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Old 05-22-2005, 10:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
og5
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Default Damaged (bent) case voids warranty, help

I was having a computer problem and an Emachines tech advised me to take the computer to Compusa to have it checked out. The Compusa guy told me it was likely a hard drive failure and I should try to return it. He told me I voided the warranty because I used some pliers to pull out 2 thumbscrews on the case (the thumbscrews were "stuck" spinning in place and I couldn't pull them out with my hands) Now the case around the screwholes is bent a little with some of the paint missing.

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So basically I have a broken computer which may or may not have a hard drive problem, and the warranty has supposedly been voided because the case is bent slightly.

Not sure what to do now. My return policy ends in 8 days so I can either try to return it or send it to emachines (even though they may void the warranty) I don't want to return it because I got a good deal on this computer ($230) and would like to keep it. I'd like to see if Emachines will fix it. If anyone's knows how warranties work, what do you suggest? The computer was an open box display if that helps (used only by the staff though)

Thanks for any help
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Old 05-22-2005, 10:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well it's a toughie descision

On one hand, yeah it does seem like a deal (even for an e-machines), but I am probolly certain they will take away your warranty.

If you take it back, do you get store credit or just cash back?
And as well, what kind of computer is it, if it's value has highly dropped it's not worth it to risk the warranty.

Also a new harddrive is not that expensive, for something better than what they gave you, your looking at 40$, we can figure out which part is causing you trouble.
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Old 05-22-2005, 10:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thing is I'm not sure it was a hard drive failure, the tech didn't seem too interested and just told me my best option is to try to return it because it would cost more to fix it. If I knew the hard drive was the problem I'd try to replace it, thing is All my recovery data is loaded on the HD and if it's not the HD then there's another $40 gone. here are the specs BTW

Bezel Assembly: Bezel, Nexgen 3LC complete frame assy
Chassis: Chassis, Nexgen 3 main chassis frame
CPU: CPU,ATHLONXP 3000 462P SEMPRON 333FSB512
CPU Fan Type: FAN,H/S AMD 3200+ 462P CLRMSTR DP5-7151E
HDD: HDD, 80GB 7200rpm
Keyboard Model: KB, premium black KB-0108,PS/2 port
LAN: LAN, 10/100 Integrated
MB: MB, K7MNF-64/1.1A
Memory: MEM,DDR-RAM 256MB (MAX. 2GB)
Modem: MODEM,FAX CONEXANT 56K RD01-D850
Mouse: Mouse, silver wheel black gloss and no logo
ODD1: DVDRW,16X Dual Layer
Power Supply: PS, 300 Watt
Speaker: SPEAKER EM 2.0
Video: Video, integrated

Not bad for $230 out the door. I put a 1bg stick of ram in there and it flies, much faster than my old comp

I guess my only option is to return it to OD, I hope they'll give me cash back since I'm still within the 14 day return policy. But do you guys think they will also reject it because of the case?

Thanks
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Old 05-22-2005, 11:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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do you have another computer around?

if so i would just take the HDD out of the new one, and put it as SLAVE in another one and test to see if it still works?

if not theres only a few other things it could be....
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you should tell us what it was doing, or how it started giving you problems in the first place.

then tell us if the computer POSTS, lets you enter the BIOS screen. Or if its just not detecting your Harddrive?
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Old 05-23-2005, 12:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My other computer is a laptop, (toshiba mx35-s109) can laptop HDs usually be removed like that?

The problem is this: At first I was only having issues with my internet programs crashing after I installed (and uninstalled) zonealarm. I couldn't fix it so I reformated my computer and the reformat went fine, however when windows loaded at the "Please wait" screen it would freeze. The emachines tech guided me through VGA mode and it froze again. That's as far as it goes.
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Old 05-23-2005, 01:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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you can reomove a laptop HDD, though its sometimes a little more tricky. thy are also a different size from Desktop HDD's, so you cant interchange them... you can only add a Laptop HDD to a Desktop, using an adapter. though that doesnt realy help you at all.
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im very limited in trouble shooting experience, others can correct me if im rong... but the problem you described sounds pritty good, like its not any hardware at fault.

is it a "SATA" HDD, or a "EIDE" "ATA-#" HDD?
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Old 05-23-2005, 02:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The only info I could find for the HD was on the box which say ATA. Is there a way to check this in the BIOS menu?

I thought it was a software issue at first but both emachines and compusa have said it looks like a hardware problem. I think they're right, it looks like some defect in the hard drive is causing the computer to freeze (this is just a guess) The computer doesn't freeze up completely though, I can still move the mouse pointer around on the "please wait" screen. When i went through VGA mode the computer froze completely/
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Old 05-23-2005, 03:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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it could be a hardware issue maybe. but i dont think it is.

did you open up the case at all? if so what does the cable that connects the HDD to the motherboard look like? if its a Wide flat "EIDE" cable, then its not SATA. if its a very narrow cable sorta like a USB cable, then its SATA.

If its a SATA drive(though i doubt it is), you would need to install the sata controller drivers b4 it will work properly. when you install windows it gives you the option when the CD first loads to press "F6" for 3rd party driver installation.
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how did you reformat? just using the windows cd during reinstallation? maybe you didnt format at all and just did a installation of windows over the original windows installation? that would cause problems cause alot of old file are left on the drive.
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i think the "Please wait" screen is were windows either sets up its default settings, or its trying to detect your hardware configuration.

Is this a window cd? or some restore disk that came with the computer?

how long does it freeze at the "please wait' screen? does the computer have a internet connection line connected? cause when i installed windows b4 i noticed it also tryes to detect a net connection right away for xp activation, but if you nic card or ethernet controler isnt recongnized with windows default drivers it will take longer trying to access it untill it figures out it doesnt have the driver yet.
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Old 05-23-2005, 03:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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It is a wide cable so it must be EIDA then. I don't have a reformat cd at all, I reformated by hitting F11 on startup and running a reformat utility. I left the computer on all night and i the morning it was still at the please wait sreen so it's not going past that. I had my ethernet conection plugged in but just like you said, the tech told me this causes problems so I unplugged it and tried again. i gave me the same error. Any ideas why it won't get past the please wait screen?

Thanks
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Old 05-23-2005, 04:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I think i know what your saying....

its like this old HP computer i have. it didnt come with a windows CD or anyother cd for that matter... what it came with is a function to hold 1 of the "F" keys, witch starts a "Restore" or "Reinstallation" utility witch is stored on a separite Partition on your harddrive.

If you did a reformat and reinstallation with that utility, im not shur why it wouldnt work... i can tell you though(cause iv done it in the past) the HP re-install utility on mine will not reformat the porper HDD if you install more Harddrives then the one that came with it. Though it doesnt sound like you did that.
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If you have another windows disk around, you can use that to reformat and re-install windows. Witch would rule out if the utility that restores the HD is faulty.

B4 you do that though if you have a disk.. reset the Cmos and run memtest to test the ram, just to make shur nothing else is at fault b4 going threw another reinstall. once you clear cmos and run memtest, restart and see if this current installation works.

make shur the switch on the powersupply is off, if there is no switch unplug it from the wall. Touch the PC Case b4 anything else to get rid of any static electricity. The jumper to clear the Cmos is usually the closest one to the Cmos battery on the motherboard. it looks like a watch battery(pritty noticable). the Cmos jumper only has 3 pins, if its currently on pins 1,2 . Just switch it to pins 2,3. and leave it there for 10 minutes or more, come back and then switch it back to the previouse pins.

once Cmos is reset, it may give you a Checksum error.. this just means you need to enter setup and reset the time.
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www.memtest.org is were u can download the "compiled package for floppy", just extract it to a floppy disk(on any computer doesnt have to be the 1 your testing) . put the floppy in the computer you wont to test, at bootup memtest will auto start. let it run for a while so it comletes at least 1 pass, and see if it comes up with any errors. then jsut hit 'escape' to exit and restart.
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though any of those could be at fault, it doesnt sound like thy are. But just to make shur and rule them out, you pritty much have to test them as mentioned above.
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if everything checks out fine, and you still have the problem. Its most likely just a problem with the Install utility that you used. So you have to find a Windows Cd or go along with your original plan.

Any windows cd would do.

EDIT: you could also rerun the format utility, and ther is probably more then 1 option... you could probably restore, fix, or reformat/re-install. Are you shur you selected the right option? Are yo shur you did a Re-format?
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