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ArchivedThis topic has been archived. Information and links in this thread may no longer be available or relevant. If you have a question create a new topic by clicking here and select the appropriate board.
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Motherboard should be the most reliable part in the PC. A lot of software licenses are binded to the motherboard. Once the motherboard failed, you may loose more than a motherboard itself.

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pchelperdude:

 

YES YES YES!

 

This topic needs to be locked! MANY suggestions were given though the 28 pages for other boards! No new information is coming out here other than people not wanting to read the previous pages and complaining about HP not doing anything. Replace the board and be done with it!!! Boards go as low as $50! SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than the paint job I have to give my 6 year old car because the manufacture will not fix a common problem with the clear coat that causes it to bubble!

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I have a M2N78-LA with the same problem but I have a partial solution for now using a VIA VT6421a PCI SATA card. I'm sharing it in case anyone wants to use this solution. This is not the best solution but I had the spare SATA card sitting around and I'll use this until I replace the mobo. Also, the VT6421a isn't the best SATA card (old, cheap, SATA1, doesn't play nice with SATA CD drives). This involved a simple BIOS MOD. A lot of people won't recommend it because of the risk of making your mobo completely unbootable, !DEAD!, but this mobo is trash anyway. You assume this risk and I recommend you only proceed if you understand the procedure below.

 

Requires:
VT6421a SATA card
Hiren's Boot CD - to boot mini Windows XP the M2N78-LA
A flash drive
AFUWIN - read and flash your mobo bios
6421V431 - this is the bios module for the VIA SATA card. This allows the card to initialize on boot.
MMTOOL3.26 - to insert the VIA bios module into your bios.

 

Procedure:

1. Get a copy of Hirens Boot CD and burn it. Get the 3 files listed above and put them on you flash drive.

2. Install SATA card into the PCI slot.

3. Boot into mini Windows XP on the M2N78-LA using Hiren's boot CD and insert your flash drive.
4. Launch AFUWIN. Click the 'Save' button to read you mobo bios and save it. Keep a copy of this file somewhere safe!!!
5. Launch MMTools. Click 'Load Rom' and load the bios file you just saved. On the 'insert' tab click 'Browse' and choose the VIA 6421V431.rom file then click insert. Verify its there. look for ID:20 Name: PCI Option ROM RunLoc:1106:3249. Now choose 'Save Rom as' and save the new bios rom file.
6. Go back to AFUWIN. 'Open' the new bios rom image you just saved.  Check 'Program All Blocks' and 'Restart After Programming'. Ready? Click 'Flash'. The new bios will be flashed, all blocks will turn green and computer will restart.

 

You should see the VIA bios display a message during boot.
Plug your drive into the SATA card. Make sure it's set to boot in your bios setup.
Done.

 

 

If it doesn't work get a new mobo.

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I replaced the power supply, the HDD, and finally the mother board ($265 + shipping). Guess what? The new motherboard has the same problem. Luckily the place where I bought the mother board is understanding, and is going to let me return it and give me a refund. I talked to someone at HP and they told me there is a  problem specific to the "Violet" mother boards. If you buy the same board you will still have the problem. they have had an after warranty program to rectify the situation. Unfortunately this program was not publicized much , and it ended on May 7th. I am hoping that if enough people call HP maybe they would extend this program.

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Guys I have some information that may help you re: HP"s motherboards and not limited to this particular model.

I am a PC technician and I have fixed a lot of non-posting HP boards. For this particular model I have come across four times in the past year. It seems to affect mainly the nVidia chipsets but not limited to AMD/ATI as well.

Anyways, the problem with the board not detecting SATA devices is caused by the disconnnect of pins/balls under the nVidia chip. As you have noticed the heatsink is small and shallow and thus is not effective at transferring all the heat that the nVidia chip generates. (this is a very common issue also with their notebook chipsets). In my store we usually use the reflow/reball machine to fix motherboards and most PCB boards with faulty but not dead chipsets. To see if you're board is capable of being fixed with the DIY method follow these simple steps outlined below...

 

(this method also works for non-posting motherboards)

 

1) Reconnect all of your SATA devices

2) With the PC off put firm pressure on the top of the chipset heatsink, but don't use excessive force!

3) While still putting pressure on the heatsink power on your PC and  press F2/F10 to get into othe BIOS menu

 

If you're board posts/ and or you see your SATA devices listed in the BIOS screen then you have determined that the culprit is the nVidia chipset. We can now proceed to the DIY reflow method. For this procedure you will need 1) a heatgun (a hairdryer will not work) and 2) a pair of pliers. A thermometer laser and tin foil are also handy to have but it's not required.

 

1) First, use the pliers to remove the chipset heatsink from the motherboard as well as the CPU/RAM and CMOS battery <- this is important as you don't want the battery to heat up.

 

2) If you have tin foil isolate the chipset by putting  a few layers of foil surrrounding the immediate area so to cover the rest of the surrounding components from extreme heat (most important are the capacitors)

 

3) Place the motherboard on a non-flammable surface with proper ventilation (on top of the stove works best)

 

4) Using the heatgun's Low setting (if you have that option) place the heatsink rougly 1cm above the core of the chipset and use circular motions to heat up the sides of the chipset to get the solder to melt in an even pattern. Take care not to use the high setting because you will melt the rest of the board!! Also note the condition of the surrounding capacitors if they turn yellow or start to buldge you are using too much heat.

This process will take about roughly 15 mins to complete and if you have a thermometer laser handy you can check the surface temp of the chip, ideally it should read around 180 degrees Celcius. Also take care not to touch or move the chipset during the process or you may misalign the pins or balls underneath. 

After you are done heating the chip you should see some smoke come up from underneath which means the solder has properly melted. Let the motherboard cool down comepletely before you reassemble everything.

Before you reinstall the board it's best to do a dry run outside of the case to be sure the reflow was done properly. This method is not guaranteed to work 100% because it depends on the wattage of your heatgun used. Even when I use my reflow machine I only get a 90% success rate.

 

If this guide helps you in any way please respond here so that HP will be more proactive in recalling defective boards as I have personally seen a high failuer rate on a lot of their nVidia based products.

 

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@Doctor_PC wrote:

Guys I have some information that may help you re: HP"s motherboards and not limited to this particular model.

I am a PC technician and I have fixed a lot of non-posting HP boards. For this particular model I have come across four times in the past year. It seems to affect mainly the nVidia chipsets but not limited to AMD/ATI as well.

Anyways, the problem with the board not detecting SATA devices is caused by the disconnnect of pins/balls under the nVidia chip. As you have noticed the heatsink is small and shallow and thus is not effective at transferring all the heat that the nVidia chip generates. (this is a very common issue also with their notebook chipsets). In my store we usually use the reflow/reball machine to fix motherboards and most PCB boards with faulty but not dead chipsets. To see if you're board is capable of being fixed with the DIY method follow these simple steps outlined below...

 

(this method also works for non-posting motherboards)

 

1) Reconnect all of your SATA devices

2) With the PC off put firm pressure on the top of the chipset heatsink, but don't use excessive force!

3) While still putting pressure on the heatsink power on your PC and  press F2/F10 to get into othe BIOS menu

 

If you're board posts/ and or you see your SATA devices listed in the BIOS screen then you have determined that the culprit is the nVidia chipset. We can now proceed to the DIY reflow method. For this procedure you will need 1) a heatgun (a hairdryer will not work) and 2) a pair of pliers. A thermometer laser and tin foil are also handy to have but it's not required.

 

1) First, use the pliers to remove the chipset heatsink from the motherboard as well as the CPU/RAM and CMOS battery <- this is important as you don't want the battery to heat up.

 

2) If you have tin foil isolate the chipset by putting  a few layers of foil surrrounding the immediate area so to cover the rest of the surrounding components from extreme heat (most important are the capacitors)

 

3) Place the motherboard on a non-flammable surface with proper ventilation (on top of the stove works best)

 

4) Using the heatgun's Low setting (if you have that option) place the heatsink rougly 1cm above the core of the chipset and use circular motions to heat up the sides of the chipset to get the solder to melt in an even pattern. Take care not to use the high setting because you will melt the rest of the board!! Also note the condition of the surrounding capacitors if they turn yellow or start to buldge you are using too much heat.

This process will take about roughly 15 mins to complete and if you have a thermometer laser handy you can check the surface temp of the chip, ideally it should read around 180 degrees Celcius. Also take care not to touch or move the chipset during the process or you may misalign the pins or balls underneath. 

After you are done heating the chip you should see some smoke come up from underneath which means the solder has properly melted. Let the motherboard cool down comepletely before you reassemble everything.

Before you reinstall the board it's best to do a dry run outside of the case to be sure the reflow was done properly. This method is not guaranteed to work 100% because it depends on the wattage of your heatgun used. Even when I use my reflow machine I only get a 90% success rate.

 

If this guide helps you in any way please respond here so that HP will be more proactive in recalling defective boards as I have personally seen a high failuer rate on a lot of their nVidia based products.

 


I've fluxed and reflowed my nVidia chip twice and still no dice.  I don't think that's the case for everyone.  The only solution that's currently working is the Sata card solution posted.  I also find it strange that just the SATA controller has failed from the nVidia chip having solder joint problems.  It might be that case for a few but I think it's too widespread and specific to be just the solder joints on a single chip.  All the other task and components the chip handles seems to work fine.  Unless it's a defect with the chip IC it self. 

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Well, there is a work-around, but it comes with a few caveats.

 

The "solution" is to use a HighPoint Rocket 620 PCI-e to SATA  adapter and plug the HD and DVD into that. It has bootable support. I just did this on an HP Pavilion p6210y system.The card should cost between $25-$30.

 

Now, here are the caveats I've found so far:

 

1) The Rocket 620 only has 2 SATA ports. If all you want is to get the PC up and running again, your machine will boot up and be "normal" again. Windows 7 should have no issue with the Rocket 620. There may be some issues with XP and Windows 2003.

 

2) You will not be able to boot from CD/DVD. This is not a big deal, if your OS is intact, or your recovery partition is intact. If not, then you're in for problems.

 

3) Data transfer rate will probably be slower than the onboard ports.

 

Is it kind of a "dirty" fix? Yes, but to replace with the exact same mobo is nearly $300!

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kj3n, hello.  Your solution of using a High Point Rocket 620 PCI-e card worked perfectly.  I have a p6214y but it has the same MB as the 6210.  Thanks a whole bunch for the help.  I tried a PCI-e RAID SATA card but that didn't work at all.  It had IDE connections and I tried using an IDE HDD but it had conflict with the MB.  Anyway, I'm back in business so thanks.


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HP is a big disappointment. 

 

After reading all these posts it is apparent that there is a problem with this MOBO.  i was just on the phone with HP for 1 1/2 hours because it sounded like they were going to step up and provide a new mobo or repair the computer for free.  then out came the send it in fior $300 and the conversation ended there. 

 

I'm pretty ticked off right now,  first at myself for not reading all of this before i wasted a lot of time trying to figure it out on my own and secondly at HP for continuing to sell and not support a known problem for so long.

 

Time for a new PC and hopefully i can use some of the Parts off the HP for something else.

 

Good luck to all of you out there with the same problem.

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Twenty-eight pages, hundreds of people let down by HP, and I only find this thread today after pulling my hair out trying to fix my sons HP Pavillion A6718UK, fitted with, guess what ..... a M2N78-LA motherboard!!!

 

After changing what I thought was the obvious component (HDD), followed by the video card and memory I came to the conclusion that it was the onboard SATA controller, and then found this particular thread..... wow!

 

I am quite amazed that HP don't wish to get involved in what appears to be a wide spread problem; UK & USA customers seem to have come off the worst.

 

I have tonight emailed HP, but know that it was pointless. Tomorrow I have no alternative but go out and buy a non-HP computer for my son. Shame on you HP!

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ArchivedThis topic has been archived. Information and links in this thread may no longer be available or relevant. If you have a question create a new topic by clicking here and select the appropriate board.
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