Having problems with your eMachines W3115 PC Desktop ?

My e-Machine W3115 automatically shuts down multiple times

\015 My W3115 automatically shuts down multiple times daily. Sometimes before it even finishes loading the Windows XP user selection page. This has happened since it was fresh from the box. I called e-Machines for a resolve and after letting them know we haven't installed anything or even had internet access as of yet I was told they had a recall for the power source, and replaced the power source. Did not fix problem. After years of dealing with it, it moved to not even loading Windows after shutting down. It would stay on a e-machine logo, even if I had manually shut off power and turned it back on. After unplugging it, we would get it to reboot normally. We took it to a tech to check for viruses, and no luck there. Another tech suggested the thermal unit and had me replace the power source with a different one. That lessened the frequency of shutdowns, but not cured. His other advise was the processor being faulty. Any ideas.\015

Answers :

1) Computer off, and unplugged from power. (Unplug from the surge protector FIRST, then unplug the power cable out of the power supply)

2) Work on a table where you have plenty of room.
Open the computer case.
(Rear of computer, there is a thumbscrew midway up on the right side, or two thumbscrews. Loosen it/them all the way. {Turn to the left)

Pull the side cover towards the back of the computer about an inch, then it tilts out at the top. Remove the cover, lay it aside.

NOTE*
BEFORE you reach inside your computer you need to relieve your body of Static electricity.
Static will fry out, (Short circuit), the delicate computer hardware components inside your computer.

All you have to do is Touch the metal frame of the computer case.
Power unplugged from the computer, you are safe.
TOUCH the metal frame of the open computer case, your computer is safe. (Not shouting)

3) It looks as though the motherboard may not have to be removed, in this instance, to view the Electrolytic Capacitors I have in mind.

Not trying to insult your intelligence in any way. I may explain in some pretty simple terms.

Looking at a side view of your computer with the side cover removed from the case, rear of the computer to the left, view the Black processor fan.

The specific capacitors I would like you to scrutinize closely are the tall ones to the left of the Processor fan. (Heatsink is under the fan, and sits on the Processor, which is hidden from view)

There are 7 in a row going vertically.

What you are looking for.
(Edit: My apologizes. I meant to include a link for, Visual Signs of Capacitor Failure with my previous Clarification post. I see that I failed to do so.
Will not fail this time)

Construction of Electrolytic Capacitors:

Electrolytic Capacitors are constructed with three layers rolled up tightly, and inserted into a thin, small aluminum 'Can'.

Each layer is a thin strip.
1) Thin strip of metal which is a Conducting strip.
2) Thin strip of metal with a non-conductive medium applied to it, which is a Non-conducting strip.
3) Thin strip of paper which is soaked with an Electrolytic paste.

The thin strip of paper is laid in-between the two metal strips, and the entire affair is rolled up tightly.
The Conducting strip, and the Non-conducting strip have metal terminals attached to them.

These terminals protrude out of the bottom of the 'Can'.
The Can is open on the bottom, and has a seal.
The seal is composed of a rubber like material, and is a flat, round, shaped disk.
The terminals protrude through this seal.

The top of the Can is flat, and has a slot shape etched partially into it.
The slot shape is generally a lK or an X.

[The particular style of construction stated above for Electrolytic Capacitors, is used for computer motherboards, and power supply's. They are used elsewhere in the electronics industry, but our scope will only deal with computer motherboards, at this time)

When the Electrolytic paste breaks down, it develops a gas. Hydrogen gas. This gas expands, and pushes against the seal at the bottom of the capacitor, and the etching at the top.

When too much pressure is developed, the paste is pushed out, in a slow ooze.
The seal at the bottom of the capacitor can be compromised, as well as the etching at the top will split open.

When the seal is compromised, one edge of it is usually pushed down, and out. This has a tendency to make the capacitor lean to the opposite side. Also you may view paste oozing out.
The paste is usually a brown, to brownish yellow in color.

When the etching at the top splits open, the paste also oozes out.
Before this state is reached, the top of the capacitor may simply just bulge up, as well as the sides.

This is Visual Signs of Capacitor Failure,

http://www.capacitorlab.com/visible-failures/index.htm

The motherboard is made by FIC. (Federal International Computer)
Model K8MC51G

http://www.fic.com.tw/product/motherboard/AMD/K8MC51G.aspx

Gives you a better view of those Cap's without any hardware in place.

The capacitors should be above 1100mfd. (Microfarad)
Probably around 1600mfd.
Voltage? 16 volts.

As you can see I don't know for sure.

Electrolytic Capacitors can also have the Electrolytic paste dry up inside. There is no obvious signs of visual failure for this.

Check them out with a digital multimeter? They have to be removed to obtain a true reading.
Replace them?

Sure it's possible. Do you have good soldering/de-soldering skills? Proper equipment?
Parts availability? They are out there.
Not advertising for Radio Shack, but you may want to check with them, for one.

Would the best logical move, be to replace the motherboard due to possible Processor failure?

Not IMHO.
The Electrolytic Capacitors that surround the Processor are Voltage Regulators.
If they start going bad, or fail, the Processor won't receive the DC voltage it needs, and BIOS will turn the processor off.

A Processor must receive a steady, 'Clean', supply of DC voltage. It has to be within a very tight tolerance range.

The Processor should be good.
If the computer has been dirty inside, (As well as the Power Supply), then this means the Processor fan, and Heatsink has also.

If a Processor becomes too hot, (Goes past it's thermal limit), BIOS turns it off.
This is a Fail safe feature that is built-in.

If this happens too many times will it hurt the Processor?
I can't actually answer that.
It is a logical assumption that it would.

To come back to your statement, to me IMHO, the logical move would be to use that motherboard for a Frisbee.
(LOOK OUT!
Whoa, did you see the air I got with that mobo?)

Aftermarket AMD motherboard/Processor combos are Cheap! (Price wise, not quality)

Should explain a little. The AMD Sempron has been affectionately termed 'Sempy'.

Your eMachines W3115 Desktop PC has an AMD Sempron 3100+. Operates at a 1.8GHz maximum frequency rate, and has an 800MegaHertz Front Side Bus. {800MHz FSB}
This part isn't so bad.
The 512KiloByte cache - IS! {512KB}

Much better motherboards, and processors out there available as a combo.

It's a Micro-ATX form factor motherboard. Has a Socket 754 processor socket.
(A Micro-ATX motherboard is 9.6 inches by 9.6 inches in size.
Roughly 9 - 9/16ths inches by 9 - 9/16ths inches, or
244mm by 244mm)

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5567180&CatId=2417

Just an example, not an advertisement for said website.
You will need different ram memory, however.

As for doing a diskcheck, I'll let the person who brought it up give the full solution to that.
E-Machines have had a history of bad Power Supplies (Under Powered) since day one. Typical entry level computer needs at least a 350 watt power supply, e-machines are typically 180 watts, just not enough power to make the computer run correctly. Next time stay away from E-machines!
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