I recently purchased an ASUS A7M266-M mainboard: It was build by ASUS for HP, so it's a little strange.
The board is Micro-ATX form factor, the drive connectors are placed in the front of the board. The CPU sits a little farther forward than most other Micro-ATX boards, this could affect cooling in small cases, this is done to allow room for the VRM board behind the CPU. The northbridge is passively cooled, the board doesn't have any options for overclocking so this is fine (don't have to worry about fan failure) it seems to run cool. The backplane is standard, except there is not VGA/COM2 connector and it includes the RJ-45 jack above the USB (standard on most new cases). One of the strangest features of the board is the connector on the bottom edge of the board next to PCI slot 3: there is a connecter physicly identical to an AGP 2X card, if you have any information on what is was intended for please email me.
|CPU||AMD Athlon/Duron (Thunderbird, Spitfire, Palimino, and Morgan cores)|
|Chipset||AMD 760 (Ironwood 4)|
|Northbridge||AMD 761 (AMD-761AC1)|
|NIC||Realtek PCI 10/100 (RTL8139C)|
|Audio||Crystal AC97 Codec (CS4299-JQ)|
|RAM||2x DDR266 Slots|
|Slots||AGP 4X, 3 PCI|
When I got the board it had a HP OEM Phoenix BIOS v. 2.03: this BIOS didn't support the Athlon XP (Palimino) or Duron 1Ghz+ (Morgan) CPUs properly. First I tried swapping BIOS chips with my A7M266, this did not work. Do not flash this board with the ASUS A7M266 BIOS, it will not boot! Then I poked around of HP's website and found a new BIOS release v. 3.33 (March 2002), this fixed the incompatibilities with the new AMD CPUs. You can find the link to in in the files section.
There is only one jumper on the board, it controls the front side bus (100Mhz for Durons and most TBirds, 133Mhz for Athlon XPs). It located in front of the floppy connector next to the clock controller.
I was confused by the USB header (located on the bottom edge of the board) at first. On the back of the board I found the grounds then I used a power LED to find the VCC pins, and then test with a USB mouse.
+--+ Ground |..| Ground VCC |..| VCC | | -Data1 |..| -Data2 +Data1 |..| +Data2 Ground |..| Ground +--+
Ok, drivers are pretty easy. I made the mistake of misidentifying the AC97 codec and had driver issues. Here is a basic driver load order (Under Windows 2000 should be the same for other versions):
The board is a solid little Athlon board, haven't had any problems with it since I figured it out. It's not an overclockers board, but still high performance. It has a full Micro-ATX slot count plus, onboard audio and NIC. The audio doesn't pop when you turn it on, unlike many other AC97 codecs. The NIC is fine for most uses, just wouldn't run it as a network file server, but who was going to use a Micro-ATX board in their server? And best of all it has an AMD 761 chipset so it is stable, and isn't plagued with onboard video. I would recommend it for anyone looking for a Micro-ATX mainboard that was willing to spend the extra for a good video card. Hmm, maybe I'll grab five more :)
Here are the places you can find files I found useful in setting up the board: