How to Test a Motherboard. The motherboard is among the primary components of the computer. It is the place where you can connect all of the essential components of computers, including processors (central processors), memory, CPU, and connectors for input and output devices. It’s similar to the human brain.
If it’s damaged and your computer becomes useless. But, when you use the computer, you may not even notice the performance of your motherboard. It is possible to blame a malfunctioning motherboard on something else in the computer since unstable motherboards can affect the GPU, CPU, USB ports, etc.
How do you check the motherboards? This is the question we’ll be discussing. We will now find some relevant information in the next sections.
If your motherboard is damaged, it could result in blue screens, frozen and beeps, or inability to recognize USB drives or various other devices, and much more. This guide will help you understand how to test your motherboard with a multimeter before installing other PC components.
You’ll require the following tools for your motherboard diagnostics tests.
- A Phillips screwdriver and power switch or jumper
- A multimeter to check voltages
- A functioning PSU (Power Supply Unit)
- An upgrade to a CMOS battery, if required.
- The thermal paste for CPUs
When you are ready to put your brand-new motherboard into the case, you must make sure to power on (Power-On-Self-Test) your motherboard to ensure that it is working and not the motherboard that was DOA (Dead On Arrival).
Here’s how to verify whether the motherboard is operating or not.
- Place the motherboard on an unconducive, flat surface like a table made of wood.
- Install the processor and then apply thermal paste.
- Connect the CPU cooler to the motherboard by connecting it with the motherboard.
- Insert at minimum one RAM module into the slot marked (DIMM 1.).
- Connect your GPU to the motherboard, and connect the required power connector, if needed. Check the GPU instruction manual to check.
- Connect into the ATX 24-pin connector of your PSU (Power Supply) into the motherboard.
- Connect your display to an HDMI connector on the side of the board to get onboard graphics or directly into the GPU for your main display.
- Connect in the PSU the power cord into the power outlet or surge protector.
- For turning on the computer, you can use the power switch jumper or, if you don’t have one on hand, you can use a screwdriver to complete the circuit for the power shown above.
- After confirming that the POST was successful, turn off the computer using the toggle in the electrical supply to its off position.
If your computer boots up to the BIOS, If it does, you’re in good shape. Unplug everything, and then install the motherboard inside your case. Install everything in the same way as you normally do. If your motherboard failed to POST, try the steps to try again. If you still have problems, call the motherboard manufacturer and make an RMA purchase of a new motherboard.
Motherboards can be among the most difficult parts to identify because of the tiny components embedded inside these devices. As I’ve seen, when motherboards break, they usually won’t start, turn on or do anything else. The steps below can aid in identifying the cause.
- The Power-On-Self Test or (POST) happens every time you power on your computer. If your computer’s operating normally, then you can continue the initialization. If you’re not able to finish the POST, move on through the steps.
- Make sure that the motherboard you are using isn’t causing any problems for the case. Make sure you’ve correctly installed stand-off screws at all of the proper screw positions within the case.
- Examine your system for signs of overheating. Then, open the case and make sure that there’s no dust on the components, the fans and the motherboard. If there is, you can use compressed air from a can that you can purchase at the neighbourhood hardware shop to clean the case.
- Be aware of beep codes while starting your computer. The beep codes can assist you in identifying the malfunctioning component or problem. To see a complete list of beep codes and what they indicate, check out this site.
- Check the BIOS for updates, download and then install them if no updates are found. Restore or reset your BIOS to restore all settings to the defaults and restart the computer.
- If you can still access the BIOS since your computer keeps rebooting, Re-install your CMOS battery. If your PC is still in BIOS after replacing the battery, the motherboard problems will be solved if they don’t keep diagnosing.
Remove all other components that are not the CPU and the CPU Cooling Fan, and the RAM. If your motherboard starts but POSTs, it is necessary to add one piece of hardware each time until you identify the component that is not working.
If you cannot diagnose your motherboard by following the procedures above, then it’s time to utilize the multimeter. You can buy one at the hardware store near you or from Amazon.
If you own an instrument for measuring voltage, then you’ll be able to identify issues with your motherboard quickly. Even if it’s been a while since you’ve utilized a multimeter previously, we will take you step-by-step on how to test your motherboard to detect malfunctioning components.
The first thing to be looking for using the multimeter is the possibility of a short circuit. They are common that can occur when there could be an increase in the electrical charge. We will now check the AC power of your motherboard.
- Turn off the computer, and disconnect all cables.
- Take about 10 minutes to ensure that the temperature is lowered and there is no cost.
- Set your multimeter at the lowest setting. (0.1) (OHMS) or 200 (OHMS) resistance.
- The meter should be brought to zero by rubbing the leads at once and then the chassis to ensure that you’re still getting a 0.
- Start your computer and locate it. Locate the ATX connection to power on the motherboard, then take it off.
- Connect the red lead to the ground of the power connector’s pin (any black wires) while putting your finger on that black wire on your chassis. It should show an 0 reading.
- Maintain the black lead in the chassis, and use the red lead to check all wires’ colour. Make sure that all voltages are in line with the pinout listed below. When the voltage appears to be slightly above the recommended level, then it’s fine. If it’s under the voltage, there’s an issue.
- Then, take your motherboard out of the enclosure. Then take a look at the layout as well as the ATX 24-pin chart to locate the pins. With the red lead, check every one of these: (3,5,7,15,17,18 and 19) must have a zero reading. Any other reading indicates a defective PSU connector.
- The final test requires the removal of your ATX power adapter and CPU of the motherboard. Then, test the ATX pins that are in the motherboard. Any reading higher than zero indicates an issue that is affecting the motherboard’s connector.
To test DC voltages, Follow this procedure. These steps are slightly different from AC voltages.
- You must plug the 24 pin ATX cable into the motherboard before plugging the PSU into an outlet on the wall.
- Set your multimeter at 20VDC.
- Use those black wires to check the connector at the back by touching the 17, 18 and 19 pins.
- The red lead should test pin 9 (should read 5V) and pin 16 (should be reading between 3 and 5V).
- Turn on your PC, and if the readings go down to zero, then that’s fantastic. If not, you’ll need to replace the motherboard.
- Make use of the red lead once more, and then check pin 8. It should be reading slightly higher than 2.5V. Reset your computer and observe whether the readings fall to zero, and then go back up. If not, your motherboard needs to be replaced.
If you’ve found the motherboard is damaged and you cannot repair it, do not attempt to fix it yourself. Even if the repair is successful, the improper voltage regulation could ruin everything on your computer. It is better to let a skilled electronic technician repair your motherboard rather than attempting to repair it by yourself.
- If the computer is turned off, make sure you carefully check the connector’s back with the black lead. It must contact any of the negative pins, 15,17 or 19, and register an 0 voltage.
- Use the red lead as a test and confirm that the pins below Pin 16 (green in colour) are reading between 3-5 volts. Pin 9 (purple colour) reading five voltages.
- Then, restart the PC. The pin 16 (green colour) will drop to zero Volts. If it does not, this could be a sign of a defective switch. (Turn off the PC)
- In the end, the red lead on pin 8 (grey colour) will show 5 Volts. Turn on the computer and hit the reset button. Now the voltage should decrease to 0 volts and then return to 5 Volts. If not, it’s an indication that your motherboard is defective. RAM slot and that you’ll require a new motherboard.
How to test a motherboard without a CPU?
It doesn’t require an operating system to ensure that your motherboard functions and powers connected parts like fans for the case and RGB lighting. I’m sure of this because I’ve been through this several times.
How can you test the capacitor on the motherboard?
Unfortunately, there’s no method to check the capacitor’s performance on a motherboard without taking out the capacitor. You can, however, look at each capacitor’s surface for cracks, rust or bulges, leaks, or cracks which can give you an idea of whether the capacitor is damaged.
Is it possible to repair a motherboard?
An old motherboard may be fixed by an experienced technician in electronics in many instances and could still be cheaper than a new one for an older PC model. If you must purchase an entirely new motherboard, you could also need to replace your CPU and RAM.
In this article, we talked in-depth about how to test a motherboard. CCGadget is an online review website for PC hardware that reviews and reviews the best parts for computers that play games. We cover all aspects, from processors, motherboards, graphics cards, RAMs, as also power supplies. If you’re still confused, leave us a comment in the comments section below, we’ll try our best to answer your questions.