Many people usually blames bad motherboard if they experience problems with their laptop. But how do you make certain it’s a laptop motherboard issue and not any other component? The thing is, there are other issues caused by a specific component that may be misconstrued as a motherboard failure. To avoid misdiagnosing a problem, make sure that you read through this brief material.

Laptop Motherboard failure is one of the most challenging issues any user or technician can face simply because there are a number of variables to consider. To get down to the bottom of the issue, a technician will usually have to eliminate several software and hardware causes. Usually, there are not many signs to come by to help you diagnose a motherboard failure. A motherboard either works or not, nothing in between. Other peripherals like fans and hard drives may still work even if the motherboard is dead but your computer may still not work at all.  If you think motherboard is to blame, make sure that you consider the items below.

Physically damaged parts. The first thing that you want to do, especially if you haven’t opened a computer yet, is to physically check the motherboard. This will allow you to examine if there is any bloated or damaged capacitor causing the issue like the ones identified in the figure below.

Leaking or bloated capacitors are usually products of overheating, material defect, or plain old aging. If you can see a capacitor that’s about to blow, you can assume that the reason for your motherboard problem.

Look out for unusual burning odor. Another telltale sign of a motherboard problem is burning smell. Most of the time, a really strong burning smell is an indication that an overheated component. Sometimes, plugging in an incompatible component can lead to overheating or failure so if you’ve installed any component prior to noticing the problem, make sure to remove it right away. You cannot just install a component to any motherboard so make sure that you consider checking compatibility first. Plugging in an incompatible RAM or video card for example may lead to severe problems so as to damage the motherboard permanently.

Random lock ups or freezing issues. If you’ve noticed that your computer has been freezing up lately, the first thing that you should do to troubleshoot it is to see if software is to blame. However, if you’ve already ruled out all software factors, the next good thing to do is to consider other hardware variables, including the possibility that the motherboard may be failing.

Blue screen of death. Getting a blue screen of death on your computer does not automatically means a motherboard issue. At lot of times, the main reason may be a bad driver or hardware failure. If you can, take note of the error message, especially the error code which looks like this one (0x000000(0x000000,0x000000,0x000000,0x000000). Once you have the code, use Google to research it to see if it says something about motherboard failure.

Other symptoms can also appear such as the ones below although there’s a chance that a totally different malfunction may be causing them. Below are the additional warning signs that you should watch out for:

  • Some peripherals appear to stop working for a few seconds.
  • Computer taking a long time to boot up.
  • Motherboard does not do POST or Power On Self Test.

Reasons why a motherboard fails

Now that you’ve confirmed that your computer’s motherboard has failed, you may be wondering what causes such trouble. Well, below are some of the common reasons why a motherboard can stop working:

  • Overheating.
  • Fan failure. Dust can accumulate very fast in fans causing them to fail. Make sure that you clean the fans inside the tower at least once every year.
  • Too much dust in the system. Dust, like heat, can shorten component lifespan and the motherboard in general. Try your best to clean the inside of your computer regularly.
  • Smoke.
  • Accidental drop that subjects components to unnecessary shock.
  • Aging.
  • Power surges or unstable voltage.

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