The motherboard is the main platform on which a computer works, where all its components draw power and circuitry.
If there are problems that arise from hardware components of your computer, it might be time to test the motherboard.
Motherboard Test Software
There are tools that help test the motherboard of a computer to diagnose any problem that might be present. Stress testing is one where the temperature is measured as well as a load of different components. The stress tests and tools are part of such test software that makes the testing process an easy and automated one.
Signs of CPU Problems
There can be several signs or symptoms that show up when the CPU or motherboard of a computer is malfunctioning. The common symptoms are the following,
- The computer fails to boot and emits a beep sound.
- Random crashes of the computer with faults or error messages, fatal exceptions, illegal operations.
- Computer reboots at random.
The above signs are sure signals that the motherboard is malfunctioning. Hence, it is best to resort to testing software to identify the exact problem before troubleshooting the same.
How to Check if Motherboard is Working Visual Check?
This will enable a person to know if any capacitors are affected. It is often a common cause. One needs to check whether each capacitor is in leaking or bulging condition. If any of them are in such a condition, it is likely that you have identified the source of the problem of your motherboard.
- One also needs to run a visual check of the CPU. You can do so by removing the CPU from the computer.
- Now you should look for bent pins. These are inserted on the side of the motherboard. When you find bent pins, these are usually caused or issues with a computer or CPU.
Test Motherboard Outside of the Case
If you have run a visual check and no issues are visible, you can run a hardware or software utility tool for diagnosing the problem. There is certain software that can run tests to diagnose the motherboard of a computer and it’s CPU. However one needs to keep in mind that certain programs are unable to detect every kind of failure possible.
● Diagnostic Tool for Intel Processor
This is software that comes free of charge for computers fitted with the Intel processor. It is a utility tool that is free and available for testing CPU and motherboard.
● Hot CPU Testing Tool
It is a great tool when you suspect that your CPU or motherboard might be heating up excessively. The software is easy to use; you can simply run the software to find the failures that might be present. There is a burnout feature included as well which is a must-have for those who are running new CPUs or motherboard. The above tools are mainly for testing hardware. There is helpful software that helps in diagnosing CPUs and motherboards.
● PC Doctor
This is a reliable solution that is used by technicians and service centers to diagnose issues that might exist in computer hardware or on the motherboard.
● Ultra X
This presents a set of products that can help run tests on computer hardware. If any of the above software shows up errors or problems in CPU or motherboard, it is best to opt for replacement of the same. However, in certain cases, you could find ways to fix the faults and make the motherboard or CPU operational.
Fix Bulging Processor
If you find that the problem with your CPU is a bulging or blown capacitor, you can fix the same by putting bent pins back in place. If you have expertise in installing a capacitor, you could bend the pins and put them back in place in a careful manner. However, if the pins get broken off then you would need to replace the same.
How to Test Motherboard with a Multimeter?
This is comparable to the brain of a human being since it can coordinate among several functions of a CPU. Though it usually does not need circuitry tests, often troubleshooting is required. That is when a multimeter comes in handy. One can use the same to test for short circuits, for fluctuating voltages, and so forth.
● Test for Short Circuits
It is a problem that can occur when there were sudden surges of electricity. In order to test for the same, you need to switch off and unplug a computer. After the motherboard cools off and is without charge, you can test with a multimeter at the lowest setting. Touch both leads and ensures that the chassis remains at zero still.
● Check DC Voltage
One can also use a multimeter to check on DC voltage. To do so, ensure that the computer is connected. Also, ensure that the multimeter is set to 20V DC. Use a black multimeter to probe the connector on 15, 16, 17 pins. Red probe, on the other hand, can help one read the voltage on pins 9 and 14.
Checks with multimeters are daunting but with step by step instructions, it is possible to run a test of a motherboard successfully. It will reveal whether there are any errors that need fixing.
Fix General Protection Faults
Though any faulty motherboard needs fixing mainly by replacement, if there are common errors, it might be possible for you as a user to fix problems. Some common and handy solutions are as follows,
● Remove TSRs
Unload or disable TSRs. It might also help to remove startup programs that might be causing GPF.
● Delete Temporary Files
This is another way to improve the functionality of a motherboard. It is best to delete temporary files that reside in one’s hard drive. These usually generate from programs that are running currently or were running previously.
● Defragment by Running Scandisk
This helps to keep the hard drive of a computer running optimally. You can run a defragmentation tool or Scandisk to verify that a hard drive has no issue. This can even detect whether data or swap files are not becoming invalid or corrupt.
● Ensure Memory Available is 200 MB
When your computer runs low on space in the hard drive, swap files are unable to increase in dimension when required. Such a situation causes programs to swap between the hard drive and memory more frequently. It also leads to several general protection faults.
Other Common Fixes
Sometimes any new hardware or software installed can cause an issue in the performance of a computer’s CPU or motherboard. One would need to uninstall such components or reinstall the same. In certain cases, experts recommend that one uninstall and reinstall Windows software. The external cache might cause error messages to come through. It is best to disable the same in a temporary manner so that the error messages stop coming.
You could also contact the manufacturer of the CPU or motherboard in order to get help resolving the issues.
1. How to Resolve Issues Related to Cache?
You can opt for a BIOS update so that cache related issues can be resolved.
2. What if GPFs Come when the Computer Remains Inactive for Long?
You can disable screensaver or power management options to prevent this problem.
3. What if I Get GPFs at Random?
This could indicate a failing or bad hardware inside a computer. Bad memory often causes GPFs to randomly occur.
- There are different ways that you can test the motherboard of a computer. If you are unable to detect faults from a virtual check and can fix the faulty hardware, it is a skill that not many would possess.
- It is easier for computer users to test using hardware or software diagnostic tools. That would help indicate the problems more easily. There are several types of tools that one can use.
- In general, faults that are extensive in a motherboard or a CPU are usually expensive to repair. It is cheaper and a better alternative to get a new model instead. As users, one should also remove temporary files and keep RAM with minimum load.
- This ensures that one’s computer and its motherboard stays in pristine condition and for long. With right handling measures a computer would perform optimally for years to come. General fixes and maintenance measures are also required from time to time.