Slow Dell eMachine T3990

January 3, 2013 at 10:06:04
Specs: Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit, 3 GHz / 1919 MB

Slow Dell emachine T3990
I am in a Assisted Living facility and have volunteered to help out with the maintenance of this facility computer. The first thing I did was use the emachine Recovery program. That program re-formats the System drive and re-installs all the "retail" programs. Inspection of the machine after the use of the program revealed that a few drivers were now installed as well as glitches in other programs solved. I also removed the programs that were installed on a 30-650 day trail as well as other unneeded programs.The computer remains slow, slow,slow, slow while running and during startup an shutdown.

The vitals of this machine are Celeron 2.8 GHz, 240 Mb RAM (upgradable).

I believe that a memory upgrade will help as well as taking some of the "bloat" out of the start menu, I don't know how to do this.

Would appreciate some advice.

William Lockie

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January 3, 2013 at 10:10:43

William, are you sure the specs are right? You can't run Win 7 on 256 megs of ram. You can't even run XP on that. If you're correct on the amount of ram, there's your problem. Clarify what the specs are.

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January 3, 2013 at 11:38:25

"I believe that a memory upgrade will help ..... I don't know how to do this"

It's a matter of adding or replacing physical RAM sticks inside the case:

This general info might help too:

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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January 3, 2013 at 16:14:01

"Dell emachine T3990"

Dell doesn't make eMachines, Gateway (Acer) does. This newegg link lists the specs:

And here's the drivers download page:

Personally, I wouldn't have used the eMachines Recovery program because of all the garbage software it installs. I would have wiped out all partitions & installed Windows from scratch using a retail disk, but not until I added more RAM & a discrete video card. You'll never get that system to run decently with just 256MB RAM unless you downgrade the OS to Win98.

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January 4, 2013 at 13:36:27

Grasshopper,The machine runs as an OS, Windows XP.
I went to Start....Control Panel.... System and this is what was on that page

eMachine T3990
Intel Celeron CPU 2.8 GHz
240 MB of Ram


William Lockie

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January 4, 2013 at 14:02:06

Hi Bill, I would follow riider's advice. 256 isn't enough memory for any system but Windows 98. You can install up to 2 gigs of memory according to the specs. That's an old machine and not worth putting too much money into. 2 gigs will make it livable, but still not real good. 256 will crawl at best. Good Luck to you.

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January 4, 2013 at 17:45:42


But I did do the recover. As I was removing unwanted program I inadvertently removed " AC'97". I later found out that was the sound program. Now I have no sound. Found and installed the file WDM_A406.EXE. Although it shows up in Device Manager and working properly and enabled I still have no sound. The speakers are internal so no cables or wires to worry about.I don't know a lot about computer sound system so don't know where to start trouble shooting.


William Lockie

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January 5, 2013 at 07:13:55

Use the audio driver from the page riider posted. Here it is again. All the drivers you need are on there.

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January 7, 2013 at 05:12:54

"The vitals of this machine are Celeron 2.8 GHz, 240 Mb RAM"

And that celeron with 240 MB ram is why it's slow.

240 MB Ram sounds like it's got 256 MB in all and the video is using some memory. I bet it has a socket 478 CPU. If you wanted to spend a little money on it you may find a socket 478 P4 (Not Celeron) on ebay. Also bumping the memory up to 2 GB would help. But even better with the P4 upgrade. I have done this to a system with a celeron. And he probaly meant it was an emachine with a Dell monitor. You could also check local shops that may sell used computers. Where I live I bought a Gateway E6100 a P4 2.6 with HT for $129.00. It runs great I use it for a secound computer.

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January 7, 2013 at 11:01:47

OK, this is my latest foray into the sound system. I tried to install the drivers I obtained from gateway at riders suggestion. Installation failed because the already installed drivers were newer. Assuming that those driver might be corrupted I removed the old drivers and tried again. This time, The installation failed again, but this time because they did not have a Windows Logo testing. I reloaded the Realtek ver. 4.06 drivers and continued trouble shooting the sound-system.
I entered a music CD and started it. Got a visual indication that the music was playing by looking at the WMP audio indicator (Not the video) but NO SOUND. Checked the volume and mute wherever I looked. (Don't have a typical block diagram.) Tried all speaker combinations with no help. Finally set the speakers to "No Speakers" assuming it meant external speakers. Gave up until tomorrow.
Went to Realtek and downloaded there latest drivers. Version I do not know until I open the package.
Any suggestions?
PS, For Chris Garrett. I do plan on updating the memory in the future. but CPU, I'm not sure., unless I can get one at a real good price.

William Lockie

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January 8, 2013 at 04:27:53

Is there a local shop that sell's refurbished computers? The shop where I live has computers from $99.00 and up. I think that's good.

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