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Pavilion a6720f BIOS doesn't see drives--some of the time....

 
 
Roy Fenimore
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      08-07-2010, 05:01 PM
But only SOME of the time. It's driving me crazy. When it does see them it
will boot up fine, run for a while, then begin to drag (it takes 2 or 3
minutes just to respond to a mouse click), and then it flashes a blue screen
at me and goes to the HP splash screen.

I'm just trying to figure out if this is a drive issue or an MB issue. Which
should I replace?

Parenthetically, is there any point in upgrading the AMD 9550 CPU to an AMD
9850? I mean other than 0.3 GHz faster clock speed is there any real
advantage--they're both quad cores, after all! But I really like speed.


 
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Ben Myers
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      08-07-2010, 07:00 PM
On 8/7/2010 1:01 PM, Roy Fenimore wrote:
> But only SOME of the time. It's driving me crazy. When it does see them it
> will boot up fine, run for a while, then begin to drag (it takes 2 or 3
> minutes just to respond to a mouse click), and then it flashes a blue screen
> at me and goes to the HP splash screen.
>
> I'm just trying to figure out if this is a drive issue or an MB issue. Which
> should I replace?
>
> Parenthetically, is there any point in upgrading the AMD 9550 CPU to an AMD
> 9850? I mean other than 0.3 GHz faster clock speed is there any real
> advantage--they're both quad cores, after all! But I really like speed.
>
>


The easy answer; Upgrading the AMD CPU is not worth the time and money
spent for the benefit you see from it.

What is the stop code displayed on the blue screen?

I would run the manufacturer's hard drive diagnostics and several cycles
of MEMTEST-86+ to test the memory and the CPUs in general. The problem
could be any one of motherboard, hard drive, memory, even CPU... Ben Myers
 
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Roy Fenimore
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      08-07-2010, 08:06 PM

"Ben Myers" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:i3kagk$a6s$(E-Mail Removed)-september.org...
> On 8/7/2010 1:01 PM, Roy Fenimore wrote:
>> But only SOME of the time. It's driving me crazy. When it does see them
>> it
>> will boot up fine, run for a while, then begin to drag (it takes 2 or 3
>> minutes just to respond to a mouse click), and then it flashes a blue
>> screen
>> at me and goes to the HP splash screen.
>>
>> I'm just trying to figure out if this is a drive issue or an MB issue.
>> Which
>> should I replace?
>>
>> Parenthetically, is there any point in upgrading the AMD 9550 CPU to an
>> AMD
>> 9850? I mean other than 0.3 GHz faster clock speed is there any real
>> advantage--they're both quad cores, after all! But I really like speed.
>>
>>

>
> The easy answer; Upgrading the AMD CPU is not worth the time and money
> spent for the benefit you see from it.
>
> What is the stop code displayed on the blue screen?
>
> I would run the manufacturer's hard drive diagnostics and several cycles
> of MEMTEST-86+ to test the memory and the CPUs in general. The problem
> could be any one of motherboard, hard drive, memory, even CPU... Ben Myers


I didn't make myself clear: when the BIOS "doesn't see the drives", it
doesn't detect either the HD or the DVD burner. After it crashes, I can hit
F9 on that splash screen to run "Diagnostics", which apparently run from the
BIOS ROM. The CPU (all four cores) pass their tests, as does memory, but the
hard drive isn't detected. (I already disconnected the DVD burner in case it
was causing the problem.) That is what makes me think it could be the
motherboard.

Does anybody know what HP charges for a replacement MB?

Roy


 
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Ben Myers
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      08-07-2010, 09:05 PM
On 8/7/2010 4:06 PM, Roy Fenimore wrote:
> "Ben Myers"<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:i3kagk$a6s$(E-Mail Removed)-september.org...
>> On 8/7/2010 1:01 PM, Roy Fenimore wrote:
>>> But only SOME of the time. It's driving me crazy. When it does see them
>>> it
>>> will boot up fine, run for a while, then begin to drag (it takes 2 or 3
>>> minutes just to respond to a mouse click), and then it flashes a blue
>>> screen
>>> at me and goes to the HP splash screen.
>>>
>>> I'm just trying to figure out if this is a drive issue or an MB issue.
>>> Which
>>> should I replace?
>>>
>>> Parenthetically, is there any point in upgrading the AMD 9550 CPU to an
>>> AMD
>>> 9850? I mean other than 0.3 GHz faster clock speed is there any real
>>> advantage--they're both quad cores, after all! But I really like speed.
>>>
>>>

>>
>> The easy answer; Upgrading the AMD CPU is not worth the time and money
>> spent for the benefit you see from it.
>>
>> What is the stop code displayed on the blue screen?
>>
>> I would run the manufacturer's hard drive diagnostics and several cycles
>> of MEMTEST-86+ to test the memory and the CPUs in general. The problem
>> could be any one of motherboard, hard drive, memory, even CPU... Ben Myers

>
> I didn't make myself clear: when the BIOS "doesn't see the drives", it
> doesn't detect either the HD or the DVD burner. After it crashes, I can hit
> F9 on that splash screen to run "Diagnostics", which apparently run from the
> BIOS ROM. The CPU (all four cores) pass their tests, as does memory, but the
> hard drive isn't detected. (I already disconnected the DVD burner in case it
> was causing the problem.) That is what makes me think it could be the
> motherboard.
>
> Does anybody know what HP charges for a replacement MB?
>
> Roy
>
>


Failure (sporadic) to detect the hard drive narrows down the problem
only a little bit. Take your pick among motherboard, hard drive or
maybe even SATA cable. Or possibly the power supply?

To eliminate possibilities, how about attaching another SATA disk drive
to see what happens.

My intuition, FWIW, indicates a hard drive problem.

HP would charge a small fortune for a replacement motherboard, assuming
that it has any spares available. For its consumer-oriented systems,
there are not a lot of spare parts kept in stock... Ben Myers


 
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Roy Fenimore
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-08-2010, 10:52 AM
There are dozens of posts on HP's support forum about this problem, all
involving the Pegatron M2N78-LA motherboard. I suppose that is the culprit.
How long, though, can I expect a used motherboard to last before it does the
same darn thing?
This is such a bummer. Good thing I didn't throw away my old Gateway....

"Ben Myers" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:i3khqu$v5a$(E-Mail Removed)-september.org...
> On 8/7/2010 4:06 PM, Roy Fenimore wrote:
>> "Ben Myers"<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> news:i3kagk$a6s$(E-Mail Removed)-september.org...
>>> On 8/7/2010 1:01 PM, Roy Fenimore wrote:
>>>> But only SOME of the time. It's driving me crazy. When it does see them
>>>> it
>>>> will boot up fine, run for a while, then begin to drag (it takes 2 or 3
>>>> minutes just to respond to a mouse click), and then it flashes a blue
>>>> screen
>>>> at me and goes to the HP splash screen.
>>>>
>>>> I'm just trying to figure out if this is a drive issue or an MB issue.
>>>> Which
>>>> should I replace?
>>>>
>>>> Parenthetically, is there any point in upgrading the AMD 9550 CPU to an
>>>> AMD
>>>> 9850? I mean other than 0.3 GHz faster clock speed is there any real
>>>> advantage--they're both quad cores, after all! But I really like speed.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> The easy answer; Upgrading the AMD CPU is not worth the time and money
>>> spent for the benefit you see from it.
>>>
>>> What is the stop code displayed on the blue screen?
>>>
>>> I would run the manufacturer's hard drive diagnostics and several cycles
>>> of MEMTEST-86+ to test the memory and the CPUs in general. The problem
>>> could be any one of motherboard, hard drive, memory, even CPU... Ben
>>> Myers

>>
>> I didn't make myself clear: when the BIOS "doesn't see the drives", it
>> doesn't detect either the HD or the DVD burner. After it crashes, I can
>> hit
>> F9 on that splash screen to run "Diagnostics", which apparently run from
>> the
>> BIOS ROM. The CPU (all four cores) pass their tests, as does memory, but
>> the
>> hard drive isn't detected. (I already disconnected the DVD burner in case
>> it
>> was causing the problem.) That is what makes me think it could be the
>> motherboard.
>>
>> Does anybody know what HP charges for a replacement MB?
>>
>> Roy
>>
>>

>
> Failure (sporadic) to detect the hard drive narrows down the problem only
> a little bit. Take your pick among motherboard, hard drive or maybe even
> SATA cable. Or possibly the power supply?
>
> To eliminate possibilities, how about attaching another SATA disk drive to
> see what happens.
>
> My intuition, FWIW, indicates a hard drive problem.
>
> HP would charge a small fortune for a replacement motherboard, assuming
> that it has any spares available. For its consumer-oriented systems,
> there are not a lot of spare parts kept in stock... Ben Myers
>
>



 
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Ben Myers
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-08-2010, 01:29 PM
On 8/8/2010 6:52 AM, Roy Fenimore wrote:
> There are dozens of posts on HP's support forum about this problem, all
> involving the Pegatron M2N78-LA motherboard. I suppose that is the culprit.
> How long, though, can I expect a used motherboard to last before it does the
> same darn thing?
> This is such a bummer. Good thing I didn't throw away my old Gateway....
>
> "Ben Myers"<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:i3khqu$v5a$(E-Mail Removed)-september.org...
>> On 8/7/2010 4:06 PM, Roy Fenimore wrote:
>>> "Ben Myers"<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>>> news:i3kagk$a6s$(E-Mail Removed)-september.org...
>>>> On 8/7/2010 1:01 PM, Roy Fenimore wrote:
>>>>> But only SOME of the time. It's driving me crazy. When it does see them
>>>>> it
>>>>> will boot up fine, run for a while, then begin to drag (it takes 2 or 3
>>>>> minutes just to respond to a mouse click), and then it flashes a blue
>>>>> screen
>>>>> at me and goes to the HP splash screen.
>>>>>
>>>>> I'm just trying to figure out if this is a drive issue or an MB issue.
>>>>> Which
>>>>> should I replace?
>>>>>
>>>>> Parenthetically, is there any point in upgrading the AMD 9550 CPU to an
>>>>> AMD
>>>>> 9850? I mean other than 0.3 GHz faster clock speed is there any real
>>>>> advantage--they're both quad cores, after all! But I really like speed.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> The easy answer; Upgrading the AMD CPU is not worth the time and money
>>>> spent for the benefit you see from it.
>>>>
>>>> What is the stop code displayed on the blue screen?
>>>>
>>>> I would run the manufacturer's hard drive diagnostics and several cycles
>>>> of MEMTEST-86+ to test the memory and the CPUs in general. The problem
>>>> could be any one of motherboard, hard drive, memory, even CPU... Ben
>>>> Myers
>>>
>>> I didn't make myself clear: when the BIOS "doesn't see the drives", it
>>> doesn't detect either the HD or the DVD burner. After it crashes, I can
>>> hit
>>> F9 on that splash screen to run "Diagnostics", which apparently run from
>>> the
>>> BIOS ROM. The CPU (all four cores) pass their tests, as does memory, but
>>> the
>>> hard drive isn't detected. (I already disconnected the DVD burner in case
>>> it
>>> was causing the problem.) That is what makes me think it could be the
>>> motherboard.
>>>
>>> Does anybody know what HP charges for a replacement MB?
>>>
>>> Roy
>>>
>>>

>>
>> Failure (sporadic) to detect the hard drive narrows down the problem only
>> a little bit. Take your pick among motherboard, hard drive or maybe even
>> SATA cable. Or possibly the power supply?
>>
>> To eliminate possibilities, how about attaching another SATA disk drive to
>> see what happens.
>>
>> My intuition, FWIW, indicates a hard drive problem.
>>
>> HP would charge a small fortune for a replacement motherboard, assuming
>> that it has any spares available. For its consumer-oriented systems,
>> there are not a lot of spare parts kept in stock... Ben Myers
>>
>>

>
>

How long have you had the system? Have you contacted HP about their
unusable system?

Sounds like a model ripe for a class-action lawsuit.

What about using a SATA PCI card as a stopgap band-aid solution?

.... Ben Myers
 
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Roy Fenimore
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      08-08-2010, 01:53 PM

"Ben Myers" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:i3mbg6$gcm$(E-Mail Removed)-september.org...
>>> Failure (sporadic) to detect the hard drive narrows down the problem
>>> only
>>> a little bit. Take your pick among motherboard, hard drive or maybe
>>> even
>>> SATA cable. Or possibly the power supply?
>>>
>>> To eliminate possibilities, how about attaching another SATA disk drive
>>> to
>>> see what happens.
>>>
>>> My intuition, FWIW, indicates a hard drive problem.
>>>
>>> HP would charge a small fortune for a replacement motherboard, assuming
>>> that it has any spares available. For its consumer-oriented systems,
>>> there are not a lot of spare parts kept in stock... Ben Myers
>>>
>>>

>>
>>

> How long have you had the system? Have you contacted HP about their
> unusable system?
>
> Sounds like a model ripe for a class-action lawsuit.
>
> What about using a SATA PCI card as a stopgap band-aid solution?
>
> ... Ben Myers


Doesn't work, according the others on the HP forum. It's the NVidia chipset,
apparently, that causes the problem, and everything--including the PCI
card--has to go through there. There are many, many people complaining about
the same problem. (BTW, I've had this system for a few years--it's about 6
months out of warranty.)

:`(



 
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Roy Fenimore
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      08-10-2010, 05:08 PM
One more tip for folks with the same problem: I read on HP's support forum
that some folks fixed a similar problem by putting fresh thermal grease on
the northbridge. I took the heat sink off mine, and--lo and
behold!--whatever had been there was dried to what looked like a thin film
of window putty. I put some "Arctic Silver" on there today. It seems to do
the job. The heat sink was hot after just a few minutes. It never was
before, even after hours of operation.

But it detected the drives, then hung at "Starting Windows", then (after
restarting) didn't detect the drives, then (after letting it rest a few
minutes) detected the drives, BIOS setup found everything OK, exited Setup,
now it didn't detect either drive, hung at "Detecting Drives..." HP e-mail
support has been very supportive, but I wonder if this computer can be
saved. I've ordered a (used) replacement motherboard from China.

Again, for the sake of anyone else with this problem, I will keep posting
progess reports of what works and what doesn't.

Thanks to everyone who has offered suggestions, even though they weren't
helpful. I appreciate your efforts! Please pray for me. Sacrificing a goat
or two would be nice; I don't keep them here. (The neighbors do. I wonder if
they would miss it....)

Roy

"Roy Fenimore" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:4c5d915d$0$32729$(E-Mail Removed)...
> But only SOME of the time. It's driving me crazy. When it does see them it
> will boot up fine, run for a while, then begin to drag (it takes 2 or 3
> minutes just to respond to a mouse click), and then it flashes a blue
> screen at me and goes to the HP splash screen.
>
> I'm just trying to figure out if this is a drive issue or an MB issue.
> Which should I replace?
>
> Parenthetically, is there any point in upgrading the AMD 9550 CPU to an
> AMD 9850? I mean other than 0.3 GHz faster clock speed is there any real
> advantage--they're both quad cores, after all! But I really like speed.
>



 
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Roy
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-19-2010, 06:42 PM
On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 12:08:42 -0500, "Roy Fenimore"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>One more tip for folks with the same problem: I read on HP's support forum
>that some folks fixed a similar problem by putting fresh thermal grease on
>the northbridge. I took the heat sink off mine, and--lo and
>behold!--whatever had been there was dried to what looked like a thin film
>of window putty. I put some "Arctic Silver" on there today. It seems to do
>the job. The heat sink was hot after just a few minutes. It never was
>before, even after hours of operation.
>
>But it detected the drives, then hung at "Starting Windows", then (after
>restarting) didn't detect the drives, then (after letting it rest a few
>minutes) detected the drives, BIOS setup found everything OK, exited Setup,
>now it didn't detect either drive, hung at "Detecting Drives..." HP e-mail
>support has been very supportive, but I wonder if this computer can be
>saved. I've ordered a (used) replacement motherboard from China.
>
>Again, for the sake of anyone else with this problem, I will keep posting
>progess reports of what works and what doesn't.
>


Okay: I got a new motherboard (sort of--it's used, but the BIOS
version is from March of 2010, which is after I got the computer!),
and the problem, so far, seems to be solved. It's been 2 days, and the
computer is now working perfectly. Except that the front panel audio
jack doesn't work--but I'm not sure that it did before; I never tried
it.

The motherboard vendor is called 'Digital Anny' and they get good
reviews on EBay. I'm satisfied!

By the way, if you follow my lead, be sure to search for the
motherboard by HP's name. There are 4 different motherboards from HP
that are all labelled Pegatron M2N78-LA on the board. They differ in
such details as the type of AMD socket used! Be careful and order the
right thing (e.g. 'Violet-GL8E').

So far, so good!
Roy
 
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