How to Troubleshoot Your Mother Board

by : Sunil Saripalli

Troubleshooting is the process of knowing the issue; determine the reason for that issue, finding a fix for the issue, applying the fix, then checking if the fix has fixed your issue. These are the steps you need to check before you fix any issue and putting everything back to normal. Before starting the process make sure that the issue has not resulted from a change in options in Windows Settings or BIOS or some Virus or Spyware activity.

Your mother board is the backbone or nervous system of your computer, every device in your computer depends on your mother board to ensure optimum functionality. It connects all the devices in a PC and checks that devices are communicating effectively between them. Common sign’s of mother board failure are that the PC won’t boot, doesn’t reach the BIOS test screen, scrambled text during and after the BIOS text screens, unusual system hangs, different combinations of devices not working.

Since all the devices are connected to the motherboard certain devices may not work if the mother board is having issues so be sure to test those devices before throwing then out and buying new devices. First step would be a inspection of the mother board, to make sure all cables are connected properly, the fans are running at optimal speeds, and that the BIOS battery is working.

If the cables are not connected properly, the mother board may refuse to start. For example in some old mother boards you can connect the IDE Cable in the wrong direction. Ensure that PIN 1 on the mother board matches with the Color Coded Wire on the Hard Disk Cable.

Dying fans are another cause for mother board issues. An old fan would operate at lesser RPM and might not provide sufficient cooling for the CPU, and if the CPU temperature reaches a Particular level the Mother Board would halt the system. Also check for any broken or leaking capacitors and burn spots on the back of the mother board, these can immediately render a motherboard useless.

Other major reason for Mother Board failure would be an ageing SMPS Units. You can test your power supply in 2 ways. There are software’s like Mother Board Monitor and ASUS PC Probe (works only with ASUS MB) which would give you details about the Voltages being used by the Mother Board or you need to get a spare SMPS and test it by swapping with your current SMPS.

If you can borrow a friends mother board you can try exchanging the motherboard with yours to see if it resolves your issues, if your PC works fine then you need a mother board replacement. If you think the motherboard is faulty and it is still in warranty you should be able to send it back to the manufacturer for a new one. Ensure that when you buy a mother board you should keep all of the packing and the box and warrenty cards, and there would be some labels that will bar the warranty if tampered with make sure you do NOT tamper them.