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Simplified Motherboard Troubleshooting Tips & Procedures

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Simplified Motherboard Troubleshooting Tips & Procedures

Post  Admin on Sat May 22, 2010 8:34 am

Ok let's begin.

"Usually the first problem that most tech or non-technical staff is the lack of proper information and procedure on handling motherboard problems. What most technicians would hear from customers are laymen indications or symptoms of the problem. As these information given by customers experiencing these problems are supposed to be vital for finding the source of the problem, we technicians should accept the fact that we should always be prepared to decipher the problem at hand on our own. Also for the customer to understand that we technicians don't know everything and that information is infinite, learning never stops. So both parties should always have the patience on dealing the stress that technology is giving us." - Fritz Juele, 2tech Computer Services Tech

Symptoms of possible motherboard failure
  • With Power, No Beep Initialization
  • With Power, Hangs on Bios Initialization, can't detect peripherals
  • With Power, with Beep Initialization, No Display


Diagnostic Procedures on with Warranty Desktop PC
  • Bring the unit on the service center and avail warranty. tongue


Diagnostic Procedures on No Warranty Desktop PC
  1. Turn Off PC, unplug power cord and all input and output devices connected on the back panel of the unit
  2. Take the unit out of its original location and place it in a clean surface
  3. Prepare all the tools you will need(screwdriver, a non-conductive & dry surface like a carton, book, styro-insulator that came with the motherboard box, paint brush, eraser, vacuum/blower(optional) and etc)
  4. Be sure your feet is insulated like your wearing a rubber shoes to avoid static discharge from your body damaging the motherboard
  5. Unscrew the motherboard, powersupply, videocard & other screwed cards inside the protective casing
  6. Each piece taken out like the memory, videocard, and etc should be brushed clean and/or vacuumed and placed on a dry non-conductive surface
  7. Placed the motherboard on the non-conductive surface you prepared earlier with the memory, processor, processor fan and power supply(these were the standard devices we needed to test motherboard for possible failure assuming the motherboard have a built-in/onboard videocard else you need to connect the videocard as well)
  8. Attached all devices mentioned on procedure 7 properly. Please please please, always double check your connections to avoid further accidental damage
  9. Check motherboard manual for the front panel power on orientation
  10. Plug-in power supply power cord on an outlet/automatic voltage regulator. Using a standard flat screwdriver, short the power on jumper pin on the front panel
  11. When the power Supply, Processor fan turned on, listen carefully for the initialization beep that indicates that the motherboard is possibly ok
  12. If you hear the initialization beep, try to reconfirm by turning off the motherboard by steadily pressing the power on jumper pin of its front panel until you see that the processor fan totally turns off. Then repeat turning on motherboard.
  13. Once beep initialization is confirmed, turn-off motherboard, unplug power supply power cord and connect the monitor on the isolated motherboard. This is to see if the motherboard boots properly which will display the bios start-up up to harddisk boot disk error display(no harddisk connected so this will be the last thing you'll see on the monitor)
  14. After attaching the monitor on the isolated motherboard, plug-in power supply cord and turn motherboard on
  15. If everything works as expected on procedure 13, then the problem of possible motherboard failure was a dirty motherboard & its parts, solved by cleaning maintenance
  16. What if symptoms persist? Turn-off motherboard, unplug power cord and try inserting the memory module on the other memory slot, then replaced memory if nothing happens. Try changing the Power Supply Unit. Try changing the processor. if no onboard videocard is available try changing it as well. The replacement of parts is done one at a time so don't hurry and relax. Be patient.
  17. What if no replacement parts were available? You could still do the memory slot testing. And if you have a multimeter/multi-tester, you could actually test the power supply output voltage and you'll need the motherboard manual to verify the expected voltage input in the motherboard. To turn-on power supply unit manually, insert a jumper wire on the green colored wire and the other end inserted on any of the black colored wire of the 20 pin motherboard connector.
  18. You could also check the motherboard for any capacitor leaks, corrosion and moisture indications
  19. You could clear the bios settings as well by removing the cmos battery for 5-10 seconds or using the motherboard manual locate the cmos reset jumper and reset it using a flat screwdriver.
  20. Bios update is sometimes necessary, but only if the bios update procedure is properly tested proven and is really the solution to the problem. Avoid as much as possible. Might turn your motherboard into a vegetable.
  21. If all else fails, try to find a working motherboard to test the other pc parts(memory, videocard and etc) for performance and stability. Sorry to say, you'll need a new motherboard. If your lucky you could buy it cheap or in a good price without upgrading other pc parts which is due to technological fast advancement.

Have a great day & God Bless to all!
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