How to Tell if Your Motherboard is Bad or Dead – [Detailed-Guide]

How to Tell if Your Motherboard is Bad or Dead

A computer’s motherboard is responsible for connecting all the components on the motherboard together. If it fails at any point, it could render your computer useless. Sometimes, your computer could start freezing, or stop detecting components, it might even not come on at all. Different things could be responsible for this. A faulty motherboard is one of the reasons why this will happen.

So, we will be looking at how to know if your motherboard is bad or dead. We will consider the indications that give off a faulty motherboard. Sometimes, you might even have misconfigured your motherboard. We will consider this as well.

So, let’s get right into it.

How to Tell if Your Motherboard is Bad or Dead

Certain indications show whether your motherboard is faulty or dead. You should also be able to tell if it has something to do with misconfiguration. For instance, if your computer suddenly starts freezing and lagging for no reason whatsoever, then, your motherboard is faulty.

If the computer also does not come on despite being connected to a power source, there is a hardware issue with your board. So, visible signs of damage can indicate a faulty motherboard. This means that you have to be on the lookout for any such damages.

LED lights could also come in handy to point you to the faults in your motherboard. Sometimes, your motherboard might appear bad, the real cause might be in the misconfiguration. A bad connection between some components could also be the reason why your computer is having some issues.

Difference Between a Faulty and a Misconfigured Motherboard

You must know and be able to spot the difference between a faulty motherboard and one that just has misconfiguration issues. A misconfigured motherboard can be sorted by fixing the underlying issue. Sometimes, this could be software-related.

A faulty motherboard on the other hand has faulty components. This will mean that most of the physical components are failing. A bad capacitor, a damaged power connector, or a failing CPU socket could be some of the faults in the motherboard.

How Can I Spot a Misconfiguration in My Motherboard?

A misconfigured motherboard is not bad or dead. It can still be fixed so long as you can resolve the issue. If your computer just became slower or starts crashing all of a sudden, don’t be quick to term it faulty. It might just be down to some misconfiguration.

Related: How to Connect the Power Button to Motherboard

Let’s see some cases of motherboard misconfigurations.

1.Overclocking of components

You have to check whether your CPU is overclocked. Overclocking simply means a high voltage being supplied to the CPU to enhance its performance. If your motherboard does not come with the right physical components, overclocking could be an issue. Components such as VRMs and power phase design will come to mind.

So, check to see if your CPU is overclocked in BIOS. The PCIe bus can also be overclocked.

You can simply sort out this issue via the BIOS menu. Then, click on the Reset to default tab. You can then save & exit.

2. Recent BIOS update

A bad BIOS update could also lead to a misconfiguration issue with your motherboard. You won’t be able to restore the older version of your BIOS by just pressing a key. You will have to flash your motherboard to do that.

3. A Loose Device

Erratic motherboard issues could also be caused by a loose device. Sometimes, the fault could be your RAM or PCIe expansion cards. If your PCIe expansion card is not getting detected, plugging it firmly should resolve the issue.

Dust can also get packed in your PCIe slot. So, before concluding that your motherboard is dead, ensure you have cleaned the PCIe slot. So, clean the slot properly and verify with another expansion card.

How then do I know a faulty Motherboard?

If you are certain that it is not a misconfiguration, then, your motherboard is either faulty or dead. So, let’s consider how to tell if you have a faulty or dead motherboard.

1. Disconnect all the components except the power supply unit

The first point of call will be to check if the issue is with the motherboard or the connected components. So, disconnect all the components and attached peripherals. You should run a bench test for this. This means that you should take out your motherboard and place it on an anti-static material.

Plugin the power supply cable to the motherboard. If your motherboard turns on, then, the fault is with the connected components.

2. Check the CMOS battery

A dead CMOS battery might be the reason why your motherboard is dead. The CMOS is responsible for powering up your BIOS. If this battery dies, your motherboard won’t work. Simply replace your battery with a new one and everything will work just fine.

3. Check your motherboard with a new set of components

A very radical approach you can try out is to try running your motherboard with another CPU, RAM, power supply unit, and hard disk. If the issue is still persistent, then, it means that your motherboard is faulty.

4. Replace the Power Supply Unit

If your motherboard is not coming on at all, the problem could be with your power supply unit. To verify, you can try out a different power supply unit. If it still does not come on, then, you have a faulty motherboard.

5. Check for any Signs of Physical Damage

Physical damage can be caused by just about anything. It can be something as simple as poor handling or even accidental, verify if there are any damages whatsoever.

Related: Why is ASUS Motherboard White Light Staying on?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What happens if my motherboard is faulty?

Once you have a faulty motherboard, it could result in physical damage to some components and your apps could also begin to malfunction. Your computer will also start slowing down and freezing.

How do I spot a fried motherboard?

The typical way to test this is if you can smell anything smokey. It could also be in the form of beep codes or some random characters on your screen.


In checking whether your motherboard is bad or not, you have to ensure that it is not a misconfiguration issue. You also have to verify that every component is properly connected. We have shown you hacks to help you out with this.

So, go ahead and follow through.

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