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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.

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