emachines Power Supply

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.

About enkerli

French-speaking ethnographer, homeroaster, anthropologist, musician, coffee enthusiast. View all posts by enkerli

20 responses to “emachines Power Supply

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  • Tom

    Hijackthis was just about the best tool for software troubleshooting . . . but now that trendmicro bought it; I worry.

    • enkerli

      You probably found this post through the “troubleshooting” tag. This post was more about hardware troubleshooting and it’s rather old now, but it doesn’t look like you’re merely trying to get traffic.
      Why does Trend Micro make you worry? Have you had issues with them specifically? Do you notice a pattern in terms of products they shelved?

  • enkerli

    @Anonymous Thanks for the input. Glad letting it cool down did the trick.

  • Anonymous

    six year old e machines was up graded from 256 to 750 RAM. Overheated. Turned computer off and waited 30 minutes. Works fine for now. This is a non lap top desk top computer.

  • enkerli

    Maybe there’s someone out there who collects eMachines power supplies…😉

  • anonymous

    I may build my own computer, I’ve never done it before, but I have been reading about it and I think it’s the best way to go, anyway, I tried to put 2 power suppies in the emachine and both failed to start the computer. So, No options left except for the trash can. Maybe we can use the emachines for a nice Coffee table, LOL

  • enkerli

    Anon,
    Too bad your computer died. But it’s nice that it lasted 5 years…

  • Anonymous

    well, I’ve had an emachines computer for 5 or more years and the power supply finally died out, leaving my usb mouse dead, my voip phone fried, ssd card reader fried, the keyboard fried, and not to mention the whole computer FRIED. I will never buy another emachines AGAIN !

  • enkerli

    Jesse,
    As my knowledge of these things is very limited, I can’t really say but, it sounds surprising to me that a DVD drive would cause the power supply to stop working. And even more so, that it would affect the mobo. But, again, I don’t really know anything about these things.
    The eMachines power supplies do seem to me to be rather fragile but that might an effect of my having this post on it and seeing comments about this specific issue.

  • jesse

    I bought an emachines about 4 years ago. The power supply and mother board went out about six months ago. I had them both replaced for around 200 bucks. Last month they went out again!! Im wondering if the upgrades I did to it could have caused these issues. I added an internal dvd drive before it went out the first time. Could it have over-stressed the power supplies?

  • Stephen

    I have an e-machine W-series that has been running fine for three years. Until, three days ago the power supply died on me. So, in all honesty, I think that it’s the luck of the draw!!!

  • enkerli

    EEdwards,
    Thanks for the testimonial. Sorry things didn’t work better for you. Sad story indeed. Another reason we might need more control on computer repairs.

    Since writing this blogpost, my H3070 has not had any power supply issue (knock on wood). I guess the point is that, with inexpensive machines, we should expect a lot of variability in terms of quality. Too bad, though.

  • EEdwards

    I just bought one of these machines in August. The same thing happened to me. It was still under store warranty and the store replaced the machine. Within weeks, it happened again. My daughter made a phone call to the company ( the machine was still only about six weeks old) and they sent a new power source. Within a couple of weeks, it went out again. This time the company said send the machine back. After holding it for several weeks, they returned it, voiding the warranty. They said they found the machine infested with bugs, and for health considerations, their employees would not work on it. So I called them. I don’t know how the machine could be infested with bugs, but if it was, it got that way somewhere else and not in my home. The machine had sat in a warehouse, the machine had been shipped… at home, it sat next to an HP that I have had for years with no problems, but they are laying it on me and leaving me holding the bag. I called the company again. They said they could not do anything, the warranty was voided. I asked them could they not at least send a new power source and I would have it fixed. The answer was no. So this is very enlightening. They have built a defective machine with a known and documented problem, and this is their way of getting out of any responsibility. I am out the cost of a computer, and with all their money, they won’t even furnish a new power source. Obviously, it would not matter. The problem is in the parts. It is an inferior product and anyone who is thinking about purchasing one, be forewarned. Like the other man said, you get what you pay for. No one should be forced to replace power sources on a regular basis, but if you buy one, buy a nice supply of power sources to get you through the first year. Apparently, about 24 might do the trick for a year. And expect to be insulted it you dare go to the manufacturers of the piece of crap. I know I regret my decision. There was a nice little HP sitting next to this piece of high-tech junk and I bought this because I thought it would be better.

  • enkerli

    Well, the reason I got this specific machine is that it was the cheapest one I could find at the time that still had a DVD burner. So I never expected a great machine.

    What’s funny is that, apart from this power supply problem I’ve had in my first week, I didn’t have any hardware problem with this H3070. Knock on wood!
    On the other hand, it’s not a powerful machine. Before I got more RAM, it was almost unusable, so slow it was.
    Overall, I wouldn’t really recommend it. But I’ve not had major issues with the emachines for almost two years. And I do use it day and night.

  • Virginia Beach Computer Repair

    In my computer repair shop I see a lot of emachines. I have seen quite a few of them for power supply and usb issues.
    Most of my data recovery jobs comes from HP’s.
    It’s getting tough to recommend a good brand these days. I keep an eye on repair trends. As soon as I recommend a particular brand, some problem or another pops up with that brand.
    The most expensive computers I have ever owned are the ones that lasted the longest and were the most reliable.
    You get what you pay for!

  • enkerli

    Bratfry,

    Thanks a lot for the insight!
    Not surprising but rather frustrating. Even though the machine is inexpensive, it probably would have cost the same price if they had put a more appropriate power supply in the first place.
    Crossing my fingers that my H3070 will keep on working for a while.
    How much does the latest power supply cost, in case I ever need one?

  • bratfry

    The e-machine power supplies seem to have a serious problem. I have had three similar power supplies that have failed with the same parts in the shop. Two capacitors seem to be getting so hot they literally fall off the circuit board by melting the solder. Some even have blown up. It’s the same parts in all three of these e-machine power supplies have failed.

    So for the ‘fun’ of it, I replaced them in the latest power supply with larger voltage ratings and jump started the power supply, it worked. How long, I don’t know yet.

    Now I need a way to test the fix. But of course the motherboard was destroyed when the power supply failed and I’m not about to put a new motherboard in for the test. So now its going to be ‘fix the motherboard time’. I believe its in the power on circuit or a voltage regulator as I see some strange reading across some power caps. Will report more if I find anything.

    No its not worth it, but its fun. And as always, you get what you pay for and the e-machine is worth about what you paid for it.

  • enkerli

    Yup, pretty scary. That’s why I looked for info online, when it happened. I was lucky as my computer was on warranty, they just sent me another power supply. It only took a couple of days and it was really easy to fix. In your case, it would probably cost a good chunk of money but you might want to look on eBay just to see if nobody’s selling one of those.
    eMachines/Gateway probably does have some issues but the main thing is to have an extended warranty, IMHO.

  • Jessica

    I am so glad I found this. My computer has been doing the same thing. Talk about a scare when this happens at 2 a.m. in the morning. I tried to call eMachines and to ask a question they wanted some obscene amount of money. I HATE Gateway. My modem is also having problems and it all started at the same time so I’m wondering what caused that as well. Oh well, this weekend I’m getting an HP and saying goodbye to Gateway forever.

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