How to Tell If a Motherboard is Dead? [Fully Explained]

Not being able to start your PC is really frustrating. There can be various reasons why it is not turning on. One of them, and certainly not worst but pretty bad, is a ‘dead Motherboard‘ But, how do you tell if a Motherboard is dead or if it is working but something else is creating the mess. Leaving the few PC geniuses, most people don’t know how to find that out. So, if you are also confused, there is nothing bad about it and we’ll help you.

In this post, I will guide you on “How to tell if a Motherboard is dead?” A dead Motherboard is as useless as a clock without hands. So, you must replace it with a working one to get your PC going.

What is a Motherboard in a PC/Laptop?

We all know that a Motherboard is a board of circuits, chips, and other components that is one of the key parts of a computer. But, a Motherboard is way more than that. It has approximately hundreds of components that a normal user didn’t even know the name of. Let’s take a brief look at what a Motherboard is to understand everything properly.

A Motherboard is a printed circuit board and foundation of a computer. This board transfers power to the system and allows communication to and between the CPU, RAM, and all the other hardware parts. It is the main communicator between the processor, RAM, HDD, and Video Card. It is also referred to as mbmainboard, base-boardmain circuit board, and certain other names some times. Along with the major components, it carries hundreds of micro-components like Inductor, Capacitor, and many more that are also essential.

What is a Dead Motherboard?

A ‘Dead Motherboard’ is a faulty motherboard that has stopped working due to various reasons. Either some or many components of a dead Motherboard stop working and making it unable to communicate to and between the computer components. When a Motherboard is dead, a PC can’t turn on. So, when you have a dead one, you must replace it with a working one in order to run the computer.

How does a Motherboard Die?

The Motherboard and its components are very sensitive. Small acts that you do wrong can make it die quickly or over time. A motherboard can die due to various reasons, with overheating being the most common one. Let’s take a look at all the things and acts that make a Motherboard die.

  • Overheating- Heat wears and tears the hardware components over time.
  • Overclocking CPU & GPU for a long time- Overclocking causes the PC to heat abnormally.
  • Incorrectly or partially connected cables.
  • Wrong placement or misplacement of components.
  • Lack or failure of proper cooling components like fans, liquid cooling, heatsinks.
  • Excessive dust inside the CPU chamber.
  • Electrical spikes and power surges.
  • An abnormal change in the voltage supply.
  • Excessively touching the Motherboard components with bare hands.

These are all the common reasons why a Motherboard dies and stops working. There can be certain other reasons but they’ll also lead to heating or failing an essential Motherboard component causing it to die.

How do I Tell if a Motherboard is Dead?

When a Motherboard dies, the situation gets really tough to identify and understand. This is because a Motherboard failure has many similar or the same symptoms to the failure of certain other components. A lot of times we suspect that the Motherboard is dead, but it is fine and some other components like the Power Supply Unit, is dead.

Key Tip: If you have a pre-built PC with a brand name (HP, Intel, Dell, etc) and your PC isn’t starting, there are over 75% chances that it is due to the failure of the Power Supply Unit (PSU).

The first thing that happens when a Motherboard dies is that the PC or laptop turns off for eternity. You can’t turn it on, no matter how many times you press the Power button. But, there could be many other reasons that may be the cause for the PC not being able to turn on. So, how to diagnose the case?

Things to Do to Find Out If a Motherboard is Dead

To diagnose if a Motherboard is dead, you have to do certain checks on it and its components. Here are things you need to do to tell if a Motherboard is dead.

  • The first thing you need to check is the PSU (Power Supply Unit). The simplest way to do this is to plug it into a system that is working fine and see if it turns on. If it does, then PSU is fine, but if it doesn’t, then the PSU is dead. You can also try using a spare PSU in your PC if you have one.

  • If the PSU is fine, you need to check if the CPU is extremely heated. Sometimes, a computer shut itself off as a safety measure against overheating. So, just give your PC some time to cool down and then try turning it on.
  • If you are using a laptop, check if the battery is fine. Connect your laptop with the charger (AC- Adapter) and try turning it one. If it does, then your battery is completely dead.
  • Check if you are getting a ‘Beep code’ when trying to boot the computer or when it is randomly shutting down. A beep code is a sign of a hardware failure. Different motherboard manufacturers have different beep codes for various hardware errors. You can check the user manual to know more about them. Quick Googling can also help.

  • Check if the Motherboard’s power light is on or not. If it is off, that is the biggest indication.
  • Do a visual inspection and check if there are any bents, bulging, or blown capacitors present. If they are present, the Motherboard is probably dead.

All these things can help you find out if the Motherboard is dead and what is actually causing the PC to shut down permanently.

What to do if a Motherboard is Dead?

The only thing left to do when a Motherboard is dead is to get a new or working one and replace it. If your PC or laptop is under warranty, you can visit the service center and get it replaced for free. Or, if the warranty is expired, you can visit a repair shop and get it replaced with a new one. It doesn’t cost too much money. You can also buy a new Motherboard and replace it at home if you have enough knowledge or have previously built a PC.

Note:  Don’t try to replace the Motherboard at home if you don’t know how to do it exactly as you may damage the new one also while doing that.

Also, don’t try to repair a Motherboard as they are too complex for any normal human to repair. Just buy a new one and use it in the place of the dead one.

Final Verdict

A Motherboard is the main circuit board and the foundation of the PC that works as the communicator between various components of a computer. There are many reasons that may lead the Motherboard to death, the most common one being excessive heating. That’s how you tell if a Motherboard is dead. When it is dead, you can do nothing, but replace it with another one.

That’s all for this post. I hope you find it helpful. Feel free to drop any queries or suggestions regarding anything mentioned above in the comment box. I’ll be glad to listen and respond.