14 most common motherboard problems and how to fix them


The motherboard is the largest, most important component of a computer. Chances are your computer would not turn on at all without one. Yet it can still be amongst the easiest to damage or destroy. Troubleshooting a malfunctioning motherboard can be difficult, especially for someone who does not have experience with electronics repair. Here are some tips to help you find out what’s wrong and how to fix it.

Lets look at the most common motherboard problems and how to fix them

1) Not enough power

This problem is easily solved by buying better power supply cables. If that doesn’t work, then there may be another hardware issue preventing your system from turning on properly, such as a dead RAM stick or faulty processor. The only way to know for sure is to open up your case and check inside yourself (if you’re comfortable doing so).

2) Frequent crashing

Your motherboard may not be able to handle the voltage output of your power supply. If you have an aftermarket CPU cooler, such as a liquid-cooling system, then you might want to consider buying a better PSU with more wattage. Another thing that can cause problems is simply having too many devices plugged in at once; try unplugging everything but your CPU and video card (if you have one). If that doesn’t help, then it’s likely you need to disable some startup programs or invest in better hardware.

3) Loud squealing sound on startup

The only way to fix this problem is by purchasing new fans for your case. While you’re at it, you should look into putting some stronger fans in your case, because the standard ones that came with it probably don’t do a very good job at cooling down your already-overworked motherboard.

4) Computer randomly shuts off

You need a better power supply unit. If your computer shutdowns down randomly while using it, most standard power supplies cause this problem. The only way to fix it is by buying a better PSU, so that you never experience the issue again. If you have an aftermarket CPU cooler, such as a liquid-cooling system, then you might want to consider buying a better PSU with more wattage. Another thing that can cause problems is simply having too many devices plugged in at once; try unplugging everything but your hard drive, monitor, and keyboard. A third (and probably the least likely) cause of this issue is having a short-out in your motherboard; if it’s an old motherboard, my advice is to buy a new one.

Note: Be sure not to buy a cheap PSU; make sure it’s gold-certified for efficiency.

5) Computer does not turn on

If you have done everything above and are still having trouble getting your computer to turn on, then you might have a dead power supply unit. I know what you’re thinking–how can that be? It doesn’t work when I plug it into electricity! Well just because the PSUs button light turns green doesn’t mean that there is enough power being sent through its wiring to the motherboard. If it is a standard power supply, I would recommend buying a better power supply so you don’t have to replace it again in six months.

6) Computer turns on but is unable to boot into Windows or any other software

This problem may be caused by your computer trying to boot from an external device (e.g., flash drive). Turn off your computer and try unplugging everything that isn’t essential for seeing if this helps with the issue If this doesn’t work, you might need to get in touch with our Melbourne computer repair experts.

7) Computer shuts off continuously while running

This again can be caused by your power supply being bad or inadequate, so replacing it with a better one should solve the problem. If this doesn’t work, continue down to number 7.

8) Computer runs slowly/freezes randomly/crashes frequently

Overheating is an extremely common cause of these issues, causing either hardware failure or system slowness. You can buy an external fan for about $10 that attaches to the outside of your computer case and blows cool air inside. If this doesn’t fix your problem, you might have to replace overheated components such as your CPU and GPU.

Note: Make sure you buy the correct replacement parts for your computer.

motherboard 9) Computer turns on but does not display anything to monitor

This can be caused by several different issues, we have written an article here.

If this does not fix the problem, you may need to replace your motherboard . This problem can also sometimes be fixed by simply re-seating (plugging in and out of the socket carefully then powering on again) the RAM. If neither of these work, then there may be an issue with either the video card or the power supply.

10) No video

The computer boots up fine but I don’t see any picture/video even after trying different monitors/cables (can hear fans spinning etc.)

This can be caused by several different issues, we have them detailed in an article here.

First, make sure all connections are secure. Check the video card to ensure it is properly plugged into the motherboard, and that there are no bent pins on either the card or the socket itself. Check that all power cables are securely connected to both the video card and motherboard.

If this does not fix the problem, you may need to replace your video card . If neither of these work, then there may be an issue with either your RAM or power supply.

11) I get a black screen when powering on my computer

Your first step should be to make sure your video cable is securely attached to both your monitor and video card/onboard graphics adapter (if applicable). Your next step should be to re-seat (plug and unplug several times) your video cable into your video card. If this does not work, try booting up the computer with just one stick of RAM in it. If you are still getting a black screen, power-cycle the monitor several times. If none of these steps have fixed the problem, then there may be an issue with either your motherboard or power supply.

12) My computer doesn’t read any audio/video files

If you are sure that all cables are firmly connected to both devices and that there is no debris preventing proper connections, then you should re-seat (plug and unplug several times) any audio/video cables, including network cables if applicable. You need to make sure your audio device is set as the default device. This can usually be done by right-clicking the sound icon on your system tray and selecting “playback devices”. From there, check that your default device is not muted or set to an alternative audio source. If this is still not working after all of these steps, then most likely you need to re-install the application (sound/video codecs).

13) My computer won’t boot past the BIOS screen

If none of these steps have fixed your problem, consider resetting the BIOS. To do this, power off your computer. Now turn it back on but as soon as you see something appear on the screen (maybe even before you see anything), start hitting F2 or delete repeatedly until you are prompted to either go into setup or exit.

Once you’ve accessed the BIOS settings, find “Load Fail-Safe Defaults” or something similar and select that. The BIOS might ask if you are sure you want to do this if it is giving you an option. Select either yes or OK. This will reset your BIOS to factory default settings so now your computer should be booting up correctly again. If not, there’s probably an issue with your hardware itself, which would require further troubleshooting especially if it’s stuck in automatic repair.

14) My computer has trouble waking from sleep mode/turning on after sleeping

This is a common problem for laptops but can also affect desktop computers as well. There are multiple ways of trying to fix this depending on what exactly the problem is, but here are some tips:

a) If your computer is having trouble turning on after sleeping, try restarting it and then constantly tapping the power button. Sometimes this can jar something back into place and get you booting up properly again.

b) Turn off hybrid sleep mode in Windows if you’re using a laptop. This puts your computer into a deep sleep state, which can cause problems when trying to turn your computer back on. Also be sure that you aren’t running any software that puts your PC to sleep automatically, such as an energy saving program. And lastly, make sure you don’t have hibernation enabled in BIOS!

c) If none of these work or apply to you, go through all of your device drivers and temporarily disable them one by one. Find the culprits and you’ll almost certainly find that your computer works just fine without them.

d) Resetting your BIOS to its default settings may also help, but only do this as a last resort! Hardware problems related to powering on can often be fixed by resetting the CMOS (Complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor), which is usually done with a jumper pin or button on the motherboard itself. If this doesn’t work, it’s probably time to look into getting your motherboard fixed or replaced.

e) If everything else fails, however, you will probably need to replace your motherboard (or at least its power management system). Replacing/repairing motherboards is an expensive time consuming though.

Most of the time, it’s best to take your motherboard to an expert for repairs. Try to only troubleshoot the problem yourself as a last resort. However, you can usually fix simple problems like power issues on your own with little difficulty.

So far we’ve looked at how to troubleshoot some basic problems that people often experience with their motherboards; however, these are by no means the only common motherboard problems out there.