Troubleshooting a broken emachine
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Thread: Troubleshooting a broken emachine

  1. #1
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    Troubleshooting a broken emachine

    I'm trying to diagnose and fix an emachine for a friend. model S1940 (1900 AMD Athlon XP and FIC AM37 Motherboard).

    All stock. The story is, that it just wouldn't start one day. When powered up, the system gives one long beep about every 5 seconds, but nothing else happens. It does not give any feedback via the display. (as if the video were not connected). I tried to prove that each component worked by testing with another machine... but that didn't yield conclusive results.

    I think the H.D. is ok. I think the Power supply is ok, but less certain then the HD. (I can elaborate more on these hunches, but will abstain to keep this short) I couldn't make it boot with a known good hard drive. I also couldn't make it work with a known good power supply. (This is complicated by the fact that I don't know if the spare power supply was exactly right for the machine. ?)

    When I swap in the good hard drive, I can hear it spin, but it clicks and makes noises that it doesn't when it boots in my other machine. The CPU fan spins too. I'm guessing this means that those two components are getting the necessary power from the Power Supply?

    It came to me with no memory in it. -When the system died, the friends son swiped the memory to put in something else. I take it to mean that the memory was not the reason for the breakdown. I purchased and installed a stick, but without a working machine in the first place, I can't prove that the memory is good. My other machines run different memory, so I can't swap it out and prove it works. For now, I'm assuming the memory is fine, and another problem exists.

    I'd like to know what the long beep indicates. Is it a clue that would indicate the next steps to take? Suggestions please?

  2. #2
    Banned Johnny Fist's Avatar
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    There was a whole slew of these things selling on eBay not too long ago. The bulk of them would not get video and had no ram or hard drive. Basically they were parts computers or fixeruppers. Is that what this is?

    In regards to the beeping, you're going to need to be able to identify what BIOS is included on that motherboard. From there you can look up that BIOS' beep code to determine what the problem is. I'd take a wild stab at it and say replace the motherboard. I heard a lot of the AMD based eMachines use a K7S5A motherboard, which are known to have issues with dying AGP slots.

    Oh, and maybe before you go through all that you can post a model number and we can look up the specs online.

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    JF, where is the info on agp slots going bad? HAve not noticed such a trend, but very interested.

    I understand that the k7s5a did not like pci video, any truth to that rumor? Or would that be valid diagnostic in this case?

    The beep code might be memory problems?
    Try to reseat that, aswell as confirm the video card FULLY seated.

    May need to remove back plate video card retention screw to allow it to fully engage complete depth of slot.

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    Ultimate Member crossedup's Avatar
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    Always helpful to try moving the "clear CMOS" jumper over then back while unplugged or pulling the battery for a few minutes. Amazing what that will do sometimes.

    What size is the memory. I know its DDR but is it a 256 MB stick? I assume since you bought it, it must be. I ask because I have a stick of DDR 128MB that produces the same results whatever rig I put it in.

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    krazefinn, I've used K7S5A with pretty much every graphics card imaginable, including PCI cards old and new. No problem there - so yes, it does work with PCI graphics cards.

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    The K7S5A could also have bad capacitors . Check to see if any are bulging or leaking. I don't have the links but there was a thread on the forum several weeks ago.

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    Banned Johnny Fist's Avatar
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    Originally posted by krazefinn
    JF, where is the info on agp slots going bad? HAve not noticed such a trend, but very interested.

    I understand that the k7s5a did not like pci video, any truth to that rumor? Or would that be valid diagnostic in this case?

    The beep code might be memory problems?
    Try to reseat that, aswell as confirm the video card FULLY seated.

    May need to remove back plate video card retention screw to allow it to fully engage complete depth of slot.
    I'm basing my statement on personal experience I have had along with several other builders in the area. I've noticed an exsessive amount of questions pertaining to dead video on the K7S5A boards in various forums across the internet as well. Maybe its a bad batch distributed to this specific location, I don't know. I just know what I witnessed first hand.

  8. #8
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    No, it's not an ebay purchase. It was a Best Buy purchase, with a single owner. Motherboard is a FIC AM37, more below...

    If the video went bad, would the computer still boot, but without video? (It doesn't boot.)

    The ram is a 256 MB stick, and according to beep codes, the endless beep loop indicates a memory problem.

    Did any of you who had AGP problems experience beeping from it?

    Model Name : AM37 PCB Rev 1.2
    Product Name : VIA KM266 Based Mainboard
    System BIOS : Award BIOS Version VLB43
    PCI IDE : Internal PCI Mastre dual IDE
    LPC : ITE IT8705F

  9. #9
    Ultimate Member rraehal's Avatar
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    Does that system have on board video?

    You can get the manual from:
    http://www.fic.com.tw/support/downlo...ip&info=manual

    Other drivers and info if you get it working:
    http://www.fic.com.tw/support/mother...x?model_id=107

    That board has a phoenix bios. Here is a list of codes that that BIOS will produce. It may help you isolate your problem:
    http://bioscentral.com/beepcodes/phoenixbeep.htm

    The manual and the FIC website have no information on beep codes.
    Last edited by rraehal; 11-29-2004 at 11:44 PM.
    -- Mathias

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