Danielle’s dad’s computer has been having a bunch of problems, and as some of them seem malware-related I am planning on wiping the computer and reinstalling Windows XP. Unfortunately when attempting to back up data it keeps rebooting unexpectedly, so I’ll have to pull the disk to recover data. I suspect the power supply may be going, which may cost a non-trivial amount if it’s even worth replacing.
Worse than that, when dusting out the machine I decided to pull the CPU heatsink / fan assembly as it was pretty well caked with dust. When I did this the CPU popped out along with the heatsink because the CPU was not latched in place. The downward pressure of the heatsink retention mechanism must have been allowing it to make enough contact to work. (For those that don’t know, CPUs normally sit in sockets with large latching levers which actuate contacts to ensure that all pins make contact. This wasn’t set in the socket, just on it. Here is a diagram.)
I hate working on eMachines. The cost saved up front bites you in frustration and parts later.