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How To Tell If Your Motherboard Is Dead?

How to Tell if Your Motherboard is Dead Cover

A motherboard is a foremost link between all the different components of the system. It is the base that ties all the working elements together compactly in a networking system and is often labeled as a Baseboard for such a function.

You plug your RAM into it, it has the sockets for your CPU, heatsinks, fans, and even ports for you to plug in peripherals.

A faulty motherboard is a faulty system, and it is better to be rid of each and every abnormality in it as soon as possible for an optimal experience.

What Are The Indicators Of A Malfunctioning Motherboard?

As it is the base, a motherboard gone bad translates to a degraded system. Considering its premier importance, if there is some abnormality in your board, it won’t be long before it manifests itself, so be on the lookout for any signs.

If a motherboard has contracted or developed some abnormalities, you will start to notice your computer lagging and freezing at irregular intervals.

Image of an asus rog maximus extreme motherboard
Credits: ASUS

Freezing and lag are the most common of problems with the system, and before blaming the motherboard, check for other ills.

If you are unable to find any plausible cause, chances are that the motherboard is dying. Once the motherboard is well and truly dead, the only sign of confirmation you need is ‘A complete lack of response.’

The motherboard is the system, and once it is dead, your PC will turn unresponsive and will not turn on, granted that there are no problems with the power supply.

How To Tell If Your Motherboard Is Dead?

A dead motherboard is a dead system, but a dead PC is not always by the hands of a malfunctioning motherboard.

A motherboard is a chain that maintains the unit integrity of a system’s communication, which in essence, is the system itself.

Any break in such a chain (a dead motherboard) will lead to a communications disruption that will be the undoing of the system and hence a dead PC.

You can determine if your board is dead by going through the procedure written below.

#1- Check The Power Cables

Your first course of action should be to check the cables even before the power supply is. If your cables are fried but your supply is working properly, it can lead to you wrongly blaming the motherboard in troubleshooting.

Often it is simpler things which appear needlessly complex that our thoughts don’t drift to for a solution. Check if your wires are fine and if they are, proceed to the next step.

#2- Check The Power Supply

A bad power supply is twice more likely to be the reason behind a dead system than a bad motherboard.

Bench testing is the way to go for this step. Take out your motherboard, disconnect everything and connect it to a supply that you know to be fully functional.

Look for signs of life like a working fan, some blinking light, or perhaps even a beep code. If things remain desolate, chances are your motherboard has died but proceed to the next step for further confirmation.

#3- Take Out Ram And Dedicated Graphics Card

Oftentimes the reason behind the erratic behavior of the motherboard is not the motherboard itself or any of its abnormalities.

Image of a person pulling out a gpu from pc

Mostly the culprit is a loosely connected device. If your cards or RAM are not firmly affixed in their dedicated slots, they won’t be picked up by the system, which will cause issues, but the solution is as easy as opening the casing and fixing them back firmly in their slots.

#4- Damage To The Motherboard Caused By Burning

You may actually be surprised to learn of such damage to your board, but on the positive side, now you know for sure that your burnt motherboard was why your system was showing abnormality.

A broken fuse, an overloaded capacitor, or overclocking could be the reason behind your smoldering board, especially if your motherboard has small VRMs or is unable to handle the load that you submit it to in any other way.

#5- Examine The CMOS Battery

Most of the time, even if you’re certain of your board’s death, it may be that not all of it is dead, but a fault in some certain core part is causing the lack of function. A perfect example of this is the CMOS battery.

Image of a CMOS Battery in motherboard

CMOS, or the coin battery, is responsible for powering up the BIOS of the motherboard, and all you have to do to solve a problem with CMOS is just to replace it with a new one.

#6- Inspect For Any Bends Or Breaks

Signs of physical damage are never a good indication of the current condition of your motherboard, and the worst of all, physical damage is sustained from trauma.

It explains that you have been careless with your equipment and is more than enough reason to account for any technical abnormalities that you might be experiencing. Damage to your board is damage to your system quality, so handle it carefully.

#7- Damage Caused By Water

Water is an invitation to corrosion. The iron and other reactive semiconductors of your board form oxidation cells on their surfaces with water and begin to rust and drop performance.

Water damage is most commonly sustained when people make the poor choice to use it to clean the board. The motherboards should always be cleaned with something volatile.

Water is more than enough reason behind the poor nature of your board if you, too, made the bad decision to cleanse it with water.

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– My Final Verdict:

Ownership of a system without ever facing a technical difficulty or challenge is unheard of, and while systems often malfunction, they rarely do due to the same causes.

In some of the cases, the motherboard is the culprit, though, and you’ll need to determine it via trial and error to make sure because simultaneously, there are many such cases where at first glance, the motherboard is the prime suspect, but the actual fault lies somewhere else like the power supply and such. The distinction provides solutions.

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Hamza Naeem

Hamza Naeem

Enthusiastic about gaming and PC hardware, he found his gateway to the gaming world when he was young and first experienced the open world of Grand Theft Auto. Since then, he has developed a strong love for gaming. Being inspired by it, started working as a full-time writer on NeoGamr, sharing his love for games and knowledge about gaming hardware one article at a time. My expertise is in Gaming, Application software, Video Games, Software, and Computer Hardware.

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