How To Test A Motherboard

How To Take a look at A Motherboard

In my 30 years of expertise as a pc technician, a motherboard is likely one of the most difficult elements to diagnose because of the variety of elements linked to it.

If a motherboard fails, you possibly can have blue screens, freezing, beeps, lack of ability to detect USB drives and different {hardware}, and extra.  This information will train you the way to take a look at a motherboard with a multi-meter earlier than putting in different PC components.

Mandatory Instruments

You will have the next instruments to finish your motherboard diagnostics testing.

  • A Phillips screwdriver or energy change jumper
  • A multimeter to test voltages
  • A working PSU (Energy Provide Unit)
  • A brand new CMOS battery if mandatory
  • CPU thermal paste

How To Take a look at A Motherboard

Earlier than you place your model new motherboard into the case, it is advisable to POST (Energy-On-Self-Take a look at) the motherboard to confirm that it really works and that you simply didn’t obtain a motherboard that’s DOA (Useless On Arrival).

Right here is how one can take a look at the motherboard is working or not.

  • Set the motherboard on a flat, non-conductive floor equivalent to a wood desk.
  • Set up the processor and apply thermal paste.
  • Connect the CPU cooler and join it to the motherboard.
  • Place at the least one RAM module into the slot labeled (DIMM 1). 
  • Connect the GPU to the motherboard and join the required energy connector if mandatory. Learn your GPU guide to confirm.
  • Plug the ATX 24-pin connector from the PSU (Energy Provide) into the motherboard.
  • Join the monitor to the HDMI connection on the facet of the board for onboard graphics or into the GPU if it’s your main show.
  • Plug the PSU energy cable right into a surge protector or wall outlet.
  • To activate the pc, use an influence change jumper, or should you shouldn’t have one accessible, you’ll be able to even use a screwdriver to finish the facility circuit proven above.
Motherboard power Pins
  • After verifying a profitable POST, flip the PC off by flipping the change situated on the facility provide again to the off place.

If the pc boots to the BIOS, you might be good to go. Unplug all the things, and set up the motherboard into your case and set up all the things as traditional. In case your motherboard didn’t POST, retry the steps once more, and if it nonetheless fails, contact the motherboard producer and request an RMA to get a brand new motherboard.

How To Diagnose Motherboard Failures

motherboard layout

Motherboards could be probably the most cussed elements to diagnose because of the sheer variety of tiny components embedded in them. In my expertise, when motherboards fail, they usually is not going to boot, energy on, or something. The next steps can assist slim down your signs.

  • The Energy-On-Self-Take a look at or (POST) occurs every time you flip in your laptop. In case your laptop is working usually, it’s best to proceed the startup. In case you are unable to finish the POST, then proceed to the subsequent step.
  • Confirm that your motherboard is not shorting out in your case. Confirm that you’ve appropriately put in stand-off screws in all the proper screw places contained in the case.
  • Examine your system for potential overheating. Open the case and guarantee that there’s not mud overlaying the followers, elements, and motherboard. If that’s the case, use a can of compressed air discovered at your native ironmongery shop to scrub it.
  • Hear for beep codes when booting your PC. These beep codes will provide help to establish the defective element or difficulty. For a listing of beep codes and what they imply, go right here.
  • Use the BIOS to test for updates, obtain and set up them. If no updates can be found, restore or reset your BIOS to reverse all settings to default and restart the pc.
  • For those who nonetheless can not entry the BIOS as a result of your laptop retains restarting, Substitute the CMOS Battery. In case your PC continues into BIOS after battery alternative, your motherboard points ought to finish. But when they don’t, proceed analysis.
  • Lastly, take away all elements aside from the CPU, the CPU Cooling Fan, and the RAM. In case your motherboard boots and POSTs, you have to so as to add one piece of {hardware} at a time till you discover the defective element.

How To Take a look at A Motherboard With A Multimeter


For those who can not diagnose your motherboard with the steps listed above, it’s time to use a multimeter. You should buy one at your native ironmongery shop or on Amazon. This one at Amazon sells for lower than $13 and works nice.

When you’ve got a multimeter, then it is possible for you to to detect points with the motherboard simply. Even when you’ve got by no means used a multimeter up to now, I’ll stroll you step-by-step on the way to take a look at your motherboard for element failure.

How To Examine Ac Voltage

The very first thing you wish to search for with the multimeter is a quick circuit. These are frequent points and might occur when there is perhaps a surge in electrical energy. Beneath we will probably be verifying the AC voltage of the motherboard.

  • Flip off the pc and unplug all cables.
  • Wait about 10 minutes in order that all the things cools off and has no cost.
  • Set your multimeter to the bottom setting. (0.1) or 200 (OHMS) resistance.
  • Convey the meter to 0 by touching each leads collectively, contact the chassis to make sure you nonetheless get a 0.
  • Open your laptop and find the ATX energy connector in your motherboard and take away it.
  • Contact the pink result in the facility connector’s floor pin (any black wires) whereas touching the black lead on the chassis. You need to nonetheless have a 0 studying.
  • Preserve the black lead on the chassis and use the pink result in test all coloured wires. Be sure that every of the voltages is appropriate based on the pinout under. If the voltage is barely over, it’s okay. Whether it is below, there’s a downside.
Commonplace 24pin ATX pin structure
  • Subsequent, take away the motherboard from the case and consult with the structure image or this ATX 24-pin chart to search out the PINs. Utilizing the pink lead, take a look at every of the next: (3,5,7,15,17,18, and 19) will need to have a 0 studying. The rest signifies a nasty PSU connector.
  • The final take a look at would require you to take away the ATX energy adapter and the CPU from the motherboard. Take a look at the identical ATX pins situated on the motherboard. Any studying aside from 0 means there’s a downside with the motherboard connector.

Tips on how to test DC Voltage


To test DC voltages, observe the steps under. The steps listed below are barely completely different than AC voltages.

  • You will have to attach the 24-pin ATX cable into the motherboard after which plug the PSU right into a wall outlet.
  • Change your multimeter setting to 20V DC.
  • Use the black results in probe the connector on the again touching the 17, 18, and 19 pins.
  • The pink lead must probe pin 9 (ought to learn 5V) after which pin 16 (ought to learn between 3-5V).
  • Now activate the PC; if the readings drop to 0, that’s superior. If not, you’ll have to exchange the motherboard.
  • Use the pink lead once more and test pin 8. It needs to be studying a bit greater than 2.5V. Press your laptop’s reset button and see if the readings drop all the way down to 0 after which again up. If not, the motherboard will want changing.

When you’ve got discovered that the motherboard has failed, don’t attempt repairing it by yourself. Even when a restore is profitable, improper voltage regulation might destroy all the things in your laptop. It’s all the time higher to have an skilled digital technician restore the motherboard or exchange it than venturing to repair it your self.

How To Take a look at RAM Slots On Motherboard

24pin ATX-connector
  • With the pc turned off, rigorously probe the again of the connector utilizing the black lead.  It ought to keep up a correspondence with one of many damaging pins 15,17,18 or 19, registering a 0 voltage.
  • Use the pink result in probe and confirm the next pins:  Pin 16 (inexperienced in coloration) studying between 3-5 volts and Pin 9 (purple coloration) studying 5 volts.
  • Now, begin the PC.  Pin 16 (inexperienced coloration) ought to drop all the way down to 0 volts.  If it doesn’t, that is indicative of a defective change.  (Flip off the PC)
  • Lastly, use the pink lead on Pin 8 (grey coloration) ought to learn 5 volts.  Begin the pc and press the reset button; now, the voltage will drop all the way down to 0 volts, then return as much as 5 volts.  If not, this can be a good indicator that you’ve a faulty RAM slot, and you have to a brand new motherboard.


Tips on how to Take a look at Motherboard With out CPU?

You don’t should have a CPU to confirm that the motherboard is working and powering linked elements like case followers and RGB lighting. I do know as a result of I’ve accomplished this on quite a few events.

Tips on how to take a look at a capacitor on a motherboard?

Sadly, there isn’t a approach to take a look at the capacitor on a motherboard with out eradicating the capacitor itself. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to visually examine every capacitor for rust, cracks, leaks, or bulges, and this offers you a good suggestion that the capacitor is broken.

Can a motherboard be repaired?

A motherboard could be repaired by an skilled electronics technician in lots of instances and should be cheaper than a alternative whether it is an older PC. If it’s important to buy a brand new motherboard, you may additionally have to interchange the CPU and RAM. 

Is changing a motherboard value it?

The truth that the motherboard is liable for distributing managed quantities of present all through the pc and its peripherals makes it very value it. A failing motherboard might trigger surges of present that might probably destroy your RAM, GPU, CPU, and many others. 

What occurs if my motherboard is broken?

For those who simply bought your motherboard and it was broken once you opened it or throughout set up, it needs to be below the manufactures guarantee. You will have to name the manufacture and request an RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization).

When you’ve got had the motherboard for a very long time and it’s out of the guarantee interval, you have to to buy a brand new one.

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