Skip to comments.Do you have an e-machine?
Posted on 12/23/2011 8:43:09 PM PST by Former Fetus
Hi! It's me again, the technologically-challenged mom.
My Dell Dimension has been warning me for weeks now that it is about to go to the big junkyard in the sky. Since it is 4 years old, my husband is insisting that I get me a new PC. Problem is, righ after Christmas shopping, the last thing I want to do is to spend more money. But then, I can't get much done with a PC that keeps freezing every 10-15 min!
I have been pricing PCs. Originally I wanted to get another Dell, so as to use my monitor, mouse... But they are not cheap. Earlier today we were at a Walmart Supercenter and my husband noticed an emachine package, PC and monitor, for $400. It sounds good: intel processor with dual core, 3 GB RAM, 1 TB hard drive. But, when I googled emachine, it scared me to death! You get the idea that they don't work, and that every call to tec support costs $199!
So, here is the question: do you own (or know some one who owns) an emachine? Can you give me any feedback?
If it helps, what I need the PC for is mostly word processing (occasional power point or spreadsheet), internet surfing, and storing and organizing photographs. I loved Windows XP, so much that I refused to replace my PC as long as Vista was the only choice. But more than one person has told me that Windows 7 is very similar to Windows XP. And no, I am not interested in changing to a different OS, at my age I have enough trouble just changing from one Windows version to another.
I’ve had several of them, never had any problems.
e-machine is gateways “value” line. You get what you pay for.
Your monitor should work with any new computer should you want to keep it.
I suggest Microcenter or newegg.. Stick with the name brands. Staples, officemax, office depot all have huge sales going on. Some are even giving a trade in for your old working (well enough for them anyways) PC.
Do you know what’s causing the crashes? Have you scanned for viruses? Has the registry been cleaned lately? You might be able to get by for a while longer. My computer is older than yours.
You may not be able to use your old mouse and keyboard and maybe not your old monitor as the new PC may not have the right ports (connectors) for them.
Have you ever cleaned the inside of your PC? Dust drawn by the fans can cause overheating and will shut you down.
I have one since 2009, no problems yet. Runs Windows Vista. It is a 1.6 GHz Atlon with 2 gigs of RAM and 160 GB HD. It was the low “Wal*Mart” special. The early ones like from 1999 had power supply problems but that was long ago, but I do remember replacing power supplies in them. I think they are fine now.
Originally I wanted to get another Dell, so as to use my monitor, mouse... But they are not cheap.
You'll be able to use your monitor, keyboard and mouse with any other computer.
So, here is the question: do you own (or know some one who owns) an emachine? Can you give me any feedback?
But more than one person has told me that Windows 7 is very similar to Windows XP. And no, I am not interested in changing to a different OS, at my age I have enough trouble just changing from one Windows version to another.
Windows 7 is more similar to Vista than XP. Windows 7 is Vista, fixed. It works pretty well.
My desktop will be 10 years old this new year. Pretty slow, but it gets the job done.
Very good point. This happened to my mom's pc. All that was needed was to vaccum out the dust. It works fine now.
The dust would cause it to shut off (sometimes after 5 minutes of running or 20 mins or 45).
Worth giving it a try. I have a hunch that's the problem.
Have it dusted.
1) Buy cans of compressed air.
2) take it outside
3) open it up
4) blast it with compressed air
My laptop was acting up until I did this. I’ve done this with many machines. No need for a new machine. Just dust it every few years, and you won’t need a new machine.
Clean it, as the feller upside suggests, otherwise get a refurbished HP desktop (if we’re talking desktop) AMD CPU (less costly), I’ve got one with no problems. For a laptop, I recommend less popular brands such as Toshiba or ASUS.
Stay away from cheap brands, or buy a no-brand assembled computer from a small local dealer with good reputation.
I had one before my Mac (which I have now). I had it for 4 years before it died (but I think a virus killed it). I was happy enough with it.
Get a Mac Mini to use with existing monitor and you will be at peace.
A four-year-old dell should have a USB keyboard and mouse (the connector looks flat and thin). These will work on any computer. Your monitor is likely VGA (plug has a blue face), and is the only common monitor connector; every computer you are likely to buy will be able to use it. Therefore, don’t worry about replacing those. Just replace the main part, the box. The new one will likely come with a new mouse and keyboard anyway, but if you like yours better, you can still use them.
It sounds like you’re not a heavy power user, so don’t bother looking for the latest and greatest. It is very likely that with the new year coming up, right after Christmas you can probably score a deal on a last-year’s model low end machine for not much money.
Look for a computer that has the i3 processor from Intel, and at least 4GB of memory (RAM). Also, it should have Windows 7, but not the “Starter” edition; don’t bother with the “Ultimate” edition though unless it isn’t going to add to the cost, because you won’t use most of what the “Ultimate” version can do.
Brand is pretty superfluous for the level of computer you want, but try to get one with a recognizable name. HP, Dell, Gateway, Acer, Asus, all these are good, reliable machines that will (probably) use fairly standard hardware and a decent hard drive.
Look at Buy.com before you buy anything, they have re-manufactured Dell’s for cheap.
I am using one to type this.
Where specifically do you blast the air, for a laptop?
I heard scary stories.
I won't buy Dell for blacklisted vendor reasons....
They make crap.
But no-one else is doing much better. Forget the keyboard and mouse. Those are fractional costs. Worrying about that is being cheap at the expense of the meat.
And new stuff should have a cordless mouse and keyboard. Bluetooth has grown up. Finally. Sheesh.
I HAD to buy one this year and I wound up with an HP. I HATE HP for what Carlie did to it. And HP/Compaq mix is poison.
But their hardware was working. Only problem I have is the A4 doesn't have a linux driver for sound.
We'll get that reverse engineered. RSN.
Try the following before you give up on the old box.
Download, install and run:
- AVG free antivirus
- Spybot search and Destroy
- Eusing free registry cleaner
- Auslogics disk defrag
AMD isn’t really any cheaper nowadays. Especially at the low end.
I have saved my computer ignorant relatives many dollars by doing just this. A good cleansing (so they can breathe) will prolong a computer for years.
That’s news to me, thanks.
Avast and Avira are more reliable than AVG. I used to use AVG, but switched recently to Avast and found it to be less resource-hungry and to do a better job of detecting.
Scary stories indeed.
Hold off on the air compressor until you have dry air (you do have an air dryer on your compressor, right?). And then... ack that you don't have the facilities to disassemble it without destroying it, AND nuking it with static 'lectrikity.
Other than that, just put the nozzle anywhere and listen to the fan turn. Catz fuzz will blow out of it. Laptops do that even when there aren't any catz.
Run, don’t walk, away from e-machines.
Ditto posts #4 and 19.
My computer is also older than yours. You may not need a new machine, just some maintenance.
I would add Malwarebytes (free download) to the list.
Also, if you haven’t, click Start in the bottom left of your screen), then All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Cleanup and follow the prompts to clear your cache and speed up the computer.
I am a technophobe, but there’s simple housecleaning on the machine that even a novice like me can do to keep it going.
You can get some fantastic deals at the Dell outlet store.
I upgraded to the latest version of Avira and it clogged up my machine. Uninstalled it and switched to AVG and have been very pleased.
I set AVG to run at 3 a.m. every morning, and it catches bad stuff both then and in real time.
Use it in conjunction with ZoneAlarm free firewall.
I really think for $400 or not much more, you can get something decent new or refurbished nowadays. Try some of the small computer stores you see, sometimes they have a distribution deal with Dell. They also make up computers or can refurb yours for a few hundred.
If you transfer all your content to an external drive, you might also try a full system restore of your machine back to factory specs. You’ll lose all data it’s like your machne just came out of the box again. I’ve done it when machines picked up a pernicious virus and there was no other way.
Also, when I bought the cheap machine locally, they were able to transfer over Microsoft Office, and that saved a couple hundred bucks.
I use to have a e-machine, it worked well enough but it was cheap. I usually keep my computer for seven or eight years doing upgrades as needed until the motherboard gives out but I sold the e-machine after having it about 18 months. It was already beginning to have little things go wrong with it, CD drive not opening, fan going out and I wasn't confident enough in the main components to just fix and upgrade as I usually do.
that said i installed prolly 50 of them where i used to work and never had any issues with any of them nor the one i now own
Both e-machine and Gateway are now owned by Acer.
But first, as some upstream have suggested, give your Dell a good, through cleaning. You might be surprised.
Do disk clean up and disk defragmenter.
Also maybe you an add memory, it’s very cheap nowadays.
Go to TigerDirect and buy the parts to build your own. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to do with just a little research. We had an eMachines once, it wasn’t horrible but didn’t last long with two adults and three teens using it all the time. Only thing that survived was the case which we used to save money when we bought new innards.
Current machine prices out around $2k if you could find one like it. Built with with ordered motherboard, etc from TigerDirect for under $500. That included a case this time.
My previous desktop was an e-machine. I liked it except intermittent power supply problems caused me a lot of grief. Others have said that problem has been corrected in newer models? I am currently using a Compaq Presario from Staples running Windows 7. Windows 7 is not much like XP at all in my opinion. It works well but takes some getting used to. I am using the same monitor I used with my previous e-machine and it works fine. Good Luck.
What is “remanufactured”? It can be a new unit returned for problems or a scratch and dent or a unit that comes back off lease. A computer can only be sold as “new” once. After that it becomes a remanufactured item. The OEM or authorized shop then brings the unit back to “as new” condition with the software as loaded and is resold for much less than new. In most cases, the remanufactured PC or laptop comes with a full warranty. What you need to do is look at the specs and software that's loaded into your new unit. That's where you can save a lot of money. You can also save money on upgrading the memory or disk drive.
I have really got some great deals with remanufactured machines by shopping around. If you are interested, send me a PM and I can share a lot of hard won knowledge with you.
cheap and works good
My first question is, Did you buy a mid price PC model 4 years ago?
There is no reason a PC that was a mid price model 4 years ago would need to be replaced for daily light office use.
I like it better than I thought I would...but I don't do a lot except email and internet.
Here is my advice (very similar, but slightly different than others):
1) Turn off the machine, unplug it, disconnect all the cables, paying attention to where they go (most only fit one place). Open up the case. Vacuum out any dirt using a shop vac, etc. Once you have all the dust bunnies vacuumed, blow out any remaining dirt with canned air. The inside of your machine must be 100% dirt free.
2) Reassemble. Go to the internet, download, install & run Malware Bytes, it is free. Get rid of any viruses &/or Malware
3) Next, download & install CCleaner, again it is free. Go to the tools tab, analyze & fix your registry.
4) Next, go to the tools tab in CCleaner, and look at the start up menu. Disable almost everything (don’t delete, just disable so that you can turn it back on if you discover you really need it.
5) Next go to tools tab in CCleaner, look at the uninstall tab. Uninstall every anti-virus program except Malware Bytes (I’ve heard of machines with three different anti-virus programs installed, they don’t run worth a hoot)
6) Next, go to the Run Cleaner tab on CCleaner. Run the cleaner, it will remove all kinds of garbage from your disc.
7) Exit CCleaner, go to the internet & download & Install Microsoft Security Essentials. It is free.
8) Now run the de-frag and disc clean up program.
And your machine should run better than when it was new......
I had a gateway that was about 8 years old when I got a new one...to clean out the tower, my son used a straw to blow our the dust...it kept moisture from getting into the tower...but he blew into the straw carefully in puffs if I remember correctly...I could not believe the dust inside the tower...
“My Dell Dimension has been warning me for weeks now that it is about to go to the big junkyard in the sky.”
Just re-read your post- what kind of warnings?
I prefer the e-machine light. I’m watching my saturated fats. :-)
I have had good success with laptops and desktops from Tigerdirect.com
In fact, I just got a BlackFriday/CyberMonday Gateway i5 with 4gb Ram [I added another 8gb for $28] and 1TB hard drive. It was $479, but they have raised the price some since.
I have had it about 3 weeks and am satisfied with it for home use. I am still getting to know Win7 — and it does test my patience.
I also got a 24” monitor for $119.
I luv BlackFriday/CyberMondays. I always seem to find some good deals.
Check tigerdirect.com and some of the other online computer places. They are still having some pre-end-of-year deals. Costco has some nice prices too.
Mine are growing on me!
Why not just get a Toshiba laptop? You can plug the monitor into it and an external keyboard. We’ve been doing that for nearly two months now and takes up a lot less space. I paid $499 for a 64 bit machine and it works just fine. Surprisingly, it is much easier to work on a laptop than a desktop. You can swap memory and hard drives out in a couple minutes. When I’m not using it, I just put it in the “sleep” mode and wake it up when I’m ready to work again. I have two good Dell desktops gathering dust right now but I really don’t need them anymore. I think I would pass on the low end E-machines. I do second the Dell outlet center though. I bought the last two there dirt cheap.
That’s why you need the e-machine light. Because with it, you’ll never have to worry about what you’re eating when you use it. Throw the scale away and stroll to the keyboard with confidence, knowing your e-machine light has got your back. LOL!
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