We’ve already shown you how to check the RAM and hard drive health of your PC, so the next stop on our health-check tour is the massive slab of chips that keeps everything together. In the day-to-day use of your PC, you will not note the output of your motherboard. You may be tempted to blame a bad motherboard on something else entirely in your PC because a defective motherboard will affect your GPU, Processor, USB ports, and everything else.
There’s no foolproof, all-encompassing way to Check Motherboard Health and verify it, but here’s a list of things to keep an eye on that are regulated by your motherboard.
Faulty PCI-E ports
As I previously said, this is a difficult one to pin down. It may be a defective PCI-E slot or the GPU itself if your GPU stops working or you see odd visual irregularities on the screen (primarily if you use a GPU for gaming). To make sure it’s not just a software issue with the graphics card, you can first upgrade and reinstall your GPU drivers.
If that fails, try putting your GPU in a different slot to see if the issue persists. If it doesn’t, the slot from which you removed it is most likely defective. You may try upgrading the BIOS on your motherboard health check to see if that solves the issue, but if it doesn’t, you will need to consider replacing it.
Faulty USB ports
Similarly, devices such as keyboards and mice that aren’t operating should be checked in several ports before discarding. Examine the devices in various ports to see if they usually work. If they do, you know you have a problem with your USB ports. But don’t blame your motherboard just yet; open Device Manager on your PC, scroll down to “Universal Serial Bus controllers,” and see if any of the ports have exclamation marks next to them. If that’s the case, right-click it and choose “Update Driver.”
Even if there isn’t an exclamation mark, the Update Drivers option can be used to double-check. Alternatively, you can right-click each USB port driver and select “Scan for Hardware Changes.” Finally, try uninstalling each USB driver one by one, then rebooting your device to force it to reinstall (hopefully in complete working order).
If none of this works, the issue is most likely with the hardware on your motherboard.
Faulty RAM slots
Next, if your machine beeps when you turn it on, slows down over time during a single session, or crashes frequently, you can have a RAM problem. However, it’s likely that the issue isn’t with the RAM itself but with the RAM slots. To test this, open your computer, remove a stick of RAM, and then turn it back on to see if it works typically.
Keep on like this until the machine breaks down again. If this happens, try replacing the RAM stick you removed with another RAM stick (leaving its original slot empty). If the computer starts to fail again, you know it’s the RAM stick. If the PC functions normally, you know the RAM slot problem and not with your motherboard.
Faulty Video ports (HDMI, VGI, DVI, etc.)
If your video outputs aren’t working when plugged into your motherboard, the first thing to note is that none of these will work if your PC has a GPU. This is because your PC can switch off the motherboard ports if GPU ports are open by default. (This setting can be changed in the BIOS.)
If you don’t have a GPU plugged in and your motherboard video ports were previously working, try various cables, making sure they match snugly and switching monitors if possible. If the issue persists, open System Manager, then right-click “Generic PnP Monitor” under Monitors and try each of the options – “Scan for hardware changes,” “Update driver,” and “Uninstall device” – one at a time. If you uninstall your monitor, reboot your computer to enable it to reinstall, then test it.
If none of this works, you’ve got a defective motherboard on your hands, and it’s time to search for warranty details.
How to test a motherboard to see if it works
To test a power supply, plug it into a working device and turn it on. If the power supply fails, it is the power supply that has failed, not the motherboard. If you’re using a laptop, you can turn it on by plugging in your AC adapter. If this works, the motherboard is in good working order. This is an important reason why motherboard checking is essential.
The motherboard is one of the essential components of a computer because it connects many vital components such as the CPU (central processing unit), memory, output, and input system connectors. It’s around the same size as a human brain.
Your machine will become useless if it gets contaminated. When using a machine, however, you can not note the motherboard’s output. Since an unstable motherboard will affect the CPU, GPU, USB ports, and other machine components, you can blame it on something else.
Motherboard Failure Symptoms
Physically Damaged parts
Your machine will become useless if it gets contaminated. When using a machine, scan the motherboard for problems. However, you can not note the motherboard’s output. Since an unstable motherboard will affect the CPU, GPU, USB ports, and other machine components, you can blame it on something else.
Unusual Burning Odor
The burning smell is one of the most noticeable motherboard malfunction signs and acts as a motherboard checker. An intense burning odour typically indicates that a part has become overheated. An incompatible part may often cause overheating or failure. An incompatible graphics card or RAM, for example, will damage the motherboard.
BIOS Menu Appears at Startup
In most instances, you’ll have to customize the BIOS menu manually. If it appears on its own during the initialization process, it means there are numerous software or hardware errors, such as a motherboard problem. Since the BIOS menu controls the PC’s hardware agreements, it may be challenging for the motherboard to interact with newly mounted components such as a video card.
Furthermore, the existence of BIOS means that a part on the motherboard has failed or is malfunctioning.
Blue screen death
The blue screen of death (BSoD), also known as a Windows Stop Bug, does not necessarily mean there is a problem with the motherboard.
A bad driver or hardware failure is the most common cause of a BSoD error. Know the error code (0x000000) if you may (0x000000,0x000000,0x000000,0x000000). If you have one, look it up on Google to see if it mentions the motherboard failure.
Applications are malfunctioning
If your motherboard fails, it will be unable to support all of your computer’s hardware components. More shutdowns and application lag times can result as a result of this.
Random Locks or Freezing Issues
Another indication of a poor motherboard is if the machine unexpectedly freezes or locks up. If your computer freezes, try troubleshooting to see if it’s a software problem. If you’ve ruled out the possibility of a software malfunction, consider other hardware parts, such as a failed motherboard.
Other motherboard failure symptoms
- Peripherals are either not noticed or tend to stop functioning for a few seconds or longer.
- It takes a long time for your computer to start up.
- Your computer is refusing to accept flash drivers, or your monitor is showing odd lines (especially if you have a video card on the motherboard).
- There is no Power-On Self-Test on the motherboard (POST).
When you see one of the signs, you may wonder, “Is my motherboard dead?” A test can be used to assess the state of your motherboard. Diagnosing motherboard failures can be difficult because you must rule out all of the hardware related to it.
How to test motherboard for errors
If POST fails and the machine does not boot or turn on after pressing the power button, hardware failure is almost assured. However, this does not rule out the possibility of a defective motherboard, as a faulty PSU, an overheating CPU, or other factors. You need to double-check something critical.
Visual hardware check
Blown or bulged capacitors are a common cause of motherboard failure. Inspect each capacitor’s top to see if it is leaking or bulging. If the response is yes, the capacitor has exploded. It is likely in this situation due to some motherboard problems. You’ll need to replace the capacitor, which will necessitate precise soldering.
Also, see if it smells like it’s burning. Often, make sure there aren’t any bent pins.
Also, make sure that all of the components are correctly connected. Check to see if any of the fans are spinning once the machine is switched on. Check the colour of any visible LED indicators on the motherboard.
Some modern motherboards have LED indicators for each component, which can help determine if a critical component such as RAM, hard drive, or CPU is operational. If the indicator is green, the part is in good working order. In this case, the motherboard might still be working, but the PC is unbootable due to another factor.
Check Power supply unit.
PSUs are just as critical as motherboards, but they are often overlooked or ignored. It will supply power to your PC, but if it doesn’t work correctly or the requirements are wrong, it could cause permanent device harm. If the PSU load is too great, the system’s inadequate power supply will harm other components.
To test a power supply, plug it into a working device and turn it on. If the power supply fails, it is the power supply that has failed, not the motherboard.
If you’re using a laptop, you can turn it on by plugging in your AC adapter. If this works, the motherboard is in good working order.
Check if you get beep codes.
Please unplug all devices except the Processor and memory to complete this task. The machine should then be booted into BIOS to perform a POST. In this segment, we stated that the PC failed the test. If this is the case, the machine will either not beep or create a beep code that will tell you where the problem is coming from.
For various hardware failures, different motherboard manufacturers have different beep codes. You can learn a lot about machine POST and beep codes by reading this post.
If there is no beep code, but the power light is not on, as previously mentioned, this is a huge red flag.
Perform Two More Quick Motherboard Tests
- To reset the CMOS on the board, remove the battery.
- To decide whether the PC has a short or defective part, measure the motherboard outside of the case. This forum provides you with some helpful knowledge.
How do I check the health of my CPU?
The Intel® Processor Diagnostic Tool is available for download. Make sure you download the EXE for your system architecture, 32-bit for 32-bit Windows and 64-bit for 64-bit Windows. When you launch the programme, it will begin running a series of tests to determine your CPU’s health.
Hardware does not last indefinitely. If you take care of a device, the hardware will most likely become redundant before it fails, but it can still fail. That’s why keeping an eye on it is a bright idea. We’ve already discussed SSD health, but your CPU’s health can also deteriorate over time. Here’s how to verify the health of an Intel CPU.
There are several resources available to check your CPU’s health, but if you have an Intel processor, it’s safer to use Intel’s diagnostic tool, the Intel® Processor Diagnostic Tool. On that note, you should be aware that Intel is not the only company that makes CPUs. If you have an Intel processor, you can use this function. Looking for an ‘Intel Inside’ sticker on your device or going to the Output tab in Task Manager are the best ways to say whether your computer has an Intel CPU. Look at the top right corner of the Processor graph.
Check Intel CPU Health
The Intel® Processor Diagnostic Tool is available for download. Make sure you download the EXE for your system architecture, 32-bit for 32-bit Windows and 64-bit for 64-bit Windows.
When you launch the programme, it will begin running a series of tests to determine your CPU’s health. By default, the app performs all of its tests, and if one fails, the testing process is terminated. It can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes to complete a single test. Your hardware decides it.
You’ll get a result summary after the test, regardless of whether it passed or failed, that tells you if something went wrong. If a failure caused the test to stop, go to Tools>Stop testing on Fail and pick Off.
The test results would show you which tests were successful and which were not. They can vary depending on your CPU’s capabilities, but you may check the test report to see which tests were conducted. The typical person is unlikely to grasp what a test is about at first glance, so you should look into potential solutions if you have failed tests. Alternatively, you can have an expert look into it.
CPUs can be fixed, but they can cost as much as or more than a new CPU. Calculate the repair cost versus the cost of new hardware, and then choose the option that best fits your budget. If you can’t find a trustworthy repair solution, purchasing a new CPU will save you money in the long run.
How to diagnose Motherboard or processor problems
Within the computer, the motherboard and Processor are two of the most critical hardware components. The motherboard circuits allow various hardware pieces within the PC to communicate with one another while the CPU stores and executes programming instructions.
However, though replacing the motherboard and CPU can be costly, diagnosing hardware failure on your own can save your company money in the long run. However, determining whether a motherboard or CPU is faulty isn’t an exact science since most hardware components show identical symptoms when they malfunction.
Turn off the computer.
Switch the screen off. Disconnect the power cord from the PC’s back. Remove the cover from the case by unscrewing it.
Touch a bare metal surface
To ground yourself, touch a bare metal surface, such as the computer chassis.
Turn on the computer.
Switch on the monitor after reconnecting the power cable. Listen for a series of beeps (call beep codes) from the internal speaker when the motherboard detects a vital hardware feature problem.
Navigate to Motherboard Manufacturer’s Website
Navigate to the motherboard manufacturer’s website using a browser. Look up the motherboard model and the component’s documentation to see which device is responsible for the beep code, if any is present. Verify that the system is connected to the motherboard properly. If resetting the hardware does not resolve the issue, the component will need to be replaced.
Turn off the computer.
If the computer does not emit a beep code, turn it off. Disconnect the power cable as well as any peripheral components that are attached to the PC’s back.
Except for the motherboard, Processor, power supply, hard drive, and video card, remove all hardware from the device.
Loosen the Heat Sink and Processor Fan
Remove the brackets that hold the heat sink and processor fan to the CPU by loosening and removing them. Twist the heat sink back and forth to loosen the bond between the part and the Processor’s tip.
Touch the Processor
Remove the heat sink from the machine. Place your index finger on the Processor. The CPU can be overheating if the part is too hot to touch for more than a few seconds. The heat sink assembly can be upgraded to improve cooling and avoid system shutdowns.
Lift out the CPU
Remove the bar that holds the CPU to the motherboard in place. Remove the CPU from the device and inspect it for damaged or broken pins, which mean that the hardware needs to be replaced.
Lock the CPU in place
Match the triangle on the Processor’s edge to the triangle in the processor slot. To lock the part in place, place the CPU on top of the slot and push down the bar.
Reconnect the power
Click the power button after reconnecting the power cable. Examine the power indicator light and wait for the machine fan to turn. The power supply unit could be faulty if the indicator light remains off and the machine fan does not turn on. If the machine still won’t turn on after removing the PSU, the motherboard might be the problem.
Check for damage on the motherboard.
Examine the motherboard with a flashlight for broken onboard chips, damaged capacitors (which resemble an AA battery), burnt traces (the lines that run along the board’s surface), and board cracks or fractures. The motherboard must be replaced if it has been physically damaged.
Remove the CLRTC Jumper
Switch the screen off. Look for a jumper that says “CLRTC” or something similar. Remove the shunt from the first two pins with a pair of tweezers. Place the shunt on pins two and three, then wait 10 seconds before returning the jumper to its original position.
Reconnect the keyboard
After reconnecting the keyboard to the computer, restart the computer. To get to setup, follow the instructions on the boot screen.
Load fail-safe defaults
To load fail-safe defaults, click the button on the main menu, use the directional pad to pick the appropriate option and then press “Enter.”
Restart the computer
To restart the machine, click “F10” or go to “Save and Exit” and then “Enter.” If the machine still won’t boot or the same problems persist after installing the operating system, the motherboard or CPU will need to be replaced.
Motherboards are a complicated beast, and it’ll take a lot of fiddling and opening up your PC to figure out if the problem is with the board or other parts. If you do open up your PC, double-check that all wires, cards, and other gadgets are correctly and securely plugged in because, in 80% of my situations, the problem is caused by a loose link.