If you own an Emachine, read this now!

By Rik · 156 replies
Nov 11, 2006
  1. mortiki

    mortiki TS Rookie

    emachine psu's

    i am a computer tech and am running my own business and in the last month i have run into 3 emachines with psu going down and burning out the MB with them. this thread is very true!
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,243   +234

    "This thread is very true!"...

    I've had lots of experience rebuilding/trashing eMachines computers
  3. cubecompMTDX

    cubecompMTDX TS Rookie Posts: 48

    Yeah, I used the case from a blown T1840 to buid a spare Pentium III system.
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Be sure that it is not the motherboard destroying the power supply, because that is what we are finding in tests. And we have nearly 500 failed eMachines in our collection barn awaiting the class action.
    Think about it. Seven different power supplies all causing the motherboard to crash. Not likely. Our tests show it is not true. You can ID the power supplies by the UL code... and there are too many from too power supplies from too many sources over too much time.
  5. Cozy444

    Cozy444 TS Rookie

    Don't know what is wrong w/ Emachine

    Hi: Brand new to forum. I have an Emachine that I purchased from BB 2 yrs ago which just stopped working. No power what so ever. When i brought it to the Geeks they said they don't know what was wrong with it that we should start with the mobo and it will cost $400 to install a new mobo The model is T3104. Anyone have a clue where I can go to replace mobo? I am not computer savvy but its already dead so can't hurt to tinker a bit. Oh, don't know what PSU came with machine.
  6. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,243   +234

    Geeze Cozy444,
    those BB guys are just salesmen, not techs! You will need a motherboard and a power supply. We NEVER replace one without the other. For less than $400 you can get both a motherboard and power supply and a copy of XP. Your restore discs will be useless with the new motherboard and your hard drive will have to be formatted and XP installed fresh. I have done this type of repair for $200 if I can use the eMachines processor and memory in the new motherboard
  7. Cozy444

    Cozy444 TS Rookie


    Thanks Tmagic650. After reading the thread I figured that it wouldn't cost that kind of $$. And since I only had the XP for the free period, I was going to buy the program from BB today as well. Can you suggest what PSU to purchase this T3104 machine?
  8. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,243   +234

    Your specs:

    Operating System: Genuine Microsoft® Windows® XP Home (SP2)

    CPU: AMD Sempron™ 3100+ Processor (64-bit)
    (1.80GHz, 1600MHz FSB, 256KB L2 cache)
    Chipset: VIA K8M800
    Memory: 256MB DDR SDRAM (1 × 256MB), 400MHz (PC3200)
    Expandable to 2GB
    Hard Drive: 100GB (7200rpm, 2MB cache)
    Optical Drive: 48x CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive
    Media Reader: 8-in-1 digital media manager (Secure Digital™ (SD), Smart Media, Micro Drive, Memory Stick®, Memory Stick Pro®, Compact Flash, Mulitimedia Card, USB 2.0)
    Video: S3 Graphics Unichrome™ Pro
    64MB DDR Shared memory
    AGP 8x slot available for upgrade
    Sound: AC '97 Audio, Dolby 5.1 (6-channel)
    Network: 10/100Mbps integrated Ethernet LAN
    Modem: 56K ITU V.92-ready Fax/Modem
    Peripherals: Standard Multifunction Keyboard, 2-Button Wheel Mouse, Amplified Stereo Speakers
    Ports/Other: 5 USB 2.0 (4 in back, 1 in Media Reader), 1 VGA external connector, 1 serial, 1 parallel, 2 PS/2, 5 audio ports (2 in front, 3 in back)
    Dimensions: 14.25"H x 7.25"W x 16"D
    Weight: 22.5 lbs (PC only, no packaging)

    Any not too expensive ATX (Mini-ATX if the case is a Mini-ATX) power supply 300W or better will work fine... You should be able to use your processor, but you might want to upgrade your memory
  9. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    As for the eMachine, if you buy a new motherboard from eMachines, it will cost $159.95. You can install it yourself. Then your Windows will work, and the other components are good.
    But you never know if the new eMachines motherboard will be any better.
    You can buy a motherboard at a number of online sites that will use every component, including memory.... for about $45, but you will need to buy a new Windows.
  10. cubecompMTDX

    cubecompMTDX TS Rookie Posts: 48

    ok, there are 2 things that should upgraded to speed up the w2888: the Hard drive and power supply. My parents w2888 now has a Coolmax v-400 PSU and Western Digital Protege 80GB HDD, and it really comes 2 life. I wonder how it would do if i put a Pentium 4 Northwood in it. My system has a 2.4 N'wood OC'd to 2.7Ghz and it reeeeely beats its Celeron 2.8Ghz Cousin haha.
  11. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    It would work with good performance, but in most cases, the recovery disk set will no longer work.
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,754   +2,429

    By That You Mean.......?

    By "the program", I'm thinking you mean Windows XP? I can't come up with any justifiable reason to buy a copy of XP from BB. Since you're buying a motherboard, you would be entitled to purchase an "OEM" copy of Windows. That's about $90.00 (USD). When you add the $45.00 for the mobo, it leaves you $65.00 for a decent PSU and shipping. This coincides with some earlier estimates of how much it would (should) cost to fix the machine. ($200.00).

    Come to think of it, I can't seem to come up with a reason to buy anything from BB. (This under normal, NON-SALE pricing, circumstances).
  13. cubecompMTDX

    cubecompMTDX TS Rookie Posts: 48

    lol, if i had 2, I would just install the old drive back in, run the restore cd and partition back to the Western Digital Drive.
  14. system7

    system7 TS Rookie

    Of the 16 blown up eMachines mentioned in this thread, 13 older eMachines have the awful overvolting Bestec 250W power supply, which is a known motherboard destroyer whether it fails totally or not. This can be confirmed at the following site: http://parts.emachines.com/emachines/

    For the newer three that have the less destructive 300W type, T5026, T5088 and T3104, the motherboard is not necessarily fried, if I followed the descriptions correctly. But the PSU is.

    On older machines it is clearly prudent to upgrade the 250W power supply anyway. This 350W Fortron is a good short-cabled replacement: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817104901

    Doubtless older motherboards also fail regularly, due largely to the industry wide bad capacitor problem and lightning and surges, and I have noticed the newer OEM MS-7207 failing regularly too, perhaps due to the inappropriate 20 pin power supply fitted or overheating of the NForce northbridge. Processor failure is rare in my experience at an eMachines Forum.

    Whatever the exact reason for individual failure, a new power supply and suitable motherboard will usually fix it. Socket A is almost unobtainable, but Asrock continue to make suitable mATX Socket 478 replacements such as the P4i65G.

    To dispel some of the myths about restore disks and Windows activation, the restore disks/partition will work where the same basic chipset is used for the replacement. Minor variations in LAN and audio are not important, and F8 safemode may get past any issues that do arise. Where you change the motherboard chipset due to failure of the original, you will have no difficulty internet activating an install from an OEM retail Windows XP Home disk, using your eMachines COA number.

    Interesting observations by raybay on motherboard failure. I shall mull that one over. Touchwood, eMachines made in the last two years, by Gateway, are much more reliable, and run cooler due to casefans being fitted. Sorry for such a long post.
  15. daddypeanut

    daddypeanut TS Rookie

    He's right.....We have serviced over 50 e-machines this year and at least 13 machines had blown ps and took the mobo with it
  16. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Think it through. When eMachines used 12 or more different power supplies by several different companies, would this be the cause? Most of the boards are made under license from Intel and others, in plants such as the Tri-Gem plants in Korea.
    Most techs are making an assumption without testing.
    We have spent considerable money on engineers, and lab testing, in preparation for a class action suit. We now have 325 eMachines in sealed plastic bags in a barn... all have been tested. We have also tested and saved working eMachines.
    We are fully convinced that the power supplies were good until the motherboard failed and took the power supplies with them... that does not include the 250 Watt Bestec, but we have that Bestec all over the market in HP, Compaq, SystemMax, and Gateway computers with no record of this happening... except the HP failures when the video graphics failure.
    There are 14 models of T-series emachiens, and 5 models of W-series machines that consistently have failed. We have no correlating information on the power supplies.
    That arguement just does not hold up. If you found a bad power supply and a bad motherboard, you just made the assumption that the power supply is what failed.
    Think it through... or test them.
  17. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,243   +234

    "That arguement just does not hold up. If you found a bad power supply and a bad motherboard, you just made the assumption that the power supply is what failed.
    Think it through... or test them"...

    I used to think that way until I got into your informative posts Raybay. You have convinced me. I always replace both the power supply and the motherboard in any eMachines without question. I properly troubleshoot any other make computer. When I see any Bestec PS... It goes! I've replaced a HiPro power supply or 2 also
  18. system7

    system7 TS Rookie

    I agree, Tmagic650, but I'm always optimistic for the motherboard when a 300W fails. Of course, our forum members have no testing facilities anyway. Perhaps raybay has more data on the 300W supplies. It's got to be down to adding overvoltage protection in the eMachines "enhanced" supplies, hasn't it?

    Here are a couple of samples of that scary ol' Bestec 250W, the one on the left usually took a long stab of the button to fire up:


    I just did a quick straw poll at my forum of what eMachines blows up most often, and it is the Trigem Imperial 845 models and OEM Intel D845GVSR. The socket A, VIA KM266 based ECS L7VMM2 and FIC AM37 and AM35 OEM versions also drop like flies. These are all Bestec 250W models.

    There are three observations I would make here. These are all the era of 250W power supplies, hot running with no case fans, and the acknowledged bad/leaking capacitor motherboard problem, which BTW also afflicted power supplies and other components.

    Raybay, I think you've got your work cut out to pin it down to a motherboard problem. It seems interrelated to me. A weak power supply stressing regulator circuits and capacitors, overheating and the bad capacitor problem are all at work here. As are the usual mains supply surge and lightning problems.
  19. cubecompMTDX

    cubecompMTDX TS Rookie Posts: 48

    here's a real look at the 250 w bestec:
    here's the emachines I took it out of:
    Here's the Coolmax V-400 that i stuck into the emachine:
    Ever since the coolmax has been in there, this puppy has been a performer!
  20. cubecompMTDX

    cubecompMTDX TS Rookie Posts: 48

    and I agree with system 7, the first emachine my mom used had an Imperial GL_VE 845G board with a bestec 250 watt PSU. all it took was a thunderstorm and the bestec couldn't stop itself from frying the board. Yet everything else survived! I am using the CD-RW drive and the DVD-ROM drive in my current computer...
  21. system7

    system7 TS Rookie

    cubecompMTDX, gotta love the photos and comments.

    Like you, my D845GVSR based 2220 is chugging along nicely with a better PSU. :haha:

    So we have a decent W2888 Intel D845GVSR, with a new power supply to be sure. :grinthumb

    One Imperial GLVE struck by lightning. :dead:

    Here's a leaky capacitor W2888 D845GVSR to add to the mix, lest we get complacent. :confused:
    Now I know some folks are uncomfortable with irony, but let me add that you can replace a blown motherboard in an eMachines with something much better, with Microsoft's blessing. Plus get an education in repairing computers. That's gotta be some deal! ;)
  22. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,243   +234

    Good posts guys. All my eMachines experiences are from the older 4+ years models... Hard drives and an ocassional PCI modem I have replaced often. All the eMachines owners have been the "little old grandmother" type users
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,754   +2,429

    I'm not sure where to start, cause I didn't know who to quote...

    It is wonderful to see this lively debate rage on. I'm certain that Emachine's dirty deeds deserve a class action law suit. But, I still don't think you can continue to stereotype Emachines current offerings by what the machines were in the past. This thread and peoples perceptions continually reiterate some "facts" about the boxes in a blanket manner regardless of what this manufacturer is or has become. These things are now Gateways. Do they even still use Tri-gem Mobos?

    As I sit here typing this post on my approaching 3 year old Emachines T-5026. P4 Prescott, 915GAG Intel board, know this boys and girls; this machine has had 2 power supplies fail, and we're still on the OEM mobo.

    Supply 1: The OEM 300 watt something or other.
    "It was a hot day (98 degrees in July), My comp smelled funny". Next day it wouldn't boot. I fed it an Antec 350 Watt Smartpower 2.0. Away it went.
    Supply 2: The Antec 350 began to whine and you had to hold to power button in for as much as a minute to restart the computer. Blue lighty blinky muchy.
    Supply 3: Antec "Earth Watts EA380" Running 5 x 5 at the moment.

    As I keep pointing out these machines are now made of the same snakes, snails, and puppy dog tails as the rest of the junk in the industry.
    Gateway is using (and I assume purchased the line) as entry level PCs. Any electronics marketer worth it's salt has a higher end product just sitting there waiting to be sold up to in place of the cheaper one. At one point Emachines only offered 4 models on the website.

    As a reinforcement to the marketing issue, consider this; the T-5026 comes with an Intel 915GAG mobo. At the time it was Emacnines' top of the line (Intel) offering. However, while the 915 chipset supports PCIE x16, the T-5026's board is crippled on purpose by the omission of the PCIE x 16 socket. The moral of the story is, if you wanted that feature, you had to step up to a Gateway branded box to get it.

    I just don't think it's fair at the present to assume that any given Emachines is going to blowup momentarily. Having said that, please understand I not trying to deny the troubles of the past. But the knee-jerk nonsense really needs some common sense and thought applied.

    Now, here's what really confuses me, most of the people on this site are computer "enthusiasts", which is sort of a euphimism for somebody who's not happy if their equipment is more than 6 months old. So why the outrage when a 3 year old $350.00 computer goes down? After all there is such a thing as depreciation. Just because your car payments totaled $20,000.00, doesn't mean it's going to be worth that when you try and sell it.

    The constant boo-hoo, had to reformat, lost data, ad naseum does get tedious when you can slap another hard drive in any desk top mini-tower and stick your files on that. So, when the mobo goes up in a cloud of foul smelling, toxic smoke, just unplug the POS, yank out the volume drive, and stuff it in your new non-Emachines.

    And you techs that repair Emachines, just keep complaining all the way to the bank.

    Now, my T-5026 will be 3 in Feb. '08 (hopefully it will make it). It cost me $570.00 (2 optical drives, P4, card reader), that's about $190.00 a year. Not what I would consider an extravagent entertainment expense.

    I hope this wasn't too harsh. And yes, rebuttal is always welcome.
  24. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Absolutely, you can. The eMachines desktop and the eMachines laptop still have the highest failure rate in the industry, though they are currently the third largest maker of computers worldwide.
    They still offer only a one year warranty, but have added a two year warranty if the customer wishes to pay for it.
    The price is low. The power supplies have been really very good for three years. They use decent value ram memory, good modems, very good ethernet cards, average hard drives, average cpu fans.
    But the eMachine motherboard fails still at a tremendous rate.
    The famous Gateway tech support has nothing whatsoever to do with eMachines tech support, and the eMachine line, as well as probably the Gateway line are being sold to Acer... or Packard Bell Europe... It was all in the Wall Street Journal last week.
    When the eMachines people sold out to Gateway, they required that Gateway continue to provide support to Tri-Gem for two more years. The owner of TriGem, and all his other electronics companies of Korea is on the board of Gateway.
    Gateway needed the cash infusion, not the eMachines business.
  25. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,754   +2,429

    Well Looky Thar Sonny, Thet Thar Computer is Mow-ron Proof....!

    In the interest of saving us from ourselves, computer manufacturers should probably ship every box with dual HDDs, in Raid 1 ! Perhaps in a breakaway fire retardant case with a carrying handle that says "Pull handle after fire subsides". You know like a flight data recorder. Having grown up in the "paper age" it never fails to amaze me how people can put all their priceless data inside a vague electronic environment and expect it to stay there forever and ever. It's almost as abstract as religion.

    An honest question is, were those Bestec PSUs that failed, "after a thunderstorm", hooked up to surge supressors? (No I'm not saying they're good PSUs, they're certainly not).

    Heating due to insufficient voltage is something that even occurs in something as primitive as a circular saw. Given a fixed resistance in the presence of reduced voltage, will cause the circuit to consume higher current, precipitating higher heat. Ohm's law, you just can't get around it. And yes, a cheap over-rated PSU will not present sufficient voltage (under increased load), to whatever it's connected to. It's the high tech equivalent of the too long, too thin extension cord.

    Raybay suggests that Emachines have average HDDs. Perhaps so, the problem I have here is, that one of my Emachines came with a WD1600 "Caviar" SATA 1, the other a Seagate 120 GB PATA. The obvious question this generates is, where would you go and how much would spend to get better ones? In any event this would defeat the purpose of a budget priced computer line. (I hope I didn't misinterpret average).

    The reduction of length of warranty is an electronics industry wide phenomenon that started long, long ago, due to cost. You could have 2 year (or longer) warranties back, if you were still willing to pay $400.00 for a VHS VCR. On the other hand, selling extended warranties props up a retailer's profit margin which in certain instances is quite low.

    Gateway's "Answers by Gateway" should be, (I was told is), available to Emachines users. Although it's about a dollar a second. < that might be a slight exaggeration.

    Needing a cash infusion is likely to happen when you have a nationwide chain or retail stores painted to look like Guernsey cattle, selling over-priced computers. Or were they Hereford?

    Still the fact remains that Emachines provides line continuity from low to high price for Gateway, at least at the moment.

    If in fact Emachines is being sold to Packard-Bell Europe, does that mean the heartaches will leave the colonies only to be branded euro-trash? Or that Acers will now begin to fail at an alarming rate? Does the Korean ever lose his job? Stay tuned!
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