The motherboard also referred to as mainboard, baseboard, planar board, logic board, or system board, is the main PCB in computers and some expandable systems.
It is responsible for communication among crucial components such as the CPU in computers and connecting vital elements in the general computers.
The motherboard contains subsystems like memory controllers, the central processor, and interface connectors, among other components.
As the name suggests, it is the center of all components found in a computer. This includes interface cards, peripherals, sound cards, daughter cards, network cards, video cards, and other several custom components.
Top Reasons Why Motherboard Fails-
The motherboard is the heart of your PC. This is why repairing or replacing the motherboard is usually expensive.
You have to ensure that you observe and apply some techniques to increase the motherboard functionality and life.
In this article, we will guide you on knowing the reason for defaults in your PC’s motherboard and the possible prevention ways.
Electrical Surges or Spikes-
An electric surge or spike is an energy bust in the electrical circuit. Usually, the spike is fast and short-lived.
This may be caused by wiring issues, appliances that consume high energy, lightning strike, or issues related to power services outside your home.
However, electric spikes normally are because of a lightning strike. Lightning causes unexpected changes in voltage damaging delicate circuits.
If you connect your PC to a power outlet that witnesses frequent fluctuations in power supply, you are likely to spoil the motherboard.
Though in most cases, you will not observe immediate damages, it causes damages as time goes by.
Ensure you use surge protectors of high quality to protect the motherboard from electrical surge or spikes.
Quality protectors are capable of neutralizing the effects of the spike. It is challenging to control lightning strikes from affecting your motherboard.
Cigarette smoke has tar (leave alone nicotine) that is not only harmful to your health but also harms your computer.
When this smoke combines with dust, a sticky substance is formed in your computer components.
This sticky substance is hard to get rid of, and it has a bad smell. Your motherboard can be damaged due to overheating caused by the tar.
This is why you are always advised to ensure regular inspection and cleaning the inside part of your computer.
Avoid doing this at home since the motherboard is very delicate, and a simple mistake can make the process very costly.
Keeping your PC away from cigarette smoke is a care and maintenance measure you should be observing whenever dealing with your computer.
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The motherboard can overheat when you perform multiple activities simultaneously with the PC and a continuous supply of power.
Make sure that you leave the computer for some time to rest when you are watching videos, gaming, etc. another thing that can make the motherboard overheat is the clogging of the computer fans.
You already know that the work of the fans is to ensure cooling when the computer is running.
When the fans are blocking, it will mean an insufficient supply of cool air in the computer hence overheating.
Power supply fluctuations in the PC or one of the motherboard circuit parts can also be the reason your computer is overheating.
Avoid using your laptop while it is on a soft surface or your lap covers up exhaust and intake fans leading to overheating your computer.
However, you can simply prevent the problem of overheating by making sure the fan basins are clean and clear.
Give the PC time to rest after using it to perform heavy tasks. Place your computer on cold hard surfaces in a cooler room to minimize overheating problems.
You can also decide to install software that monitors the temperature in your computers, such as SpeedFan, Real Temp, or Core Temp.
Dust, Debris, and Pet hair-
Pet hair, dust, and debris can contribute to destroying your motherboard. These substances clog your machine hence making air circulation a problem in your PC.
This greatly affects the cooling system. This means that you will experience the problem of overheating in your computer.
Spill or Impact.
Accidental spills on your motherboard can greatly damage the circuits leading to motherboard failure.
In case of spills on your PC, avoid turning it on and rather take it immediately to a qualified repair shop.
Motherboards are produced in high numbers, and thus manufacturer’s defects might be witnessed. Cheap motherboards tend to fail more quickly.
The manufacturer may have made faults when installing the capacitors, and that is the reason the motherboard will fail at some point.
If the Motherboard’s bus architecture were not engineered in the correct way, cooling issues leading to the board’s failure would face the PC.
Dealing with motherboard defects is expensive, and for that reason, they have a warranty to cater for expenses that may come up within the warranty period.
The only disadvantage with these warranties is that they do not cover problems generated by the user and mostly last for one year.
Not all time that the manufacturer will admit to being responsible for the faulty designs.
The repair shops can easily identify if the issue is related to the manufacturer’s default.
This is especially when there is a recurring failure with a given model or makes of a computer. Some problems are related to a given generation of computers.
The negative side is that it takes time to identify a common default with a certain make or model.
With time, more computers will show at the repair shops, and complaints are made, and eventually, the bad model is revealed.
Do enough research before you chose to purchase a given computer make or model. You can find comments about different models on the internet.
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Normal wear and aging-
As much as you will care about the motherboard, it will, in the end, fail. It is a board composed of electric circuits having a specific life span.
The motherboard can work for 50’000 hrs. Or more if you care about it properly.
They will reach a certain limit where they fail, and you have either to replace it or buy a new computer.
The best thing is that when you know the thing leading to your motherboard failure, you can easily prevent the issue from minimizing the problem.
Take care of the Motherboard-
Although most individuals do not do the activity of maintenance of motherboards, there are useful tips that you are required to know whenever you find that you want to do it by yourself.
You have to be very careful when handling motherboard since it is a very fragile unit, and even the smallest electrostatic discharge can affect it.
Ensure that you use protective anti-static apparel/devices when you are about to handle the motherboard. Remove the power cable from the socket before you turn on your computer.
Motherboard Maintenance Tips:-
The first thing you have to do is to disconnect the power cord and ensure that you are equipped with proper anti-static devices before you start handling the PC’s motherboard.
Now, remove grime and dust from the motherboard by passing compressed air over it. Position the compressor nozzle at a certain angle to effectively blow dust particles from the cabinet.
You have to be keen when cleaning the cabinet to ensure that you remove dirt and dust particles present.
Use a small vacuum cleaner (battery operated) to suck dirty left in the cabinet completely.
The reason you have to avoid electrically operated cleaners is that they might produce electrical discharges.
As we agreed earlier, the motherboard is a very vital unit in the PC. You should be very careful when performing any activity involving it.
Avoiding the contact between the motherboard and the cleaner nozzles should be of concern.
Take care of other small motherboard components such as the jumpers that may be easily blown away by the vacuum cleaners.
The next thing you are supposed to clean is the heat sink. Clean the heat sink using an anti-static material.
Ensure that it is well placed at the processor-
Ensure all connections are safe and hasten the loose ones.
Fasten the motherboard screws properly.
Inspect the CMOS battery and replace it immediately in case of discharged batteries.
The above tips are beneficial and can increase the life of your PC’s components.
Common issues related to the motherboard.
What might be the problem that when you turn off your computer and turn it on again, it loses BIOS settings and date and time settings?
CMOS batteries are found in all motherboards. The battery in the motherboard is used to produce power that is used to keep the information when you turn off your computer.
Do not forget the number one safety tip while dealing with the motherboard components; use anti-static devices.
You can solve the issue by replacing the old CMOS battery with a new one. The battery should be of a similar rating.
Your system powers back on automatically after power failure-
This problem is not related to defaults in hardware rather an issue with the configuration of the CMOS setup.
One of the menus set up on the BIOS controls the OFF/ON condition on your computer when the power shuts down or fails.
Options that include in the menu are Last power, power ON, or stay OFF. If you visit CMOS configuration, the high chances are that you will find set in last power state or power ON.
By turning this off, you will solve the problem.
This default mainly results from the power management settings of the motherboard.
Mostly, the machine is supposed to shut down when you press the power button for at least five seconds.
You can alter the settings by configuring to “instant OFF” the power button in the setup of the CMOS.
Your system fails to boot when you use an older CPU but boot well with new CPU when upgrading your motherboard.
This may arise due to issues with the bus speeds. If your processor uses less bus speed compared to the motherboard, this will lead to failure of the configuration.
You witness a yellow mark in the device manager over the USB port. This means you are not using the proper USB driver, and the operating system fails to recognize USB hardware.
Ensure that the driver you are using is compatible with the USB hardware. Update your BIOS to get the new version that will support the hardware better.
Another thing you can do to get rid of this problem is through right-clicking the USB port and update the driver to a newer version. You can simply update your driver through the internet.
The system you are using fails to boot, yet the motherboard is installed.
This can be caused by problems in installation.
Here you are supposed to inspect the PC carefully. Check for broken pins or pins not inserted in the right sockets.
Your PC starts but fails to recognize RAM on your system or cannot boot-
If you come to an error indicating CMOS Error, run SETUP by pressing F1, this case happens typically when the CMOS has inaccurate information; however, the motherboard will be working.
Inspect the drives and visit memory settings. Reboot your PC.
Your system fails to power on-
If you usually unplug the power and inserting it back to power regularly, just set the BIOS back to default settings after you have cleared the CMOS jumper.
Turn off your PC, move the jumper CMOS to a clear position from its default location for about 5 seconds and move it back to its original position.
Now turn your system ON and enter the CMOS setup screen by pressing DEL. Correctly set the CPU speed after which you will save then exit.
Benefits of PC/laptop maintenance:-
Just like maintenance practices on things like your house and car, computer maintenance has excellent advantages, and you should carry it out regularly.
This will help you save money and time since your machine will be working with efficiency. Computer maintenance does not necessarily mean taking your PC to the repair shops.
Most of the maintenance practices are easy and simple; thus, you can perform them using your basic knowledge about computers.
Increases the life span of your computer-
You can control fluctuations of electric supply on your machine by making sure you plug your PC in an electric surge protector.
You should test the surge protector frequently. If the surge protector fails to work adequately, the hard drive or motherboard might have been destroyed by even a small electrical surge.
This practice can help increase the life of your computer by several months or even years. You can do this by yourself.
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Computer maintenance reduces the chances of lost files-
Backing up the files on your computer is an essential task that any computer user is required to perform.
In most cases, you will find people avoiding this task since it may seem not that important, or it consumes a lot of time.
Unfortunately, when your PC crashes, you will not be able to recover the lost photos and files.
Ensure that you backup your PC regularly to ensure that your files are safe all the time.
You can use online services such as Mozy or Carbonate, to back up your PC’s files automatically.
You can also perform the task by using external hard drives or CDs.
The good thing is that the backing up activity can be done in the background, and you can continue to use your PC without intervention making the task safe and secure.
Maintenance practice such as defragmenting the hard drive, windows update, installation of latest drivers, software updates, and running spyware is very crucial in ensuring your computer is running at a faster speed.
Apart from increasing the performance speed of your computer, these practices help in security purposes in your PC.
Protects the computer against threats-
You can keep the threats away by updating and making sure you run the anti-virus and spyware.
You may not be able to recognize spyware or virus on your PC, but they might be affecting your PC in the background and sharing your necessary information with other parties.
This can make your PC unusable or even destroy your files.
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Maintenance tips to increase the life span of your PC-
Maintenance of any equipment is essential and has a major impact on how long the equipment will last.
You should carry our proper maintenance practices to increase the efficiency of your PC, and it will serve you long enough.
This should be a routine. Though it may seem tiresome, this practice will be much cheaper compared to purchasing a new computer.
Keep the Mouse, Keyboards, and any opening clean-
This is an effortless task to carry out. Avoid dirty on your PC at all costs. Dirty keyboards fail to work in the end.
As much as replacing your keyboard may not be that expensive, you can avoid the cost.
Use a clean white piece of cloth to clean the accessible surfaces of your PC.
Avoid spraying water directly on the PC since you will worsen the situation. The same way, clean the mouse and other openings in your computer.
Clean the monitor gently-
Though the monitor may seem to be solid enough, it is easily affected by debris and dust, just like ports and keyboards.
Clean hard stains using LCD cleaner and dust it regularly using a microfiber cloth. This practice is cheap and will cost between $6 to $10.
Keep beverages and foods far from your computer-
Never drink or eat over your laptop or desktop. It is very easy to find yourself on the computer during lunch breaks with your ice cream, just beware of the consequences that will be brought by any spill on the computer.
Avoiding beverages entirely from coming in to contact with your PC can easily contribute to the long life of the computer you want.
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Avoid overcharging your batteries-
It is easy to forget the portable gadgets plugged in power all the time. Leave alone rising in electricity bill; this can destroy your battery.
In the long run, your PC will not be able to hold power, and you will only be able to use it with charger cords connected to sockets.
Avoid blocking the vents-
Ensure that you give your computer a breathing space. Vents are responsible for air circulation on your computer.
If you block the vents, there will be poor cooling in the PC; hence, it will not function as required. Ensure that your machine is well placed in the workplace.
Keep it away from obstacles that may affect the flow of the air in one way or the other.
Readily equip yourself with proper Desiccant-
Ensure that you have the correct desiccant to remove moisture from your PC whenever emergency spills occur. This can help in making sure your pc serves you for a longer time.
Ensure that your PC is far from magnets-
The motherboard is highly sensitive to magnets. This is because the hard drive is made up of magnetic components that can create a magnetic field on the PC destroying the motherboard. Make sure magnets are far from your computer room.
Avoid connecting your PC to public Wi-Fi-
There are several unsecured Wi-Fi networks in hotels, airports, and several public places. Avoid connecting your computer to such networks.
There are hackers on the internet almost every time. They may send malware packages to your PC and destroy it.
Shut down your PC every night properly-
This task uses less than a minute of your nighttime. Make it a regular night routine, and for sure, it will improve the lifespan of your PC.
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There are several reasons as to why your witness fails in your motherboard.
The best thing is that you can perform regular maintenance practices to avoid defaults, primarily if it is not related to the manufacturer’s design.
Using your little computer knowledge, you can prevent motherboard failures and improve the performance of your computer.