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BIOS updates M2N78-LA

Posted on 2015-01-17
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Last Modified: 2015-01-22
I have replaced the motherboard in a HP Pavilion p6210y. I am using the same memory and CPU that came off the old motherboard.  On boot, the system halts with an 'Unsupported CPU' error and then shuts off.  If I press F2 (a bunch), I can get a 'Launch Repair/Start Windows normally...' menu.  If I 'Launch repair...', the HP recovery dialogs runs.  If I 'Start Windows', the machine shuts down during the boot up. I CAN boot the machine from the DVD and/or USB.

My research says that the  problem should be corrected by flashing an up-to-date BIOS.  I downloaded the HP package but so far have not found a CD that I can boot from - I have tried an OEM Win7 installation CD, UBCD and gparted - that will let me run the HP BIOS update package, sp46426.exe.

TL:DR - How do I update the BIOS on an HP Pavilion that gives 'Unsupported CPU' error and then shuts down?
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Question by:SoHoITPro
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13 Comments
 
LVL 98

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40555324
I could only find the EXE file which is now the common way to distribute BIOS. Try this HP Support Forum approach to run the exe and put the needed components on a USB key to update the BIOS>

http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Notebook-Lockups-Freezes-Hangs/How-to-update-Bios-from-USB-flash-drive/td-p/687129
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:Predrag
ID: 40555438
Can you get somewhere supported CPU just to update BIOS?
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40555915
>>  I have replaced the motherboard in a HP Pavilion p6210y  <<  with the same model of mobo?
also - what happened so that you had to replace it?

it can be that a bios update corrects your problem, but the cpu can be bad also
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LVL 24

Accepted Solution

by:
VB ITS earned 1500 total points
ID: 40556179
FYI HP has a least 3 different versions of this motherboard, all under the "M2N78-LA" name but with different versions named Violet, Violet3, and Violet6.

What I'm trying to get at is that the replacement motherboard may not be the same version as your original one and may not even support your CPU altogether, with or without an up-to-date BIOS.

The way to tell them apart is by the sticker with a barcode and PN number on it. The locations of this sticker vary from model to model. Can you please find this sticker and come back with the Part Number (PN)?

The reason I ask is that the replacement motherboard you have purchased may not support your CPU at all. Please also advise what the model of your CPU is.
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LVL 98

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40556528
@SoHoITPro  - You asked how to update BIOS and the method was provided. Did it work Yes/No?

If not, I would conclude and others have said that the CPU is not compatible with the new motherboard.
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Author Comment

by:SoHoITPro
ID: 40558094
@JohnH - No. The method outlined in your posts won't work because HP doesn't supply a USB compatible file...No .bin.

Interestingly, the HP support page for this Pavilion offers this BIOS file, sp46426.exe. Many, many users are complaining about fan noise AFTER applying this upgrade.  HP labels this as BIOS Version: 5.22, 21JUL2010.   I managed to extract the bios file from the sp46426 package (VLE.22) and renamed that to HPBIOS.ROM.  I also found a DOS-based AMI flash updater, AFUDOS. I now need to find an environment that I can boot and run the update.

@VB ITS - The boards seem to match in all particulars....Board coming out/Board going in : Pegatron M2N78-LA Rev 3.02, same HP part number.  The BIOS on the board going in is at 5.03.

@nobus - ??? The CPU runs the system when I press F2 a bunch and go into 'Launch/Repair..." It does not run when I 'Start Windows...".
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LVL 98

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40558098
I think your CPU does not match the board.
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Author Comment

by:SoHoITPro
ID: 40558337
As noted, the CPU worked in the old motherboard and works in the new one as long as I F2 past the 'Unsupported CPU...' error.

The CPU is an AMD Athlon II ADX620WFK42GI

I am nearly positive that the BIOS upgrade is what is needed. Just see no way of getting it done....yet.
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40559166
i also don't understand what you said
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Author Comment

by:SoHoITPro
ID: 40560224
In response to 'your cpu may be bad' comment....The CPU runs fine when in Launch/Repair mode - even though it throws that 'Unsupported CPU' error on boot-up.

I've used the same cpu in a later M2N78-LA board. (ver 6.02) and things ran fine so I am pretty certain the CPU is okay.  The later version uses PC3 DIMM, rather than the PC2 that the customer already has. I'll probably just install the newer board and charge them an extra $50 but I was trying to keep it light.

Thanks,
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40561387
tx for feedback
the only way to get the bios update is to get the board running it seems
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Author Comment

by:SoHoITPro
ID: 40564662
I give up on updating the BIOS. HP seems to have a process for updating the BIOS from a .bin file on an internal *floppy* drive but I ain't going that far to get this sucker updated.

I have just replaced the v3.0.2 motherboard with a v6.0.1 board out of a German-market machine I got on eBay.  The pain is that this board uses PC3 DRAM leaving me with 6 GB of memory to now sell.
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Author Closing Comment

by:SoHoITPro
ID: 40564668
I *would have* updated the BIOS to 5.22 *if* there were a way to do it. The HP package seems to be Windows only...and AFUDOS wouldn't run in any environment that I could get to boot...Launch Repair/Win7 Repair/Bart PE/UBCD/ et al.
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