computer died, now bitog looks different

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36,473
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ME
This is basically a rant, but someone might learn something. My emachines t2692 that I bought the day after thanksgiving 2003 blew its power supply and motherboard. Net wisdom indicates that this whole series blows up in three years. It's stock except a DVD burner, firewire card, tv tuner, and second hard drive. Ok maybe not stock. For the snobs who think I stressed out the 250 watt power supply, my kill-a-watt meter shows it drew only 120 watts during heavy thinking. Perhaps it's made with the cheapest capacitors available, who knows, but if you have an emachines, back your stuff up. I back up once every other year but had backed up to CDROM 3 days before it blew up. I keep parts computers around and pulled a 350 watt ps that bolted up perfectly but it still wouldn't boot or even get to the bios so I ordered a new old stock (2004) motherboard from ebay. HP/Compaq, it took my celeron processor and memory so I'm happy, and since it's new it's capacitors haven't dried out yet. Put it in and it would get to BIOS and stop. Wouldn't say 'no operating sytem' or anything just stop. I had been hoping, like win95 or win98, it'd boot in safe mode, complain a lot, but let me fix the drivers. Of two equal sized and speeded hard drives in there, one had been a video scratch disk and could stand reformatting and being made master, so I switched them. Emachines ships with restore CDROMS that are useless to browse... just have to let them build their ghosts and reboot. The computer kept rebooting 1/10 of the way into windows, before safe mode prompt or splash screen. In hindsight I could have formatted the drive FAT32 (temporarily even), let the disks rip, and then gone in with a dos boot, browsed to the i386 folder, and ran WINNT.exe for a proper setup. Got distracted by linux but it proved the 'puter would run, and run pretty well. Was hoping the linux boot loader would see windows on the other drive and give it the kick in the pants it needed to go... thinking master boot record corruption... no go. Various dos bootdisk solutions were stymied by the NTFS I had formatted with. Found something at http://nu2.nu/pebuilder that let me in. Linux (mandrake 9.2, had it laying around) could get into NTFS and read files and either ftp them somewhere or burn them to CD-ROM... but I had just backed stuff up. Lesson: Linux will get your data. I then tried a CD-ROM only distro called KNOPPIX that also worked great and could get my data. I had given up on my emachines restore disk, as well as getting a "real" XP disk from them or microsoft. "They" would not support a computer that they hadn't built, and MS says go to OEM for OEM licensed XP support. I started looking around to borrow an XP SP1 disc that my valid license key sticker would work with. No dice, everyone had SP2, and I couldn't figure out ahead of time if the key would work... or if it would send alarm bells to MS headquarters. Finally (if you've read this far) I found a site that described how one could build a "real" XP install disc from their restore disk. The i386 folder is basically the same as the CAB folder on 95 and 98. I even had this on my slave hard drive in the former windows folder! Went in there, ran WINNT, and got it done... Lessons: NTFS is hard to get into. Back stuff up. Remember your NT admin password (there are bootlevel cracks though) Restore disks are junky garbage you may not absolutely need and probably don't want to use. Restore disks that don't restore are not the end of the world.
 
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11,284
Location
Spring HIll
Quote:
My emachines t2692 that I bought the day after thanksgiving 2003 blew its power supply and motherboard.
My neighbor's eMachines power supply recently popped. They sent a new MB and PS under warranty. I put them in for him. It booted twice, then died. He got a new MB and PS. Put them in...nothing. Dead. Sent them back and they claim that they test as 'good'. Found out the CPU has a dark brown mark on it's underside. So I bought a CPU from a guy on eBay (AMD 2600+), never got it in. The guy, who had near 100% favorable eBay rating, screwed several others at the same time he screwed me this past month. So my neighbor has an eMachines PC that needs a CPU (they will NOT warranty the CPU). I'm thinking of just putting an old P1.7 together from my spare parts bin. WITHOUT any eMachines parts involved. I really can't stand eMachines and that guy on eBay. Having an eMachines PC is like owning a lime green leisure suit. Sure it fits the definition of "clothing", but it's not something you want to be seen with. elj, good to hear you made a backup prior to your system failing. In all the mess, I'm sure you felt good knowing you didn't lose much data at all!
 
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3,392
Location
Raleigh ,NC
I just went through this myself.The power supply went out and the motherboard. A very comman problem with emachines.I had a spare power supply from a machine I parted out. 300W. Installed that and ordered a new motherboard (not emachine)from newegg. $40. Installed the new mother board and power supply. From my research while waiting for the motherboard to arrive I knew I needed a copy of XP. Emachines does not supply you with one. A friend had one.Set the bios to boot from cd rom. Xp fires up and I enter my key code from the sticker on the back of the case. 30 minutes later I am up and running and have the option to register/activate the XP over the internet. I do this and things have been running fine. No lost data. The machine does seem to run warm. I am ordering a good case fan from newegg today.
 
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3,558
Location
SE Pa
Roll your own, fellas. If you want a quality built system that will last and usually costs less than the cheapie store-boughts and mass-builts, that's the way to do it. You can recycle many core parts over several generations. You'll also not be upgrade-stymied by proprietary parts. It's not that hard. I've got 6 and 7 year old PC Power & Cooling supplies still rolling along in 24/7 service, on their 3rd or 4th systems. Amortized out, it's a bargain.
 
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2,607
Location
MN
BITOG looks different because they obviously updated the server software, it doesn't have anything to do with your PC. I couldn't get on the site for a couple days.
 

eljefino

Thread starter
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36,473
Location
ME
^ I know BITOGs changed, that's why I made the thread icon a smiley. I wasn't a group III+ member before. I had been a "roll your own" proponent back when PCs were $1000 and made of $400 worth of parts. Before getting this emachines I had win98 and 400 mhz but was hearing good things about the stability of XP. To upgrade just my OS (legally, of course) would have been ~$150. Stood in line for a Best Buy "doorbuster" and got the whole computer for $200 and also got a processor that's 650% faster than the old one. I stand by the idea that was a prudent decision; I won't pay full price for an emachines however. This Windows vista that's up and coming doesn't look too interesting so I plan on keeping this XP, well, forever. So I might keep on "rolling my own" in upgrades within this box. All that's left of the original machine now is the XP license, box, celeron chip, floppy, and a stick of ram. All the screw holes were in the same places for my generic PS and HP mobo so the hardware aspect of the upgrade was no issue. Volvohead, you must have top shelf PSes as the replacement 300w I had laying around was a replacement for a generic one that literally let the smoke out fighting a random brownout. I've been running motherboard monitor in the systray of both old and new setups... CPU temp is 96'F... I take it this is pretty cool. The HP mobo wouldn't even boot without TWO fan RPM signals, I had to scrounge a second fan for the case.
 
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1,451
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
I've usually "rolled my own" over the years since my first computer in 1991. I bought a Dell in 2000 however and rolled it along until last winter and wanted to do a significant upgrade and found I had to replace almost everything including the case. Things sure have changed, I was suprised how much more heat a new computer puts out and that is the main reason for case changes. I'm still using the modem and keyboard/mouse from the '2000 Dell. The rest of the parts are either new or were upgraded since 2000. I've rarely ever had a completely new computer. The best part of building your own is you can plan for a more advanced computer down the road without ever buying the latest stuff all up front. If you buy a cheap emachines computer you end up with stuff you can't upgrade, but if it is cheap enough then perhaps it might be worth it. $200 probably was as long as the computer lasted at least a couple of years.
 
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3,558
Location
SE Pa
There's a hidden "agg" factor with the mass produced systems, as they're so loaded up with useless bloatware and the economy components are so prone to failure, that you're either repeatedly stuck on the phone with India for three hours at a stretch, or waiting for the factory "service" van to show up. My time is too valuable to put up with that, although I've bailed out a few helpless friends who had basket case Dells and HPs. Rolling a good system software load only takes me a couple of hours, and then it's good to go for at least a couple of years. And in the long run, it IS cheaper and faster than the storeboughts.
 
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43,670
Location
'Stralia
Sounds like the new forum has blown up a couple of PCs. mine became unstable last weekend, new hard drive amd clean install was good 'till Thursday, when it went "Beep-Beep-Beep", and ceased to function at all. New box is running very quietly and nicely...'cept I can't get elder scrolls IV to run properly.
 
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