eMachines computer random bluescreens across environments

January 5, 2015 at 12:03:22
Specs: Windows Vista, Athlon 64 X2 @ 3.0GHz / 2GB
So I have this computer that's having weird hardware issues. The original symptoms were frequent freezes and blue screens. I tried re-installing Windows Vista through the eMachines recovery tool but that gave blue screens as well. I tried installing Windows 8 but again, I got a blue screen (a nice one with a big smiley face this time) before it even got to the installer welcome screen.

I loaded the fail-safe defaults in the BIOS and then I actually managed to install Vista. I began to install some basic software and everything was going fine, but then it froze up on me. After I restarted it I got yet another blue screen as Windows was loading. Another restart and I got to the desktop, but it's only a matter of time until it freezes up or bluescreens again.

The blue screens all have different messages (page fault in nonpaged area, IRQ less than or equal, all the good stuff) blaming different files (mostly .sys files) and at completely random points.

The fact that his happens during Windows installations rules out any sort of software issue. I ran memtest86 and it passed without errors. I don't know what the problem is at this point. My next guess would be the graphics chip but it's built in. The only thing I can think of is replacing the motherboard but this isn't my computer and the owner probably doesn't want to spend that much money.

Is there any way I could work around this? Maybe figure out exactly which piece of the motherboard is faulty and disable it? I already took out all non-essential hardware such as the modem and front panel USB ports and card readers.

If I connect my microwave to my PC, will I be able to download food? I posted a question, haha


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#1
January 5, 2015 at 12:25:23
Did you check system and CPU temperatures in the BIOS? Could be overheating. How long did you run memtest86?

I would also run a hard drive fitness test on the drive. I once had similar issues when installing and the capacitors on the motherboard were bulging. That doesn't seem to be much of a problem anymore, but still possible.

edit

emachines are known for their crappy power supplies. Check the voltages in the BIOS. All should be +-5% of specs.

message edited by OtheHill


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#2
January 5, 2015 at 13:19:16
"The fact that his happens during Windows installations rules out any sort of software issue"

I'm not so sure that assumption is 100%. Viruses (etc) can do some clever things, although I accept that not many get past reformat if that was part of the process.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#3
January 5, 2015 at 13:49:29
Sounds hardware related. I would test, in order:
1) PSU
2) CPU
3) Memory
4) Motherboard
5) HDD and/or optical drive

The "good" news is if the cause turns out to be the PSU or MB, you'll need to replace both at the same time. eMachine PSUs are exclusive to their MBs, and replacing one without the other results in a dead PSU and a dead MB.

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Related Solutions

#4
January 6, 2015 at 13:17:53
"eMachine PSUs are exclusive to their MBs, and replacing one without the other results in a dead PSU and a dead MB"

When did that change happen?


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#5
January 6, 2015 at 14:50:31
I think there were some older Dells that had that issue. Some laptops might have reverse polarity on the charger, which can cause damage.

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#6
January 6, 2015 at 15:05:58
It seems hard to see why if the PSU spec meets all the voltage current and polarity specs why a different brand should cause issues. If that is a known fact then there must be some reason that I haven't yet thought of.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#7
January 6, 2015 at 15:53:20
The eMachines I worked on had non-ATX compliant PSUs. It's been a long time since I worked on an eMachine, so they might have changed to industry standard. The Internet says the PSU/MB tend to fail at the same time, so you end up replacing the set, regardless. Or not; it's an eMachine. If you're going to spend, like, $150 on a PC, just get another PC.

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#8
January 6, 2015 at 19:08:20
Re #7
Aha, similar expiry times. That could be the reason that had escaped me.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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