Before Flashing Bios...
First of all, I want to thank everyone in these forums. This site saved me a lot of trouble and frustration!
Secondly, I'm a very green noobie when it comes to understanding the innards of a computer. I simply want it to work so that I can be productive with the various projects I might be working on in a reasonably safe internet environment. The 6809 seemed to offer everything I needed and more, all for a very reasonable price. I also enjoy some of the more advanced and system-intensive PC games.
I purchased my 6809 (refurbished) from Tiger Direct early last week and spent the day setting up my new lappy and home network. After downloading SP2, I experienced the same problems others on this list have communicated -- freezes, long and freezing shutdowns, poor reading of plug and play devices, and totally unplayable games (Battlefield 1942, Tiger Woods 2004, specifically) -- and, of course, this became extremely frustrating to me since I'd just made a long-researched purchase and spent what is for me Big Money on this system.
To make a long story short, I became MORE frustrated when I read in this forum that I might need to flash and upgrade the BIOS, something that a noobie like me might cause Death to the new Emachines lappy and a permanant hole in my pocket....
I continued to read these forums and saw that many people were resolving this issue by disabling DEP in SP2 rather than updating/flashing BIOS chips. So, before messing with the BIOS, I followed the instructions that I'ved quoted below and, viola!, EVERYTHING has been running smoothly for the past three days! The "fix" is very easy taking less than five minutes and seems to disable a security function of SP2 as it relates to the processor. I'm not sure that doing this has left me vulnerable or not, but I simply can't afford to possibly destroy my computer by making a BIOS flashing error, and I can't really let security interfere with productivity. Besides, I run and update my firewall, virus protection, and an IP blocker, so I'm probably as safe as I can be.
At any rate, here is the "fix" that has worked for me. I suggest it to anyone, who like me, is wary about messing with BIOS, which could permanantly destroy your computer.
The thread from this forum is here: http://notebookforums.com/showthread.php?t=55507
The quote from bcowart is here (thank you, bcowart!!)
Originally Posted by bcowart
Just got my M9802 from Tigerdirect for $1299. Great price. However, not so great performance with SP-2 upgrade. In fact, the machine pretty much bombed out after the upgrade. First up, I got a worm. So I used the recovery CD and started from scratch. Then I upgraded to SP-2 again. Major hangs and whatnot again, and no functional power mgt. The machine wouldn't shut down, either. It would just hang at "Windows is shutting down." Here's what I did to get things going:
1. First, I shut down items in the tray one at a time. Voila, ye olde Basic Real Player seemed to be the problem.
2. I uninstalled Real Player via Control Panel and things improved.
3. I also unloaded the tray icon that detects the digital camera cards. XP does that fine on its own, so I bailed on that one just for good measure.
4. Next I realized that when I pressed Fn+F7 or F8, or any of the other Fn combos, it hung the computer. Not cool. (Hello!? Emachines?! Is anyone working on a nice CD patch kit for SP-2?)
5. So, next I took someone's suggestion here to turn off DEP. I would prefer to have DEP on, but oh well. So I chose Control Panel/System/Advanced/Start up and Recovery/Edit System Settings. I changed "noexecute=optin" to "noexecute=alwaysoff". Save it, and reboot.
Now the machine seems ok. There is sometimes a weird delay or non-response when I tap the trackpad to select an option. I still have to work that out. But at least the machine is working ok mostly.
Hope this helps someone upgrade to SP-2.
Special Edition Using Windows XP (Que)