Motherboard Help Pages
10. My motherboard does not
come on how can I check it for basic faults?
In order to check a motherboard that appears not to come
on the first thing to do is to strip it back to the bare essentials
neccessary in order for it just to come on at all (this includes
removing all leads and connectors not used including IDE leads
and all ports, keyboards, mice etc). Minimum requirements
are a power supply (AT or ATX depending on the connections),
The motherboard itself, a processor that is supported by the
motherboard (along with it's fan), a speaker to hear the bios
beeps. An exception to this is motherboards with AMIBIOS which
also require ram to be present.
Before turning it on check the
jumper settings. With this minimum specification the board
should emit some beeps. Do not worry about how many or how
long the beeps are, if it beeps it is ok. If it doesn't beep
then there is a problem with one of the components or some
of the jumper settings are wrong.
The easiest way to check the
other components (including the power supply) is to place
the suspect components one by one into a working system which
should confirm them to be either faulty or working, and once
the other components have been checked as working then the
problem must lie with the motherboard. Once You get the beeps
for without ram (This stage is missed as noted above with
AMIBIOS) then the next stage is to insert the ram in the correct
slot and switch on again. Once again there should be a series
of beeps and the thing to check here is merely that the beeps
are different from those emitted without ram.
Once these beeps have been established
then the video card can be installed and attatched to a monitor.
Switching on should then give a monitor signal. Before deciding
on a motherboard as a faulty component there are still a few
checks on things that are known to catch people out.
1. Ensure the clear CMOS jumper is set to normal.
2. Check for any unusual jumpers such as a jumper that switches
between AT and ATX power (unusual but it does occur)
3. Ensure that any ram is fitted in the correct slot(s) as
some boards are particular about the order in which slots
need to be filled (especially boards with onboard graphics).
4. Finally a last check can be carried out with a completely
different processor (different manufacturer and speed) to
confirm that the motherboard still doesn't come on. It may
seem strange but there are quite a number of motherboards
that would not come on but have been brought to life with
a different processor using completely different settings.
It is quite normal that when this occurs replacing the original
processor and settings will also work just fine too.