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

Discussion in 'HP' started by Roy Fenimore, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. Roy Fenimore

    Roy Fenimore Guest

    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.
    Roy Fenimore, Aug 7, 2010
    #1
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  2. Roy Fenimore

    Ben Myers Guest

    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
    Ben Myers, Aug 7, 2010
    #2
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  3. Roy Fenimore

    Roy Fenimore Guest

    "Ben Myers" <> wrote in message
    news:i3kagk$a6s$-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
    Roy Fenimore, Aug 7, 2010
    #3
  4. Roy Fenimore

    Ben Myers Guest

    On 8/7/2010 4:06 PM, Roy Fenimore wrote:
    > "Ben Myers"<> wrote in message
    > news:i3kagk$a6s$-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
    Ben Myers, Aug 7, 2010
    #4
  5. Roy Fenimore

    Roy Fenimore Guest

    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" <> wrote in message
    news:i3khqu$v5a$-september.org...
    > On 8/7/2010 4:06 PM, Roy Fenimore wrote:
    >> "Ben Myers"<> wrote in message
    >> news:i3kagk$a6s$-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
    >
    >
    Roy Fenimore, Aug 8, 2010
    #5
  6. Roy Fenimore

    Ben Myers Guest

    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"<> wrote in message
    > news:i3khqu$v5a$-september.org...
    >> On 8/7/2010 4:06 PM, Roy Fenimore wrote:
    >>> "Ben Myers"<> wrote in message
    >>> news:i3kagk$a6s$-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
    Ben Myers, Aug 8, 2010
    #6
  7. Roy Fenimore

    Roy Fenimore Guest

    "Ben Myers" <> wrote in message
    news:i3mbg6$gcm$-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.)

    :`(
    Roy Fenimore, Aug 8, 2010
    #7
  8. Roy Fenimore

    Roy Fenimore Guest

    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" <> wrote in message
    news:4c5d915d$0$32729$...
    > 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.
    >
    Roy Fenimore, Aug 10, 2010
    #8
  9. Roy Fenimore

    Roy Guest

    On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 12:08:42 -0500, "Roy Fenimore"
    <> 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
    Roy, Aug 19, 2010
    #9
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