Signs of a Bad Motherboard: How to Counter the Issue

Signs of a bad motherboard

Imagine losing that one e-mail account that you used for all the subscriptions, to which all your gaming or work progress is connected, and especially if it’s the pathway to access all your vital accounts! Now that e-mail seems pretty important, right? Let’ say that’s what a motherboard means to your computer.

Not sure if it was the perfect analogy or not, but this should give you a clear picture of how vital a motherboard is. As it’s the central circuit board where all the other components are connected, if it fails, the motherboard isn’t going to be the only thing that’ll cost you money! (Let’s save it for later)

Now the question is, if your PC or laptop isn’t functioning well, how can you be sure if your motherboard is the real culprit? Well, you don’t have to worry about that. In this article, I’ll tell you all about the signs of a bad motherboard, what caused that, and what could save you from all the trouble in the first place.

So, let’s start!

Signs that Indicate Your Motherboard’s Days are Numbered

Well, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out when something is a bit off about your PC or laptop. Most of the time, the problems are traced back to different hardware issues. Sometimes it’s the motherboard, and sometimes it’s not. That’s why there are a few signs to makes sure what you’re dealing with.

Here are the things that’ll help you to understand if the motherboard is really the case here –

  • Is There Any Physical Damage?

Motherboard physical damage

Physical damage is pretty much the most common sign of a motherboard that’s going out of order. Any form of physical imbalance can lead to a disaster because a motherboard is a complex circuit that functions based on each and every component in it.

Look closely if there is any capacitor that looks swelled up. Then see if there is any transistor or chip that doesn’t seem to be in the right shape. BTW, make sure you don’t do that when the computer is running. If any of the description matches, then that’s the first bad omen for your motherboard.

  • Check for Burning Odor

Motherboard burned

If you turn on your computer and after a while you start getting a burning odour then that’s a serious indication of a failing motherboard. This isn’t something that you should take lightly. It can result in damaging other major components inside the case.

Whenever you discover the existence of this symptom, turn off the PC right away. Sometimes it can be just another faulty wire too! So, you should open the case of your PC when this happens and track down the source of this smell to makes sure what’s the case.

  • Do You Face Freezing Screen Frequently?

Freezing screen frequently

Like everyone else, you and I both know how annoying a freezing screen can sometimes be. Does this often occur to you that you’re in the middle of something important and suddenly the screen freezes and glitches? If yes, I’m sorry to break it to you that it’s also a sign of a bad motherboard.

However, it doesn’t always have to be the motherboard that’s causing this problem. It can happen because of other hardware or software issues too. For example, such an incident can take place if you’ve too many programs running on your PC that the RAM can’t handle.

  • Has The Blue Screen of Death Become Your Nightmare?

Blue screen

The ‘stop error’ that most people recognize as the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) is like an unpleasant surprise for any PC owner. Whenever your computer and the operating system are prone to possible damage, the windows operating system sends you a warning message with an error code.

This stop screen is another possible symptom of a failing motherboard, but it can indicate some other problems too. So, how to be sure if the problem is with the motherboard? Well, it’s quite simple. Note down the error code displayed on the screen and search it on google to confirm what it’s about.

  • Is Your PC Slower Than it Used to be?

If your PC is showing slower performance than usual, it may have something to do with your motherboard. Imagine your motherboard as the warehouse. The same way a supply chain’s efficiency depends on its warehouse efficiency, your computer’s performance depends on your motherboard.

Whenever something is wrong with the motherboard, it directly affects the performance. Because the motherboard is the base connection between each and every component in your PC. So, it’s quite obvious that a failing motherboard will create an imbalance, and that’ll result in a slower loading rate.

  • Is it Failing to Recognize Hardware?

If your computer can’t recognize any particular hardware, there can be two possible explanations for it. Either it’s the hardware itself that’s defective or it’s another sign of a bad motherboard. Now the question is, how to be sure which one is causing the problem? Well, there’s a way to do it.

Just attach that hardware to a different motherboard that’s in good condition. If it runs there and the PC can recognize it, then it proves that the hardware is not the culprit here. It’s happening simply because the connection port on the motherboard is out of order.

  • Listen for Patterned Beep Sounds

Beep sound in computer

Is your PC constantly making beep sounds that seem like a pattern? Well, the pattern itself can say a lot about what’s going on. These beep sounds usually start when there is a certain problem with your hardware, and it can’t start the booting process properly.

Usually, if the beep sound starts with one beep and is followed by three, four, or five beeps then it’s an indication of motherboard failure. Then again, if it starts with four beeps and is followed by two, three, or four beeps, it says that there’s a port issue. (which can also imply that the motherboard is damaged).

  • Annoyed with PC Restarting Randomly?

Randomly restarting a PC is yet another annoying and common sign of a bad motherboard. I’m quite familiar with this symptom because I had my fair share of suffering from it. BTW, this led me to find out that I need to change my motherboard as fast as I could. How can I forget that!

You should also keep in my mind that a bad motherboard isn’t the only thing that causes this. If your PC is under virus attack, then that could be a viable reason for it. Sometimes it can also happen if your power supply is failing to consistently deliver power.

Conclusion: If most of the signs lead you to the ‘bad motherboard’ valley, then there’s quite a good possibility that you need to do something about your motherboard. However, you should always go to an expert to be 100% sure.

What Resulted in a Failing Motherboard?

Now that you know all the signs of a motherboard that’s possibly failing, it’s time to find out what caused the problem. Usually, major problems like these start from the minor things that we all know about but don’t care enough to act upon. Let’s find out what those issues are –

  • Overheating

It pretty much goes without saying that overheating is nothing but harmful for your PC. To be honest, overheating is the catalyst that plays a significant role in damaging the hardware components of your PC. Your motherboard isn’t just the only potential victim of overeating; all the other parts are too!

Your PC generates a great amount of heat on its own. There should be an efficient way of cooling it down to keep things running smoothly. Instead of that, if the heat gets jammed up inside, the capacitors and other sensitive components get damaged.

  • Dust

Dust is yet another known nemesis for any electric circuit. These small particles tend to get inside the core of an electric circuit sometimes and that results in dust burn. The ‘burning odour’ symptom that we discussed earlier, half of the time it is caused by dust.

Dust also happens to be an insulator. That means it can capture the heat inside the casing of your PC. Not only that, dust can gradually jam up the cooling fan that ventilates the hot air. As a result, all the electrical components and circuits get overheated.

  • Aging

Nothing lasts forever and definitely not the electronics! That being said, the components inside your casing can start malfunctioning at certain points. That’s why each of them has a certain guarantee or warranty period. However, taking good care can result in a longer life span.

  • Unstable Power

Instability in power can be a significant reason for motherboard damage. If the voltage goes up and down, the power circulation inside the motherboard gets messed up. And if that happens frequently, there’s a possible chance of a short circuit that’ll lead to major damages.

  • Unwanted Blow or Drop

If your motherboard faces any serious blow or falls from somewhere, that can cause some serious problems. All the electrical circuits and components on a motherboard are sensitive, vulnerable, and definitely not designed for any such occurrence.

What Can Save My Motherboard from Going Out of Order?

There are a few things that can ensure a longer life span for your motherboard. Actually, the things I’m going to tell you right now are quite simple, and you don’t need to be a tech expert to do all that. After learning my lesson from losing a motherboard once, here are the things that I suggest –

  • Make Sufficient Space for Ventilation

In most cases, there isn’t enough space for the hot air to come out of your casing. That mostly happens because the wires are scattered all over there. So, you need to keep those wires in order. I use zip ties to tie all the twisted cables in the corner. You can use something else if that does the job.

  • An Efficient Cooling Fan isn’t Expensive but Valuable!

A cooling fan mightn’t be as expensive as the other components of your PC but it plays a very important role. This little thing gets the hot air out of the systems and keeps the temperature under control. That’s why you need a properly working and efficient cooling fan installed inside your casing.

Make sure to clean this cooling fan every now and then. Or else, it gets jammed with dust and slows down. Keeping it clean allows it to run to its full potential. Some people even install an AC in their room to keep their PC cool. It's good to have one, but that's not something you must have.

  • Clean The Dust Every Now & Then

Like I said earlier, dust is the arch-nemesis for a perfectly functioning PC. That’s why you should keep them away as much as possible. To do that, make a habit of opening the casing and cleaning it every once a week. You can buy an air blower to do the job effectively.

I’ve another suggestion for you. Try not to keep the PC in the corner of your room. Because dust tends to gather at the corner of your room when the air whirls around the walls and can’t go somewhere else. So, keeping your PC there means it’s much likely that there’ll be more dust inside than there should be.

Few Words at The End

A motherboard isn’t something that you can just buy whenever you want to. It costs a lot of money and you may need to buy a few new components (such as RAM) too if the new motherboard isn’t compatible with them. So, my suggestion for you is to be a little careful before it goes bad.

In case it’s already gone past the phase of taking precautions, you can do one of these two things. Take the PC to an expert and see where the problem is. If it's not that serious, you can repair it. But if the problem is major, you aren't left with much of an option but to buy a new one.

In this article, I’ve told you about all the signs of a bad motherboard in detail and in a way that you should find easy to comprehend. Not just that! All the other information or relating to the failure should come in handy too. I hope you found this piece of article helpful.

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