Custom Search
Join the PC homebuilding revolution! Read the all-new, FREE 200-page online guide: How to Build Your Own PC!
NOTE: Using robot software to mass-download the site degrades the server and is prohibited. See here for more.
Find The PC Guide helpful? Please consider a donation to The PC Guide Tip Jar. Visa/MC/Paypal accepted.
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Help with old Emachines etower 333k

  1. #1

    Help with old Emachines etower 333k

    Can anyone point me in the right direction. My younger cousin inherited an old emachines etower 333k and asked me to beef it up for him. I installed a Maxtor 20GB HD, 256MB of RAM (2 x 128), and a Belkin wireless PCI card so it would work with my Aunt's Belkin router. The system has Windows XP Home Edition and after adding the upgrades, I went into Windows to configure the wireless card and I was successful in installing it and getting a signal from the router. But everytime I booted the system up, it would freeze up at random areas. I wouldn't do anything specific for it to freeze up. One time it was while I was browsing the internet with Internet Explorer. Another time, I was in the control panel. And another time when I was about to reboot the system in the start menu. My guess is that it needs a BIOS update, but before I begin going through countless steps, I wanted to get some feedback. Unfortunately, there isn't another option for another computer, he is in middle school and needs something simple to browse the internet and do homework. I'd appreciate any help! Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Edmonton, AB, Canada
    Posts
    1,615
    Is it a fresh install of XP?

    If not, did it work fine before?
    Don't fear the penguin - www.slackware.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    The Mountain State
    Posts
    23,389
    Were you using the Belkin wireless program or the Windows XP wireless program?

    I've always had headaches with the Belkin wireless client. One of which is that it can be a bit of a memory hog/resource hog.

    256 MB isn't really enough RAM to run XP and the wireless client and much of anything else.
    AV, Anti-Trojan List;Browser and Email client List;Popup Killer List;Portable Apps
    “When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.” - Thomas Paine
    Remember: Amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titantic."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nor'East USA
    Posts
    5,505
    Sounds like the addition of the 3 items has taxed the power supply to it's limits. eMachines is not known for putting in sufficient supplies to add much at all.

    Try removing one or more of what you added, and if it stops, don't assume it's what you removed. Alternate with something else. If still ok, it's the PSU.

    But again, what was on this pc for protection prior to introducing it to the network for: A/V, Firewall and other malware fighters such as SpywareGuard,, etc?

    Edit:
    What mjc said too
    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

  5. #5
    This was a fresh install of XP. I got the hard drive, removed the old one and installed XP on the drive. I removed the old RAM in the system, which I believe was only 64 MB and put 128MB in the only two slots in the system giving me 256MB. According to some info on the net, this system cannot go above 256MB. The system has only two PCI slots and one had a dial-up modem, the other was empty. I added the wireless card there. This system was never used for the internet prior to this because they have high speed and this system wasn't setup for that so there isn't any viruses/spyware. Should I remove the dial-up modem for power reasons because it's not being used? Also, I do have an extra power supply if it needs to be replaced.

    I am using the provided Belkin software. The first thing I'll do is get rid of that then and see if that helps. If that and removing the modem doesn't work, I'll try using an older windows. I know this system was setup for Windows ME before. Do you think Windows 2000 would be okay, or should I go with 98?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nor'East USA
    Posts
    5,505
    If the eMachines psu is not propietary and the other one is more powerful, sure, try it. The other ideas are good also before going with an older os.

    Still, more ideas would be to test the RAM with Memtest, test the harddrive (I know, you said it's new) with manufacturer's softwares, do a barebones boot detaching all unnecessary peripherals.

    The freezeups sound like some piece of hardware is on it's way out, corrupted drivers or similar. So the os should be the last resort, even though XP will run doggedly slow with 256mb RAM, that's double what HP was originally selling their xt933 systems with, which came with XP Home.
    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

  7. #7
    It runs surprisingly smooth with XP considering how slow the system is. Tomorrow is when I'm going back over there to take a look at it. Would updating the BIOS help any? If so, where would I get a BIOS update for this system? And how do I test the RAM with Memtest? I'm assuming this is a program I can download. I appreciate all of the pointers, I'm pretty good with computers, but this is a problem I have yet to run into and it could be a number of things so I figured you guys can help!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    The Mountain State
    Posts
    23,389
    I doubt it, for the BIOS update...those machines were long out of date by the time XP came along. If I remember correctly, the last update was to handle any potential Y2K problems or maybe it was for a hard drive fix... (Yeah, I've dealt with that model before...)

    If you don't have an 8.4 GB limit on the hard drive, you've got the latest BIOS in it...
    AV, Anti-Trojan List;Browser and Email client List;Popup Killer List;Portable Apps
    “When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.” - Thomas Paine
    Remember: Amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titantic."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    west Lothian, Scotland.
    Posts
    13,259
    See if Windows XP Upgrade Advisor reports any incompatibilities.

  10. #10
    I'll try and download this today, I just hope the system doesn't freeze up before I can finish the test. I do appreciate it though, anything like this will help!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nor'East USA
    Posts
    5,505
    Memtest
    Midway down, the bootable floppy or precompiled iso for a bootable cd would work if you have a burner.

    Knoppix may also help to see if it's os related problem by booting to that instead of Windows
    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

  12. #12
    I just got back right now from my second attempt at getting this system to work. I removed the dial-up modem and made sure everything was snug. I ran a memory test and everything passed okay. Then I began navigating through windows to see if it would lock up. It still locked up, but it did seem a bit longer in between freeze points. I did notice that when I had to access the DVD-Rom drive, a freeze usually followed which leads me to believe that it is the power supply. I'm going this weekend with the replacement power supply and I'll also run the Knoppix while I'm there to see if either of those work.
    Last edited by kevinc5680; 12-28-2006 at 05:56 PM. Reason: Typo

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    The Mountain State
    Posts
    23,389
    If it is 'freezing' when accessing the drive, if you let it sit long enough, does it come back?

    Depending on the drive caching, especially if there isn't enough memory available to hold the cache, Windows can grind to a halt until the disk is read...
    AV, Anti-Trojan List;Browser and Email client List;Popup Killer List;Portable Apps
    “When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.” - Thomas Paine
    Remember: Amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titantic."

  14. #14
    I waited about 2-4 minutes one time and it didn't come back. The mouse doesn't move, the whole screen just locks up.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •