Installing a standard motherboard on an HP desktop

By garez1
Mar 15, 2011
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  1. I have an HP media center desktop and the motherboard died. Its 2 yrs of use, and out of warranty, and I was looking at motherboards online and i see some cheap ones (less than 100 dollars). I was wondeirng if I bought any of those motherboards they would match the processor, power adaptor and everything that needs to be attached to it. I dont wanna have to throw away the computer if i could fix it by replacing the motherboard for about 100 dollars. I am willing to pay upto 150 to fix it. (I use this system more more multimedia -games, movies etc, than anything else)

    What are some of the problems that I may encounter if installing an standard motherboard on an HP is possible?

    My computer specs here the following:

    Base processor
    Athlon 64 X2 (W) 5600+ 2.8 GHz (89W)
    2000 MT/s (mega transfers/second)
    Socket AM2
    GeForce 6150SE nForce 430
    Manufacturer: ECS
    Motherboard Name: MCP61PM-HM
    HP/Compaq motherboard name: Nettle2-GL8E

    Component Attributes
    Memory Installed 3 GB
    Maximum allowed 8 GB* (4 x 2 GB) (64-bit OS)

    4 GB* (4 x 1 GB) (32-bit OS)

    *Actual available memory may be less
    Speed supported PC2-5300 MB/sec
    Type 240 pin, DDR2 SDRAM

    Hard drive
    500 GB SATA 3G (3.0 Gb/sec)
    7200 rpm
    16X DVD(+/-)R/RW 12X RAM (+/-)R DL LightScribe SATA drive
    Must use Double-Layer media discs in order to take advantage of the DL technology

    Video Graphics
    Geforce 9800 GT
    AMD Live

    The only thing different is that I changed the graphics card for a Gforce 9800 GT

    Thanks in anticipation for your help.
  2. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    I'm no specialist in this area but as long as you find a motherboard that is Socket AM2 you should have no problems.
  3. Zilpha

    Zilpha TS Enthusiast Posts: 319

    Are you certain it's the motherboard that died? If there is no activity it could also be the power supply. I'd confirm that before buying anything.
  4. garez1

    garez1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I took my computer to the local school computer store and they said it was the motherboard, but they could only fix it with the original part, and that would be too costly. So I came home and I was wondering if those cheaper motherboards would fit into my computer.

    Also, I was reading that HPs dont have a very good power supply, which may have been the cause of the motherboard failure after all..
    So... should I bother to upgrade the powersupply too? What do you guys think?
  5. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    You could probably put a board like this in the unit. It has the same chipset, so it would probably still boot into windows with the current hard drive. Problems you may run into could be that some of the front panel connections aren't the same or don't exist on the new board (i.e. the power button, lights, usb/firewire ports, may have different connectors than what a replacement board would have). If you're pretty handy, you might be able to modify connections to make things work if you run into issues with connections.

    The board is cheap enough, you could afford to get a decent power supply in addition to it and still be close to your budget for just a motherboard.
  6. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    Just to throw more if and buts into this, can you be sure the CPU is OK. Was the diagnosis done by an expert using the proper testing equipment. You can buy a motherboard and CPU tester from ebay for about €25. I do wonder why the shop insisted they had to use an original part or do they not have the knowledge to cope with the problems that can arise with different front panel connectors, that to me would cast doubt on there ability. Swapping an identical motherboard is childs play and possibly very profitable when buying the parts at trade prices and would take less than half an hour.

    Perhaps you could save yourself some time and trouble by just letting us help to make sure the diagnosis is correct. Tell us exactly what happens when you plug in the PC and hit the power button, does it do anything, any lights, fan noise, beeps, etc.

    If you go ahead with ordering a new motherboard then check the dimensions as some motherboards will not fit in the smaller ATX cases. Your existing motherboard is micro ATX. I found the board at this link below, not a lot more than the cheapest, how much were the shop going to charge? The cheaper board vnf4ultra gave a link to is a very similar spec and it will fit.

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