Already got to replace the power supply on my new (refurbished) emachine H3070. Got the unit on December 30, it’s January 9.
This might be useful to someone else. Couldn’t find much info online right away. Eventually called a rep.
The issue happened twice already. Was outside the room while the computer was converting sound files (heavy CPU and memory). Heard this rather loud two-note alarm or alert sound (long deee-dooo-deee-dooo) coming directly out of the computer itself (not the external speakers or headphones). Came back to the room. The unit was off (the blue power button in the front was off, the monitor was on standby). Pushing the power button had no effect. Doing anything with the keyboard or mouse had no effect. The only way to stop the noise was to unplug the tower directly. And even then, it took a while to stop. Well, maybe five seconds, but still.
AFAIK, by looking online, it seems to be a problem with the power supply overheating. The issue seems fairly well-known by both users and support representatives. The rep readily offered a replacement power supply which can be installed by emachines or by the user. It’s being shipped overnight and should get here soon. Will install the new power supply and send back the old one in the same box. As the machine is working most of the time, it’s much better than shipping the unit and waiting for the repair to be done.
So, overall, not so bad. But now I wish I had taken the extended warranty on that machine as 90 days is a bit short if there are such glaring issues with it.
To summarize: if you hear a rather loud noise of two notes coming out of the back of your PC and your PC shuts down by itself, chances are that it’s the power supply overheating.
Now, this might be a well-known issue for PC users but for this recent switcher to Windows (been on the Mac since 1987 and Mac OS X since 2001), it was rather awkward. Found surprisingly little mention of this issue and thought other emachines users might have the same problem and want to learn a little more info about it.