9 Warning Indicators of a Unhealthy Motherboard

The efficiency of your motherboard is one thing it’s possible you’ll not discover within the day-to-day use of your PC. In reality, it’s possible you’ll be inclined in charge a foul motherboard on one thing else in your PC totally, as an iffy motherboard can have an effect on your GPU, CPU, RAM, storage, and extra. Diagnosing the state of affairs is likely one of the hardest issues to do, however this listing of dangerous motherboard indicators can get you began.

1. Failure to POST

The very first thing your PC does once you flip it on is undergo a POST: Energy On Self Check. Your laptop performs this sequence of checks to make sure every thing is so as earlier than it might probably boot into the working system. In case your PC fails this examine, one of many causes could possibly be a defective motherboard.

However the root reason for a failed POST can not all the time be confirmed simply. It could possibly be an inaccessible boot machine error or defective RAM, or one thing else totally. Some methods have particular audio beeps to point which part inside your PC is accountable. You may seek for the beep on-line or in your motherboard guide to find out the defective part.

If you happen to can’t pinpoint the problem to any particular part, your motherboard may be the perpetrator. If you happen to’re comfy, examine your motherboard for seen indicators of injury, similar to swollen capacitors or charred circuitry. If you happen to can’t discover something, it’s time to let knowledgeable have a look.

2. Blue Display screen of Loss of life (BSOD)

You in all probability already know that BSODs will be attributable to a wide range of {hardware} and software program points. The most typical methods to repair BSODs in Home windows hint the problem to both corrupted Home windows information, defective drivers, or defective elements, like reminiscence and storage.

In uncommon circumstances, nonetheless, a motherboard will be at fault. Seek for the displayed error code on-line to diagnose attainable causes. Usually, you’ll be able to make things better your self, except it’s a failed part. If nothing works, examine your guarantee data or contact knowledgeable.

3. Unexplained Shutdowns

Generally, your PC will flip off unexpectedly in the course of one thing. It doesn’t even should be an intense workload, similar to a sport or video enhancing job. These abrupt shutdowns will be linked to a failing motherboard in case you’ve dominated every thing else out.

Begin by checking your CPU temperature at idle and through different workloads. If you happen to’re seeing unusually excessive temps and not using a demanding utility operating on the PC, the abrupt shutdown could also be linked to your CPU cooler. An incorrectly mounted cooler or inadequate thermal paste could cause your CPU temps to immediately leap to the throttling threshold, inflicting it to show the PC off to forestall injury.

Warning Signs Bad Motherboard Hwinfo Cpu Temperature 1

If there’s no error code to seek advice from, examine which utility you have been utilizing simply earlier than the crash occurred. Repairing or eradicating the appliance may repair the problem. Alternatively, examine your exhausting disk well being to see whether or not dangerous sectors are inflicting points with the OS file system.

You would additionally improve your motherboard BIOS to see if it eliminates the issue. Moreover, your energy provide unit (PSU) can typically be the perpetrator if it isn’t in a position to present sufficient wattage or steady energy on your workload.

Barring these points, you’ll be able to tentatively place the blame on a foul motherboard. In case your PC is sort of outdated, it’s attainable that sustained heavy load has worn the motherboard VRMs down, rendering them incapable of offering clear energy to your CPU.

4. GPU Artifacts

In case your graphics card stops working, otherwise you’re getting unusual visible artifacts on the display screen (notably throughout gaming), it might be a defective PCI-E slot in your motherboard that’s at fault.

However first, you could rule out a defective graphics card. Replace your GPU drivers, and reinstall them as essential to ensure it’s not only a software program drawback with the graphics card. Failing that, it’s value inserting your GPU into one other slot to see whether or not the identical drawback reoccurs. If it doesn’t, then you realize that the slot you eliminated it from might be defective.

5. Crashing Resulting from Overclocking

If you happen to’re overclocking your CPU and discover that the PC crashes solely once you’re stress testing or benchmarking the system or when enjoying a sport, the problem could also be an unstable overclock or dangerous VRM high quality.

To examine for the previous, attempt dialing in a steady overclock by tweaking your overclock settings. If that doesn’t assist, restore the CPU to inventory settings, then run the identical purposes. If the crashes go away, you’ll be able to safely conclude that an unstable overclock was the explanation.

However, in case your PC continues to be crashing at times, it could possibly be your energy provide that’s at fault. Its wattage or development will not be adequate to maintain the overclock.

Lastly, it could possibly be your motherboard VRMs that aren’t sturdy sufficient to maintain the ability necessities wanted on your use case. Examine opinions on your motherboard on-line and see whether or not others are going through the identical points with that specific mannequin. If sure, it’s possible you’ll want to exchange your motherboard. Attempt to decide on top-of-the-line gaming motherboards, as they typically have superior elements able to overclocking high-end CPUs.

6. USB Peripherals Not Working

Equipment like keyboards and mice not working could possibly be an indication of defective USB ports in your motherboard. Check the gadgets in numerous ports to see whether or not they work usually. You may as well plug them in to the entrance USB ports in your PC case. In the event that they work usually, you’ll realize it’s a difficulty together with your motherboard’s USB ports.

Don’t blame your motherboard simply but, although. Open Gadget Supervisor by right-clicking the Home windows button and choosing Gadget Supervisor. Scroll all the way down to Common Serial Bus controllers, then see if there are exclamation marks subsequent to any of the USB ports. If there are, right-click it, then click on Replace driver.

Device Manager screenshot showing how to update USB drivers

Even when there aren’t exclamation marks, attempt updating the drivers simply to ensure, or right-click every of the USB port drivers one after the other, then click on Scan for {hardware} modifications. Lastly, attempt uninstalling every of the USB drivers one after the other, then rebooting your PC, forcing it to reinstall them (hopefully in working order).

If none of this works, the issue in all probability lies together with your motherboard {hardware}.

7. RAM or Reminiscence Points

In case your PC retains beeping once you flip it on, slows down over time throughout a single session, or retains crashing with error codes associated to reminiscence, you will have an issue together with your RAM. Once more, it will not be particularly the RAM, however the RAM slots which might be the issue.

To seek out out which one it’s, open your PC, take out a stick of RAM, then swap the PC again on to see whether or not it really works usually. Hold doing this till your PC malfunctions once more.

When it does, attempt placing the RAM stick you took out in a unique slot. If the PC malfunctions once more, then you realize it’s the RAM stick that’s the issue. However, if the PC works high-quality, then you realize it’s the RAM slot that’s defective. Though it’s uncommon for a RAM slot to go dangerous with out bodily injury, following this course of will nonetheless shed some mild on which components are inflicting the PC to malfunction.

8. Defective Video Ports

In case your video outputs aren’t working in any respect when plugged in to your motherboard, the very first thing to recollect is that none of those will work in case you have a discrete GPU inside your PC. By default, your PC robotically switches off the motherboard ports when there are GPU ports accessible. (You may change this setting within the BIOS.)

If you happen to don’t have a GPU plugged in, and your motherboard video ports have been working earlier than, first attempt utilizing totally different cables, ensuring they match snugly, and utilizing a unique monitor, if attainable.

If the issue persists, go to Gadget Supervisor. Beneath Screens, right-click Generic PnP Monitor, and check out every of the choices – Scan for {hardware} modifications, Replace driver, and Uninstall machine – one after the other. If you happen to uninstall your monitor, reboot your PC to let it reinstall the driving force, then examine whether or not it really works.

If none of this works, it’s possible you’ll be taking a look at a defective motherboard and may begin in search of that guarantee data.

9. Burning Odor From the PC

If you happen to detect a burning scent emanating out of your PC, particularly on a system you’ve had for months or years, it’s attainable that your PSU or motherboard have a critical fault.

Generally, a sub-par energy provide or low-quality energy cable can begin burning or melting, inflicting a burning scent. You may flip your laptop off and unplug the ability cable linked to your PSU to examine for any seen indicators of melting. If the problem is inside to the PSU, you’re more likely to discover that your laptop retains crashing.

If you happen to’ve dominated out the PSU, it’s attainable {that a} motherboard part similar to a capacitor is at fault. Once more, see in case you can look at the motherboard intently and spot any indicators of injury. If not, contact knowledgeable for a deeper inspection.

Unhealthy Motherboard: Restore or Change?

Motherboards have complicated electrical elements, and it’ll take fairly a little bit of trial and error to isolate whether or not there are faults together with your motherboard or different elements. If you happen to do open your PC, make further certain to examine that every one cables, playing cards, drives, and many others., are plugged in correctly. In lots of circumstances, the issue could be a free connection. Lastly, repairing a motherboard that truly is defective, is commonly extra bother than it’s value. You’ll be higher off changing it altogether.

Picture credit score: Unsplash. All screenshots by Tanveer Singh.