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Replaced motherboard; says unsupported CPU

Posted on 2014-11-14
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Last Modified: 2014-11-14
I have an HP Pavilion desktop with this Pegatron Socket AM2 motherboard. Computer wouldn't boot one day, and troubleshooting led me to believe that it was a bad SATA controller - a common problem with this type of machine/motherboard.

I found the exact same (refurbished) motherboard on eBay and swapped it in, but now when I try to boot it says "Unsupported CPU installed." So now I can't even get into the BIOS. I'm at a loss for why the same processor in the same motherboard type would have a problem. Any ideas?

This is my main computer - life is at a standstill. Please help! Thanks.
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Question by:Steven James
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Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 40443244
On the motherboard itself have you verified that the board is the exact same model and revisions?
Is it the M2N68-LA, M2N67-LA ? Can you tell us exactly what is on BOTH boards?
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by:dbrunton
ID: 40443249
Well, first get the correct link.  Your link isn't going anyway.

>>  I'm at a loss for why the same processor in the same motherboard type would have a problem. Any ideas?

BIOS Revision.  Quite possibly the board you bought works for early versions of your processor.  With a BIOS update it works with your processor.  However you need the early processor for the update to be possible.

However we can't verify this at this stage until you provide the correct link to your motherboard so we can see the information for it.
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Author Comment

by:Steven James
ID: 40443256
Not sure what happened with the link - sorry:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01421635&cc=us&dlc=en&lc=en

Both boards say Pegatron M2N78-LA, rev 3.02.
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by:Neil Russell
ID: 40443262
What CPU are you using?
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by:Neil Russell
ID: 40443271
Do you know if it is a "Violet" "Viola" or a "Violet3" board? There will be  a sticker on the board somewhere. And are they both the same?
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Author Comment

by:Steven James
ID: 40443286
I believe it's the Athlon 64 X2 - but of course, there's no way of checking ATM...
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Assisted Solution

by:Neil Russell
Neil Russell earned 200 total points
ID: 40443297
An the board? There are 3 different boards called M2N78-LA

HP Parts: Viola-GL8E, Violet-GL8E and Violet3-GL8E

I do not know the exact technical differences but I would start by ensuring you have an exact match.
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by:dbrunton
ID: 40443324
More checking required.  What colour are your boards?

Your link shows an orange board.  That is an ASUS board.

This link http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01635734&tmp_track_link=ot_recdoc/c01421635/en_us/c01635734/loc:1&cc=us&dlc=en&lc=en#N61 shows a green board which is a Pegatron board.

And what model Pavilion is this?
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Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 40443344
I believe that what you have is the Viola-GL8E and that is the AM2+ Socket whereas your old board was probably a Violet-GL8E and that was an AM2 socket.
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Author Comment

by:Steven James
ID: 40443398
Can't find any indication of the GL8E flavor on either board. Both sockets look identical - they're labeled Socket AM2, and have the markings "Foxconn(?)" T2, LF.

Neilsr, would a Socket AM2+ socket say only AM2?

Thanks for bearing with me on the details - I had no idea there were three mobos that are so similar.
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Author Comment

by:Steven James
ID: 40443407
Not to say it's definitely correct, but the listing for the mobo I bought says:
Pegatron M2N78-LA Motherboard HP Violet-GL8E GeForce 9100 skt AM2+ AM2 DDR2

I would have guessed it to be compatible with any AM2 or AM2+ processor?
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Assisted Solution

by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 600 total points
ID: 40443457
If it is a Violet-GL8E it should support AM2 or AM2+ processor BUT a BIOS update may be necessary.

I presume both boards are green.

Have a look at:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01635734&tmp_track_link=ot_recdoc/c01421635/en_us/c01635734/loc:1&cc=us&dlc=en&lc=en#N547

and

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01742903&tmp_track_link=ot_recdoc/c01635734/en_us/c01742903/loc:1&cc=us&dlc=en&lc=en#N98

Look at the Motherboard layout diagram and note the cell battery position for each diagram.  Note the difference in position.  Compare this with your boards.  Can you now identify which boards you have?
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Author Comment

by:Steven James
ID: 40443470
Checking battery position vs. these two options, both of my boards appear to be violet. And (ironically) they're both green.
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Accepted Solution

by:
☠ MASQ ☠ earned 1200 total points
ID: 40443490
Simply put, despite your best efforts with that famous auction site, you haven't got an identical board.  Your new board only supports AM2 with a total power draw of 95W and your CPU exceeds this.  There isn't a workaround other than getting a retail version or an HP OEM board supporting the 125W CPUs.  

This might help you in your comparison, look at the HP product# and rev. label details on the OEM board rather than the Foxconn model & revision
http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Desktop-Hardware/M2N78-LA-cpu-issue/td-p/2662863

(BTW fixed your link in the question which had too many "http's")
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 40443509
Pavlion desktop model please.

You'll have to identify the processor.  Does the heatsink remove easily?  If it does then get the codes off the top of the processor and do a Google search on them.
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Author Comment

by:Steven James
ID: 40443607
MASQ, you're onto something - the first difference I've spotted in these two boards, anyway. Looking at the P/N stickers, they're the same part# 513430-002, but the old board is a "rev:c02" and the new board is a "rev:c01."

Still, the link/post points out "The "Violet" version of this motherboard has several different part numbers. It also was originally designed for AM2/AM2+ CPUs, however in later revisions and/or BIOS versions support for some AM3 CPUs appears to have been added." If that's true, that the original boards should support AM2 and AM2+...shouldn't it still be compatible?
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Author Comment

by:Steven James
ID: 40443615
Ugh, I see...it's the power draw. Bummer.
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Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 40443625
So like i said, unfortunately you dont have the same board :(
The subtle changes between boards are sometimes hard to spot but can be a show stopper!
Back on ebay it goes I guess?
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Author Comment

by:Steven James
ID: 40443644
You guys were all super helpful. Thanks so much for steering me towards the answer.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Steven James
ID: 40443653
That was a hard one to spot. The help & answers were superb, despite the disappointing result. Yes...back on eBay it goes. Thanks all!
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 40443658
It may be the power draw or not.

Your newer board is an older version of your original board.  It just doesn't support a newer processor.  Again this could be power draw or not.

You could buy a processor that supports this board.

And I suggest finish identifying your processor.
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