Emachine freezing

Okay, this is fun. Our two-year old eMachine keeps periodically freezing up, typically at least once a day or more, and I was hoping someone might have some ideas as to what to do about it or what’s causing it. I can’t seem to ferret out the problem, but it often seems to freeze when doing something graphic- or sound-intensive (playing games—even Flash games, or using the scanner), or when using SpyBot, for instance (though other spyware killer software runs fine). It just freezes up, non responsive, nothing gets written to the event logs or anything like that. I’ve seen it do this in normal mode and safe mode. Often after a freeze, and a hard boot, it will freeze again while booting, right after the Windows XP splash screen and before the login screen—when the mouse pointer appears on a black background.

It’s an eMachines C2160, running XP Home SP2, with an AMD Athlon XP 2100+ chip running at 1.72 GHz, and 256 MB RAM. Some thoughts I’ve had are problems with USB (the mouse was on USB, the scanner, printer, digital camera are all plugged in), or low power issues. Needless to say, I haven’t had any luck.

Any ideas?

6 Replies to “Emachine freezing”

  1. If it’s freezing, put a blanket on it? 😉

    What I’d look at: Weak/failing power supply, or inadequate cooling for that Athlon. Those little buggers run really hot, and if you’re doing anything remotely intensive, the eMachine cooling may not be enough. Open the thing up and make sure the cooling fan on the CPU isn’t clogged with dust or something. Turn the system completely off, and let it cool off, and try running it again. If you find that it runs fine for a while and then goes wonky, it’s probably getting too hot.

    You can probably still find a copy of Motherboard Monitor out on the Web somewhere (it’s not in development any longer) that will get you a good read on the CPU’s core temp.

    If that’s not the case, try getting a meatier power supply — typically, those eMachine PSs are pretty wussy. If you don’t have an account at PHD, let me know and I can get you a price on one.

  2. Don’t know if this will help, but I had similar problems with a Dell laptop. The culprit eventually turned out to be a bad video card. However, Dell was reluctant to admit that and had me try all kinds of others things before they replaced the card. One of those things, which seemed to help a bit, was to adjust the hardware acceleration for the display. Right click on the desktop to get "display properties." Click "settings", then "advanced." Click "troubleshoot" and you’ll see a slider that offers various options. Note that "none" (way to the left) is "if your computer frequently stops responding"–which yours seems to be doing. Since your problem happens more with high-intensity video action, this might help diagnose the problem. By the way, I have an Emachines laptop and have been very happy with it.

  3. Jake, man, that hurts.

    I’ve thought about overheating, and that could possibly be it.

    Brian- I can’t swear it’s the video, but that’s what seems to trigger it most often, I don’t know if it’s because the CPU processing gets more intensive and it overheats, or draws too much power, or what. I’ve been thinking about picking up a new video card to try, so maybe I will. Thanks.

  4. i have a emachines t2742 model,intel celaron 2.6ghz procesor and 1,270.gb ram and my mouse freeze a lot , i have to disconect the mouse frome the usb port and plug it back an forward to get it to work .if some one can help me . thank you guys

  5. I have an emachines W3052 and my monitor is not being detected and on top of that, my tower wont turn off unless I hold the power button. Before this I installed ram (512mb ddr)and attempted a video card that I found out to be too poerful. But Yeah I want to fix… Tell me how!

  6. All you have to do is clean out the dust. Just take apart the fan and clean it out and my computer want from and average of 65 degrees (c) to 46(c) average because my Emachine freezes at 70 and up degrees but i’m practically frying the hardware.

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