Motherboard diagnostic tests

Motherboard Diagnostic Tests and Common Motherboard Problems

A faulty computer motherboard or CPU can cause a variety of issues with your computer. You may not notice the performance of your motherboard during normal PC operation.

A faulty motherboard can affect your GPU, CPU, USB ports, and everything else in your PC, you may be tempted to blame it on something else entirely.

How to Know If Motherboard Is Bad?

There is no foolproof motherboard diagnostic test to verify motherboard health, but here is a list of common problems to keep an eye on that are governed by your motherboard.

A lot of people are confused about how to tell if a motherboard is dead. But how to test the motherboard?

If POST is not successful and the computer does not boot or turn on after pushing the power button, hardware failure is virtually inevitable.

However, this does not imply that your motherboard is defective, as a faulty PSU (Power Supply Unit), an overheated CPU, and other factors might also contribute to this condition. You must double-check something critical.

We can conclude that a motherboard fault exists by analyzing these symptoms. Here are a few of the issues you might encounter with a faulty PC motherboard.

However, keep in mind that the problems listed below might be caused by something other than a faulty motherboard or CPU.

1. General Symptoms

The computer does not boot. Instead, you will receive a set of beep sound codes. The error code is indicated by the beep sound, its meaning varies from motherboard to motherboard.

The computer randomly crashes or reboots, resulting in generic protection fault error messages, illegal actions, fatal exceptions, and so on.

There are several methods for testing and finding out faults in the motherboard and CPU.

2. PCI-E Devices Are Not Working

As previously stated, determining the root cause of a problem is difficult. The same holds in this case.

We mostly use GPU cards in PCI-E slots. If the PCI-E devices aren’t working, it could be due to a faulty PCI-E slot or the GPU itself.

Due to this problem, your GPU stops working or you notice unusual visual anomalies on the screen, especially if you use a GPU for gaming.

PC GPU- motherboard diagnostic

To ensure that it isn’t just a software problem with the graphics card, you should first update and reload your GPU drivers.

If that doesn’t work, try putting your GPU in a different slot to see if the problem persists. If it does work in the latter one, the slot from which you drew it is most likely faulty.

You could try upgrading the BIOS on your motherboard to see if that solves the problem, but if it doesn’t, you may need to replace the motherboard.

3. Broken USB Ports

If peripherals such as keyboards and mice aren’t working, try them in different ports before making a decision.

Test the peripherals in different ports to see if they work properly. If they function effectively on these ports, we can conclude that we have a problem with the USB ports.

But, in the first step, don’t blame your motherboard. Open Device Manager on your computer, scroll down to “Universal Serial Bus controllers” and check to see if any of the ports have an error symbol next to them.

If you see any warning symbols, right-click them and choose “Update Driver“.

Even if no exclamation error mark appears, the Update Drivers option can be used to double-check. You can also right-click each USB port driver and select “Scan for Hardware Changes“.

Finally, try deleting each USB driver individually, then rebooting your computer to force it to reinstall. Hopefully, this will resolve the issue with the USB ports.

If none of these work, the problem is most likely with your motherboard’s electronic components.

4.RAM Slots Failed to Work

Next, if your computer beeps when you turn it on, then noticeably slows down over time during a single session, or crashes frequently, you may have a RAM issue.

It’s possible, however, that the problem isn’t with the RAM itself, but with the RAM slots. To test this, open your computer, remove a stick of RAM, and then restart the computer after putting back the RAM in its slot, to see if it works normally.

Continue in this manner until your computer breaks down again. If this occurs, replace the RAM stick you removed with another RAM slot, leaving the previous slot empty.

If the computer begins to malfunction again, you can be certain that the problem is with the RAM stick. If the computer works normally, you know the issue is with the RAM slot, and the only immediate solution is to replace the motherboard.

Related: Can We Use Different Brands or Sizes of RAM Together on a PC or a Laptop?

5. Video Ports That Are Not Working

If your video outputs, such as HDMI, VGI, or DVI, aren’t working when connected to your motherboard, the first thing to remember is that if your PC has a GPU, none of these will work.

This is because if there are GPU ports accessible by default, your PC will turn off the motherboard ports.

If you don’t have a GPU plugged in and your motherboard’s video ports were previously functional, experiment with different cables, making sure they fit securely and switching monitors if possible.

If the problem persists, launch Device 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. After uninstalling your monitor, restart your computer to allow it to reinstall, and then test it.

If none of this works and you have a faulty motherboard, it’s time to replace it as soon as possible.

6. Visual Abnormalities

A faulty motherboard may display visual abnormalities such as arcing, burning, or component bulging. During a visual inspection of a motherboard, we can detect these types of faults.

Capacitors that have bulged or blown are a common cause of motherboard problems or failure. Check the top of each capacitor for bulging or leaking, which indicates a blown capacitor.

Any bulging or blown capacitors are almost certainly causing PC motherboard problems. A faulty capacitor may be replaceable, but installing a new capacitor necessitates precision soldering.

A visual examination of the CPU necessitates the removal of the CPU from the computer. Once the CPU has been removed, look for bent pins on the side of the CPU that is inserted into the motherboard.

If you find a bent pin, it means that the CPU and computer aren’t working properly. The bent pins of a CPU can be bent back into place, but only with extreme caution.

However, attempting to bend it back may cause it to break off, necessitating the replacement of the CPU.

If there are no obvious visible faults after a visual inspection, use a software program or dedicated motherboard testing kits to diagnose the issue.

7. Motherboard Diagnostic Testing Tools

How to test a motherboard?

A few software tools to test your computer’s motherboard and CPU are listed below. Due to the complexity and wide range of computer motherboards and CPUs, these motherboard diagnostic tools may not detect every possible flaw.

PC-doctor – A good, but not cheap, solution for diagnosing computer hardware problems, including common motherboard problems, that is widely used by service centers and professionals.

If you own an Intel CPU, the Intel Processor Diagnostic Tool is a fantastic free program for testing a wide range of Intel CPUs.

Ultra-X is a fantastic line of services for testing computer hardware, including motherboard tester.

Related: What Are Motherboard Standoffs and What Are They Used For?


Motherboards are complicated devices, and it will take a lot of tinkering and opening up your PC to determine whether the issue is with the board or with other components.

If you do open up your PC, double-check that all cables, cards, and other devices are correctly and firmly plugged in, because a loose connection in the motherboard is usually the source of the problem.

Keep in mind that the motherboard diagnostic process is a skilled job that necessitates experience, concentration, and patience.

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