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How hard is it to replace a motherboard???

by krubby / April 1, 2010 4:17 AM PDT

After both a lot of conversation on this forum (link below) and talking to HP Support it appears as if my motherboard is fried.

So - how hard is it to replace a motherboard? Is 1/2 the battle determining the proper motherboard to buy?

quick note - model number is HP m7248n. more stats below

I guess here are my questions:

1) How do I determine the correct motherboard to buy? Here are the specs of my current one from the HP Site:

Base processor
Athlon 64 X2 (M) 4200 2.2 GHz
2000 MT/s (mega transfers/second)
Socket 939

ATI Radeon Xpress 200

Manufacturer: MSI
Motherboard Name: MS-7184
HP/Compaq motherboard name: AmethystM-GL6E

2) Is installation basically removing all the old componants, unscrewing the old motherboard, screwing in the new one and obviously reconnecting all the componants?

3) Once I do that, assuming I do it right, when I fire it up will windows boot right up? are there other things I need to do (fix bios or cmos settings? install drivers?)

My skill set is I am above a basic user, I have replaced hard drives, video cards, memory etc before- but far from an expert. If this will save tons of money either having it repaired or having to buy a new one fine with me but I also don't want to dive into a project I have little to no chance in doing correctly.

prior forum:;forum-threads

More detailed PC Specs:

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Unless it's a HP board
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 1, 2010 4:31 AM PDT

And certified to be an exact replacement, Windows should fail to boot. In fact, even if it was "the right board" any change in the BIOS settings from old to new board means Windows can fail to boot up.

We have yet to reach the days where we change out parts and it just works. Someday, just not today.

But as you suspect, all the work is mostly mechanical. It's the software element that will hamper most.

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If you don't
by Jimmy Greystone / April 1, 2010 4:52 AM PDT

If you don't have essentially the same motherboard from HP, don't even bother. You'll likely have a hard time finding one that'll fit, and you'll need to add a new copy of Windows onto the cost of things.

If you insist on finding out the hard way, then the ease or difficulty greatly depends on the configuration of the case. Sometimes it's fairly easy, and other times it's extremely difficult. It also depends on your skill level for basic electronics. If you have barely touched a screwdriver in your life, this will likely be a bit overwhelming. But if you've maybe seen enough stray volts to light a small city, then I can't understand why you're even asking.

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thanks guys
by krubby / April 1, 2010 5:07 AM PDT
In reply to: If you don't

As I read your posts I am thinking the same as noted - the hardware parts might be easy assuming I can even find a compatable motherboard. but then I need to get all the software componants to work as well.

I looked and while I don't think this is the level of PC I would get, I can get a dual core 4 gb of ram or so pc for ~ $400. In other words that is the price point for me to just get a like pc. Assuming it would cost either ~$100 or so for mother board, maybe another $100 for a operating system (and hours of time perhaps) then not really worth it. plus to repair I bet woudl easily be $200+ (do you agree??)

now, not saying I would go get a dual core, if I do buy new I would most likely get a AMD II X4 or a Intel i5.

if this sounds like too much of a job it most likely will be. I don't have tons of time and don't feel like taking on a 20 hour project. I just wanted to make sure I just wasn't over estimating the difficulty

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oh and BTW
by krubby / April 1, 2010 5:08 AM PDT
In reply to: thanks guys

I would have no idea even what board to buy and when I called HP they don't sell them nor could they tell me what one to buy.

looks like I am PC shopping

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Two paths.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 1, 2010 5:51 AM PDT
In reply to: oh and BTW

You might consider a bare bones unit (newegg and other places) but you are still in for an OS purchase.

Given the price of the usual OS most of us just get another box machine.

I looked at and no barebone took that CPU and RAM so that's a dead end.

Motherboards would be fun but nothing assures us that's it and you won't need CPU, RAM and power supply.

Did you complete the card and other item removal tests?

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by krubby / April 1, 2010 7:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Two paths.

did pretty much everything. 1st step was the cleaning. something I should of done anyway, issues or not. no matter what happens a quick dusting every 6-9 months will go on my maintenance list. took 5 minutes

when that was done I took out every card - modem (yes this has one, not that it has been used ever), video card, sound card etc. then I put them all back in.

I also put in a new battery. I was 99% sure that was not the issue but for $4.00 for a new battery it was worth trying.

Finally I tried the memory - took it out and put it back in.

also, all the cables/cords etc I gsve a gentle push to make sure they were seated on the motherboard.

I found a local place that will do a diagnostic for $20.00. If I don't then fix it I am out the $20 but that is a very minor charge IMO. I am going to drop it off the them in the morning. Best Buy wants $129.00 (gulp...) for the same thing.

If it is the mother board and it is too much to fix then I may be PC shopping. I know I can get a good dual core like this is for not too much, but if I did get a new one I imagine I will step up a bit and get a really nice one anyway. I like the looks of the Intel i5 and AMD Athlon II X4's

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