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Thread: HP/ASUS A7N8X-LA - Repairing

  1. Default HP/ASUS A7N8X-LA - Repairing

    Hey, guys!

    I was given an HP Pavililion. It has an ASUS A7N8X-LA motherboard, with 512KB DIMM and the original hard drive and OS.

    First thing I did was restore the original Windows XP operating system (it also re-formatted the drive to NTFS prior to restoring OS) using the F10 option. So the system is basically rolled back to factory. I also cleared the CMOS and re-configured the BIOS.

    Attempting to boot XP, it keeps rebooting the computer. On every reboot, it shows the HP splash screen, followed by the Windows XP splash screen. I was never able to get to the desktop.

    BIOS setup works without a problem. Also the restore software functions, and without crashing.

    I booted the Ultimate CD and ran a variety of diagnostics. From the process, the only problem I saw was during memory tests, where it is failing big time! I purchased fresh new DIMMs - two 1GB ones that match the specs of the motherboard. But changing the DIMMs continue to fall all memory tests. And yes, the OS continues to crash while booting. I've tested both DIMMs independently. This particular motherboard only allows me to operate it if DIMM1 is populated (populating only DIMM2 does not work.)

    My next suspicion is caps. I closely visually inspected each of the electrolytic caps, and visually they appear to be fine. No signs of leakage or liquid damage. This isn't my first barbecue when it comes to changing caps - I've done these things a zillion times with power supplies and earlier motherboard. But troubleshooting these more modern motherboards are new to me. I'm willing to re-cap the entire board, but before I do so I wanted to run these symptoms by the rest of you, to see if I'm heading in the right direction in trying to resolve the memory errors and OS crashing.

  2. #2

    Default

    What OS did it have when you first got it?

    Did it boot?
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  3. Default

    Windows XP Home. It was able to boot into the desktop when I first got the computer. The HD is original and still has the recovery partition.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by groink View Post
    Windows XP Home. It was able to boot into the desktop when I first got the computer.
    So why didn't you stick with that?
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  5. #5
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    Default

    Socket A motherboards from ASUS are generally pretty good--I used an A7N266VM overclocked with an Athlon-M CPU for some time--never had a bit of trouble with it. It also uses the NForce2 chipset with 2 DIMM sockets. I know that HP uses their own BIOS for their offerings--perhaps the CPU and FSB clocking are screwed up...

    That you can still boot the Ultimate Recovery CD says that things aren't completely messed up.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    That you can still boot the Ultimate Recovery CD...
    I'm not sure he actually said that.

    Quote Originally Posted by groink View Post
    It was able to boot into the desktop when I first got the computer. The HD is original and still has the recovery partition.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    I'm not sure he actually said that.
    "I booted the Ultimate CD and ran a variety of diagnostics."

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    So why didn't you stick with that?
    You didn't read a word I wrote on that post, did you?

  9. Default

    Well, I went with my original hunch and replaced the electrolytic caps (5 of them) around the DIMM slot area. Fixed the memory errors! And XP boots now. Combination of 1500uF and 3300uF caps - not sure which one of them fixed the problem. I'm pretty sure XP crashing was because one of the upper portions of RAM was bad. Things like the BIOS setup, the restore partition, the Ultimate CD - they all use the lower portion of memory.

  10. #10

    Default

    Most ASUS Socket A mainboards have issues with electrolytic capacitors. Even though they used Nippon Chemi-Con KZG and Nichicon HM extensively, those were also failing due to poor experimental electrolyte.

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