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Computer questions

  1. Nov 30, 2006 #1
    we recently got a new computer, but are thinking to return it. its slow and makes a lot of noise. and when we look at how much memory and what not it has. its less than what its suppose to have. like we should have 160GB and its only 140 or something. and its suppose to have 512MB but only has 300 and something. :confused:
    is there an explanation for this? its an emachine btw.

    and how safe is it to return a computer when it comes to personal information (passwords and what not)? hubby says he can reformat it, but could someone still steal our passwords and info?

    and if anyone could tell me how to easily fix the keyboard that would be appreciate. we installed it as an canadian bilingual (sp), so when i go to type certain keys, i end up with 邬, etc.

    Amy
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 30, 2006 #2
    If you reformat it, it's completely fine. Do a complete reformat.

    Reformatting erases EVERYTHING on your disk, even your operating system.
     
  4. Dec 1, 2006 #3
    The missing 20 GB is quite likely a separate 'backup' partition that contains a fresh install of the system as it shipped. Usually this is invisible to the user and accessed by diagnostic software. It does take up a chunk of hard drive space though. If your system gets totally borked, you can restore it to 'factory state' from the backup partition.

    Assuming you're using Windows XP, right lick on the My Computer icon on the desktop and select Properties. If the pop-up panel doesn't say '512 MB of RAM' at the bottom, then either one of your memory cards has gone bad or the unit didn't ship out with the correct amount of RAM. Either one warrants a call to eMachine's support or a trip back to the store where it was purchased (provided it's still in warranty). Otherwise it's a pretty simple matter to purchase some new RAM sticks and stick it into the computer. If hubby can reformat the drive, this should be no problem.

    A couple of low-level reformats ought to do the trick. if you're really paranoid, there are programs available that will scrub your disk clean of everything.
    I think you can do this if you go to Control Panel/Region and Language Options. Click the Languages tab add an appropriate language and keyboard layout under the Installed Services section.
     
  5. Dec 1, 2006 #4
    WARNING WARNING WILL ROBINSON!
    formating does NOT erase everything
    Formating only removes tha allocation table, the data is still intact.
    The only way to remove the data is to overwrite it. There are programs that will write all 1s then all 0s several times over. That's what we have to use to certify government drives as clear.
     
  6. Dec 1, 2006 #5
    Also Emachines uses batch order construction so the E???? made today might have a different MoBo the the same model made 6 months ago but all the documentation will be the same. Packard Bell was the same way before they went under. What this means to most people is, You get what is advertised but may not be able to upgrade like they say you can. The real way to tell exactly what you have (short of opening it up and writing down numbers) is to call Emachine support and have the serial # ready.
    The Emachine I bought last year Black Friday for $100 at Compusa was exactly as it said on the box but It wouldn't take any extra RAM and I had to flash the bios so that I could disable the onboard video and install a AGP card. Even tho the MoBo had an AGP slot it wasn't being recognized.
     
  7. Dec 4, 2006 #6
    thanks for the tips! it looks like the computer is going back to the store this week. now its starting to sound like a race car with the fan making A LOT of noise. no point in getting stuck with a lemon. the hubby is going to reformat it. is there a special program to download for the rewriting?

    should we get another emachine or a different brand? we just want something cheap that works. im thinking to wait til boxday
     
  8. Dec 4, 2006 #7
    thanks for the tips! it looks like the computer is going back to the store this week. now its starting to sound like a race car with the fan making A LOT of noise. no point in getting stuck with a lemon. the hubby is going to reformat it. is there a special program to download for the rewriting?

    should we get another emachine or a different brand? we just want something cheap that works. im thinking to wait til boxday :biggrin:

    Amy
     
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