How to Test a Computer Motherboard and CPU
How to Test a Computer Motherboard and CPU
(Guest Post By :- Uchenna Ani-Okoye)
The motherboard and CPU are the two most important components inside your computer system. The motherboard is the component that all the other components are attached to, facilitating communication between these various hardware devices, while the CPUs job is to execute programming instructions. The CPU and motherboard are two devices that can be quite expensive to replace, however, if you carry out a thorough diagnostics of these two components, it could potentially save you some money. Working out whether or not the CPU or motherboard is defective is not an exact science; this is because the symptoms exhibited can be attributed to more than these two components.
The issues most associated with a damaged or detective motherboard and CPU are the following:
The computer fails to boot up, inside you hear a beeping sound.
The system crashes randomly, with fatal system errors.
The computer reboots randomly, on its own.
There are a number of different things that you can look at and test to determine which of these two components are to blame for the symptoms highlighted above. Below are the things I recommend you consider doing.
Hardware Check :-
The first thing that you’ll want to do is check the motherboard for yourself. A blown or damaged capacitor is a fairly common cause for motherboard failure or other issues. So open up your computer and check all the capacitors on the motherboard for any leaking or bulging capacitors, which are indications that the capacitor has blown. If you do find any blown or bulging capacitors, then it’s more than likely that the motherboard is to blame for the problems you’re having with your system.
When it comes to the CPU, you will need to remove it from the computer first. Once you have successfully done that, you will need to check all the pins for any bends. If you do find any bent pins, then there is a good chance that the bent pin is to blame for the system symptoms.
It is possible for you to replace a blown capacitor, though you will need to solder the new capacitor in yourself or at least get someone to do it for you. Bent pins on the CPU, on the other hand, can simply be bent back into place, with extreme caution, of course. The pins on your CPU are pretty fragile, which means it’s very easy to break a pin off completely while doing this, so do tread with caution
If after visually examining both components, you do not find any visible signs of damage, then you may want to try swapping components.
CPU vs. Motherboard :-
If visually checking the CPU and motherboard wasn’t enough to find any problems, then your next best option is to swap around the various components inside the computer. However, in order for you to do this, successfully, you will need additional components on hand. Consider swapping out the CPU, of course you will need a spare one on hand, if that doesn’t fix it then try swapping the motherboard out. Whether or not you choose to go down this road will depend greatly on your budget, as this could potentially end up inflating costs. So do consider the money factor.
Check Other Components :-
Although this doesn’t exactly relate to testing the motherboard and CPU, it’s always best practice to consider alternatives. In the event of attempting to test these two components for issues exhibited on your computer, you may find that the problem lies with another hardware device. In this case, it could be the RAM. Testing the RAM, outside of using software is simply a case of, removing RAM modules and attempting to boot up the computer. Then replacing or adding more modules depending on the progress of lack thereof that you are getting.
Replace the Motherboard and CPU
Before you consider this option, you should definitely try out some diagnostic tools, which are designed to test both your CPU and motherboard within a Windows environment. These tests tend to be very thorough and highly proficient at finding faults in your hardware components. So I say, go ahead and look for such software.
That said, if after using diagnostic tools, you find that both or one of your components are damaged, then you will have to consider replacing it.
This may or may not be something that you can do by yourself, in the event that it is not then I recommend you take your computer to your local repair store. That said if you were able to swap out the various components for testing, then you should have very little difficulty replacing these two components.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website http://www.compuchenna.co.uk.