13 Ways to Find Bad/Dead Motherboard-[with Causes & Symptoms]

Various reasons can cause motherboard failure on a computer. Some of them are bad power supply, physical damage, dust coverage, short circuit connections, etc. A bad motherboard makes your PC not work completely.

If you want to know whether your motherboard is dead or not, here I can get you through the complete steps that you need to follow.

The motherboard is a compulsory and sensitive component in a computer. And it is also a complicated one.

It is hard for you to buy each component of your computer and check where the problem is. It is just a time and money-consuming process. So you need to know when to check your motherboard and how to check it.

If any issue arises on your PC, I always want you to check your motherboard first before anything else. Why? Because the motherboard in a computer connects the components from A to Z.

If the problem is on the motherboard, you can save a lot of time by avoiding the checking of PC components individually. And no component replacement will help you to fix your problem except the motherboard. For that, you need to know the status of your motherboard.

ATX Motherboard

What Are The Causes of a Dead Motherboard?

The motherboard manufacturers test the product before selling it to the customers. However, sometimes you may receive a damaged product from the manufacturers or distributors. In such cases, you need to return or replace the product.

Now you need to know the causes of motherboard failure. And here is the list of them.

Check for physical damage

When physical damage occurs to the motherboard, it will show symptoms like broken pins, burnout of capacitors, etc, and lead to the malfunctioning of its performance. It is hard to fix a damaged motherboard. Instead, you can buy a new motherboard.

Manufacturing defect or pin damage – There is no wonder that a motherboard came with damaged parts from the manufacturer. So you need to check the pins and the ports carefully after receiving the product.

If the damage came from the manufacturer or distributor, then it will impact the motherboard functionality.

Sometimes you might be the reason for the physical damage to the motherboard. A simple mistake can cause the motherboard failure. So, be careful when you are handling motherboard parts.

A physically damaged motherboard is completely useless for you. So don’t ignore checking for physical damage.

Dust accumulation

Dust is a bad thing for a computer. The more dust means, the more chance of getting troubles on your PC.

It is completely fine that your PC components have dust. But it can’t exceed the permissible limits. However, I suggest you clean your PC components at least once every 3 months.

>>Shop computer cleaning kit now

The dust on PC components will impact their performance and reduce their lifespan. So, to protect your PC from dust, you should keep your PC clean.

Lack of sufficient power supply

Power is the raw material or source for the computer to work. If the computer can’t get enough power supply, it can’t work to its full potential. We can’t work comfortably with a hungry stomach. Right?

So your motherboard will not work without a sufficient power supply. Here you need to check two conditions. One is whether the PSU is working or not and the other is how many watts of output it will give.

Not only for the motherboard, but the bad power source is also harmful to all the PC components. So I suggest you keep a good power source (high-watt PSU) on your PC.

Improper cable connection

Improper cable connection has a high chance of motherboard failure.

I faced this problem with my motherboard. My monitor has a DisplayPort and no HDMI. The noob of me placed the DisplayPort cable on the HDMI slot on the motherboard without checking the port.

Luckily, I just lost the port instead of the entire motherboard.

Check once or twice before inserting the cable. And be gentle while you are doing it because too much pressure also gives you a shot to lose your motherboard.

Incompatible components on the board

Compatibility is another important thing you need to check when you are building a PC. If you select incompatible PC components, along with the motherboard, the entire PC components are at risk.

So, how do you select compatible PC components? Here is a guide from JayzTwoCents.

Unstable power supply or Power-cuts

The power cuts are low in urban areas, but people in rural areas might face frequent power cuts. If you have a problem like this, here is the solution for you.

The sudden drop in power supply from the source makes the PC in an ideal position and means not being able to take the proper shutdown. This is only happening on desktop PCs. In the case of laptops, the DC power will help to avoid a sudden or unwanted shutdown.

The electronic and electronic components have their unique characteristics. For example, inductors don’t allow sudden changes in current and capacitors don’t allow sudden changes in voltage.

When the power from the source suddenly drops, the capacitors on the board can’t accept the difference within a short time. This leads to damage to the motherboard with a blast of capacitors.

It is hard to say when the blast or damage occurs and when the board can handle the fluctuations properly. So if you ask me how to protect your PC from this damage, I recommend you use UPS on your computer setup.

The motherboard is outdated

On average, the motherboard works well for the first 5 years at least. After that, you need to upgrade it because the software technology is developing rapidly. We know that the computer is a combination of hardware and software.

If you are using the same motherboard for 12 to 15 years, it’s time to upgrade it.

Old motherboards will fail easily due to power cuts, dust, etc. However, there is no guarantee of old motherboard failure. Here you can find what is the right time to upgrade a motherboard.

If you want, you can use the current one or upgrade it. The decision is completely up to you. My suggestion is to keep your PC components up-to-date so the performance of your PC goes better.

Lack of proper cooling

The PC needs proper cooling. Because all the components in the computer are operating under a particular range of temperatures.

If the temperature of the motherboard rises above 50°C, it is a dangerous sign for your PC. The motherboard will get a blast or short circuit at any time at this temperature.

Of course, the motherboards are of different types. The computers which are used in the military are capable of working in negative temperatures as well. But, this is not possible with our normal motherboards.

However, this PC airflow optimization technique helps you to control the temperature on your desktop computer.

Symptoms of a Dead Motherboard

You have seen the causes of a faulty or dead motherboard. But what happens if a faulty or dead motherboard is on your computer?

These are the symptoms that you will face when the faulty motherboard is in your CPU.

Is the monitor displaying the motherboard brand?

The dead motherboard can’t display the manufacturer’s name on the monitor. In other words, the board was unable to complete the Power-On Self-Test (POST) process. And it can’t load the basic BIOS function on your PC. 

Here you can find what to do when the PC is not booting the BIOS.

Physical damage on the board

When your computer is unstable or does not turn ON at all, then you need to check the physical condition of your motherboard.

If you find any black or brownish marks on your board or the blast of capacitors, you can state it as a sign of damage to the motherboard.

Burnout on a motherboard – This damage occurs after you use the motherboard for some years. The blast might occur due to capacitors, short circuit connections, etc. Usually, after the lifespan of the board, burnout will occur.

Improper handling of the board like handling the PC components with wet or oily hands, etc. Replacing the motherboard is the only fix for a physically damaged motherboard.

If you don’t know about the compatibility of your PC components, I suggest you choose to buy the same motherboard model that you have on your CPU.

Blue Screen Of Death

The most unwanted thing on a computer is the Blue Screen Of Death. If your computer is facing this problem, it might be an indication of a bad motherboard.

Of course, there are 100s of reasons for blue screen errors in a computer. First, give priority to solving the problem based on the stop code warning on the blue screen.

However, if the stop codes are related to the motherboard and it can’t be fixed, then you need to change your motherboard. Especially, when the stop code is showing ‘Bad system config.’

Based on the stop code error on the blue screen, you need to take action. 

Auto-restarts on your PC

Sometimes the computer restarts automatically without any reason. It is horrible to face when you are at work on your PC.

The automatic restart occurs for many reasons like Blue Screen, bad PSU, etc., which are causing serious troubles like bad circuit flow or short circuits on the motherboard.

To protect from the damage, the computer itself restarts automatically.

PC freezing

PC freeze is a symptom of a bad motherboard in a computer. You can suspect two components, the motherboard, and PSU. PSU plays a key role in solving the computer freezing problem.

But, sometimes motherboards also cause this issue. If you are sure about your PSU that is providing a high-watt power supply, then the problem is on the motherboard side.

These are the reasons for a PC freezing:

  • Dust on the board cause malfunctioning
  • The motherboard reaches its maximum operating temperature levels
  • Somewhere on the board, the circuit connections were disturbed


The motherboard condition is the first thing you need to check whenever the problem occurs on your PC. I think the information on this page will help you find the status of your motherboard.

When you want to upgrade your motherboard, check the compatibility of all your PC components.

Still, have a problem in deciding whether the board is functioning or not? Comment with your query. I’m happy to help you.

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