|It should take no more than an hour or so to full format an 80 gb hard drive that there is nothing wrong with. |
emachines desktop computers are well known to have el-cheapo, usually BESTEC, power supplies that tend to malfunction or fail more often than average, and when the power supply fails completely, they are a lot more likely than average to damage something else, often the mboard.
Check the current voltage readings in the bios Setup - what is supposed to be +12v, +5v, and +3.3 v should be within 10% of the nomal value - if any of those are NOT within 10%, you must replace the power supply.
If you have replaced the original power supply because it failed, if it was a BESTEC, it's likely it damaged the mboard.
It is common to un-intentionally damage IDE data cables, especially while removing them - the 80 wire ones are more likely to be damaged. What usually happens is the cable is ripped at either edge and the wires there are either damaged or severed, often right at a connector or under it's cable clamp there, where it's hard to see - if a wire is severed but it's ends are touching, the connection is intermittent, rather than being reliable.
Another common thing is for the data cable to be separated from the connector contacts a bit after you have removed a cable - there should be no gap between the data cable and the connector - if there is press the cable against the connector to eliminate the gap.
80 wire data cables are also easily damaged at either edge if the cable is sharply creased at a fold in the cable.
Try another data cable if in doubt.
80 wire data cables must have the proper end connector connected to the mboard IDE header - usually that's blue, but in any case it's the one farther from the middle connector on a 3 connector data cable.
Check your SATA data cables. The connector on each end should "latch" into the socket on the drive and on the mboard, or on the drive controller card - it should not move when you merely brush your hand against it near the socket - if it does, mere vibration can cause a poor connection of it - use another SATA data cable that does "latch", or tape the connector in place.
(There is a slight projection or bump on one side of the outside of the connector that "latches" it into the socket - it's easily broken off or damaged)
The same thing applies for the SATA power connection.
If your mboard is not new (usually the mboard is at least 2 years old when this happens)......
Some mboards develop this problem - electrolytic capacitors were installed on them that were not properly made, and they fail eventually - the mboard manufacturer didn't know they were improperly made at the time the mboard was made.
Open up your case and examine the mboard to see if you have bad capacitors, and/or other findable signs of mboard damage .
What to look for, mboard symptoms, example pictures:
Home page that site
- what the problem is caused by
- he says there are STILL bad capacitors on more recent mboards.
Pictures of blown capacitors, other components, power supplies, fried Athlon cpus, etc.:
"after install it's only showing 384mb ram of 1gb"
You have a ram detection problem.
See response 2 in this - try cleaning the contacts on the ram modules, and making sure the modules are properly seated:
If you have more than one ram module, not all ram that you might think should work fine will be 100% compatible with your mboard, or with other modules that are installed. If it's not compatible, the amount detected may not be the total amount that was installed, yet the ram amount that is detected may pass diagnostics tests.
If you have a mix of different modules
- don't mix ram that different voltages are specified for - the bios will force the ram to use the lowest voltage, if "by spd" or similar is used (default settings) - ram that a higher voltage is specified for is more likely to not work properly in that situation.
- the bios settings must be those for the slowest timing settings of all the modules, or slower (higher numbers = slower).
Test your ram with diagnostics .
If you want to try a memory diagnostic utility that takes a lot less time to run a full pass than memtest86 does, this one is pretty good - Microsoft's
Windows Memory Diagnostic:
Windows Memory Diagnostic is limited to testing only the first 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM.
It can be toggled (press T) to do a standard or a more comprehensive set of tests - use the default 6 test one first - if it passes one pass of that, use the latter one. A few of the tests in the latter set are intentionally slower.
If you don't have a floppy drive, see the Quick Start Information at that Microsoft link for how to make a bootable CD of the Windows Memory Diagnostic (you need Windiag.iso - you don't necessarily need to use the program they mention to add it to the CD).
Have you changed which ram modules you have installed since the computer worked fine ?
If you have, if you know which modules were installed before, try installing ONLY those modules.
XP just barely runs as it should with 256mb of ram - if you're using onboard video, it will perform even worse - it should have 512mb or more.
There are several lines in System Information in Windows that state memory amounts - the only one that is directly related to the amount installed in the mboard and doesn't change is the Physical memory amount there.
Windows always reports the same total amount of Physical memory that the bios reports. If you're using onboard video, the bios usually reports the total amount detected minus the amount that is being shared with the onboard video, NOT the total amount installed, because the amount shared with the onboard video can't be used by the operating system itself.
If only 512mb is being detected by the bios and you have onboard video that is using 128mb, 512 - 128 = 384mb.