Question about eMachines W3115 PC Desktop

3 Answers

My e-Machine W3115 automatically shuts down multiple times

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.

Posted by Travis Canaday on

  • 10 more comments 
  • Travis Canaday Jan 31, 2010

    Yes, I would like step by step guidance for checking the capacitors. I am curious though if it is all visual inspection, or can I also see results in a digital multimeter (if so the specs)? The other main question with this is if I find failed capacitors then would my best logical move be to replace the mother board (or could this have damaged my processor as well)?

  • Travis Canaday Jan 31, 2010

    I have done fragmentation to the drive without errors. Then when it was not rebooting I tried inserting the reboot cd, and received no results. I'm not sure if the tech I sent it to did the diskcheck you mention, however I am willing to try it and post results if you tell me how to perform it.

  • Travis Canaday Jan 31, 2010

    I have checked the capacitors and found that six of the seven (CT2-CT7) had not bulged or cracked at the top, but they did have dried whitish-yellow fluid seeped around the edges of the plastic covering at the top of each capacitor. Does this count to you as failing component? CT1;CT3-7 all say 1500uF 6.3V KZE TEAPO. CT2 says 1500uF 6.3V KZG. Are these the size and tolerance information needed to find the right size replacements? There were also two others that looked like the same issue. One smaller one just above the 7 mentioned (CF17) saying 33uF 16V A3 TEAPO. The other is the second larger one just under the processor (CE23) saying 1500uF 10V 01/06 A3 TEAPO. If I go to replace the first 7, should I do these too? If you know what they are, are they also possible causes to the original problem?
    I am well seasoned with soldering, but all I have is a basic iron. Is there more equipment I need (like a heat sink to protect diodes while soldering) or can the capacitor handle the brief heat alone? If I cannot find the right capacitors then I promise to go for the Frisbee idea, or possibly a skeet shooter... Thanks for your in depth help.

  • Travis Canaday Feb 01, 2010

    The information you have given me is great. I apologize for going on and on with the questions. I do have a few more from the last post. I once dragged the solder to reach the tin when it separated before, but I'm not sure about re-tinning. I ask not in hopes that I might need it here, but in hope that I might pull out my old TI99-4A computer and fix that flaw from years ago (space bar button connection). I will recheck the numbers on the one saying 33uF for 330uF before purchasing. I have a 30 Watt iron and .038 rosin core solder (that was what it actually measured at). Also glad you said something about the pick, I was told by another to do that.

  • Travis Canaday Feb 12, 2010

    Current update on this issue. I have the equipment now to do the repair suggested, but I cannot find the capacitors anywhere. Radio Shack has been the only one in my area that carries capacitors, but all of them are 30 Volts or higher. I realize that I can use hirer voltage but from 6.3V to 30V sounds extreme. What can I do?

  • Travis Canaday Mar 10, 2010

    Okay, I now have my capacitors, but the only thing I was able to get for the 33mf 16V capacitor was a 33mf 25V. At first I thought that it would be okay since the voltage is above requirements, but now that it is here it is twice as wide as the one on the board. Should I find another before proceeding? Then I continued to try replacing the main ones for this problem, but my 30 watt iron isn't even melting the solder on the old capacitor. I am thinking to replace it since it is just a cheap iron, but would a 60 watt iron be okay or excessive for the motherboard?

  • Travis Canaday Mar 10, 2010

    I did replace the power supply already, and "Stay away from E-machines!" is for one obvious and is in no way repair solution advise.

  • Travis Canaday Mar 11, 2010

    The capacitor is around 10mm in diameter. I'm weighing the choice of waiting for the right one or just use what I have since it only has one of those needing done. If it helps, the one I'm looking at is the small one immediately above the seven capacitors for the processor.

    I did have an unused new tip on my iron as I tried last time. Then I cleaned it on the sponge and re-tinned the tip. I'll give the flux a shot with it to get the other capacitors done. If that don't go then I'll know that my cheap, Wal-Mart $9.00 special iron is surprisingly no good.(It would be funny if it weren't my own fault for buying it. Now that I know more about re-tinning I may find old iron I used to do automotive electrical repairs.

  • Travis Canaday Mar 14, 2010

    Okay, I went through everything you advised again, watched the videos, and tried another round. The suggestion of making my tip like a chisel was a major improvement and I got the job done. The first two were a bit shaky but after that I was in a zone. The computer is up and running so I must have done it right, but I waited to see if it had another shut down problem before posting. It went all day with my wife doing her facebook without trouble, but then finally shut down in the evening, and repeatedly shut down every 5-15 minutes. I don't want to say this was fruitless cause I learned alot and I'm sure my computer is better off with what we have done. Each time it reboots it shows a widow say that the computer has recovered from a serious error and asks if I will send the details to microsoft. Oh, and I realized that where I plug my computer in has a filter with the surge protector, but the wall socket is not grounded. We have one of those gray adapters. I've heard stories of a damaged processor, bad C drive, faulty e-machine disk of windows xp, and ungrounded plugs. The weather is good here now for skeet shooting, but I might hold back on that if this new info helps show a next step for diagnostics or solutions. In the meantime I'll be soldering some of my damaged auto equipment with these newly learned techniques.

  • Travis Canaday Mar 14, 2010

    Spelling correction, "window saying", as far as I know my computer has no

  • Travis Canaday Mar 24, 2010

    I've asked about the house being well grounded and I've been told that we have a rod in the ground, but I need to check for sure. Then I'll have the wall sockets rewired and replaced. As for the capacitors, I planned to have the remaining cheap ones replaced soon anyway so no real loss there. I'll get the strap before doing the next repair, but in my defense I did ground myself. I set the case on the floor (not carpeted) and rested my bare foot on the metal casing to keep a ground. Unprofessional I know, lol. The tech only mentioned the thermal unit and explained it as a sensor in the power supply as I was there buying one. He never actually saw the computer, I was there because I no longer trusted the power supply that emachines sent me. I replaced a Bestec model: ATX-300-12E with a CG Black Steel model: BKS480. Is that a cheap one? The thermal paste is something I will also replace since the heat sink has been removed twice for repair without any new paste. It may take me a while to get everything but I will post as soon as I have news. Thanks for continuing to advise me.

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette May 11, 2010

    Yes. eMachines are notorious for using cheap quality Electrolytic Capacitors, on their motherboards. The one's to specifically check, are the one's that surround the Processor. These capacitors are used as Voltage Regulators for the Processor. A Processor must have a steady, 'Clean', supply of DC voltage. It has a very Small tolerance range. About Electrolytic Capacitors. Suffice it to state their construction is basically a small aluminum 'can', with Electrolytic Paste inside. (A more detailed construction explanation can be found on Wikipedia, or I will detail it out if you wish) When the paste inside starts to fail, it develops a gas. This gas expands inside, and slowly pushes the paste out of the capacitor. So much paste loss, and you have a weakened capacitor. Too much paste loss, and you have a failed capacitor. This is a guide for Visual Signs of Capacitor Failure. I believe this will help you, to be able to understand more of what I am referring to here, and also to know what objects on the motherboard you are looking for. (NOTE* You cannot scrutinize the capacitors on the motherboard close enough, with the motherboard still installed in the computer case. It may take a magnifying glass, and a flashlight. If you would like step by step guidance in doing so, just state so in an additional comment. Regards joecoovette)



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  • eMachines Master
  • 5,660 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.

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,

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

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?

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.
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)

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.

Posted on Jan 31, 2010

  • 14 more comments 
  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Jan 31, 2010

    Appreciate the rating, you are Most kind!

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Feb 01, 2010

    I see I was partially correct on the capacitance, buy WAY OFF on the Voltage!

    YES. The Brownish/Yellowish seepage is Electrolytic Paste, and it means those capacitors are failing.
    (Or Kaput!)

    YES. The information you supplied about each capacitor, are the required spec's for replacing them.
    NOT, the tolerance range. In this instance we don't have to be concerned as much with that, as we do with the correct capacitance, (Microfarads), and Voltage.

    1) CT 1, CT3 through C7 - 1500 Microfarads - 6.3 Volts
    2) CT 2 - Same as above
    3) CT17 - 33 Microfarads, 16 Volts (33 uF sounds low. Sure it isn't 330uF?)
    4) CE23 - 1500 Microfards, 10 Volts

    CT17, and CE23 also need to be replaced.

    Now lets discuss the KZE TEAPO for CT1, CT3 through CT7, and the KZG for CT2.

    KZE, and KGE, are the manufacturer markings for the Japanese based - Chemi-Con company.
    TEAPO? Dunno. Excuse my ignorance, but perhaps it's the town with the factory, that the capacitors were manufactured in.

    In the capacitor industry, the Japanese capacitors are known for being the best. This is not to slight the capacitor manufacturers from other countries. Just stating what is a fact at the present.

    Before I dig myself a hole, and possibly offend anyone, let me give you this link to Identifying Japanese Electrolytic Capacitors,

    Put's a big smile on my face reading about your soldering skills! This = A Good Thing!

    40 Watt pencil tip soldering iron?
    Tip clean, and tinned well? Do you have a soldering base with a sponge in the base?
    If not, I would advise a clean, damp sponge for frequently cleaning the tip.

    I like to use Desoldering Braid, (Solder Wick), instead of a Desoldering Tool. Works much better.
    The wick's end is pressed against the solder joint, and heat applied.
    As soon as the solder turns shiny, the wick is removed, taking part of the solder with it.
    (Sometimes enough so that you don't have to do the process again.

    When Desoldering, the concern will be that you do not heat the circuit traces so much, that they will lift off of the board, or that you overheat the area, and the area will not accept solder again. (Can't be tinned again)

    There's no rush. Just remove a little bit of solder at a time, if you have to. Let the area cool down, proceed again.

    Board upside down, grab the capacitor with your fingertips, and thumb.
    You will be applying pressure against the motherboard with your fingers, and thumb also, so that it is a pulling away action from the motherboard.
    Heat one lead's solder joint at a time, use pressure with finesse, and extract as much of that lead out of the motherboard, as you can.

    You will only be able to pull that lead out so far, as the other soldered lead is still holding the capacitor in place.
    Go to the other lead, heat it, extract it out as far as is appropriate.
    Keep going back, and forth if you have to, until one by one, the leads come out of the motherboard, and the capacitor is in your hand.

    Again, the key here is to not damage the motherboard. Take your time.
    I can see it now as you have the capacitors replaced, computer back together, and a big smile comes on your face, as your computer springs to life.

    The solder joints will have a residue left behind. This area needs to be cleaned before the capacitor can be installed. You may also have to lightly re-tin the area after cleaning, if the area is of not a good tin. (Did that make sense?)

    Use Q-tips dipped in Isopropyl Alcohol. (Rubbing alcohol. 91 percent alcohol, or better is the best to use) Clean the solder joint area with the Q-tips. Remove the cotton fibers left behind.
    (Have to state:
    CAUTION: Isopropyl Alcohol is EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE!! Burns clean, and the flame is virtually colorless. Use in a well ventilated area, and No sparks or flames must be present)

    When you go to install the capacitor, you will probably see that the solder joint holes are closed with solder, or partially closed. This is okay.

    Cut the leads of the capacitor to a length where they will be stiff, and you can arrange them so that they will line up with the solder joint holes, on the top of the motherboard. (Around 3/4th's of an inch)
    With the leads pressing against the solder in those holes, and when you apply heat to the bottom side of the motherboard, the leads will poke through.

    I stated this, because sometimes using a pick to clean the solder joint holes, can have a detrimental effect.
    With the capacitor leads inserted, cut the leads to the appropriate length with a pair of side cutters.
    A tiny drop of Rosin flux paste applied to each lead, one at a time before soldering that lead, can make that Ol' solder stick.

    I use Rosin core solder that is .032 in diameter. You may find .055, or .062 is better for you.
    Make a god solder joint, practice on something else for a while, if you feel rusty.
    A cold solder joint will have you tearing your hair out, after you have your computer reassembled.

    If you really think you need to use a heatsink, that's fine, but it's usually used for more delicate components, not Cap's.

    (It's also going to be a wee tough, getting it on the capacitor leads, on the top side of the motherboard. The capacitor will wind up standing up real tall. About a 1/4 inch lead standing on top of the motherboard.
    Also you will have the lead's soldered, Way before the heat created will ever be an issue for those capacitors. By the time heat will hurt them, you'll have the circuit trace lifted off of the motherboard, and will have burned the motherboard.
    Advice? No don't worry about it)

    Just for edification purposes, a little more info on the Voltage Regulator Circuit you are working on,

    (You can click on the photos to enlarge them)

    Not advertising for Radio Shack, but they are one source for those capacitors, solder, and the like.

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Feb 01, 2010

    Typo Correction:

    'Make a god solder joint, practice on something else for a while, if you
    feel rusty.',

    Should be,

    'Make a GOOD solder joint, practice on something else for a while, if you feel rusty'

    (I don't think God cares about solder joints. Could be wrong)

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Feb 01, 2010

    Nope, it's no bother.

    Dragged the solder over from a lead, to a tinned area on a circuit trace?

    Shouldn't be a problem, as long as there is a good connection, and the original circuit trace path isn't accidentally connected by solder, to another circuit trace.

    To somewhat clarify;

    If we are talking about a lead coming down from a spacebar momentary contact switch, and the lead is soldered with a good connection to the intended circuit trace, then there is no problem.

    If the solder joint that you have made, has elongated enough to connect with an unintended circuit trace, then there is a problem.

    As I'm sure you know, a desktop motherboard is a PCB. Printed Circuit Board.

    A PCB is made up of several layers laminated together. This is the Substrate. Many different materials are used to make up the Substrate, and it's up to the manufacturer as to what materials they wish to use.

    A thin copper 'foil' is bonded to the Substrate.
    Several different methods are used, to leave just the thin circuit traces desired on the Substrate.

    In reality, it is just like having a lot of very, thin, flat, copper wires, bonded to a flat insulating surface.

    If you have a circuit trace that has been partially burned away, and if you have the skills, you can solder a wire to the remaining circuit trace, and back over to the lead you want.

    Same thing goes for an area around a solder joint, that has been heated too much, or too many times, and will not accept a tin again.
    You can go back a little bit into that particular circuit trace, and using finesse scrape the protective coating, (It's see-through plastic), away so that you can tin this tiny little area on the circuit trace.

    Solder an appropriate sized pre-tinned wire to it, then lead the other end of the wire, (Pre-tinned), to the lead of the component you wish to connect to.

    Ah, the old Texas Instruments TI99. The circuit traces on that puppy should be relatively large. At least I think so, compared to the circuit traces you have on your eMachines mobo. (Motherboard)

    You may find out now that it's a walk in the park.

    The pick advice stemmed from a fear that,
    1) Too large a pick will be used. Has to be a straight pick, and we're talking about a pick used in electronics, not an ice pick. The tip of the pick starts out about the diameter of a large darning needle, and tapers slowly up to the diameter of a ball point pen refill.

    2) The pick needs to come in on the top side of the motherboard, and not the bottom side. Needs to come straight in at a 90 degree angle.
    The typical method is to insert it in the solder joint hole, and twist it, while using pressure to open the hole.
    Many times the pick will grab the circuit trace area around that solder joint hole, and twist this part of the circuit trace, right up off of the motherboard.

    Why bother if it isn't needed, and there is an alternative way to avoid damage? The Desoldering Braid will pick up enough solder, so that there may be just a very thin film of solder covering the hole, or partially covering the hole.

    30 Watt iron, pencil tip, and .038 Rosin core solder is excellent. Don't forget the damp sponge, Desoldering Braid, (Solder Wick), and a small tin of Rosin Flux Paste.

    Desoldering Braid example,

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Feb 01, 2010

    Obviously I'm not a seamstress!
    Not a darning needle, but a medium sized sewing needle.

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Feb 01, 2010

    Oh, and by the way codeman, I have been envisioning you using that mobo at the Skeet range.

    Bamm, bamm!
    Look at the Sparklee's!

    (No, I hope it doesn't come to THAT! I think with your skills everything is going to be just FINE!)

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Feb 01, 2010

    Teapo Electronics Corporation,

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Feb 13, 2010

    Oh really, that's what they said? I was thinking along the lines of their part number 272-802.
    20 Electrolytic Capacitors ranging Up To 50 Volts DC, plus mini, and sub-mini sizes. (Which includes different capacitance)
    Varies as to availability at the store level, but can be ordered in by them.

    A) The salesperson should go back to, 'Want fry's with that?'
    B) If the store manager was consulted, maybe this person should go back to selling shoes.
    C) The salesperson was trying to get rid of you, so he could sell batteries to that hottie that just came in, for her Ipod.

    (No slam intended to those in the service industry, I was just playin'.
    No animals were harmed in the making of this additional comment)

    I see it as all for the best anyway.
    Perhaps you'd like to check out a couple of online electronics suppliers.

    Mouser Electronics

    Under the - Product Finder heading to the left, click on Passive Components.
    In the list click on Capacitors (218, 693)
    Now click on Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors (41,939)
    Then Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors - Leaded (19,360)
    (Not to possibly offend. Means they have leads on them, not lead metal in them)

    In the next window you will see a box with many Fields in it.
    Capacitance, Tolerance, Voltage Rating, ESR, Operating Temperature Range, Termination Style, Dimensions, and Product.

    Looks a little daunting, huh? It's okay.

    Let's use one of the capacitors you need for an example;
    1500μF 6.3V. Radial {1500 Microfarad, 6.3 Volts, Radial design}

    (Radial design has both leads coming out of the bottom. Axial design has two leads also, but one lead is at one end, with the other lead at the opposite end)

    Under the heading;
    1) Capacitance: Scroll the side bar down, click on 1500μF

    2) Tolerance: Leave it open. (Do not click on anything) Typical tolerance for aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors is 20 percent, anyway.

    3) Voltage Rating: 6.3 Volts

    4) ESR: Leave it open

    5) Operating Temperature Range: Leave it open

    6) Termination Style: Click on Radial

    7) Dimensions: Leave it open

    8) Product: Leave it open

    Now go right below the field box, and click on Apply Filters.

    I would go with Nichicon or United Chemi-con as Panasonic is on back order, and one where there is a large supply. Choose the Dimensions (Size) you need. You can use a free online, Millimeter to Inches converter on the internet.

    My example would be the Nichicon part number UHZ0J152MPM6
    Mouser part number 647-UHZ0J152MPM6
    It's 8mm in diameter x 20mm Long.
    (Approximately 5/16th's of an inch in diameter, and 3/4ths of an inch in Height)

    58 cents each.
    I chose it because of the operating temperature range. Minus 25 degrees Centigrade to Plus 105
    degrees Centigrade.

    In reality, you could use one with a maximum operating temperature range of 85C, because by the time the capacitor reaches 85 degrees Centigrade, (185 degrees Fahrenheit), your Processor would have shut off long ago.
    I just like 105C better. Perhaps better seals are used, and better Electrolytic paste.

    The same for the 33μF at 16 Volts.

    Go back and reset all the fields. Then start again. (Reset is under each field)

    [If it messes up, the - Apply Filters will be 'ghosted out'. Just click on the back arrow for your browser, and then click on Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors (19,360), again]

    1) Capacitance: 33μF
    2) Voltage: 16 Volts
    3) Termination Style: Radial
    Leave the other fields open.
    Click on Apply Filters.

    My example would be:
    Nichicon UKL1C330KDDANA (Mouser part number 647-UKL1C330KDDANA)
    Reasoning is that it is a Low Leakage capacitor, and has a tolerance range of 10 percent. Lower is better, here.
    Also the Dimensions (Size)
    (23 Cents each)

    Same thing for that 1500μF at 10 Volts.

    Digi-Key Corp

    Product Index
    Scroll down to Capacitors>Aluminum (28,303)

    1) Manufacturer: Click on Nichicon, or United Chemi-con
    2) Capacitance: Use the side bar to scroll down, click on the capacitance you need.
    3) Voltage Rating: Click on the appropriate voltage
    4) Package/Case: Radial

    Leave the other fields open. Go below the box, and click on Apply Filters.
    When going back to search for the other capacitors, I would just use the browser back arrow.
    When you go back to search for the other capacitors, don't forget to reset the fields.
    (There is just one Reset button)


  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Mar 10, 2010

    A) Took 30 days to get that puppy, huh? (33mf 25V cap) They (Mouser) sent a 33mf 25V cap instead of a 33mf 16V?
    The voltage is no problem at all.

    What did they do? Send one that was 0.248 in diameter? (Almost 1/4th inch)
    Or one that was 8mm in diameter? (Almost 5/16ths of an inch)

    I suggested the Nichicon UKL1C330KDANA (Mouser part number 647-UKL1C330KDANA) because it is 5mm in diameter. (0.19685......., or close to 3/16ths of an inch) I also suggested it because it's a low leakage unit, and Mouser indicated they had 1,128 in stock, and of course 16V.

    Hmmm, might be time to slap somebody in Shipping and Receiving around. lol!

    Alright. No harm, no foul.
    Non-professional approach. (Unless you wish to wait another 30 days for shipping)

    Did you cut the leads already? No?
    My suggestion, (And again, this is a NON professional approach)

    I would insert the capacitor, leaving the leads long enough so the capacitor could be bent over, at a 90 degree angle. Provided of course, that this would allow clearance for other hardware components, that are installed near it.

    I don't know if I'm stating this correctly. Sometimes my communication skills leave a lot to be desired.
    What I'm proposing is that the leads are long enough so that the cap can be laid down, or put in some fashion, so that it clears any hardware components, or devices.
    Ideally the cap should be kept away from hardware components that throw off a lot of heat.

    Heat is an 'enemy' of an Electrolytic Capacitor.
    I would also slip some heat shrink tubing on the exposed leads.

    Just an idea.

    Correct method would be to order the correct capacitor, and hopefully some brainiac will send the right one.

    Soldering iron not melting the solder joints.

    1) Tip of soldering iron is not tinned well, and/or not clean.
    Drag it on the wet sponge. If that doesn't do it, it's time to sand the tip clean down to the copper, and re-tin the tip.

    2) Solder joints are oxidized. Use a tiny amount of Rosin flux paste, and apply it to the solder joint.

    3) Soldering iron is poo-poo. If it's a dollar 2.98 soldering iron, this may be the problem
    (Supposed to be funny. Dollar 2.98, never mind)

    60 watt would be okay, but you better develop your technique to be pretty speedy.
    I concur with your theory that the 30 watt soldering iron is less than.

    Soldering to me mimics welding in a way. You can turn the heat way up, but you better be a F-A-S-T welder. There are limitations of course.
    You can't use 180 amps on a 1/16th inch think piece of metal, and an 1/8th inch rod! lol!

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Mar 11, 2010

    Yes, does help. I like following along with your progress. Forgive me for the comparison, but it's like a teacher watching a student.

    I don't see any reason the leads couldn't be left long enough, so that the cap would sit in at a tilt.
    Looks to be far enough away from the Processor socket, that the Heatsink should clear with no problem.

    Yep, I also concur. Time to find that old soldering iron. Is the tip of the soldering iron fashioned as a chisel shape? Some are just a round conical point. More surface area of the tip, more heat transference with using a chisel shaped tip. A file will make that tip a small chisel shape. I suspect the tip of the Walmart soldering needs to be removed out of the soldering iron, both mating surfaces cleaned with sandpaper, and reinstall. Tighten the screw well. Sometimes this helps.

    Along with the Rosin soldering flux paste, you may want to see about a set of these, unless you have some already,
    Scrape the solder joint a little to knock possible oxidation off. The oxidation blocks heat transference.
    (Or maybe a small pen knife, and save the bucks)

    Soldering flux paste has a vehicle that actually has solder mixed in it. Perhaps try to scrape the solder joint first, then try the old soldering iron with the tip shaped into a narrow chisel tip, cleaned and re-tinned, then try the rosin soldering flux paste.

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Mar 11, 2010

    codeman124, YouTube videos are nice when you want to pass information along to someone,




    Plus all the other links, in the Related Links to the right side on each page.

    I need to make some Youtube videos.

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Mar 14, 2010

    1) I don't believe it's a harddrive error. This would more likely occur when you go to start the computer, not when it's been running for 5 to 15 minutes.

    Inside the harddrive are Platters. They resemble CD disks. They can be composed of glass, or metal, but the trend is to use metal. Alloy's are lighter, and this leads to faster spin up time on the Platters.

    There are 3 to 6 Platters inside. Platters are coated on both sides with a magnetic medium. Meaning the medium used, can be magnetically influenced.
    On the top surface, and bottom surface of EACH Platter there is a Read/Write Head. The Read/Write Head is connected to an arm.

    The arm swings the Read/Write head back, and forth across the Platter.
    When the Harddrive is operating under a maximum load, the arm can move the Read/Write Head back, and forth, at HUNDREDS of times per SECOND.

    A Read/Write Head is located typically off of the surface of a Platter, by a distance of .0005 inch.
    5 ten-thousandths. In relating to an average human hair which is .003 (3 thousandths) thick,
    the distance is 1/6th the thickness of an average human hair.

    The effect of the Read/Write Head being so close to the Platter, and the speed of which it can be moved back, and forth, creates a cushion of air under the Read/Write Head. It literally floats across the Platter when operating.

    Doesn't take much though when the Harddrive is reaching the end of it's Life-Cycle, for the bearing in the arm to wear out, causing the Read/Write Head to crash against the surface of the Platter, and wipe off some of the magnetic media.
    A bump to the harddrive when activated can also do this.
    (When the computer is off, the Read/Write Heads are 'parked' away from the Platters. When the computer is on, the Read/Write Heads are not parked anymore)

    More basic information on a typical Harddrive:

    The magnetic media is arranged in 0's and 1's. 0 = Off, 1 = On.
    The Write part of the Read/Write Head does this.
    The Read part does just what the name implies.

    The Boot Record, is located typically on the outside edge of one of
    those Platters. The Boot Record files contain the necessary basic files
    of Windows, to start Windows.

    Processors, are essentially just a component made up of a large amount of switches.
    They switch On, or Off.
    The 'On-Offs' create a code that is changed into a language the computer can use. The above two statements are a Very Basic generalization,

    2) Using an ungrounded plug? Here, stick your hand out. Slap! Okay, feel better? lol!
    You should always use a surge protector, and have it plugged into a receptacle that has a Ground lug hole.
    A) What happens if your receptacles are ungrounded? It may not be your residence, and you can't have an electrician come in, and install 'Romex' wiring that has a bare copper ground wire, and also grounded receptacles.
    Also it's a 'Little Pricey'.

    B) If it is your residence, it would be nice if you had an electrician friend, to install a single lead of solid 12 gauge bare copper wire. This lead would go to the Ground buss of the Service Panel, and over to the receptacle your computer plugs into. (Under the floor via a crawl space, or basement. The lead is attached with staples to the floor joists, at intervals of no more than 42 inches) Then this electrician would install a dual, or quad receptacle that has ground provisions, for plugging in a plug with a ground lug on it.

    The Ground Buss of the Service Panel {Circuit Breaker box}, is connected to the Ground Buss of the Service Meter Can outside the residence. This Ground Buss in turn, is connected to the Ground lead of the overhead transmission utility wires.

    On the terminal utility pole at the end of the run, there is a single solid copper wire that comes down the utility pole, and curls up into a concentric circle on the very bottom of the pole. (Underneath the pole down in the ground. Utility poles are buried at a depth of one-third of their length)

    Look at the utility poles outside your residence. The terminal utility pole, is at the end of a run of them. It has a guy wire attached to it at an angle, to hold the pole in position.

    There is also supposed to be a Ground Rod located near the Service Meter Can, on the outside of the residence. It's supposed to be copper clad metal, or solid brass, and sunk at a depth of 8 feet in the ground. If the soil is too rocky, the Ground lead is connected to a cold water pipe instead.

    The telephone service box on the outside of a residence, is supposed to have a solid copper ground wire, that leads to the ground rod.
    Telephone 'techs' never seem to hook this up.
    What do you think will happen when lightning strikes near your telephone line, and you are using DSL?

    Point of all this prattle? Many residences are not connected to a good ground source, even if they have grounded receptacles.

    3) Damaged Processor:
    Processors are HIGHLY susceptible to electric shock. Static, or otherwise.

    Processors are built on a VERY small architectural scale. Current architectural scale is the Nanometer. (nm) One billionth of a meter.

    Processors are composed of Transistors.
    All a transistor is, is a switch.
    It turns On, and it turns Off.
    There are Millions of transistors inside a Processor.

    My thinking delves more into the Processor is overheating, or there are more capacitors that are weak, and not readily visible to the human eye.

    So far it looks as though the capacitors that are failing, are in the motherboard's Voltage Regulator Circuit.
    Without having that motherboard in my hand, I can't tell you what capacitors on that motherboard are connected in the voltage regulator circuit.
    Not all capacitors are located close to the Processor for this circuit. Some are located away from the Processor.
    The motherboard Voltage Regulator Circuit also takes care of more than just the Processor.

    I ran out of link room on this comment. I will give you a link to more information on the voltage regulator circuit, in an additional comment.
    This will explain far more than I can in this limited space.
    So to summarize, there may be more bad capacitors.
    (Yeah, I know. I'm just a 'Ray of Sunshine')

    It would behoove you to buy, and wear an ESD wrist strap at this point, if you haven't already done so. (Electro Static Discharge) Connect the alligator clip to the metal frame of your computer case.
    (Unplugged from power)
    About $6. If your local Radio Shack doesn't have them, tell them to order you one in.

    You may feel at this point that it isn't worth your effort to buy an ESD wrist strap. Or you may have been bitten by the bug, and find there are a lot of electronic components that have failed, simply due to bad capacitors.

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Mar 14, 2010

    (Information about the motherboard Voltage Regulator Circuit.
    Source:, )

    Processor overheating:

    In your original statement, you indicated a tech stated you may have an
    issue with the thermal unit.

    I didn't see if anything was done about this issue.

    Thermal Unit.

    The Heatsink, and Fan that sit on top of the Processor.

    This would be the First area I would look into, especially due to your
    last comment, and also If the repair tech did nothing for this issue.

    Or even if the repair tech did.

    The bottom of a Heatsink, and the top of the Processor case are not
    perfectly smooth. There are imperfections in the surface. Hills and
    Valleys, so to speak. Also minut 'potholes'.

    (Minut = My-Noot)

    Thermal paste is used to fill these voids. Thermal paste helps transfer the heat of the Processor to the Heatsink.

    The Heatsink must absorb the heat of the Processor.

    The heat is transferred to the tall fins on the heatsink, where the
    heat is radiated away. The fan pushes air through the space between the
    fins, and helps carry the heat away.

    It isn't a good idea to remove a Heatsink/Fan combo, and simply put it
    back on using the same thermal paste.

    The thermal paste has had a pattern made into it, from the original
    sitting down of the Heatsink/Fan combo. It is squished out. There won't
    be a good contact using the same squished pattern

    Also thermal paste dries up over time. It no longer transfers heat very
    well, or at all.

    Plus there could be a Thermal Pad used, and not thermal paste.

    Thermal pads are usually white in color.

    These are [email protected], and should be taken off, and thrown away. Always use
    thermal paste.

    Thermal paste is usually about $2 at a local computer repair shop for a 1 time
    application, for 1 Processor.

    $5 to $6 from an online source.

    There are thermal paste compounds that contain real silver. Artic Silver
    5 is one example.

    I suggest thermal paste that does not contain real silver.


    Because if too much is used, when the Processor reaches operating
    temperature, the excess paste will start oozing out. It will ooze onto
    the Processor's contact pins, and any exposed solder joints on the
    motherboard. Resulting in a short circuit.

    Also the bottom of the Heatsink, and the top of the Processor case MUST
    be thoroughly cleaned, before thermal paste is applied. IF, the tech
    replaced the thermal paste, and did not follow this guideline, there
    could be dried up thermal paste, that is keeping the Heatsink from
    contacting the top of the Processor case. Contacting in a full surface

    I use an old plastic credit card to scrape the thermal paste off. Then I use Q-tips dipped in rubbing alcohol. (Isopropyl Alcohol. 91% alcohol is best)
    CAUTION ! Isopropyl alcohol is Extremely Flammable. Use in a well ventilated space, with no sparks or flames present. I had to state that.
    Sometimes it takes a bunch of Q-tips.

    It could be that the Processor fan isn't spinning as fast as it should. Bearings are going out.
    It could be that the fan is spinning, and not spinning in an alternate pattern.
    Open the case, watch the fan for a period of time.

    I am assuming of course, that all cooling components are clean, as well as the inside of the computer, and the power supply.

    Brings me to another pont. If that is a cheap power supply, ($20 or so), it has cheap quality components inside, and could be failing.

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Mar 25, 2010

    Thank you for the update codeman124, I'm following this with interest.

    1) From your Service Meter 'can' outside your home, should be a thick single strand of copper wire, which leads from the bottom of the Service Meter can, to the ground rod. May be painted Black, and may be aluminum. (Hopefully not)
    If the soil is not applicable for placement of an 8 foot ground rod, then the copper ground wire from the Service Meter can, may lead to a cold water pipe.

    2) It's still my theory that the capacitors in the Voltage Regulator Circuit are the one's affected. Not all 'Caps' for the motherboard voltage regulator circuit surround the Processor. Some are located in a remote placement on the motherboard, in relation to where the processor socket is mounted. These caps are to be found by following the placement of the chokes on the motherboard, and the circuit traces on the bottom of the motherboard. This explains it much better than I can, or could,

    Excerpt from the article above,
    "Recognizing this circuit is pretty easy. Since it is the only circuit on
    the motherboard that uses chokes (a kind of coil), locate the chokes
    and you will have located the voltage regulator circuit. Usually this
    circuit is around the CPU socket, but you will find some chokes spread
    on the motherboard, usually near the memory sockets and near the south
    bridge chip, as they will be providing the right voltage to these

    Much more detail ensues in reading the entire article.
    If you're up to it on replacing all the cap's, then I fully agree with your task. I believe I would also, and just avoid having to come back later.

    3) Excellent grounding, lol! You sir, are to be commended!
    Just make sure it's unplugged from power, (Sorry, old habit), and your bare skin is touching an unpainted metal surface.

    4) Briefly mentioned the thermal unit, and described it as being in the power supply?
    Thermistors for power supply's are an optional item, and as such are usually in PSU's (Power Supply Unit's), that are relatively more expensive, and higher quality, than found in an eMachine PSU.

    Could I be wrong, and your original eMachine PSU use a thermistor, (Or thermistors)?
    Yes, absolutely.

    It would be my deductive reasoning that the tech would have you check the thermal paste, in-between the Processor, and Heatsink.
    When a computer only runs for a few minutes, then turns off, this is the second area to check. The Processor fan being the first. (Or obvious signs of capacitor failure. Then the above, and finally on to the power supply)

    5) I don't have any information on a CG Black Steel BKS480 PSU, and a search netted me nothing.
    I did find that there is a Sunbeam PSU with that model number. It's a 480 watt unit that has a single 12 Volt power rail that handles 18Amps.

    Perhaps the same company that made the PSU for Sunbeam, also made this PSU.
    The Sunbeam model is a generic PSU. May last a few weeks, few months, or a couple of years. Hard to say. Maximum power rating indicated is 480 Watts. I think this was based upon the Peak Wattage, which it may hit for a few seconds. I don't think it's based upon the true maximum continuous wattage, based upon 80 percent efficiency, or higher. I'll bet the maximum wattage rating is more like 70 percent of that figure. 336 watts.

    You may find this article interesting, and more specifically to the statements above, check Page 8,

    You also may want to check out,
    Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies
    Why 99% of Power Supply Reviews Are Wrong
    Everything You Need to Know About Power Supplies
    How to Discover Your Power Supply Real Manufacturer,
    How Much Power Can a Generic 500 W Power Supply Really Deliver?

    6) Thermal Paste:
    Reused twice? Ummm, bad idea. The thermal transfer properties of thermal paste, breaks down over time due to the heat involved of the Processor, and age. The chemical properties break down.
    Using thermal paste in this condition may do more harm than good.

    The thermal paste becomes more of an Insulator, instead of a Conductor. Instead of transferring heat, it is keeping the heat trapped under it, and against the Processor's case.
    The above only holds partially true when referring to a thermal paste that has conductive metal in it, such as Artic Silver 5.
    These types of thermal paste tend to remain in a 'gooey state', instead of drying up, and the conductive silver metal helps transfer the heat more readily. Even if the cohesive bond of the chemicals used to keep the silver particles in a suspended state, break down, the silver particles are still there.

    There is a bad side to using a thermal compound with a conductive metal in it, however.
    If too much thermal compound is applied, when the Processor reaches operating temperature, the thermal compound will start to ooze out from in-between the Processor, and Heatsink.

    The ooze then heads towards the pins of the Processor, and any exposed solder joints, resulting in a short circuit.
    If the proper procedure is implemented when applying this type of thermal compound, there is no worries.

  • Travis Canaday Mar 29, 2011

    Wow, it's been a long time coming but the computer is now working without shutdowns! I had given up on it after a long series of repairs. I recently was checking how much RAM I had going for me to install some software. I knew I had cards with enough RAM to run it but the computer said I was short on the install. So I went into the performance tab of the task manager and found that even with all programs closed, the computer was eating most of my RAM! I bought some new (and larger space) cards and put them in. Now the computer has been on for a couple weeks without a single shutdown.

    However, I am grateful for all the lessons I learned about working on motherboards. It has served me in so many ways, including the ability to rebuild my old guitar amp and many other sound system work. Thanks joecoolvette for everything, and I hope you're able to see this resolve to know that we made it to an end on this one.

  • Travis Canaday Apr 18, 2011

    Wow, it's been a long time coming but the computer is now working without shutdowns! I had given up on it after a long series of repairs. I recently was checking how much RAM I had going for me to install some software. I knew I had cards with enough RAM to run it but the computer said I was short on the install. So I went into the performance tab of the task manager and found that even with all programs closed, the computer was eating most of my RAM! I bought some new (and larger space) cards and put them in. Now the computer has been on for a couple weeks without a single shutdown. However, I am grateful for all the lessons I learned about working on motherboards. It has served me in so many ways, including the ability to rebuild my old guitar amp and many other sound system work. Thanks joecoolvette for everything, and I hope you're able to see this resolve to know that we made it to an end on this one.



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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!

Posted on Feb 05, 2010



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Have you done a diskcheck of the drive from which you boot?

Posted on Jan 30, 2010

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