How to Troubleshoot a Computer Motherboard
The motherboard is at the heart of your computer system. Every component interacts with your motherboard, and every device must plug into it. It is critical that your motherboard be in optimal condition, otherwise some components may not work. Your motherboard also supplies power to the individual components in your system. Without the motherboard to allocate power, nothing will power up. If you notice that some components sometimes don’t receive power, or that they appear to disconnect at times; your first step should be to visually inspect your motherboard. The same is true if you go to turn on your computer and nothing happens; it could be a simple loose wire, or it could be much more complex. The only way to know for sure is to take a look for yourself.
The obvious thing to check when your computer won’t boot up is the power supply. If you are able to rule out the power supply (check the green indicator light) then move onto the motherboard. The general rule with computer is to keep it simple. It something isn’t working, it’s likely a simple fix, just undo what you just did. If you haven’t done anything to the computer that might have caused it, start with inspecting the cables connecting the power supply to the motherboard. You are checking for unplugged, lose, or frayed wires. There is also a BIOS (CMOS) battery usually attached directly to the motherboard. This battery is crucial for preserving critical BIOS settings, and time and date settings. If it is missing, dead, or loose you computer may not boot. Occasionally jumper settings on the motherboard can also get bumped. Double check these are in the proper location. Make sure you check any suspected faulty components in a system you know to be working properly before tossing them. Motherboards are simple but critical components, and sometimes it is the simple things that cause the problems. As an added benefit, poking your head around inside your computer might just increase your comfort level with computers and your confidence in yours.