eMachine upgrade advice

Last Updated on December 5, 2015 by Dave Farquhar

I got some mail some time back about eMachine upgrades that I never got around to posting. I’ll just summarize because that’s easier (it keeps me off the mouse).
First off, definitely look into a new hard drive. You can pick up a 7200-rpm drive of decent size (10-15 gig) for under $100 these days. I’ve had trouble getting Western Digital drives to work with older disk controllers, but no problems with Maxtors, and I get better performance and reliability from Maxtors anyway.

Next, eMachines tend to have problems with their power supplies. Get a replacement from PC Power & Cooling. It’s $45. Cheap insurance. And chances are the hard drive will perform better, since the PCP&C box will actually be supplying the wattage it claims to supply (which may or may not be true of the factory box). And remember: low-cost PCs have always had skimpy power supplies. Commodore and Atari made great low-cost computers 20 years ago, but they had horrendous power supplies. Given a properly made third-party power supply, a Commodore or Atari could run for 10-15 years or more (and often did).

Finally, get 128 megs of RAM in the system somehow. If you’ve got 32, just go buy a 128-meg stick. If you’ve got 64, get a 64-meg stick or, if you can afford it, get a 128.

Since eMachines have pretty wimpy integrated video, you might also look into a PCI video card with a Matrox, nVidia or 3Dfx chipset. Matrox gives slightly better 2D display quality, while nVidia and 3Dfx give better speed with 3D games. If you’re into gaming, definitely look into a new card.

That’s the strategy I follow with any upgrade. Get a modern disk in there, then get more memory, and replace anything else that seems underpowered. Do the disk first, then deal with memory, then possibly the video. Then, and only then, do I start looking at CPU upgrades. I’ve turned 200-MHz junkers into very useful machines again just by adding memory and a fast disk. The CPU isn’t the bottleneck in most systems.

If you found this post informative or helpful, please share it!

99 thoughts on “eMachine upgrade advice

  • October 20, 2002 at 6:37 pm

    I have an E600 and was wondering how you change the clock speed and multiplier etc to accomodate a faster cpu. I have done the disk, memory and power supply. I assume my only option is to stay with celeron, maybe up to 1.8GHz if not now, in the near future. Can this be done? and if so, will the Win ME balk?

  • October 20, 2002 at 8:42 pm

    Recent AMD and Intel CPUs have fixed multipliers, so you just plug a faster CPU in, assuming the chip voltage hasn’t changed (it hasn’t with Celerons). Architecture has though, so you’re stuck with a Socket 370 Celeron, which either topped out at 1.2 or 1.4 GHz. (I didn’t keep up with that iteration since I don’t own any machines that use it and neither does anyone else I know.) A Socket 370 Pentium III might also work.

    WinME won’t care about CPU speed or a Celeron/Pentium change, it’s just a question of whether your motherboard and BIOS supports it. I’d do a Usenet search (groups.google.com) and see if anyone else has done it, and if you see success, go for it.

  • January 8, 2003 at 9:01 am

    commentCan you help. I have an EMACHINE model etower 366id, 32 MB with windows 98. It came with
    32 MB. I installed last night a 128 chip. I can’t get the computer to get past the EMACHINE logo unless I put the new 128 in slot 1 and the 32 in slot 2. Then it does bootup and I only show 96 mb of memory. The new chip alone won’t boot up. Do I have to clear some sort of computer memory 1st? Thanks, JOHN

  • January 8, 2003 at 11:10 am

    It sounds like an incompatibility issue between your particular DIMM and your emachine. The layout of some newer DIMMs will cause an older computer to not see its full capacity. I suggest taking the memory back for a refund, then go to http://www.crucial.com, enter your specific model of emachine, and they’ll give you a list of modules they have that are known to be compatible. You’ll probably pay a little more, but then you have something that you know works.

  • January 24, 2003 at 11:30 am

    I have an etower 366is. It has 96MB RAM, 3G Hard drive. This machine is at times very, very loud. I would like to upgrade like was said…the new hard drive, the memory upgrade, etc. What should I do about the noise?


  • February 17, 2003 at 1:08 pm

    Hi Dave,
    I have a 500 Mhz Celeron emachine. I cant get to many of the menu items in the Phoenix Bios which I think is the reason it’s not recognizing the added memory. Do you know how to get around this problem?

  • February 25, 2003 at 5:34 pm

    I have a T1440 and want a new motherboard any tips. thanks

  • February 25, 2003 at 6:33 pm

    Any reason? If you’re not gaming, the cheapie ECS Celery 1.4 should do you fine.

  • February 27, 2003 at 7:12 pm

    I want to increase my ram

  • February 27, 2003 at 10:25 pm

    Two sticks of 128 MB PC 133 should do you fine.

  • February 28, 2003 at 11:29 am

    I want to increase the RAM in my T1140 emachine and
    looked inside to check physical properties. Then I
    noticed along the socket “unbuffered”.
    Can you tell us what the difference is between buffered and unbuffered and are they interchangeable.

  • February 28, 2003 at 7:20 pm


    A term used to describe a memory module that contains buffers. The buffers re-drive the signals through the memory chips and allow the module to be built with a greater number of memory chips. Buffered and unbuffered RAM cannot be mixed. The design of the computer’s memory controller dictates which type of RAM must be used.

    I think that this is what you want to know.

    “The only reasons for using buffered memory over unbuffered memory are if you plan to use a large amount of RAM such as 1GB or more, and if you are planning to install the memory module(s) in a server system. In fact, most motherboards do not support registered memory and will give a memory error code if it is installed. Gamers who are looking for massive amounts of RAM should stray away from using registered memory. The reasoning behind this lies in the fact that the registers in buffered memory slow the information passing through each memory chip by one clock cycle. Memory speed is a very important factor in achieving maximum frame rates in today’s 3D games. So, every memory clock cycle counts for gamers to achieve optimum gaming performance. In other words, compared to unbuffered memory, buffered or registered memory is not recommended for gamers.

    I mentioned earlier that servers generally use registered memory. This is because servers usually handle large amounts of data and/or processes. The more processes that take place, the more likely the information passing through the RAM gathers errors. One tiny miscalculation throws everything off balance. Without the registers in buffered memory handling the information, the chance for data errors greatly increases.”

    Not interchangeable. And you’re probably better off with unbuffered RAM.

  • April 22, 2003 at 9:16 am

    Watch out for emachine video Card upgrades! After several other upgrades to my aging emachine (400i, new power supply, hard drive, modem, RAM) I got an Asylumn mx-420 64mb video card. Little did I know that the video card MUST be in PCI slot 1 for the florida-c motherboard to recognize it – this took a long time to figure out with a lot of help from the video card’s tech support. Only problem – due to the physical configuration of both the motherboard and the card, I can’t use the Asylum card, its s-video out connector and two capasitors on the motherboard won’t allow the card to be fully seated in the pci slot. So now I’m in search of an inexpensive card with the right physical layout so my wife can play some newer games.

  • April 22, 2003 at 9:14 pm

    Sorry, Correction, I meant should I get a 256mb, not 128mb, Geezz.

  • May 24, 2003 at 8:37 am

    hi david
    first i will like to thank you for taking the time to help others, there’s need for more special people like you.
    i have a few questions about upgrades
    three year ago i gave my son an e-machine 500is pc for his birthday he was 11 at the time and he had a lot of fun with it, but now at 14 he complains about it too much he says it’s slow,no dvd,not mutch memory and on and on.
    i do not have the money to buy him a new computer but i
    can afford a few upgrades.
    i know that i can get a 128 mb memory put on but i don’t any thing about the following…………..
    1)))can a 4.3gb hard drive be upgrade to a 15gb?
    2)))can i replace the cd-rom for a dvd/cd rom combo?
    3)))can i replace a 56k modem v.90 for a…. v92?
    thank you very much and once againg thank you for this site

  • May 27, 2003 at 8:09 am

    Yes to all your questions. The modem upgrade may not make sense, though. Cost-wise? Might make more sense to pick up a cheap refurb of an uptodate machine.

  • May 29, 2003 at 6:15 pm

    hi, i am trying to install XP-professinal on T1740,
    but it’s refusing new OS. What do i need to do? Thanks you~

  • May 30, 2003 at 9:50 am


    Yes, you can upgrade the hard disc drive (HDD) to a larger model, but there are some caveats.

    Simply installing a new HDD to supplement your existing one is very simple. Make sure you install it on your secondary IDE channel to keep performance high.

    However, if you want it to seemlessly look like one drive there are a couple of options:

    1) Use a program like Norton Ghost to image the first drive onto the second drive. I haven’t used Ghost in a long time, but I *think* you can force it to use all of the space on the larger drive in one partition.

    2) Use a “disk spanning” program. Windows NT, 2000, and XP come with this feature integrated into the operating system. It allows multiple drives to function as one “volume”. I don’t know of any utilities like this for Windows 9x/ME, but I’m sure they exist.

    As for memory, do yourself and your son a favor and not buy generic memory. Crucial.com has very affordable memory that is guaranteed to work with your system. Go there, input the exact model number, and it will give you memory options. If you’re a bit confused, we can help you pick the right module for your system.

    CD-RW and DVD-ROM drives are becoming more and more inexpensive. I just purchased a Samsung CD-RW / DVD-ROM combo drive at work for $79 from Directron.com. It performs nicely, and I haven’t “burned a coaster” yet.

    Concerning the modem upgrade – you’ll probably notice not a performance increase with v.92 but a performance *decrease*. If throughput is a concern, you may need to consider broadband. If this isn’t within your budget, there’s not much you can do but “tweak” the connection a bit. Dave’s book has a lot of useful information on this, and you can find even more at modemsite.com .


    What do you mean by “refusing” to take the new operating system? Are you upgrading from a previous version of Windows, or are you installing it onto “bare metal” – that is, a newly formatted drive?

    Which version of XP Pro did you purchase: upgrade, oem, retail, sp1?

  • June 18, 2003 at 4:42 pm

    commentI just tried to install an ATI RADEON 7200 PCI video card in my E-Machine 566i2. OSes (both ME and XP Pro) hang on startup. I never get past the post on either OS. Driver had to be installed with the card out of the machine but that was to no avail on either OS. This machine has seen many upgrades (hard drive, CD/Rom & CD/RDs More memory and a change in modem and tower. Power supply was shot in the original tower so now running 300 Watt tower. All worked fine until this card was installed. I went into the BIOS (Phenoix) and looked for a way to turn off the on-board-video but found only a choice between PCI and AGP. PCI didn’t do anything for me. I could only run ME in safe-mode. SO! I did something I now regret. I reset the BIOS to AGP. Bad error, that! No video whatsoever. Can’t even get into BIOS because I now have no video at all. I will look into re-setting the BIOS next. Hope that works! Do you have any suggestions?

  • July 1, 2003 at 9:53 am

    Upgrading a emachine tower 400i. Have found information on the motherboard configuration. The information I have looked up says the 400i can not be upgaded as far as the processor goes. I’ve ben told that the Florida C motherboard can take a Celeron 533 PPGA processor. Does anyone information on the compacity of this motherboard.

  • July 8, 2003 at 11:54 pm

    I just got a new 80 gig hard drive and i only have one hard drive bay in my computer. How do i go about installing that new hard drive and making sure all my files are being stored on the new drive? My first hard drive is only 4.3gig.

  • July 9, 2003 at 10:23 pm

    i have a t1140 and my hd recently crashed, i just bought a 120 gig western digital. i seem to have problems installing windows 2000 on the machine, everytime i finish installing the o/s , upon reset the into windows 2000, the machine freezes, any tips or advice?


  • July 16, 2003 at 12:53 am

    I tried adding a 256MB stick of RAM to an Emachine T1140 but the computer doesn’t seem to recognize it. The RAM is PC133 SDRAM, Value RAM by Kingston. I have tried using both slots but only the preinstalled 128 MB stick works.

  • July 31, 2003 at 8:02 pm

    comment My wife has an etower 600is emachine and I want to disable the onboard video card and install my own. How do I do it? I’ve temporarily misplaced the manuals that came with the system and I’m not sure which jumper to change.


  • August 7, 2003 at 1:43 am

    I recently acquired a used emachine 366. I am trying to put it on a LAN using a 10/100 Linksys FastNet card. It works fine with a 7ft. cable but slows to an almost stop with a 50 ft. cable. Any suggestions how to resolve this?

  • August 12, 2003 at 2:26 am

    Hi Dave – Great site. Gotta wonder why eMachines or e4u can’t provide this prcactical service.
    Anyway, I have an eTower 300 (Celeron). It came with a very slow 4.2gig HDD & I added a faster Fujitsu 10gig HDD. I’d really like to replace the 4gig one something much larger, say 40gig or more. Q1. Anyone know the largest HDD it can take with the existing BIOS? Q2. Can the BIOS be upgraded with software? If so, where I can get it and how much $$? Is there shareware for this stuff?

    BTW you are spot on with that power supply problem issue. Mine seized after the fan was really noisy for months just after i bought it (you could hear it in the next room!) and the PC stopped and started when it felt like it. Tech Support told me to put oil in the fan would you believe/

  • August 12, 2003 at 11:55 am

    I wanted to know if there are upgrades for modems or new drivers formodems. I upgraded my ISP and now modem will not connect. According to MSN I need to upgrade my modem drivers. Any help?

  • August 14, 2003 at 10:07 am

    I have an e600 and my cdrom/dvd is on the blink. I’m having no problems reading cdroms but whenever I put a dvd in it be read – the computer doesn’t recognise that there is anything there. Pretty sure it just needs a new driver but I have no idea how to go about finding what I need. Any pointers?

  • August 21, 2003 at 5:48 am

    Help! I am designing a Web Site for a neighbor who has an old pastel blue all-in-one eMachine, I have no idea what she is running in it, but I do know that the video card is limited to 800×600 and the screen is only 12 or 13″‘s. This is the machine that looks like a motorcycle helmet. It is clear blue and is about 3-4 years old. I haven’t checked the sysinfo on it yet. The text that looks great at 1024×768 looks pretty crappy on her system. Lines break in wierd places etc..If I recode everything to look good on her machine it is all so small on ‘real’ computers. What to do??? Is it possible to upgrade these old machines?

  • August 21, 2003 at 11:04 am

    Tom, not to be blunt or preachy here, but if you’re having formatting issues, the problem isn’t hardware – it’s either the browser or your HTML code. A 4.X (Netscape/IE) browser is getting long in the tooth. A 3.X browser is a museum piece.

    As for the possibility of it being the HTML, I’m not sure what you mean exactly by “lines break in wierd places”. And recoding for different resolutions should be moot. People *will* have different resolutions and even different font sets (e.g. small vs. large fonts in Windows), so coding for one often forsakes the others. Text flow should be determined by the browser, not your code. Are you hard-coding line breaks mid-sentence to format the text just right at 1024×768? If so, don’t. 🙂 800×600 is actually a good low-water target resolution, but the page text should reflow nicely no matter the resolution.

    In any case, your issue is software, not hardware. If you haven’t already, you might give Zeldman a look. He’s a bit hardcore XHTML/CSS, so you might trying Google’ing for XHTML and CSS resources. It sounds like you may want some control over formatting, etc., and CSS will give you that regardless of resolution.

  • September 8, 2003 at 12:12 pm

    How fast of a cpu can I upgrade A emachine T1440 to.—-1.8?

  • September 23, 2003 at 12:47 pm


  • September 26, 2003 at 8:56 am

    This isn’t a official support site for Emachines. Not shouting (typing in ALL CAPS) would generate a more positive response.

    That said, spelunking the links at
    should help somewhat.

    Given that the machine in question has an XP 2000+ processor and half a gig of RAM,(plus an 80 GB hard drive) there is no need for an upgrade unless you’re compressing video, playing Doom 3 alphas, or are a speed h00r.

  • September 26, 2003 at 10:28 am

    Hello and sorry for my poor English…

    Does the eTower 400i supports WinXP pro SR1 ? I’m presently on Win98se and trying to install a Maxi gamer 3d2 on my machine. Otherwise, after installing the drivers, it wants startup and freeze. Now, I get a Kernel32 error. Any ideas regarding my 3d card problems and how to resolve it ?


  • October 4, 2003 at 2:20 pm


    I have an emachines 600IS, I have upgraded the hardrive, the RAM, the Graphics card, and the sound card, and I have installed Windows 2000 Pro (because ME Sucks). My only problem now is that my Printer Port won’t receive the correct digital signature. I’ve tried installing the “general driver” for the port but still have the same effect. I have tried going to the emachines website, but all they have for the 600IS are drivers for windows ME…and even then, none are for the Printer Port, do you have any suggestions or websites that I could go to so I can download a driver that works with Windows 2000?

    Thanks: Dustin

  • October 13, 2003 at 12:05 pm

    Sort of a follow up on Rob from AU’s quetion – how big a hdd can an emachines 533id2 handle? Know I got an Anaheim 2 motherboard. Anyone know of a website showing what hdds are compatible with certain motherboards? Thanks in advance.

  • October 25, 2003 at 8:37 am

    Hello, first off… thank you one and all for reading through this. Technical skill on a one to 10 about a 3. Adding hardware OK… knowing whats gonna work with what, ie memory brand and video card upgrade compatability charts in my sleep? No. I just picked up a EMACHINE W2686 and thus far, have learned that its about the 6 bills i paid for it.. The monitor will go on ebay sometime soon, it does have an entry level acceptable 512 mb of memory. What im asking about is, video cards… Does anyone have any idea about what would be a decent 4x compat card with this thing? Also if i scrape the cash to get an uber 8x RADEON PRO or ULTRA card, will that work in here? Which brings me to the next point… POWERSUPPLY. The only reason i didnt get a used Dell of ebay was due to the proprietary parts list ( PS ) so… can i jam a silenced PC POWER or other decent PS in here or am i stuck with an underrated gerbil in a cage supply.
    Soundbytes… Audigy 2 anybody have one of those? Or am i better off sticking with what im used to …. the SB Live…for 40 bux?
    Thanks one and all for your inputs!
    Good Day..

  • October 25, 2003 at 10:57 am

    I just added more memory to my emachine w1500 and my computer does not reconize both memory cards. I had 128mb and added 256mb I moved the 128mb to the second slot now my computer only reconizes 256mb why? Please reply.
    Thank you, Ashley

  • October 26, 2003 at 1:17 am

    Ashley – More than likely your motherboard does not support memory modules greater than 128 MB. It is truncating the 256 MB module to the 128 MB limit imposed by the hardware.

  • October 29, 2003 at 4:46 am

    i have a e-machine 400i. i need a power supply for my pc, need to know which power supply I need.

  • November 2, 2003 at 6:33 pm

    slimer it doesnt matter but if its a p4 than it should be p4 ready, otherwise check the wattage on the current one you have and get one thats equal or greater.

    300+watts is fine.

    And do yourself a favor by never buying another emachine and don’t even bother upgrading it. Poor college student will build PCs for cash.

  • November 2, 2003 at 10:41 pm


    1) Not all manufacturers use standard sized power supplies. The poster’s eMachine may use a non-standard size.

    2) Unless the poster is using a lot of additional hardware that wasn’t installed by default on the 400i then a 250W power supply should be more than adequate.

    3) What is wrong with eMachines? About the only thing I can conclusively determine is that the manufacturer of their older power supplies (newer models don’t seem to have as much problems) didn’t make a very good product.

    4) I don’t know about you, but I don’t trust college students. I’ll wind up with some bleeding-edge hardware with flaky drivers, a Windows install that probably doesn’t work right, and a case with messy internals. I’d rather do it myself or purchase a computer from a reputable manufacturer.

    And as for me calling you a troll, check my replies to your other comments for more information.

  • November 3, 2003 at 5:49 pm


    The key word in your message is MAY, and if your not sure, than you shouldn’t move to ridicule. What’s wrong with E-Machines? Hmmm. More like, what isn’t? its a night mare to upgrade and its s l o w. I built my machine with cost and future upgradability in mind.

  • November 3, 2003 at 9:22 pm

    Again, the troll bit comes from a different comment.

    You say that “it doesn’t matter.” This is a definitive response. Your wording implies that his eMachine power supply unit is definitely the standard size. I merely stated the possibility that it is not.

    How are eMachine computers a nightmare to upgrade? The motherboards are AGP-compliant (on boards where AGP slots are provided), PCI-compliant, and are able to have processor, hard disc drive, ATAPI-compliant drive, and other upgrades performed just as easily as any other computer that adheres to hardware standards.

    Concerning the eMachine being slow – for what task is it slow? No, you couldn’t play Half-Life 2 as well on a new eMachine as you could on a computer built for computer gaming, but these computers aren’t built for that. They’re built for the average consumer to perform basic computing tasks – sending and receiving e-mail, surfing the World Wide Web, downloading photographs from a consumer-grade digital camera, balancing a checking account, performing various homework tasks, etc.

    So what specific upgrade “nightmare” have you encountered with an eMachine? For what tasks is an eMachine too slow, in your opinion?

  • November 5, 2003 at 1:59 am


    • February 16, 2004 at 12:13 am

      I have an emachine W2686. It does not come bundled with CD burning software, nor do you need it. Windows XP allows you to burn disks quite easily. Play with the XP interface and learn how to copy files to your computer and then to disk or from disk to disk. It’s very easy once you get the hang of it. Don’t waste money on software. Also, anyone buying this computer or something with similar specs should not need to upgrade unless you plan on gaming or running a million applications at once. The only thing that needs urgent upgrading is the video card. Yet the onboard graphics work fine for normal use and watching DVD’s. I run all Sims expansions on this thing while running my firewall, anti virus, BigFix, and misc stuff in the background. I can minimize the Sims to the sys tray while I upload screen shots of houses I build. You are not supposed to minimize the game, yet my computer never locks up or lags. I do agree that an extra power supply is a good idea. You never know if the one that comes with it will kick the bucket. My case does get a little warm – not sure if it’s normal as this is my first experience with faster computer after having an AMD K6-2 475 with 64MB for 4 years.

  • November 5, 2003 at 1:29 pm

    I’m thinking of purchasing an e-machine for general usage — wordperfect, excel, some browsing. No gaming or anything like that. Is an e-machine adequate for my household purposes?

  • November 5, 2003 at 3:27 pm

    KELLI:Your system should have come bundled with some CD mastering software. The first place you should look is your user documentation. Failing that, I can give you names of some popular CD mastering software that you can see is on your system:Nero Burning ROMEasy CD CreatorCDR-WinDiscJugglerAnd as an aside, please don’t type in all capitol letters. On the Internet, this is generally considered “yelling.” Good luck with your problem!

    babham:A newer eMachine is perfectly adequate for your task. However, you can find cheaper systems that are equally adequate at Wal-Mart.com. Some of these systems are bundled with Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition and some are bundled with Lindows OS 4.0. Since Lindows OS 4.0 offers OpenOffice.org 1.0.3 you should have no problem writing WordPerfect-compatible documents and creating Excel-compatible spreadsheets at a fraction of the cost of purchasing both of these software products.

  • November 5, 2003 at 3:29 pm

    Hmm… I guess b2 doesn’t support unordered list tags.

    KELLI: Nero Burning ROM, Easy CD Creator, CDR-Win, DiscJuggler.

    That should be a bit easier to read.

  • November 7, 2003 at 11:15 pm

    What is a good choice for a video card upgrade in an emachine w2686?

  • November 7, 2003 at 11:17 pm

    also are ther any other upgrades that would make it a little better gaming machine for games like neverwinter nights and Baulder’s gate series of games. I don’t have many problems right now other than neverwinter nights runs a little slow and the mouse hangs up

  • November 9, 2003 at 5:09 pm

    My wife has an eTower 533i running the original OS (Win98SE). Her PC has a 192M of RAM, a 17-inch ProView monitor and a 1.5M DSL connection which is shared to our other PC’s using AllAboard! and two NIC’s. She wants her PC to run faster. Her main apps are AOL9 and IE as well as some web-based GameHouse games. I am inclined to purchase a new PC, but wanted to know if (1) upgrading to Windows XP Home; (2) purchasing a new motherboard; or (3) re-install Win98SE on the hard drive are worth consideration.

  • November 14, 2003 at 9:08 am

    comment. I’m thinking about buying a emachine w2686. has anyone had any problems with it? i don’t do much gaming. i do email and music and stuff like that. will this system work for me? thanx.

  • November 14, 2003 at 3:45 pm

    dw4473: Do you have an AGP port in your system? I’m not familiar with the various specifications of the eMachine motherboards, so I’ll have to rely on you to fill me in on your hardware.

    If it does have an AGP port then you should consider purchasing a Hercules 3D Prophet FDX 8500 LE 64 MB. You can find this very cheap from many different retailers listed on PriceWatch. Don’t pay more than $20 for it.

    Although this card is fairly slow by comparison to modern Radeon 9800 and GeForce FX 5900 cards, it is more than adequate for Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, and the newer Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil. Hercules also provides excellent customer support, frequent device driver updates and enhancements, and resolves all firmware issues with their cards in a timely manner. Some manufacturers do not even release firmware updates!

    Your problem with the mouse hanging (and possibly with the slowness of Neverwinter Nights) sounds to me like a problem with the device driver for you graphics card. Download the latest driver from the eMachines web site or from the web site of the chipset manufacturer. Common ones are: ATi, nVidia, and Matrox.

    Robert: I would backup your wife’s data and re-install the operating system from scratch (with a complete re-format and everything). If you really want to increase performance then purchase a copy of Dave’s book Optimizing Windows for Games, Graphics, and Multimedia. (Dave: Feel free to edit that link to add your referrer ID or what have you.)

    matt89: That would be more than adequate for checking e-mail; listening to, downloading, ripping, and burning music; and most other home productivity and entertainment tasks. You could even play a few games with it. (Note to dw4473: I only know this because you can obviously play Neverwinter Nights on yours.)

    Good luck to all of you!

  • November 18, 2003 at 9:14 am

    well, i got a computer. i have dialup and on my old computer i connected at 24 kbps… on xp i connect at 28.8kbps. but, when i use internet explorer, everything goes very very slow. do you know what’s wrong. it took me about 45 seconds to pull up google.\

  • November 20, 2003 at 3:05 pm

    Hi I’m ready to transfer all my e-machine 400i2 components to a new atx case,and was wondering if you have any suggestions on what to watch out for. My existing motherboard is the mini-atx and the new case supports it.However the e-machine boards are proprietary,so is there anything else I should be doing when uninstalling and then putting it in a new casen? Or should I just look into getting a motherboard altogether?

  • November 22, 2003 at 4:08 pm

    I was wondering what graphics card would provide the best upgrade for an e-machine etower 633irx(20gig hard drive, 192megs of ram)? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

  • November 23, 2003 at 7:26 pm

    Thanks for the advice Dustin D Cook. I do have an agp port. I believe the current video card is a prosavage 3d??? Do you know: If I purchase one of the modern GeForce or Radeon cards if it will fit in my pc-I saw a comment earlier that said something about a video card not fitting next to the mother board I believe it was because of the fan.

  • November 25, 2003 at 1:14 am

    hi everyone… i recently ‘inherited’ an Etower 500is with 96 MB RAM and the standard 4.3 gig hdd. i know absolutely nothing about it, but would like to make it useful… any help here would be sweet!

    1. i see that it is possible to replace the 4.3 gig hard drive with a newer/larger one – if so, how do i know which one to buy? do i have to remove the current one before i add the new one?

    2. also any suggestions for sound / video cards for this model would be appreciated?


  • December 8, 2003 at 7:40 am

    Hey i just bought one of the last remaining emachine computers running pentium 4 it has intel chipset 650GE or something like that… i was wondering if i would be able to get away with a geforce fx 5700/radeon 9600 even if for some reason it happened to have something awful like a 200W power supply?

  • December 8, 2003 at 6:22 pm

    Question for yeah. I recently installed XP on a e600is and im having trouble finding the modem drivers. I tried using the restore cd and no such luck. Im guessing the modem is a convexant, i think thats how you spell it. This is what the emachine support website gave me “56K* ITU v.90 PCI internal Fax/Modem “

    Thanks for your help

  • December 9, 2003 at 11:56 am

    its 865GE

  • December 10, 2003 at 10:11 pm

    Hello: I am trying to find out the specs on an
    e-Machine W2626 out of the box.
    Could you assist, please?
    etc, etc.
    Thanks a bunch.

  • December 13, 2003 at 12:04 am

    Thanks for the upgrade advice on the 533i (wipe HD and re-install OS). Thanks, also, for the book recommendation and link. I’ve still got an upgrade itch, so I plan to get a 30G 7200 Maxtor drive ($40 after rebate). One of my favorite upgrades: Set up the old drive as the slave. I had some concerns about the ATA interface, but it looks like it should work. If I still feel the need I may also replace the AGP video card as I do not have any PCI slots available on this eMachine.

  • December 20, 2003 at 8:59 pm

    I just bought my first computer,emachines w2686.I’m computer iliterate.I basicly bought it for gameing and web browsing.What I want to know is what upgrades can I download to enhance my overall performance.Even as pc rookie I can tell my system doesn’t have a great video card.Cause a couple games I got won’t even play,and their a couple years old.So if someone can help me please do so. Thanx

  • December 23, 2003 at 7:01 pm

    Who knows what kind of video card is good for a 566i2?

  • December 23, 2003 at 7:04 pm

    Also I have 192mb of memory and a 566mhz processor is it worth it to upgrade my cpu to 1.1 ghz

  • December 30, 2003 at 3:19 pm

    First off – thanks for the site. It’s a great help. I have a T1120 emachine and I have only concern – playing Morrowind on the system. I meet all the system requirements but my graphics card is unable to handle it. Is it possible for me to upgrade my T1120 with a graphics card that can handle this game? And what type of card should I get? Thanks.

  • January 6, 2004 at 9:53 pm

    my dad has a t1120. the onboard video card [intel(R)82810e graphics controller] drivers wont istall. it gives an error: the I/O operation has been aborted because of either a thread exit or application request. i downloaded the drivers from e4me or whatever thier web site is and i got the same problem.

  • January 7, 2004 at 7:22 am


  • January 9, 2004 at 9:40 pm

    I have a Emachine model T1140, and I was looking to add more RAM into it. After some research, I found out that the machine can hold a maximum of 512 MB. I bought two 256 PC133 SDRAM sticks but the computer does not seem to recognize it. What should I do?

  • January 10, 2004 at 5:24 am

    Kristian: i have a 500 is, had a 500 ix also. Upgraded to 30 gig 7200 rpm drive with no probs, i think the bios will recognize up to 120 gig?? Don’t know what to suggest on the sound and video, except that i plan to just buy something surplus. There is no agp port, so ur stuck with pci for video. To truly disable the onboard, i think u need to set a jumper on the board.

    I hear rumors that the 400 series can use low density pc 100, and be maxed to 512 meg. I may try that with the 500 is, expensive experiment :-/

  • January 10, 2004 at 1:17 pm

    Sorry, I left the wrong email address in my last post. I have a Emachine model T1140 that I tried to upgrade with more RAM. I added two 256 PC133 SDRAM in it and the Emachine does not seem to recognize it. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

    • March 31, 2004 at 6:57 pm

      just wondering if you found out what the problem is. I am having the same one. Thanks

      • March 31, 2004 at 11:06 pm

        The T1140, when accepting 256 MB modules, requires densities of 32 Mb x 64 (that’s megabit and not megabyte). The modules must be 3.3V, 133 MHz JEDEC standard PC-133, non-parity (which means parity and ECC modules can not be used), and unbuffered (registered modules can not be used).

        I know these terms may sound confusing to you, so I should recommend searching reputable memory manufacturer websites like Crucial.com or a web encyclopedia like Wikipedia for more information.

        To guarantee that the memory you purchase for your PC will work or your money back you should purchase it from Crucial.com. Use their selector to select your exact manufacturer and model then order the modules you need.

        Dave’s site here has some excellent articles on why generic (read: cheap) memory is a bad idea. They are definitely worth the read if you need to know why the memory you purchased probably won’t work in your PC.

        And to those of you that regularly read my posts, if you wonder why I’m not as informative, cohesive, or generally helpful tonight it’s because I’ve driven for about 30 of the past 36 hours… and I’m off to bed.

        Dustin D. Cook, A+


  • January 14, 2004 at 2:17 pm

    Could someone give me a suggestion for my emachine T1140 (Has Celeron Processor 1.10GHz) It did not come with an owners manual but I did find on some specs on it having an integrated AGP 4mb memory. I would like to diable the on board video via jumper settings but my model is not on the emachine web site. Anyone able to help me here. I am looking at ATI Radeon 9200 SE or a GeForce FX 5200 cards or GeForce4 MX 440-8X, all PCI since that is only interface I can upgrade too. Any advice here would be appreciated.

  • January 15, 2004 at 8:24 pm

    My aunt has an emachine t1120. When it is turned on, the emachine splash screen comes up and then the windows xp home edition screen comes up. After this, it just goes blank. I have tried to boot in safe mode, this is not successful.

    Has anyone had this problem? Can the restore disk be used to correct this problem without completely overriding my existing data? Any advice/comments would be appreciated.


    • January 1, 2005 at 11:04 pm

      My sister had this problem. After consulting my trusty networking and
      hardware book on the symtoms, It seemed like an overheating
      problem. Took it apart, cleaned the massive amounts of dust out with
      a paintbrush and removed and cleaned heatsink, fan and cpu. The
      thermal pad that came with the cpu had dried out and cracked, no
      longer keeping contact with the cpu ( ie, poor cooling) – replaced it
      with arctic silver thermal paste and after it was all back together

      Worked like a dream. She eventually bought a better heat sink and
      fan as well. No problems since.


  • January 18, 2004 at 2:51 pm

    commentlooking for way to get sound on modeletower 5331 told I need to download research engine Is this possible?

  • January 19, 2004 at 7:54 pm





  • February 12, 2004 at 7:44 pm

    i just want to know if i can take out the motherboard of a 333k eTower and put a new one in with a processor that’s around the 800mhz+ range? any motherboards that will fit inside this mid-sized eTower?

  • February 19, 2004 at 6:20 pm

    I have a Emachine 400i3 which I purchased in 1999 or 2000 for $350 new.
    I replaced the power supply twice the first time with a emachine direct replacement which failed again and then with an aftermarket 185 watt unit and it purrs like a kitten.
    The conexant modem failed within a few months so I replaced that with some $20 unit which worked fine and I still have in a box somewhere.
    One of the first problems that I noticed was with the integrated Rage pro AGP graphics, Madden crashed all the time and the frame rate sucked in all games.
    I purchased 2 -128 mb pc100 memory chips and tried again but it helped none.
    So I purchased a 64mb Nvidia MX400 PCI graphics card, 40 gb western digital HD 7200rpm, 533mhz CPU w/super cooler fan and heatsink, large case fan and played Madden perfectly.
    I recently installed windows XP home and thought I was upgrading. WRONG it was a downgrade, but it looked pretty and never crashed again but, I couldnt run any 3d games on that OS, So I purchased a new PNY 128mb Nvidia 5200 PCI Graphics card and a 10/100 ethernet card for use with my High speed comcast cable. Some games worked fine and some didn’t, Frame rate was still slow and I couldnt play Half life or Generals, even Empires"modern" was jerky.
    So I re installed WIN98se and the machine runs great no problems with any games. 3d games are running at high detail settings, and Half life plays almost as good as on a console (Xbox). I recently picked up a few old machines and discovered a 256 mb PC133 Kingston memory chip so I popped it in and it works so now I have 384 mbs with no problems.
    But looking back at everything I’ve purchased so far I could have purchased a more upgradeable machine with a real AGP port.

  • March 5, 2004 at 12:35 pm

    I am attempting to upgrade the video on an emachines e400 for my niece. The problem is that the BIOS will not seem to let me make anything other than the MB video primary. I have installed a GeForce2 PCI video card, but cannot find a way to make it the primary video. HELP

    • March 5, 2004 at 1:26 pm

      Correction…the machine is a 566i not a e400…the emachines FAQ says it auto-detects, but it does not seem to.

  • March 23, 2004 at 7:44 am

    Not sure what your problem is with your eMachine PC, but, I also have an eMachine and just upgraded my memory AGAIN, and it all works fine.

    I have an eMachine 633ids, which only came with 64 MB. I knew this wouldn’t be enough, so the day I purchased puter, I also bought more memory, raising it to 192MB. In my opinion, even 64 MB wasn’t enough to run Windows ME, etc… very well. Recently I decided to upgrade to Windows XP Home, wish I hadn’t of, and I figured it would suck up quite a few resources, so, I added more memory.

    I took the 64MB memory card out, added a 256MB card, moving the 128 MB card over. This gave me a total of 384 MB of memory. My PC recognized it all right off the bat, no problems.

    But, getting PC to recognize memory isn’t my actual problem. Even though I added 256 MB, before upgrading, my PC is slow now. Once I upgraded to Windows XP Home my computer runs as slow as Christmas. Or it seems so to us anyway. That is my situation. I have done some tweaking that others more ‘experienced’ in pc’s and windows have suggested, which helped some, but it is just still too slow. I am actually considering taking the 128 MB card out and putting in another 256 MB, to make me total of 512MB of memory. Do you think that this would help me at all, or, does anyone have any ideas of something else that may be going on, something that may be slowing my system down. If you have any good suggestions it would be appreciated.

    I have a cable modem, which should be fast, but lately it is just slow as Christmas also, it seems, along with PC. I’ve ran virus scanner on my PC, and a free online scan, to ensure I don’t have any viruses, worms, etc…. so that isn’t the problem either. Any ideas anyone??

    What are some major things that I can get rid of, or disable, that you KNOW Windows runs by default and isn’t needed? Something that can help speed me back up again. With my adding the extra 256 MB, I just can’t understand why I have slowed down. I don’t feel this should be happening and I am wondering if something may be wrong. Help!

    Also, what are good signs that I may be fixing to need a new Power Supply? My system has recently, within past couple of months, started to hum, sometimes very loudly. Could this be what is happening, I need a new PS? Could this be a reason for my PC majorly slowing down?? I read above somewhere about integrated video or something. Are all eMachine PC’s like that? If so… can I disable that, or change it, or do I have to get another card, etc… before doing this? I know enough about PC’s, do all my own installing, work, etc… and I am a woman… but I don’t consider myself a real "techi" if you know what I mean. There is still much I would like to learn and would appreciate it if Anyone COULD explain some of this to me in regular, everyday terms, that I could understand!! Please!

    Thank you!

    “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising up each time fall!”

    • March 23, 2004 at 8:43 am

      I wanted to add something on my PC also… I told you I have an eMachine 633MHz, 384 MB Ram, etc…. or I guess it is SDRAM, or something? (*not all here this morning, sorry*)

      I have ‘obviously’ been one of the few very lucky people, when it comes to eMachines it seems. I bought my PC back in February 2001. It is now the end of March, almost April 2004. Besides having some problems with Windows ME and having to restore the PC about two or three times in two years… that is it. I have never had a single problem with my eMachine.. NOT ONCE..except for those little small things like the Windows ME. Not once have I ever had a need to contact Best Buy, where I got PC, nor to any eMachine Tech Support, or anyone else either! I have not ever had to replace a single thing, not one little part, on my PC since buying it. I haven’t had to fix anything.

      Since buying the PC.. I’ve added a digital camera, a scanner, a LexMark Printer, in which has always worked just perfectly with my PC system, unlike a few others I have read on LexMark and eMachines. I have a LexMark Z12 printer. It instantly installed, it was instantly accepted, no problems. And recently, as a Valentine’s gift, my boyfriend got me a Sony 52x24x52, CD-R/CD-RW, CD Burner. With everything, my computer has always ran great. Of course, I don’t keep things connected to my PC if I don’t use them on a regular basis, like my scanner of camera. I don’t use them but ever so often, so, I don’t see ANY reason for them to always be connected to my PC. They would only slow it down.

      AND ON TOP OF all THAT… I NEVER turn my pc off. I have the power management set to what I want it on, screensaver set, etc… and fix it to where I only touch the mouse and my PC is ready to go. I am on a LAN/Cable Modem, so I am online 24/7. I want to be able to get online 24/7, if I wish to, without constantly having to turn it on and off, over and over. I keep strange hours, so, this is very important to me. I also never use hibernation, or the standby, on my PC.

      I really do feel for all of you who have gotten an eMachine computer and then had nothing but true heck with them. I mean that. Especially when I have had nothing but good from mine. Over two years and it is still going, except that just recently, within last month or so, it has been humming, sometimes loudly, so, I figure I am going to be joining the ranks and replacing my Power Supply too. I would say that I have definitely gotten my money’s worth, considering the PC is a cheaper made computer & they are very cheap in cost, etc… I got it at Best Buy, Feb. 01, for $499.00, before taxes. Then I had to get the monitor and printer separately. If I remember correctly, my total cost was around the range of $650-$675.00, total. Plus, I added the memory at same time and surge protector. I’ve been lucky, my boyfriend has gotten me the printer, scanner, and CD Burner, and my last memory of 256 MB, as gifts to me for different things and times. I got the other memory and my digital camera, surge protector, etc… He also picked me up some bigger and better speakers he came across on sale not long after I bought the PC.

      I did have ONE SINGLE PROBLEM and it was the very evening I purchased the computer system. When I got home and I hooked up the Monitor, the original monitor, to the computer… it didn’t work. Not a flicker, blink, or flash. NADA! Nothing, Zero and a total Zilch!! I immediately packed it right back up and took it back to Best Buy, that night, and got my money back. I was on a limited budget when I got my pc system, so, I had to have another monitor in that price range, give or take, but they didn’t really have one. Everything was pretty much a lot higher. So, I went to Walmart and lucked across a ProView Monitor, cheaper than I got at Best Buy, and it is still going too!

      So, I can’t really complain about the eMachines, to be honest, ALTHOUGH I am pretty sure that this is the first, and last, eMachine I will ever buy, unless they truly get better than they are now. If I were eMachines I would be totally horrified about all the complaints made against their PC’s & customer service! Totally shameful. I would never admit to anyone that I worked there, if I did. No way.

      [sorry this is so long]

      “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising up each time fall!”

    • March 23, 2004 at 11:31 am

      When you changed to Windows XP, did you install it on top of Windows ME or did you format your disc and install from scratch? If you did the former, you’re guaranteed to have a slow and sometimes unstable installation of Windows.

      The best way to go about it is to back-up all of your data to CD-RW, download all necessary device drivers and the Blaster Worm patch (also putting them on a CD-RW), and boot off of the Windows XP Home CD. You’ll be given a prompt asking where to install. Just delete the partition and create a new one using the NTFS file system.

      Once you’ve got Windows XP installed you should immediately apply the Blaster Worm patch… before connecting to the Internet. Then go to Windows Update and download all of the critical updates and most of the recommended updates (things like DirectX 9.0b should be installed if you play games, Windows Media Player 9 if you use it to listen to or watch media, .NET Framework if you use any applications that require it, etc.). Then you should install your device drivers.

      Now your system should be updated and stable, so all that’s left is a little tweaking. Black Viper’s Web Site contains a list of services you can disable to enhance system performance and security. You should most definitely install some anti-virus software (I use Norton, but almost all of them are the same now) – AVG Anti-Virus is free for personal use. You should also snag some anti-spyware and anti-adware software – Lavasoft Ad-Aware and Spybot Search & Destroy are both free for personal use. I recommend installing them both and then doing the update, scan, remove tactic once a week or so.

      As far as firewall software, there are many free packages available for your use. The built-in Windows XP firewall is fairly weak and doesn’t protect against application spoofing or even malware applications. I use ZoneAlarm Personal Edition which, again, is free for personal use.

      If you’re at all concerned about security, performance, and standards-compliance on the web then you should download Mozilla. Aside from being immune to most spyware attacks it contains very useful features such as tabbed browsing and integrated pop-up blocking that Microsoft has not seen fit to add to Internet Explorer (yet).

      If you have any questions just feel free to post them here. I’ll respond fairly quickly. Good luck!

      Dustin D. Cook, A+


  • April 30, 2004 at 2:00 am

    i have a emachine w2047 and cant get it to boot when i put in my pny verto geforce4 440mx agp card. anyone know why ? it will boot with a vanta agp card .

  • November 22, 2004 at 10:59 am

    Thanks for this advise article. Maybe I was just lucky, but my 2yr old emachine T2200 has been a gem for me. ($1028.18-includes tax & 17’" monitor from Circuit City; 12/15/02))

    About 6 months ago I looked into upgrades from emachines’ website. The wish list included 4 major items… DVD/RW, PS 350w, Audio Soundblaster and nVidia FX APG 256 DDR TV + DVI ($429.80 total from emachine). For another $129.95 I can upgrade from 512MB RAM to 1GB. Three hurricanes later, I’m just getting back into a frivolous mode. Based on comments here, I may be just fine with the current configuration of RAM and power supply.

    Interestingly, comments from here and a consumer website point to a week link I never questioned or suspected but have had disappointing experience with. THE DIAL-UP! My no-name modem is operating in the V.92 56K mode but it seems very slow to connect. Once connected I think it’s as good as can be expected. However – how do I know?

    My options for Internet are limited. Can’t get DSL on the barrier island for the foreseeable future. I’m a happy Direct TV subscriber but Direct way wideband is an outrageously expensive compromise and I never see reviews for it. I understand the comparative upload and download limits between cable DSL and satellite.

    How difficult to install do you think my proposed upgrades would be? I have reasonable tech skills but I’ve never even opened this thing. It is due for a cleaning by now.


    • January 1, 2005 at 11:17 pm

      I had a similar problem – turned out to be a problem with the phone
      line beleive it or not. You can call the co. and ask them to do a line
      check (if they call back immediately they did the quick and easy
      version which may not uncover the problem. They need to do a down
      and dirty check, though I forget the term).

      It may take a little while to fix, meanwhile you can possibly change
      your modem connection to v 90 instead of 92.

      In my case I kept getting disconnected the connection was so bad,
      turned out the telephone people had done poor repairs after a big


  • December 18, 2004 at 5:25 pm

    My son owns an E-Machine, Model W4885 (P4, 2.8 gHz, short tower with curved face). This machine has a DVD-R-CD/RW combo drive. He wants second optical drive in the empty 5 1/4-in bay. He says he doesn’t care if it’s a R or RW. I’d like to buy one for him for Christmas.

    Suggestions? Where to buy? Make, Model, etc?

    • December 21, 2004 at 4:48 pm

      Those have pretty much become commoditized these days and for most people there’s little perceptible difference between the best drive on the market and the worst. The last few optical drives I’ve bought have been purchased solely on price, and they’ve done OK for me. That’s the nice thing about being a late adopter, I guess.

      You can’t really go wrong anymore with finding the consumer electronics store that’s running a special on that particular day. Or there’s Newegg.com if you want to buy online. They always have good prices and fast shipping.

      • December 22, 2004 at 3:24 am

        Thank you.

  • January 1, 2005 at 11:57 pm

    would there be a problem connecting a newish 420w power supply to
    old etower 333k system? Are there any power supplies you would


  • January 2, 2005 at 9:08 am

    No problems, as long as it fits in the box. With wattage, more watts is always OK. Fewer watts usually isn’t, unless the power supply that’s in there was over-spec’ed. Computers fresh from the factory almost always have very close to just the wattage they need.

    Every Emachine I’ve ever seen uses an SFX-type power supply, which is smaller than the standard ATX power supply. If your power supply is 5 inches x 4 inches x 3 inches, it’s an SFX. I see Newegg.com has an Enermax SFX power supply (270 watt) for $41, plus $7 shipping. That’s the way I’d go. Availability could be totally different next week. But measure your power supply before you order.

  • January 6, 2005 at 2:58 pm

    I have an Emachine t1400 and the motherboard died I was ASSURED by the emachine Tech guy that i spoke to that i could indeed upgrade the mother board and that it didn’t have to be an exact replace ment. So I bought a new DFI km400a-Mlv/mv Motherboard. Everything went well Until i try to connect the power switch Hd LED and Reset button. As the Emachine uses an odd connector for those connections. My Question is this. Can I finfish this upgrade? As of now the system DOESN"T power up. I am guessing its because of the odd connector for the power/HD LED etc.. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


    • January 6, 2005 at 4:39 pm

      The infamous front panel connector problem… What you’ll probably end up doing is removing the pins from the Emachine connector and rearranging them in the connector to fit the new motherboard. Or just pull the wires out of the connector and put them right on the leads on the motherboard.

      So, yes, you’ll be able to finish the upgrade, but it will require some tinkering. It probably won’t make you feel any better, but I’ve had to do this many, many a time when I replaced a motherboard–even on generic whitebox systems in some instances. But it could be worse. You could have a Compaq.

  • January 7, 2005 at 1:37 am

    thanks for the speedy reply, power supplies are not my thing!


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: