A computer motherboard fault can be hard to determine without full testing software. So how can you start to diagnose possible faults with a motherboard in the home or office environment? The following guide sets out some of the tests you do to determine if the motherboard is indeed at fault.
The first place to start when diagnosing a computer motherboard fault is to examine the power and installed devices. Many problems with a motherboard can be down to power and other factors. The motherboard may not be the fault innotechreviews.
After installing a replacement motherboard or building your own computer the computer fails to start. Is there any power to the computer? Check the fuse for the device power cable, to be sure swap the power chord with one from another device such as, the computer monitor or printer as long as you know they are working.
If there is power then what happens when you press the power button. Do any of the computer cooling fans run? If not then check these are connected correctly.
It is at this point that I would recommend disconnecting everything from the computer, external devices first and try starting the computer again. If the PC still will not boot up then disconnect all internal devices noting the locations and orientation of the connectors.
Try to start the computer again. If it fails to start then you could be looking at a faulty motherboard but could also be poorly configured BIOS which is used to set up the motherboard when building a computer. Check with the manufacturer’s website or the manual for a guide to setting up the motherboard BIOS especially how to configure the processor and memory. Also check the heat sink is mounted correctly on the CPU or processor as this can also prevent a system from starting.
Does the motherboard POST? POST means power on self test. Motherboards carry out this test in the first few seconds after the power on button for the computer is pressed. It can be recognised as a beep shortly after powering up the computer.
During POST the motherboard carries out a number of basic tests on its self to make sure it is ready to start. If a motherboard passes this test there is usually a short beep and text is written on the computer display. Some manufacturers replace this writing with branding.
If a problem is detected during post then there will be a number of beeps to signify what type of fault there is. I.e. a mixture of short and long beeps may point to a problem with the CPU or memory. They may not be installed or seated correctly.
Some manufactures do not use beep codes anymore but the motherboard may have a series of lights or LEDs on the motherboard that can be used to determine a fault.
If a motherboard fails to POST and does not give out a series of error beep codes and it is receiving power then it is probably faulty.
Other considerations when diagnosing a motherboard fault.
It is quite common to blame a motherboard fault after a motherboard replacement. After replacing a motherboard it is best practice to re-install the operating system and software. The motherboard is a major part of the computer and contains many components that require drivers installed by the operating system during installation. If the operating system is not re-installed it may become buggy and unstable i.e. the computer keeps crashing.
Another over looked problem when diagnosing motherboard faults is too not having enough power to the board or devices. This can result in problems and may prevent the computer from booting. This should be considered especially on self build PCs. Check that your power supply can handle the motherboard and connected devices.
Expansion cards and connected internal cables can cause issues if not connected properly check all connectors and refer to the motherboard manual if unsure.
Sometimes you may experience a problem when replacing a motherboard where the hard disk drive is not detected. This is usually a BIOS issue and should be corrected by visiting the manufacturers website or reading the manual to ensure your have configured the Hard Disk capabilities correctly.