How To Test Motherboard

Need to know how to test a motherboard? Testing a motherboard is somewhat complicated as there are many components on a motherboard that can be defective. There is also the complication that in circumstances other than electrical shorts, motherboards can only be tested indirectly. This means you test a motherboard by plugging in the various components, such as memory or a hard drive, to a motherboard in order to test it.

To test a motherboard, you will need:

  • A memory stick
  • A processor
  • A heat sink
  • A power supply
  • A monitor
  • A keyboard and mouse
  1. To test a motherboard for electrical damage, such as shorts, purchase a motherboard tester. This is a device which is pressed to various parts of a motherboard while it is on to see if it is receiving proper electricity. In order to do this, however, the motherboard will require that at least the processor, heat sink, memory and power supply are plugged into the motherboard. It also requires that the motherboard be running while you test it.
  2. You can also test a motherboard from the BIOS. During this process the motherboard must also be plugged into a monitor and keyboard. When the computer is turned on, press the F12 button repeatedly. On some motherboards the button for entering into the BIOS is different, so it’s important to check the manual for this information. Once in the BIOS, browse to the power settings and see if the computer is operating at normal temperatures. Usually the temperature will be shown in red or with warning signs if it is running too hot. Modern day motherboards also shut themselves down automatically if running too hot in order to prevent damage.
  3. Try plugging in devices into these ports to make sure they are all functioning properly. If the USB ports on the motherboard have suddenly failed, or if the LAN port on the motherboard has suddenly stopped working, this could be considered a motherboard failure.
  4.  A fan on the motherboard, called the GPU fan, is often responsible for motherboard failure. The GPU fan is the smaller fan located near the video card and on the motherboard. Make sure when starting the computer that this fan is turning. If this fan is not turning, turn the computer off quickly. These fans can be ordered and replaced, but the damage done to the motherboard from a dead GPU fan can be quick. If you have noticed other non-responsive parts of the motherboard, such as the monitor not turning on or dead USB ports, then damage to the motherboard is likely.
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