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Old 03-25-2017, 10:15 AM   #101
Spork Schivago
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Default Re: Suggestions for an HP M3970CM repair.

So, using the USB 3.0 port, we noticed something. If we mash ESC and while mashing it, we turn it on, it goes to a black startup screen that shows the RAM, etc. And at the bottom of that screen, it says Hit ESC for Startup or something like that. But to the far right of that message, it says Startup Menu or something. After a while, it goes to the video card BIOS's loading screen, like it's just initialized the video card, but freezes there.

If instead of ESC, we mash F10, it does the same. Next to the message that says Hit ESC for Startup Menu, now it says Setup Menu, like it's going to go into the BIOS setup screen, but it never actually goes. It eventually goes to the video card initialization screen, and then a black screen. I'm thinking this might have something to do with it being an UEFI BIOS. Maybe it's trying to load stuff off the hard drive. Maybe the original user deleted the UEFI BIOS stuff.

Maybe somewheres in the BIOS, they got the USB 2.0 ports disabled or something? I dunno. Anyway, it's not booting into the hard drive either. With the original BIOS (not the latest that I found on the site), it's very slow. With the BIOS from the broken board, it was much, much faster. I'm almost thinking of putting that other BIOS back in.
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Old 03-25-2017, 10:17 AM   #102
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Default Re: Suggestions for an HP M3970CM repair.

Also, what I believe is the north bridge, that heatsink is hot to the touch. Even the underside of the motherboard there is hot. Shortly after turning it on, it's hot. The CPU area isn't hot like that, but that northbridge, oh man, that's definitely hot.
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Old 03-26-2017, 08:02 PM   #103
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Default Re: Suggestions for an HP M3970CM repair.

Hi
Just flux under chip rework it if all goes good you know for sure the problem and will need replacement tithe rework won't last to long because real problem is the die on chip heating will bring it back and by fluxing will realign balls under chip to make sure no bridging
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Old 03-27-2017, 09:16 AM   #104
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Default Re: Suggestions for an HP M3970CM repair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by techman1025 View Post
Hi
Just flux under chip rework it if all goes good you know for sure the problem and will need replacement tithe rework won't last to long because real problem is the die on chip heating will bring it back and by fluxing will realign balls under chip to make sure no bridging
Techman1025
That's a smart idea. What temperature should I set the rework station to? I have a flux pen somewheres, that's really liquidy. That should get under the cheap real good like. Of course, if the chip is actually bad though, it won't do much. Thanks!
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Old 04-06-2017, 12:31 PM   #105
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Default Re: Suggestions for an HP M3970CM repair.

We're back to trying to fix the broken motherboard. Chinese people lied. Turns out they didn't even have the motherboard that they claimed they tested when I asked if they'd test the RAM. They claimed they tested it and all four slots work, then maybe a week later, I get a message from them, saying they just got the board from their supplier and it's broken. They said they can send me the broken board or try to fix it. I said try to fix it. That didn't work. We danced back and forth a bit. They said I could wait more time to see if their supplier would get another one, but finally, they refunded me.

I know using the original BIOS that came with the broken board I bought off e-bay, the USB 3.0 ports work. I have a similar computer here that has a very similar BIOS. Inside of it, there's options to turn off all the USB 2.0 ports, along with the SATA ports. I'm wondering if that's what's going on here. I also noticed I cannot physically get into the BIOS on this broken board. I hit F10, it says SETUP in the lower corner, like it's going to enter the BIOS, but physically never enters it.

It's a UEFI type BIOS. I'm wondering why. Now that we know how to get a working keyboard hooked up (USB 3.0 ports), I'm thinking of switching the BIOSes again. The one from the original customers broken motherboard seemed to work a lot better with this broken board. It was fast. With this broken board and the original BIOS that came with the broken board, it's VERY SLOW!!!!! Everything takes a VERY long time to do stuff.
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Old 04-06-2017, 01:31 PM   #106
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Default Re: Suggestions for an HP M3970CM repair.

Maybe you flashed the wrong UEFI.
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Old 04-07-2017, 12:04 PM   #107
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Default Re: Suggestions for an HP M3970CM repair.

I put the original that came with it back on. I used the same firmware chip as well that came with it, I was certain to name the firmwares properly when I dumped them. But remember how it took a very long time to write? Maybe the chip really is bad?

Or maybe when I dumped it, there where configuration options and I didn't dump all of it, but when I wrote it, I overwrote all of it? For example, my configuration options for writing are:

Use Block / Sector erase mode

And then for Programming Range (Write / Verify / Read / BankCheck), I have:
Main Memory + Secured OTP checked.

I guess it's possible that I got the chips confused or something and put the wrong one on again, I'll reflash it and see, but I'll also try the firmware from HPs website for this board. I wonder if there's away to flash off a thumb drive or something. Then I can make sure it's got the right firmware and everything.
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Old 04-07-2017, 12:31 PM   #108
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Default Re: Suggestions for an HP M3970CM repair.

The broken e-bay machine is definitely running the original BIOS that came with it. I see it's version 7.05. The customer had his updated to version 8.10 rev A.

I did notice on HPs website that it says when you upgrade to the newer BIOS version, you cannot downgrade. I also downloaded that 8.21 rev A from HPs website and managed to extract the files from their EXE. I was checking out the options for the BIOS update utility, safuwin.exe, and see:
Code:
 +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
 |            AMI Firmware Update Utility(APTIO)  v2.38_HP_v04_B04           |
 |      Copyright (C)2011 American Megatrends Inc. All Rights Reserved.      |
 +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
 | Usage: SAFUWIN <ROM File Name> [Option 1] [Option 2]...                   |
 |           or                                                              |
 |        SAFUWIN <Input or Output File Name> <Command>                      |
 |           or                                                              |
 |        SAFUWIN <Command>                                                  |
 | ------------------------------------------------------------------------- |
 | Commands:                                                                 |
 |         /O - Save current BIOS into file                                  |
 |         /U - Display ROM file's ROMID                                     |
 |         /S - Refer to Options: /S                                         |
 |         /D - Verification test of given ROM File without flashing BIOS.   |
 |         /A - Refer to Options: /A                                         |
 |       /OAD - Delete system's OAKey.                                       |
 | /CLNEVNLOG - Refer to Options: /CLNEVNLOG                                 |
 | Options:                                                                  |
 |         /P - Program main BIOS image                                      |
 |         /B - Program Boot Block                                           |
 |         /N - Program NVRAM                                                |
 |         /E - Program Embedded Controller Block                            |
 |         /K - Program all non-critical blocks and ROM Holes                |
 |        /Kn - Program n'th non-critical block or ROM Hole only(n=0-15)     |
 |         /Q - Silent execution                                             |
 |    /REBOOT - Reboot after programming                                     |
 |         /S - Display current system's ROMID                               |
 |         /R - Preserve ALL SMBIOS structure during programming             |
 |      /ECUF - Update EC BIOS when newer version is detected.               |
 |  /SHUTDOWN - Shutdown after programming.                                  |
 |     /HOLE: - Update specific ROM Hole according to RomHole GUID.          |
 |              NewRomHole1.BIN /HOLE:GUID                                   |
 |  /HOLEOUT: - Save specific ROM Hole according to given GUID.              |
 |              NewRomHole1.BIN /HOLEOUT:GUID                                |
 |        /SP - Preserve Setup setting.                                      |
 |        /EC - Program Embedded Controller Block. (Flash Type)              |
 |      /MEUF - Program ME Ignition Firmware Block.                          |
 |        /ME - Program ME Entire Firmware Block.                            |
 |       /CAF - Compare ROM file's data with Systems is different or         |
 |              not, if not then cancel related update.                      |
 |         /A - Oem Activation file.                                         |
 |              Example: /Akey.bin will update OA key with key.bin file.     |
 |       /OAD - Delete system's OAKey.                                       |
 | /CLNEVNLOG - Clear Event Log.                                             |
 |       /MPM - Show MPM status.                                             |
 |  /MPM:LOCK - Set MPM LOCK.                                                |
 |       /NH: - Switch Hybrid and Native mode.                               |
 |       /SB: - Set Secure Boot.                                             |
 |       /FB: - Set Fast Boot.                                               |
 +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
Stuff like update the embedded controller makes me think the BIOS update updates maybe more than just the system BIOS. Maybe it updates other BIOSes on the board as well.

Last edited by Spork Schivago; 04-07-2017 at 01:09 PM..
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Old 04-07-2017, 04:40 PM   #109
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Default Re: Suggestions for an HP M3970CM repair.

Got a link to the HP page for your motherboard ?
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Old 04-07-2017, 06:26 PM   #110
Spork Schivago
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Default Re: Suggestions for an HP M3970CM repair.

https://support.hp.com/us-en/product...ment/c03353629
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Old 04-07-2017, 11:45 PM   #111
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Default Re: Suggestions for an HP M3970CM repair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spork Schivago View Post
There is also this page https://support.hp.com/au-en/document/c03117539
Which has the board listed as an Angelica.

There is a BIOS difference between the Angelica and Angelica2.
http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Desktop...e/td-p/3197897

From what I can see, one has UEFI and the other a plain BIOS. There is different CPU and memory support.
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Old 04-08-2017, 09:45 AM   #112
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Default Re: Suggestions for an HP M3970CM repair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diif View Post
There is also this page https://support.hp.com/au-en/document/c03117539
Which has the board listed as an Angelica.

There is a BIOS difference between the Angelica and Angelica2.
http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Desktop...e/td-p/3197897

From what I can see, one has UEFI and the other a plain BIOS. There is different CPU and memory support.
Very good find. When I ordered the board, I ordered by part number on the board. But the customer's board had a sticker of the M3970AM that's printed on the board. The sticker says M3970CM. Even though the part numbers match, the board that came from e-bay, the sticker says M3970BM. If I remove the sticker on either of the two boards, I see M3970AM.

I wonder if the original owner of the e-bay board flashed the wrong firmware on there. I know there's a special firmware for something called ROM Family SSID (some number). The customer's original board didn't have the right ROM Family SSID.

The Angelica (not the Angelica2) doesn't list the AMD FX-6120 as being a compatible CPU, but the FX-6120 does work in this e-bay board, so I'm pretty sure we have the Angelica2.

Both the e-bay's original firmware (the one that's on there now, version 7.10 or whatever it is) and the customer's original firmware (version 8.10 rev A or whatever it is) have the string:
Code:
Microsoft Corporation UEFI CA 20110
inside of them. I wonder if this means they're UEFI BIOSes. If not, any suggestions on how we can test by looking at the actual dumps?

Last edited by Spork Schivago; 04-08-2017 at 09:51 AM..
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:03 AM   #113
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Default Re: Suggestions for an HP M3970CM repair.

Finally got some success. I've ordered yet another board (this will be the fourth one I've ordered now). I've only received this one from e-bay though, the other ones ended up never working and the seller canceled.

Anyway, I went and put the 8.10 rev A from the customers PC back on the BIOS. I was successfully able to enter the BIOS. The SATA ports do work, secure boot was enabled. I disabled secure boot and switched the controller from RAID mode to AHCI mode.

Windows tries to start but fails. I'm doing a startup repair, but I think switching from AHCI to RAID is what broke it, or disabling secure boot broke it.

Anyway, USB 2.0 ports still don't work, and if I can't fix them, this board is essentially useless if you ask me. The top USB 3.0 ports (on the top of the case) work, but that's it. I've double checked and made sure all the USB 2.0 ports are enabled in the BIOS, which they were....

Any suggestions on the USB 2.0 ports? Maybe it's somehow related to the two dead RAM slots?
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:09 AM   #114
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Default Re: Suggestions for an HP M3970CM repair.

For the USB 2.0 ports, it's like there's no voltage going to any port at all. There's a built-in hub at the back that has no voltage coming out of any of the ports. There's USB 2.0 headers on the board (a bunch of them) and same. The mouse should light up red (it's a laser), with just the 5VDC coming from the USB port. I'm going to try testing it with my DMM.

Could this be some sort of voltage regulator issue? Every separate spot for the USB 2.0 ports has it's own SMD fuse. I've checked all those fuses and they're good.
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:59 AM   #115
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Default Re: Suggestions for an HP M3970CM repair.

I flipped the computer over on it's side and turned it on, I was going to try the different USB ports. Now it doesn't POST at all. No beep codes. Fans kick on. I think I'm just going to wait for the China board to get here. I'm so tired of this computer!!!! This is one of the reasons I tried moving away from computers. People bring me really old computers or they want stuff fixed that just doesn't make sense fixing. This one should have just been replaced, plain and simple. It's a freaking nightmare.
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Old 04-08-2017, 04:35 PM   #116
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Default Re: Suggestions for an HP M3970CM repair.

We let it sit for a while, turned it on, it POSTed. Did a "reset" (it's running Windows 10), got into Windows....still not sure why the USB 2.0 ports have no juice going to them, but I might poke around a little more later tonight or tomorrow. I might go back and look at those caps in the VRM circuit again. Maybe there where more than three shorted out? Maybe one of them isn't properly soldered? I dunno.
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Old 04-08-2017, 04:47 PM   #117
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Default Re: Suggestions for an HP M3970CM repair.

In Windows, after attaching the USB mouse to a USB 2.0 port, I see a device pop up that says:

Code:
Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed)
Windows says the last USB device I plugged in had problems....so there's at least something there still working....the ports just aren't fully working. I'm gonna google the error and see what I can find.
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Old 04-08-2017, 05:57 PM   #118
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Default Re: Suggestions for an HP M3970CM repair.

Volts are good on those USB 2.0 ports, 5.14VDC on the one that I checked. Grounds good as well. This makes me think maybe there's something going on with the southbridge.
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Old 04-14-2017, 09:27 AM   #119
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Default Re: Suggestions for an HP M3970CM repair.

Okay,

Got the new board from e-bay again the other day (from China). It arrived via DHL. I believe this board was from an HP H8-1228. I've used the BIOS update utility from HP's website to figure this out. I run that afuwin program or whatever it's called to figure this out. If I pass it a downloaded BIOS file and the /S option, it says the BIOS isn't for this system. It gives a GUID and shows the current BIOS is Ang_713. Using this information, I was able to find people who had the same GUID and had an H8-1228. So I downloaded the latest BIOS for the H8-1228 and sure enough, it flashes just fine.

But still, cannot enter BIOS. Any key (like hitting ESC for startup screen) during POST shows it's trying to enter setup but doesn't go in. This is how it was with the other e-bay board. That one I found out was an H8-1234. It was in the original BIOS (I looked at it with a hex editor).

Before I updated the BIOS, I used HP's Software Upgrade Assistant or something like that. It's supposed to be able to find drivers and stuff for HP. I figured I could use that to have it detect the model this board was for, but for the serial number and product model, it's blank. Someone removed them from the BIOS before shipping I think.

I don't know a lot about UEFI, but if this is a full UEFI BIOS, how would that work? Would there be a partition on the hard drive that contained the programs that get loaded in the UEFI BIOS and if that partition was missing, could that cause these issues? It's just odd that the other broken e-bay board has the same symptoms and the same version BIOS (Ang_713). I was thinking maybe the Chinese sellers were extracting the 8 OEM key that's in the BIOS and then blanking it and the serial number or something, so they could resell them....

I can boot into Windows just fine, but trying to do other stuff fails. I even tried using the HP BIOS Configuration Utility, which would allow me to read and set the BIOS values directly from Windows, but it fails. Either this board isn't compatible with that program or something's still wrong.

I'm going to try removing the battery and clearing the CMOS settings using the jumper, just in case something got corrupt. I figured the new BIOS would have fixed corrupt NVRAM variables though (or whatever you call them)
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Old 04-14-2017, 04:33 PM   #120
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Default Re: Suggestions for an HP M3970CM repair.

H8-1220*, sorry. I'm thinking I might need some sort of UEFI Partition on the hard drive that has the various UEFI tools....
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