Diagnosing or Troubleshooting a Motherboard Fault

A computer motherboard error can be hard to determine without testing software. Just how can you start to diagnose faults with a motherboard in the house or office environment? The following guide lays out a few of the tests you do to determine if the motherboard is indeed at fault.

The very first place to start when diagnosing a computer motherboard fault would be to examine the power and installed apparatus. Many problems with a motherboard can be down to power and other aspects. The motherboard might not be the fault.

Can there be any power to the computer? Check the fuse for your device power cable, so 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.

When there is electricity then what happens when you press the power button. Do any of the computer cooling fans run? If not then check these really are connected correctly.

It is at this point that I would recommend disconnecting everything in the personal computer, external devices and try starting the computer again. If the PC still will not boot up then disconnect all internal apparatus noting the locations and orientation of these connectors.

Attempt to start the computer again. If it fails to start then you might be looking at a motherboard but may also be badly configured BIOS that’s utilized to set up the motherboard when building a computer. Check the manufacturer’s site or the manual to get a guide to setting up the motherboard BIOS how to configure the chip and memory. Also, check the heat sink is mounted properly on the CPU or processor as this can also prevent a system from starting.

Motherboards execute this test in the first few seconds after the power on button to the pc is pressed. It can be recognized as a beep after powering up the pc.

During POST the motherboard carries out a number of tests on its self to make certain it is about to start. When a motherboard passes this test there is a brief beep and text is written on the monitor. Some manufacturers replace this writing with branding.

If a problem is discovered during post then there’ll be a number of beeps to signify what kind of fault there is. I.e. a combination of short and long beeps may point to some problem with the CPU or memory. They might not be installed or seated correctly.

Some manufacturers do not use beep codes anymore however, the motherboard may have a collection of lights or LEDs on the motherboard that can be employed to determine a fault.

If a motherboard fails to POST and does not give out a collection of error beep codes and it’s receiving power then it is probably faulty.

Other considerations when diagnosing an error.

It is common to attribute a motherboard error after a replacement. After replacing a motherboard it’s best practice to re-install the operating system and applications. The motherboard is a significant area of the computer and contains many components that need drivers installed from the operating system during installation. If the operating system is not re-installed it may turn into a buggy and unstable i.e. the pc keeps crashing.

Another overlooked problem when diagnosing motherboard flaws is over not having enough power. This can result in issues and might prevent the computer from booting. This should be considered especially on self-build PCs. Check that your power supply can handle the apparatus and connected apparatus.

Expansion cards and connected internal wires can cause issues if not connected properly check all connectors and consult with the manual if unsure.

You may experience a problem when replacing a motherboard in which the disk drive is not detected. This is a BIOS problem and should be fixed by visiting the manufacturer’s site or reading the manual to ensure you have configured the Hard Disk capabilities correctly.