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How do I pick a motherboard?

By Tink! ·
I am looking for a replacement motherboard for the one that just went kerpluie in my

HP Pavilion a6300f
Intel Dual-core E2180
2048 MB RAM
SATA Hard Drive
SATA DVD Drive
Memory Card Readers

I want to replace the mobo with one that will hopefully NOT need new drivers or a HD wipe. I've not replaced motherboards before but in reading online, some say you have to wipe the Hard Drive because the new mobo will reject it if it's pre-installed with an OS. Is this true?

The current motherboard appears to be a FoxConn model with the number N15235 imprinted on it.

It has 2 memory slots, 4 SATA ports, and audio, network, VGA and DVI.

I was looking at this one on NewEgg. Do you think it is comparable?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186186

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You have to reinstall the OS in most cases when

by Darryl~ Moderator In reply to How do I pick a motherboa ...

switching to a different motherboard...

If you can find one with the same chipset as your original you'll stand a better chance of not having to reinstall...but...you will most likely get lots of device errors at first.

I've found if you go into safe mode on the very first boot sometimes it will correct many of the errors.....then reboot & install the drivers for the new motherboard from the CD that came with it.

Col would have some good suggestions on that topic....with luck, maybe he'll see this

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Start with the form factor

by JamesRL In reply to How do I pick a motherboa ...

Do you know if the form factor of the current MB is ATX or mini ATX or Micro ATX? Because you'd be best to find one that fits the case the same way the old one did.

Your manual may have it or you might find it online at HP's site.

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Form factor

by santeewelding In reply to How do I pick a motherboa ...

This is your chance, Tink!, to go bananas with a case mod. Get whatever MB you think fit, and adapt it to something like a beer keg.

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Lol Santee

by Tink! In reply to Form factor

A beer keg seems awfully large. Plus I don't drink beer (blech!). I have modified wine boxes into jewelry boxes but since they are wood I don't think that would be good for a computer.

Hm, a burned out TV that's actually a computer would be kinda different. :)

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A word of caution

by NetMan1958 In reply to How do I pick a motherboa ...

If you do have to re-install the OS are you going to be using the HP restore CD/DVD that came with the computer? If so you might run into the same issue I did once.

Here's the story:
My brother had a HP Pavillion (don't remember the exact model) and it wouldn't power on. He didn't want to bother me with it so he took it to CompUSA to be fixed. They told him the motherboard was bad and that they didn't have a suitable replacement. So he picked up the computer (and paid them for the diagnosis). He searched on the Internet for a replacement and found one that was supposed to work (the original motherboard was made by Asus and the replacement was the same make and model number). At this point, he decided to call me and get my help replacing the MoBo. I replaced it and the computer still wouldn't power on. So I did some trouble-shooting myself and determined that the power supply was in fact the culprit. So he bought a replacement power supply from someone (Ebay I think). When the power supply arrived I installed it and when we started the computer we got all kinds of errors about missing system files, etc. So we decided to restore the hard drive with his recovery CDs. I inserted the first CD and tried to boot from it and we got a message saying this CD couldn't be used because this wasn't an HP manufactured computer (or something to that effect). After trying a few different things that didn't get us around that problem, I decided to put his original MoBo back in the computer. This time I was able to boot from the recovery CD and restore his hard drive.

My take from all of that was that there must be something in the BIOS on HP (and probably other manufacturers) that identifies the brand of computer to those recovery programs.

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yea I'm hoping something like that isn't there

by Tink! In reply to A word of caution

But since it IS an HP Pavilion I kind of think it might do something just like that.

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"Code Purple" -nt-

by seanferd In reply to A word of caution
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Oh, Tink...

by dawgit In reply to How do I pick a motherboa ...

New Mainboard =
check the power requirements, does your present power supply have or exceed that?

What connections does the new mainboard have, to connect to the case, silly little things like lights, switches, USB ports, sound & mike connections, that are maybe on the front of your case.

New Memory... is the memory now on the old mainboard, compatible with the new mainboard? (speed, type, etc...)

You will have to reinstall the OS. Do you have a separate disk for the OS or is it on a 'Recovery Disk' supplied by the original Computer Manufacturer? If it's a recovery disk, you'll need to purchase the OS too, as noted above, recovery disks will only work on that particular system as shipped. (MS Lic. restrictions on the Manufacturers)

The form factors have already been mentioned.

so... for a few $'s extra, just build your own computer. (Case, Power Supply, Hard Drive, Memory...) You will feel better afterward. And guess what, you'll probably learn a lot too. (we all do, every time)

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Here's more info

by Tink! In reply to Oh, Tink...

The actual motherboard specs:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01357119&cc=us&lc=en&dlc=en#N868

Based one what I've found online (and info from y'all) it does sound like that I will need to reinstall the OS if I find a comparable motherboard. It would be nice if I could find the exact same one, might help eliminate some problems with the OS, and if nothing else, it would at least have all the ports necessary to plug in ALL the components already on the computer.

So far I have yet to find this exact motherboard. Any help with that is appreciated!

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As others have mentioned

by JamesRL In reply to Here's more info

I suspect that if you find the exact replacement, and it didn't come from HP (at ridiculous prices) , the HP recovery software won't recognize it. The BIOS will be subtly different. I went through the same mental process with an HP Pavillion, it had an ASUS MB, but I learned through some online research that I couldn't just order the MB from a third party.

So you may have to install a clean OS - which unfortunately may cost you $.

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