Dear Community,

I hope someone could give me a few pointers to help me out.
Basically, I have an e-Machines PC. 3.2Ghz, 2 E-IDE Hard drives.

I normally leave the PC running overnight. We awoke the other morning to find it switched off.
Hitting the power button caused the hard drives to start clicking rapidly.
I switched it off!

I disconnected the drive's power and data cables and applied power again. The power was on, the fans were running and the pc was beeping at me ( i guess because no HD's?).

Reconnected the master HD and powered on. The BIOS flashed momemtarily on the screen followed by the power on password prompt.Great, i thought. Back in business.

Nope. The keyboard isn't registering keypresses!
There are lights on the keyboad, so it has power.
Even more strangely, when i turn of the power to the PC, the keyboard lights stay on ?!? Only pulling the power cord switches them off. It is plugged in to the PS2 port.
So, where do i go next?
1. Can I buy a PS2 to USB convertor and it will work at bootup so i can enter the password?
2. Is there anyway i can switch off the password without losing the BIOS?
3. Is it possible there is other damage to the MoBo (also causing the wierd keyboard thing) which may have deeper ramifications?

Anyone throwing a bit of advice my way will be forever considered my benefactor/ess.

Thanks in advance.

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All 22 Replies

Between the beep and the keyboard LEDs staying on I would guess that you have some thing stopping the POST.

Look in you user's manual to see what the beep indicates.

To assist any further replies, since yesterday it has improved slightly. I removed the BIOS battery to reset the BIOS password. It worked but with an error. Next it booted up OK and XP started to load. Now it got to the profile selection screen, but my mouse and keyboard are both not working.
Both have power ( the MS Intellimouse has a red glowing light on the bottom). So, how do i proceed from here. Buy new mouse and keyboard? I can't get into the BIOS setup as the keyboard won't work. Any ideas? Many thanks.

If the keyboard is connected via USB it will need to be enabled in the BIOS. Do you have an old PS2 keyboard that you can use to access the BIOS?

Actually, the keyboard was connected by PS/2 and the mouse connected by USB. I've even connected the keyboard by USB using an adaptor. Still not working. So, I cannot enter the BIOS setup and I cannot fully load Windows. I seem to be stuck in the Twilight Zone of computing and cannot fix it.
I do not have a spare keyboard btw. I'm sooo tempted to go and buy a new one, but i honestly don't think that would solve it. Maybe i should just bite the bullet and take it to the PC repair shop?

Try disconnecting everything (HD, CD, Zip, floppy drive etc) from the MB leave the video card. If you can use PS2 mouse and keyboard as an earlier post noted you cannot use USB items until you modify the BIOS and I have had problems with the adapters. Clear the BOIS per mfg method the unit should post without the removed items then try to enter BIOS setup program. If that doesn’t work I would swap a known good PSU to rule out power supply problems. The E Machines use a weak PSU. If this gets you somewhere you can start adding things back until your up and running.

Good luck

Hey, thanks everybody for the replies. I think i've been lucky. Everything is almost working again. I bought a very cheap PS/2 keyboard and mouse. Then i reset the power on password and managed to boot into XP OK. The only things not working now is the audio ( sound device has disappeared and can't seem to add a new sound device! and I think the USB sockets have also packed up. Windows isn't 'seeing' anything plugged into any of the 6 USB ports). My next steps a) buy a simple PCI soundcard to get sound back again. Not sure if its possible for me to fix the USB issue by adding a PCI USB card with new ports. Any advice on that? There appear to be drivers loaded for USB Hub something or other. And USB is enabled in BIOS OK.

USB power supply on the Motherboard is critical and demanding, you might still want to try another known GOOD Power Supply

The Fixer

Is it easy to swap a power supply? I guess its just a case of unplugging the cables, swapping and reconnecting again? How much would a power supply be? Does it say on my power supply how much it is currently rated for? And how do i know what capacity to replace it with? Appreciate any further advice offered. Thanks

To change out the PSU is simple, you might want to take note of the connectors for fan/s on the motherboard. The rest is pretty simple, every where a wire comes of the mother board and attaches to a peripheral device gets connected to the PSU.

Please don’t take my words as anything other than information.

Look at the side of the power supply you will find a label that will give you all the info you need to find another PSU. Take the part # and manufactures name type it into your internet search bar hit enter, you will find suppliers, information on problems people have had with that particular PSU and mass amounts of other info some of it will be worthless. (I do this with anything I am looking for, it has never let me down yet and I mean anything)

You need to make sure everything is hooked up correctly (just the same as it was) from the old PSU to the new PSU make a drawing take a picture what ever makes you comfortable.

Working on your computer is scary at first, just go-slow and check yourself as you go.

Never ever work on a computer while the power is on.

Do the clear BIOS procedure per the mfg.

E Machine does not manufacture PSU or motherboards, look at the MB you will find a name and part # using the search bar you can find manuals for the MB if you need to.

Hang in there

The Fixer

Hi thanks for the information. Unfortunately, even following all of the advice given, things have taken a turn for the worse.
I went out to buy a new power supply. My emachine was rated at 250w output. Even i knew that was considered underpowered. So i bought one here in Hong Kong, was assured it is considered a good,reliable make here. Its a 420w unit. Anyway, went home, fitted it all seemingly OK. Made notes of which plugs go where, though i think it was quite obvious anyway. When i switched the PS on, this was the status:
1) Fans in the pwersupply were running OK.
2) CPU fan NOT running (it twitched but didn't actually go round).
3) Power light on the front of the PC was switching on/off rapidly.
4) The CD-RW had power but not the CR-ROM drive.
5) Keyboard & mouse both had power.

So some things had power, others not. The HD certainly didn't appear to be running. Nothing was showing on the monitor either.

I put the old power supply back in, to check if it might be the new power supply. Pretty much the same result, except the power light on the front of the PC was steady and fixed.

So, would really, really appreciate your further advice. I am hoping that i don't need to replace the MoBo, however I realise i might need to take it to be looked at by a professional at this stage.

Thanks again for any advice offered. It all gets read and digested, good or bad!


Sound like your going down the right path, it concerns me that the problem seems to have worsened after the new PSU was installed. Its tough troubleshooting when you have a limited amount of spares lying around.

I would remove all peripheral cards from the MB except the video card, unplug all CD drives and Hard drives, make sure the cooling fan to the CPU in plugged in as well as the mouse and keyboard. The MB should POST, if it doesn’t the MB is probably dead. I would try both PSU’s with the above configuration.

It bugs me that the CD-RW had power but not the CR-ROM drive, was this the case when you re-installed the original PSU?

You have gone this far if your comfortable with what you’re doing you could always pick up a MB and install it, you have basically done it at this time.

All I can say is READ, READ, READ (the manuals that is)

I’ am curious what a PSU costs in Hong Kong, I recently replaced one in an E Machine, it cost me $25.00 US, including the freight to get it here to Arizona.

Keep up the faith

The Fixer

Hi M8, thanks for the advice. I will try it all again tonight after work. My only concern with trying to change the MoBo is that the PC is about 3 years old now and i'm not so sure about what type i could replace it with and if i need a new CPU etc.. I've never been this far down the road of PC maintenance before, so am obviously a bit in the dark. Anyway, will come back again if i learn anything new tomorrow.
Re cost of power supply in HK, the unit i bought cost me HK$240 ( around US$30 ). Maybe it wasn't the cheapest, considering no freight charges involved but i had no idea what the cost might be. I was expecting to pay a lot more so am happy with the price.
I saw that MoBo appear to start around HK$700+ to over HK$1200 and more (US$90 - US$153). Again, no idea if these are good prices. They depended on which speed processor you wanted (i think).
Anyway, thanks for the advice again.

Maybe you should think about starting fresh with a new MB, processor and case, you can reuse your peripherals on your new unit.

You should be able to find a replacement MB that will work with the 3.2 processor in your E Machine.

$20 to $50 dollars US for PSU and $90 to $150 dollars US for MB is about what we pay here too.

Keep the faith

The Fixer

What brand of CPU do you have and have you looked at the MB to see who makes it?

Its a place to start

The Fixed

Emachines have a stigma associated with their PSU failing and taking the motherboard with it. It does sound like the motherboard has gone south.

Investing more money in a three year old machine is not a good investment. I agree with fixer, I would cut my loses and either build a new computer or purchase another.

If your new PSU has the 24 pin motherboard connector and the square 4 pin connector you will be able to use it with the newer motherboards. As suggested you could reuse your peripheral devices and replace them with newer SATA drives later. Of course you will already have the mouse, keyboard, and monitor.

The hard drive could be a problem, in order to use it in your new build you would need to wipe the hdd and then install it, format it, partition it, and reinstall the operating system...if you have the OS installation disc and product code. If you don't then you will need to purchase one. The reason that you need to wipe the drive is because the hdd is used to seeing the chip set of the old motherboard, and when you install it with a new motherboard with a different chip set it can confuse the hdd enough that it may not recover. This would also apply if you were to replace the motherboard in you emachine with a different different chip set. If you have access to another computer you could connect it as a slave drive and copy the files you want to save to either CDs or DVDs. If you purchase a new computer you can also transfer the files from one hdd to the other directly.

The benefits of building you own machine is that you can build it for your specific application, you will have better components than what most manufactured computers use, and of course the pride of having built your own.

The benefits of purchasing another computer is that you will not have to learn much more and can rely on a warranty, and won't have to wait.

Hi all,
Firstly, thank you enourmously for your advice and time to assist me. I have definately only been able to get this far with your kind assistence.
Next, i am pleased that last night, i managed to get the PC up and running again. I stripped everything out and reseated all the boards, re-checked every connection and somehow, it kicked into life again. Everything seems to be working again ( for how long, i do not know). If it goes again, I'll just go for the new PC.
One last problem though, and i would be interested to hear if you know the cause and fix.
When i shutdown XP (shutdown, not sleep) the green power light on the front panel is flickering on and off, quite fast (2 or 3 flash per second) also seemingly at random and is accompanied by a beeping noise from inside ( one beep per flash, same rate, same irregular pattern). It seemed to continue without changing rate for at least a minute before i pulled the power, concerned it was causing damage.

I'm sure it's not supposed to be doing it. Thats why i thought it may be some loose connection from the power switch to the MoBo. I have checked and it seems OK. So i'm stumped. I can live with it if i was sure it is not causing any further problems down the line.

Anyone know the reason for it? Thanks again.

Did you look in the user's manual to see what the beep codes are?

hai,i need help how to reset bios password.
can anybody help me..!!:)

If you can get into the BIOS, why not give a try to resetting everything to the default setting option? Maybe this will "effortlessly" reactivate your USB ports.

To reset the BIOS password --first try to remove the BIOS button battery.If that doesn't work, look in (or look up on the internet using a working computer) the MOBO manual and find the instructions for the reset--usually there is a jumper you have to move and then return to its position to handle this item.

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