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DandyDear711's avatar

I need a new motherboard for my emachines desktop. Is this something I can replace myself?

Asked by DandyDear711 (1512points) September 20th, 2009

My emachines T6420 desktop is essentially dead – black screen and fan on full blast. I poked around on the internet and from what I read that I need a new motherboard. I have found one for $99. Before I order it I want to know if I can replace it myself or if I do I have to take it to a repair shop. Money is very tight right now so a $99 repair is better for us than a new computer. Now if I have to pay an arm or a leg for labor that is another story. Will the board come with detailed instructions?

All HELPFUL suggestions are greatly appreciated. If you just plan to knock emachines, don’t bother… it won’t help me. Thanks!

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8 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

Is it the same motherboard? Not all of them are interchangeable.

I would say that it might be a bit over your head to replace it. Good news is that a lot of people know how too. Put up a flier at a local college. I would do it for 20 bucks. Look in the want ads in your local paper. There are usually rent-a-nerds that will do this on the cheap.

jrpowell's avatar

I know this might sound stupid. But have you tried a different monitor?

DandyDear711's avatar

Great suggestion, JP. I am asking my son right now to ask his college friend to do it.

Not a stupid question about the monitor, JP. I have not tried a new monitor. It appears to be working and would the fan be on full blast if the issue was with the monitor?

majorrich's avatar

Were you able to determine if the CPU is viable? What fan is blowing at full tilt? Emachines are made by the millions and often even with the same model may have a different motherboard. Video often resides on the motherboard in these and you may be able to get away with putting in a pci video card. Just depends on what actually died.

DandyDear711's avatar

@majorrich – Nope don’t know if the CPU is viable – god I hope it is – I have my checking account register on it plus lots of music, documents and photos.

I went to this website and it said two models of motherboards would work in it. They sell one for $130.

This website has one of the boards for $99.

So you think I should try replacing the video card first or adding a new video card? Again, could I do it myself? (BTW – I don’t actually look like my avatar but I am middle aged! LOL!) Are video cards more generic so I am less likely to put in the wrong one?

I know this will sound dumb but is there more than one fan? The big honking one at the top in the back is the one that is blowing.

Thanks much, @majorrich and @johnpowell

jrpowell's avatar

The CPU is is the brain of the computer (it does the math). Your data is on the hard drive. If your hard drive was dead the computer would still at least boot into a black screen with some text. I am 99% sure that your data is still safe.

But let this be a very important lesson. You need to back up your data when your computer is working again. External hard drives are really cheap. The drive inside your computer will eventually fail and you will kick yourself for not having a back-up. </back-up nazi>

majorrich's avatar

It would probably be worth the bench time to take the box to someone who has parts to see if it is a video card death or a catastrophic failure. I am not alarmed by the fan now, knowing that it is most likely your power supply. As always there is a caveat, I’ve not serviced PC’s in almost a decade. There were/are power supply’s that supplement the cpu cooling fan based on the heat of the CPU. This is controlled by either the BIOS, or by the CPU depending on Manufacturer. I wouldn’t go out and buy a video card based on just my say-so. Best have real eyes and hands and a boot-disk on the machine.

the100thmonkey's avatar

What happened the last time the machine worked normally?

It could be many things.

Have you opened the case? Have you installed or added anything new – even a USB card reader?

Have you made sure the RAM is properly seated? I’ve had a similar issue before. It stumped me until I decided to remove the RAM and re-seat it. I hadn’t touched the RAM (I hadn’t even opened the case), but that’s all that needed to be done to get it working perfectly again.

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