I stupidly updated the BIOS ('critical' update on HP website) since then system freezes & crashes all the time. I have contacted HP but they are unable to supply the old BIOS, this model of motherboard does not exist on the ASUS website, I am so fed up I just want to buy a new motherboard but I dont know which one will be a compatible replacement for a A7N8X-LA if any, can anyone help please?
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That BIOS update shouldn't cause problems. Most likely something else is going on and you're wrongly associating it with the bios update. What are all your system specs and when does it actually freeze or cause problems? Games? What?
I am in a similar boat to Andrew, the original poster. I have an HP a350e PC, which uses a A7N8X-LA Focus motherboard. I was having trouble getting a new video card to work, so I downloaded the latest HP bios (version 3.12) to upgrade my current bios (which was 3.07). I stupidly assumed that the bios flasher would save the old version of my bios (silly me!), but it did not.
Now my pc randomly hangs and reboots, and I can only attribute it to the new bios. (I put the old video card back in, so nothing has changed except the bios). HP doesn't seem to have the old bios available for download on their web site, so for right now I'm stuck........
Thanks a lot for all the replies, especially thanks to Larry c, I got the old bios back from the link you left, reflashed & hey presto everything back to normal again & that was after a month of freezing & crashing, learned a big lesson there! Just curious what is the HP ftp site? I had thrown in the towel with HP & Asus.
I had the same problem with my HP Pavilion a350e (Athlon XP 2600+, 512 RAM upgraded to 1 Gig, 120 Gig HD, CDRW, DVD+R/RW0.) As I was upgrading the system to install XPSP2 and add a video capture board for home movie conversion to DVD, I followed HP's recommendations and flashed the BIOS to ver. 3.12.
I had problems with random lockups and reboots for about a month. I added a slot fan, checked memory, replaced the power supply, reinstalled WinXP from the recovery partition, and finally, contacted HP's "award winning" customer care department. Their canned email replies directed me to the "nearest authorized repair center." All I wanted was a link to my old BIOS. They said flashing a BIOS to a previous version couldn't be done.
Larry C. provided the link. I downloaded the file and, since I didn't have anything to lose, gave it a shot. So far, so good. This message is proof that you CAN do it. Why HP provided such an obviously incorrect and potentially damaging BIOS update is beyond me.
Thanks to all of the Hardware Analysis members, and especially Larry C. whose posts kept me going and gave me a little hope throughout this "ordeal."
Huge thanks!! I went through the support thing with multiple people and they all said the
old bios wasn't available. I have been banging my head trying to fix the freezing and crashing; no doubt the last HP i ever buy.
Two days in to my a350e's "regression therapy" and there are still no problems. I even captured some video, a chore which the system usually choked on in the period after the BIOS ver. 3.12 upgrade, and it went without a hitch.
I wonder how many people have downloaded that BIOS? Could the code have been intended for another version of the A7N8X-LA? Did it only affect users with the add-on AGP video card option? Were there other major variations in versions of the A7N8X-LA used by HP at the time? Inquiring minds want to know!
I to have a Pavilion a350e which I flashed with the 3.12 BIOS. Like everyone else here, the problems started immediately. Random lockups and reboots. Contacted HP which I knew was an effort in futility and received the same assinine answers; do destructive full recovery, etc.
What I found out on my PC with much trial an error is that the fan voltage settings in the BIOS are the culprit. When set to their default 5.5 V settings, I noticed that when the fans kicked in high speed, the PC would reboot. Got around the random reboots by setting both fan voltages to 7.5 V. This keeps the PC at a cool 42 - 45C and stopped the random reboots mainly because the fans rarely kick in high speed now. My theory is the crap OEM 250 W power supply is overloading and when those fans kicked in, it was enough overage to "hickup" the power supply. I have added an additonal 512 meg memory to my original 512, added a DVD writer, etc.
Now what is strange is this never happened with the ver. 3.07 BIOS. In fact, the PC never hung up once with that BIOS. So it's a fair statement to state this 3.12 BIOS is faulty. It's also on par with every upgrade I have received from HP in that it screws up something else that worked fine previously.
I would be careful about reflashing back to the 3.07 BIOS. There are a number of posts on the web from people that ended up with dead motherboards doing that. I suspect the the HP WIN XP based flasher might delete the existing BIOS and then crap out when it sees the revison number is lower in value. Sounds like something HP would do!
I am still getting random lockups but they are infrequent so I guess I can live with them like someone sues HP and make all of us happy.
The fan control may very well be related to the problem; however, I wouldn't necessarily blame the power supply. I have replaced the 250w P/S in my 350e with a 350w, and I still got the lockups/reboots with Bios 3.12. Since flashing back to 3.07, I've been rock solid.
I tried changing the fan settings after I read Don's comments on another thread. Crafty devils set those controls on an unadvertised function key (f11) -- better to hide it from us dabblers making up the "unwashed masses," I suppose. At any rate, the problem got a little better, so Don's theory might have some merit. It didn't go away, though. You've got to figure that all that voltage fluctuation that's probably happening to cause any of the reboots can't be good for the hardware and/or data. In my case, the "flashback" to 3.07 solved every problem. Life has returned to normal...except for the fact that I still have a ton of software to reinstall on an as-needed basis after I went the recovery route. I'm still steamed over all the time I wasted because of HP's error, and my wife is still steamed at me for spending so much time trying to fix something that wasn't my fault.
HP's CEO has a message board.... maybe everyone with this problem should send her a message. Okay, I'm not so naive to think she will personally read it, but some low-level underling might be savvy enough to start a count. Here is the url for that page if you're interested:
My complaint has already been sent detailing the problem, and the (all too frequent and obvious) observation that tech support was completely ineffective. Why not see if they do actually respond to consumers? Sure, I won't get a month of my life back, but an apology to victims would be nice, along with a swift removal of that piece of defective code so other a350e users won't get burned.
I thought I would elaborate a little on what I suspect is malfunctioning with this new 3.12 BIOS upgrade.
First, a little electronics review. There are two type of case fans mfg.; fixed and variable speed fans. Variable speed fans cost more to mfg. Fixed speed fans can be made to operate as variable speed fans by altering their operating voltage. Now most 90 mm case fans operate in the 5.5 V to 12 V range. Depending on the mfg., each fan has a mininum voltage. For example, I recently purchased a Themaltake case fan that has a minimum votage of 7.5 V.
Now, it appears that HP to save a buck or two per unit installed fixed speed case fans in most of their mid-tower Pavilion units. They had ASUS modify their motherboard to provide for voltage settings in the BIOS to simulate a variable speed environment. This by the way is a feature that does not exist on ASUS's retail version of the A7N8X-LA motherboard which is the A7N8X-VM. You won't find any fan voltage settings in the BIOS for that motherboard.
What I found out through experimenting was with the original 3.07 BIOS, the motherboard appeared to operate fine with any case fan voltage setting from 5.5 V to 12 V. Now when I installed the 3.12 BIOS, the machine went spastic on any case fan minimum voltage setting in the 6.0 to 7.0 V range. This indicated that the case fan didn't like something this new BIOS was doing to regulate it's voltage.
Since it's highly likely that HP used different case fan mfgs., I can't say with ceratinty that setting your chassis fan minimum voltage to 7.5V will stop your random reboots. All I can say is that it worked for me.
As far as fooling with your CPU fan voltage settings, you can probably keep it at 5.5V. I found in my system, that a 7.5 V minimum votage setting lowered my motherboard temps as recorded both by Sandra Utilies and ASUS Probe utility by a whopping 7 degrees C which is very good.
I have set my min temp setting in the BIOS at 55 and the max temp at 60 as someone else in this thread said they did. I don't think these settings are as important as the fan voltage settings.
I feel your pain Andrew. If you want to replace that board I would say the MSI K7N2 Delta2 Platinum will do barring any hidden crap from HP. Compaq makes the same piece of .....(i know they merged)....I bought one on sale on a whim for the kiddies. Got it home, opened it up, looked inside....hmmmm....did what I could with it and then returned it. My best advice: Research your butt off and build your own! You'll be amazed at your own potential.
have a HP computer with a A7N8X-LA mobo and i downloaded the same BIOS upgrade but when i start my computer it is just black, the led light is on so you know its on. so how do i set my bios back to the old version if i cant even get into the bios