Putting a HP Compaq dx7500 Motherboard into a dx2420 Microtower Case

This blog post is about putting a HP Compaq dx7500 microtower motherboard into a dx2420 case.

Introduction
I have recently decided not to be so protective of my computers, take a few risks and try and maximise my hardware. Unfortunately this has led to causalities! I killed two socket 775 motherboards: MS-7525 (for the dx2420) and a IPIEL-LA rev.1.03 (for the dx7500).

Note: Each time I mention IPIEL-LA, I’m refering to the rev.1.03 model supplied in the HP Compaq dx7500 microtower computers and not any other possible version of a IPIEL-LA.

I tried to repair both motherboards, but failed. So I ordered a replacement for the HP Compaq dx7500 computer, which I fitted. I decided not to order a replacement for the dx2420.

socket 775 bent pin

Then less than a week later, I decided to try and repair both faulty motherboards again. I managed to fix the IPIEL-LA, but I had already fitted its replacement in the dx7500 microtower!

computer parts

So I decided to try and fit the repaired IPIEL-LA (from a dx7500) into the dx2420’s microtower case instead, using the same PSU and RAM I had used with the MS-7525 motherboard, that had original been in the case.

Note: I’m not trying to confuse you, but the software CPU-Z mentions the motherboards as different names: IPIEL-LA (dx7500) is mentioned as a Pegatron Corporation 2A84h. On a dx2420 my MS-7525 is called a MSI 2A78h if using BIOS 5.18, but as a MSI Boston if using BIOS 5.31.

Installing the IPIEL-LA motherboard
The backplates for the dx2420 and dx7500 are not the same, but fortunately you can easily remove the dx2420 backplate and fit a replacement, which I did.

motherboard backplate in a case

I had to temporarily remove a fan to fit the motherboard and to make the task easier, I inserted the motherboard into the case with the PSU temporarily removed.

I connected the same cables that the previous motherboard (MS-7525) in the dx2420 case had used, to the IPIEL-LA and also installed the same socket 775 CPU and DDR2 RAM I had previously used.

IPIEL-LA motherboard in dx2420 case

Also at the same time, for other reasons, I replaced the PCIe graphics card I had been using with a different card.

Running the Windows 10 Pro 64-bit free upgrade with a different motherboard
Originally I had upgraded from Windows 7 to 10 for free. When using the original motherboard I had previously logged into an administrator account with a Microsoft account.

I was a bit nervous about doing this, but I decided not to install a fresh Windows 10 operating system on the hard drive. So using the hard drive I had used with the MS-7525, I connected the drive to the IPIEL-LA and booted up. I wondered what would happen. Not much it turns out and I didn’t have to reactivate the license.

On boot the on-board network adapter wasn’t working, but that was a driver issue that was easily resolved. As I had changed the graphics card, I had to uninstall the previous software and setup the new card.

RAM
According to HP’s own website, the dx7500 microtower supports 16GB RAM, but the dx2420 microtower only supports 4GB. Also the IPIEL-LA (dx7500) motherboard has four slots, but the MS-7525 (dx2420) only has two slots available. I’m currently using 2x2GB memory sticks on the IPIEL-LA, but it is tempting to purchase more RAM.

Conclusion
It was good to know I didn’t have to replace the faulty MS-7525 in the dx2420 microtower case with the same model motherboard. I was also able to purchase the IPIEL-LA motherboard for less money than a MS-7525 was going to cost me, so I’m glad it all worked out.

I have learnt a lot during this motherboard swap and think the IPIEL-LA is better than the MS-7525.

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