The motherboard is where the various components of a computer connect and communicate, whereas the processor is the computer's brain. Therefore, if there is a problem with your motherboard, replacing just one component won't fix the problem.
Generally, motherboards are sufficiently strong to assume control over the assaults of day to day use. However, there are steps you can take to keep it running smoothly. Priority must be given to safeguarding the motherboard before any other components.
You'll save yourself a lot of trouble if you don't make some of these common mistakes that can damage a computer motherboard.
Why Do Motherboards Fail?
There are many reasons why a motherboard might fail, but they typically fail into five main categories:
- Short circuits
- Power surges
- Poor ventilation and overheating
- Incompatible components
- Improper handling
There are various issues that fall under each header (and sometimes straddle more than one!), but motherboard failures generally fit into these categories.
1. Short Circuits
Short circuits on the motherboard are more common in desktop computers, but they can also happen in laptops, but only rarely. There is a possibility of a short circuit if a computer hasn't been assembled correctly, whether you like to build your own or buy one assembled from somewhere.
Motherboards can suffer irreversible damage when a CPU cooler comes loose. Because of this, before turning on your computer, you should check for loose cables and make sure the cables are connected to the right ports.
The motherboard needs to be properly inserted into the case as you assemble your PC. the screws that hold the motherboard to the case. Make sure that each screw is used and tight. A fried motherboard can be caused by a single loose screw—it does happen!
In a nutshell, the interior of your computer ought to be tidy and well-organized. A short circuit, which can damage your motherboard, can occur if the motherboard comes into contact with an unintentional object.
2. Power Surges
The power supply unit (PSU) of your computer is connected to the motherboard. If your components require more power than the PSU can provide, it will result in the motherboard or components failing, so it is essential to purchase the appropriate PSU for your requirements.
However, power surges are the motherboard issue that occurs more frequently. Refrigerators and air conditioners are two examples of home appliances that consume a lot of power. When these devices are turned off, have you ever noticed that your lights flicker? That's because they had to use more electricity, which led to an increase in demand.
The current takes a few seconds to adjust after they turn off. In addition, it is redirected to other electronic devices, such as your computer or lights, within those few seconds. This is the most fundamental explanation for a surge in power.
To accommodate minor power surges, the majority of motherboards and power supply units adjust their voltages. However, if it's a big one, it could fry your motherboard and all of its components. It is a significant issue that we rarely adequately account for. Purchasing a dependable surge protector or UPS for your computer is the only option.
3. Ventilation and Overheating
Electronics are in danger from heat—along with dust, its co-conspirator. To function properly, computer components need to remain cool. However, they generate a lot of heat on their own. Computers rely heavily on heat dissipation, whether through fans or heat sinks.
Assuming your PC or PC consistently runs hot, you really want to clean its ventilation outlets. The motherboard can be damaged by excessive heat, resulting in a difficult-to-repair shorted motherboard. To control the temperature, you can also swap out and install a better CPU cooling fan.
We've already talked about some helpful suggestions for keeping your computer cool and safe. Also, keep in mind that your motherboard is in danger if a connection is loose or not fitted correctly.
4. Incompatible Components
Attempting to install components that are incompatible or of low quality is another error that can cause damage to your motherboard. Before putting together a PC, make sure that all of the parts work together.
PCBuilder and PCPartPicker are just two of the many websites that let you check for compatibility issues. Also, make sure you buy motherboard parts of good quality. Don't skimp on high-quality RAM or a powerful power supply if you want to build a costly computer.
As previously stated, computer components detest heat. When purchasing components like graphics cards, keep this in mind. Due to the fan design and other factors, some graphics cards are more prone to overheating. If you can, stay away from these, and always keep your computer cool.
5. Improper Handling
Are you curious about the causes of motherboard damage? In addition to the aforementioned causes, improper motherboard handling during installation is another possibility. Make sure you have an anti-static wristband and anti-static mat on hand when you assemble your computer.
When handling your motherboard, always place it on an anti-static mat. One of the most common errors made by novice PC builders is ignoring the fact that even a single static shock can permanently damage the motherboard.
Avoiding touching the motherboard's circuitry is another crucial reminder. Use the edges to hold it whenever you lift it. In addition, when installing the motherboard, screw it by applying equal pressure to each corner. This means that you shouldn't completely tighten one screw before moving on to the next one.
How to Check for Motherboard Damage
Unlike other components of a computer, a damaged motherboard is difficult to diagnose. In general, it is not difficult to identify hardware failure in your PC. However, you cannot immediately limit it to the motherboard.
That said, there are a series of steps you can take to figure out the motherboard damage.
- Switch on the PSU and check for a green light on the motherboard. If there is no green light, the problem is with either the power supply or the motherboard.
- Check with a different PSU, and if the motherboard still doesn't light up, it's probably damaged.
- If the green light is coming on, check the bare basics of your PC components, i.e., the CPU and RAM. Connect only these two components and see if the motherboard is booting into the BIOS or UEFI.
- If it is still not booting, check the CMOS battery on your motherboard. If your computer is more than a few years old, chances are the battery may need to be replaced.
Error lights are standard on the majority of current motherboards and flash when a component is faulty or an error occurs.
Although the error codes and lights that appear on motherboards vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, there are some general guidelines for diagnosing and fixing motherboard issues.
What Happens When Your Motherboard Fails?
Sadly, there are not many options available to you if you have exhausted all troubleshooting options and your motherboard appears to be dead. First, you could try going to your neighborhood PC repair shop to see if they can fix it or diagnose it. Aside from that, though, it's time to go shopping for a new motherboard.