at all to this thing. I also think that most OEM machines are shipped with a power supply that will just supply what the box needs coming off the factory floor. If anyone hears of someone else with success in trying what I'm trying, please let me know. Thanks!
  19. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,732   +156

    All the motherboards in eMachines computers use even more "crippled" bios than the usual OEM HP's, Dell's and Sony's. Your ideal best bet would be to replace the power supply and the motherboard, with a board that would accept DDR2, 2GB or better memory and a good quality PCI-e (Vista ready) video card. Please keep in mind that Vista 32-bit will only support 2GB total memory. The 64-bit versions of Vista and XP will support 4GB total memory. So don't waste time and money on any more than 2GB of DDR or DDR2 memory at this time... Again good luck and keep us posted
  20. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    We are quite certain that a new and better power supply does not extend the life of at least 14 models of eMachines computers. None. Because it is not the power supply that goes first. The motherboard kills the power supply from spurious electrical spikes.
  21. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,536   +858

    Listen.....

    First, if this is 32 bit Vista then it can't deal with more than 4GB (if that) of memory. If you bump the RAM from 1 to 2 GB you should get a marked improvement.
    You need to get used to the idea that the box you bought is the box you have to deal with, it's never going to get you into the video game playoffs against Fatality, that's that. Personally I believe that Emachines may have quietly solved some of their old problems, without claiming knowledge of them, (or responsibility for them).
    In any new, store bought computer, you will have a bunch of crap processes and programs running which load with the OS. It also has (probably) Norton AV running. Before you start complaining about the box, take the time to do a "msconfg" (or whatever the **** they call it in Vista), and jack in another GB of RAM. Nothing fancy, just 1 more gig!

    You either bought this machine to "try out" Vista or you didn't. So you need to be realistic about it's actual potential, or be unhappy as long as you own it.

    If you really hafta, gotta, know what's in the box, this little executable, "SIW", should tell you more than you can process. http://www.techspot.com/downloads/155-siw-system-info.html It says "Windows all" and was updated in December so it should work with Vista. It's not even an installable program, just an .exe file which polls the machine and gets back to you.

    I very, very, strongly suggest AGAINST trying to update the BIOS with anything not supplied by Emachines. If even that.
  22. linden77

    linden77 Newcomer, in training

    Forward ho on emachine

    Some of you must have not read my previous posts (like that's all you have to do!) Anyway, I don't care if I can't get fantastic performance out of this emachines box, I really did get it to try out Vista. This is one of the only computers I ever bought and it cost me about what the parts would cost ($250). But I am a curious fellow by nature so I just had to learn everything I could about this thing. If you are all curious also, I can now tell you a lot more now than I knew when I started. Anyway, I ordered a video card and 2 gb ram to stick in it and have another power supply to put in it that came out of a box I got with apower supply (the package was on sale but the power supply was nothing special. It is better than the one in the emachines however. To the person who I suggested I replace the motherboard, that's not possible due to the nature of Vista licensing (despicable in my opinion). And I don't expect to game with it, I don't do anything heavier than Myst type game and haven't even played anything like that for years. There is one program I want to run that seems to need Vista and if it can't run that, oh well. I do want to get my feet wet with Vista as I am asked a lot of questions about computers and would like to have at least enough knowledge to be good and dangerous. (Maybe just dangerous). I had wondered if it would be possible to undo the stuff that emachines did to this box, but they have it tied up pretty tight. It is a proprietory motherboard, built by Foxconn and based on another board of theirs, but with some differences. One difference is that where thare are supposed to be two channel two DIMM slots there are a couple of rows of soldered holes. Also some of the chips on the board are different. I did find out that the bioses for this board are significantly different than the ones for the motherboard that this is based on so I didn't try using any of them. I'm having fun and learning a lot. Sure have trouble doing stuff that I know by heart in XP in the Vista system. Heck, I miss DOD sometimes (started with DOD 4.0, was an ardent DR.DOS user up until 6.2 and then just had to learn what Window 3.1 was all about. You know, I still like the way that Win 3.1 organized stuff and Vista is more like that than XP is. To me, Vista looks like it's really friendly to afirst time computer user but an experienced user might get tired of all the extra steps involved in getting something done. Lots of chances to save youself in Vista befor you push the "no going back button." Maybe I'll get used to it. Im going to put the stuff that is on the computer I use the most on the emachines box and set it up in that workspace and try using it for a while. If I get really annoyed, I'll just switch boxes back. Anyway, with the video card and 2 gig of ram and a case fan (no, the emachines didn't have one and the video card I got has no fan but a big heat sink), I'll still be out only $400. (and time). It should be faster than my old Athlon XP 3200+ machine which I have twealed to the absolute max except for getting the fastest motherboard which you can only find on ebay now. Those old 3200+ cpus are going for $100 or more. Don't know why. I think I've exhausted my research on what the motherboard is in the e-machines and now I'll concentrate on learning about Vista, so perhaps It's time to take all that to another forum. Thanks for all the input, and YES, I will replace that power supply, even if I can't replace the motherboard. So we will see if the motherboard kill this one, eh?
    THANKS AGAIN FOLKS!
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,536   +858

    Emachines Strikes Again......

    My T-5026 is a Prescott P4 519 on an Intel(?) GAG915 board. They punked me by not having the PCIE-X16 socket installed. Like you said 2 rows of holes. So, I get by with the Intel GMA915 graphics chipset.
    I also have a Celeron based Emachines with a ATI 200 chipset MSI 410 board. Oddly enough, this has a fully functional PCIE X 16 slot. Many people believe the oriental mind is inscrutable. I believe the really inscrutable minds all work for Emachines
  24. linden77

    linden77 Newcomer, in training

    Hey, that's funny! I can't think of any advantage to not adding the slots in terms of cost. In the case of the T3642 I'll bet it's because they wanted that machine to only run that single core Athlon 64 4000+. I think they really don't want you inside the box. As a matter of fact, the warranty does not cover damage caused by "unapproved" hardware addition.
    But.........the users manual included on the machine gives specific instructions on how to opent the case, replace the (get this) MOTHERBOARD (which would efectively kill your Vista license.....maybe not if you got another e-machines motherboard....and also on how to replace things like the processor and how to add RAM. In your case, perhaps the power supply was not big enough to support a PCIe card. You can read the continuing comments about motherboards and power supplies re emachines all over this forum. Anyway, I now have this one set up and for whats in the box it is working well enough for what I got it for. I did turn off the Aeroglass which I didn't mind cause I didn't like it anyway. It's pretty, but also harder for me to read. I like sharp, crisp edges around things. The onboard GEForce 6100 seems adequate for what I want. It was a reasonable buy at $250. I did spend quite a bit of time trying to see if I could do things to this that e-machines didn't want me to do, but decided not to do anything rash. More RAM and a video card are on the way, but that will be about it. I have a suspicion that the power suppl;y is about maxed out already so I'll put in a bigger power supply when I put the card in. I suppose you could install a PCI video card but depending on what your onboard graphics adaptor is you might not see much difference in speed, although one with more memory would help your overall performance I suppose. Oh well, first retail machine I've played around in for a long time. I don't like how hard it is to figure out what components are in them. With an machine assembled with off the shelf parts there is almost always a way to find out what it is you have. Not so with the OEM's, at least in my experience. But if it does what you have to do, What the heck!
  25. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,536   +858

    Well I can think of 1......(idea why)...

    With all the bad buzz about the Emachine PSU, when they cripple the graphics slot they fix the power consumption issue. You sort of hinted at that. The T-5026 P4 was "expensive" ($570.00), at least for an Emachine. The T-34XX<(something) was $330.00 with a monitor. It has a Celeron D 346 (3.06Ghz). They both came with a Bestec 300 Watt PSU! As I said earlier they may have tried to solve some of their earlier problems without giving notice they had them, for the obvious reasons. As to why they didn't cripple the graphics slot in the later machine, the fact that it might have to run Vista Premium sometime in the future may have had something to do with it. It did carry the sales tag line, "Vista ready". Although it's sort of far fetched to speculate that they normally think that far ahead.

    BTW, did you know that WGA was a "security" update. I had to install an update because of a address conflict, and was told to "install security update KBxxxxx". The next thing I Knew, I had WGA installed. OK, now exactly for who was that security update? See, M$ can can be inscrutable too.To the untrained eye, it just seems like they're blatant ******* liars.

    Ahem....,
    I don't know if you've given this much thought, but if you turn off the Aeroglass don't you pretty much have XP?
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