TechSpot

Avoid Emachines!

By Tedster
Sep 5, 2006
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  1. LadyH

    LadyH TS Rookie

    Hi everyone, first time here, very interesting reading. I too bought a T2200 in Feb 2003 and it also cost me that much, but my one has been a total workhorse. I have changed out the power supply once and the fan once, but unfortunately I fried my mobo a week ago when we lost power. Although we've lost power many times in it's lifetime, for some reason this time it didn't come back. I had it tested at circuit city and best buy (for free because I whined about charging me $ for such a simple test) and they both agreed it was the mobo, power supply was fine.
    That pc did everything for me as I run all my graphic businesses online as well as broadcasting internet radio. Nothing was too difficult and it always did the job and very well. I really will miss it.
    Anyway, I vowed I would not buy a pc with Vista, because I had cause to purchase a laptop a year ago and of course it came with Vista and I've used it about 3 times. I can't use it for broadcasting on the road which was the primary purpose.
    First Question:
    I just received an external USB Soundblaster LIVE 24bit from creative labs. I have 2 people that are using this successfully to broadcast on my station. It came with Vista install but it's still too complicated to control the output sound levels on it. I want to put XP on the laptop. I have retail copies of XP and when I put it in, the Install option is greyed out. I'm so sick of looking at that useless Vista and would like to install XP home or Pro (I have both) on it. Any suggestions?
    Second Question:
    I insisted at Circuit City to sell me a pc with XP on it, and it's funny when you insist, they suddenly find stuff. They had an open box 1 year old HP Pavillion HPM7570N with XP Media on it. Realtek HD digital card. Well that all sounded perfect, especially for my broadcasting, except again, it has taken over the very simple little volume control settings that we need and given me a space shuttle control panel. I haven't been able to get a decent broadcast out of it for a week. I either sound like I'm underwater or I sound like I'm in a tin can or minnie mouse.
    If anyone is familiar with this card and using it for broadcasting, I would very much like to get in touch with you. This is a $900 value pc and I can't get it to even create decent sound..so at this point I miss my trusty emachine VERY much!!! Local sound is fine, it's just the recorded output that sounds like crap.
    BTW. I installed the external USB soundblaster on the HP and it did give me my controls back, but I have it maxed out and the recording levels are very weak. Nothing like they were before..I need serious help in this area if anyone can offer any, even privately.
    Thank you!
  2. cubecompMTDX

    cubecompMTDX TS Rookie Posts: 88

    1. Is your hard drive formatted (completly wiped out)?
    2. Is it greying out in XP setup booted from the CD?
  3. ScorpionRudy

    ScorpionRudy TS Rookie

    I have to agree walmart and all their products are a bunch of trash. I bought my emachine a few years back, 2yrs ago I spent $400 on getting it fixed. Now my motherboard is gone, I'll be spending onother load on it. I wouldnt recomend emachine to a 12yr old or a 65yr old. IT dies on you when you least expect it. And on top of that their motherboards cost cake like its the best.
    Only if I knew who made those emachines, I'll give him a peace of my mind.
  4. cubecompMTDX

    cubecompMTDX TS Rookie Posts: 88

    For those who have killed emachines...

    there is a way you can reuse the oem XP key on the back of the emachine. If you have an XP Home install CD lying around or if you can make you one, you can go through windows setup and type in the key when installing xp on your new system. It have worked for me before on 2 systems that replaced emachines/emachine mobos. This is especially useful when replacing the dead emachine mobo with a mobo the restore cd wont work with. And once it installs, reactivate windows.

    (P.S. It isn't wrong as long as you're not using a key on more than one system at once right? Correct me if i'm wrong)
  5. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,844   +165

    "I have to agree walmart and all their products are a bunch of trash. I bought my emachine a few years back, 2yrs ago I spent $400 on getting it fixed. Now my motherboard is gone, I'll be spending onother load on it. I wouldnt recomend emachine to a 12yr old or a 65yr old. IT dies on you when you least expect it. And on top of that their motherboards cost cake like its the best. Only if I knew who made those emachines, I'll give him a peace of my mind"...

    Sure Wal-Mart sells crap, but if you do some "wise" shopping, you can get good stuff too. I have lots of Wal-Mart electronics, and I've been happy with them. eMachines cases are about the only original part in any of my eMachines rebuilds. Biostar makes a mini-ATX motherboard that takes those old Celeron CPU's, DDR2 Memory and it will fit in the case perfectly for under $60. Replace the power supply and you're back in business cheaply
  6. cubecompMTDX

    cubecompMTDX TS Rookie Posts: 88

    lol i don't blame you, the only emachine i have ever had not die in 3 years time is the one that i replaced the psu and hdd in.
  7. LadyH

    LadyH TS Rookie

    No it's not. The laptop has Vista installed and it didn't boot from the disk. I thought it was just a weird Vista thing and tried to run the install using Setup. Thought it would give me better messaging though instead of just greying out the install option. Does the laptop have to be formatted?
    Is there a way to put 2 operating systems on it? My friend just had a laptop configured that way for her and she chooses Vista or XP on startup.
  8. cubecompMTDX

    cubecompMTDX TS Rookie Posts: 88

    in order to install XP onto the vista system, you have to format your hard drive. To do that, you have to boot off the XP cd. It will search for OS's than it will give you the option to choose the partition to install XP to. It will also give you the option to delete the hard drive, (which really needs to be done, kuz vista doesn't like dual booting with XP.). Once ther partition is deleted, it will bring you back to the place to choose the HDD partition to install to. Select the partition to install to, format it with the NTFS (not quick) file system. It may take 15mins to 1/2 an hour depending on the speed of the hard drive.

    So, if you already have files on the laptop, back them up.
  9. cubecompMTDX

    cubecompMTDX TS Rookie Posts: 88

    Check the BIOS settings to configure it to boot off of the CD before the HDD. I had to do this to a dell one time. Once you do that, you should be able to boot off of the cd.
  10. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 638

    The easiest way I found was to wipe the drive, and create at least 2 partitions in NTFS. Set the system to boot off of CD, and install XP. When you finish reset the system to boot from hard drive. Reboot. Now when you get to XP windows, insert the Vista disk and follow the prompts to install Vista while you are in XP. Make sure you don't pick the upgrade option. That way installing it from within Windows XP, when you switch to Vista, it won't try to change it's drive letter to C. Vista and XP use different type Boot.ini file As for your audio program. Sometimes a program will control the volume even if it's not running. So open all your media programs and make sure they all have set for full volume.
  11. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 638

    Emachines don't use proprietary components. Any motherboard with the same chipset can be used succesfully with the install disk. $400 dollar on a repair? Send me $500 I'll build you a killer rig for that much, but without an OS of course
     
  12. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,844   +165

    I agree 100% luvhuffer. I don't even worry about the chipset being the same
  13. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 638

    Double post deleted
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,689   +884

    I Hated to Quote this Whole Post But, Necessity Dictates Our Actions.....

    XP probably won't install on the laptop because there is no disc partition clear for the install. Windows overwrites everything on the the HDD, so Vista is not giving you the install option. The best and easiest (but costly) option here is to spring for an extra HDD for the laptop, back up your files to optical media, and knock yourself out with the retail copy of XP. This scenario gives the least undesirable side effects. Since if it becomes necessary, you can just simply swap out the drives, and you're back where you started.
    The sound issues sound like driver problems. You need to uninstall the old drivers, then install the correct ones. If you have already done this, forgive me for mentioning this.
    I capitalized "Minnie", and it removed the red underline.
  15. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,844   +165

    You could boot with an Ultimate Boot Disc and partition the laptops hard drive any way you want. Then install XP
  16. geforce8400gs

    geforce8400gs TS Rookie

    When my W2260's processor and/or motherboard started acting more and more boligerant and bluescreening and eventually broke, I got a new motherboard (ECS RS482-M754 w/ bundled Athlon 64 3200+). The manual recommmended a 300 watt power supply, eMachines power supply was 250 watts. I used the eMachines power supply on the new motherboard for a few months without any problem, and I only replaced it because it wasn't powerful enough for a new graphic card. The old power supply is still sitting in my closet.
  17. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Talk to Captain Cranky. He loves eMachine boards... or at least he did until that last failure hit him.
  18. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,844   +165

    There is nothing worse than an eMachines motherboard and it's power supply. Replace both and you have a pretty good computer
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,689   +884

    The Intel GAG915 is not on the most "Not Wanted List"

    Dude, that's fixed! It wasn't the motherboard, or anything like it. It was a goofy piece of malware that I accidentally allowed. It actually presented itself in almost a copy of an "Avira AV" window. Avira picked up the trojan and deleted it, but not before it blew up a weird pop-up that blocked access to my removable drives. It actually was a "Social Engineering" type trojan, really well disguised.

    I did a full system restore, and my EMACHINES T-5026 with it's INTEL GAG915 board is working just fine, thanks for asking. Interestingly, the system restore discs didn't reinstall any of the Norton BS, only the AOL garbage.
    The thing was getting a little flaky with a goofy graphics crash now and then, which the reinstall cleared up. I thought 3 1/2 years on one XP install was a pretty good run. Yes? No?

    Emachines' restore disc, when used, doesn't even require you to reactivate Windows, Just jack the disc in the DVD drive, and a few clicks later you're back up and running.

    The reason I posted my, (as you call it), "mother board failure" in our "Windows OS" forum, was due to the fact it was a "Windows OS" problem.

    Certain Emachines motherboards fail like crazy, I've never disputed this. In my limited experience, not all Emachines motherboards fail like crazy, you've always disputed this. There is a certain dogma at work with a conundrum in play. How long should a computer motherboard last? How long should a computer last? Here's the conundrum; If I have a five year old computer, and make a post saying I'd like to upgrade it, all only replies will likely say, "it's obsolete, you can't upgrade it, you should build a new one". So, should I be mad if my motherboard only lasts 5 years?

    I was just the beneficiary of a class action. Best Buy in several states (in my case PA), charged state sales tax on the government digital converter box coupon. Soooo, I received a whopping $2.40 refund by check. Hey, I'm not looking a gift horse in the mail, er mouth. Catch the right sale, and it could be a 12 pack of Coke!

    But, here's the thing, product liability becomes a more difficult sell with respect to elapsed time, if negligence (or rather merely defects in material and workmanship) is claimed, but without being able to attach a collateral personal injury issue. Did the product cause you personal harm? If the answer is no, then caveat emptor attaches more quickly. The great corporate liberator is here; "specifications subject to change without notice". An ugly truth, and it wasn't put there to protect the consumer. At the end of the day a bad Emachine won't cause your Ford Explorer to roll over, just your Windows Explorer to not open, which severely curtails the gravity of issue

    I love >>>MY<<<< Emachine board, at least thus far. I've bought other electronics equipment since which has come and gone. So my question still remains, just how long should one of these stupid computers actually last?

    I suppose it could be argued, that it should last long enough to permit me the option of retiring it, but meh, who knows, that would allow every person to dictate every corporation's policy on each person's whims. You talk about a litigious society. wouldn't that be something. My "wow, it's new to me" is someone else's " I'm sick and tired of this POS", and of course vice versa.
  20. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Good to know you are going to outlast that machine. Good wirk.
  21. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,844   +165

    captaincranky is lucky with crappy eMachines isn't he. Time is money, so if the power supply is trashed, or the motherboard is trashed, I replace both at the same time. I can usually do this for $250 or less
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,689   +884

    captaincranky never said this approach wasn't sensible. He just says it has been, at least thus far, unnecessary for him personally. I wish my luck would would extend itself to the lottery.

    However, I will say this, since my original Emachines Bestec PSU fried itself when the computer was only 6 months old, replacing the motherboard and buying a copy of XP for forms sake, would have been the most incredibly stupidest sensible thing I could possibly have done.:(
  23. wingnut56

    wingnut56 TS Rookie Posts: 17

    I had an emachine eslate laptop that lasted 7 years. Now I have a 300 dollar emachine PC at my desk and it works like a champ. Go figure.
  24. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    eMachine made nearly 480 models. There are only 27 models with the defective motherboards... but that is more than all other machines, except Packard Bell, put together.
  25. vpcoded

    vpcoded TS Rookie

    T5246

    I have the E-Machine T5246 i have had this pc for aprox a year. I am not endorsing e-machine but this has been a very stable computer for me. I was very selective when buying my computer and did not make my choice based on price but the CPU RAM MotherBoard and it had to have on pci express for a later upgrade and i also wanted onboard graphics beings i had no intentions into playing games but i wanted movies and media capabilites but the option for a later up grade. 3 reasons i bought this computer foxcon MCP61SM2MA-RS2H Mother board max ram 4 gig. CPU dual-core amd 64 x2 4200+ and good cpu this time last year AM2 socket still not bad. and the PCI express slot. PROBLEM i have been upgrading this computer as of late and have come to find that it is missing 2 ram slots so only max 2 gig ram. This is not the board that is shown at foxconn. I do have a problem with this and have contacted them to find out about it I will post there reply. Even tho that is a issue i Stand behind The T5246 gateway did a good job with it. The upgrades that i have entail 500Watt PS installed last month ran the stock one for a year with minor issues at 6mnt mark.
    I have also installed a second HD 250 WD caviar se 16 . I then made this the primary with the 400 gig stock as a primary storage With Linux ubuntu OS. For the Primary 250 I have vista Ult 64bit running great. I also installed a GeForce 9600 GSO PCI-E 768 MB GDDR3. All in all the computer is running great I have a windows index score of 5.0 due to my lowest score CPU all other scores were 5.7 and up . I guess i am done with this rant just wanted to stand up for my computer it has served me well and very well priced. I do belive that there is flase advertisement with foxconn labeling this board as MCP61SM2MA-RS2H it is diffrent and should be labled so Hope i can get a free board out of them if so i will post.
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