Troubleshooting a Motherboard that Won’t Turn On – Faulty Motherboard
There are three main questions that you need to ask yourself that will determine the route you take when troubleshooting a NO POST motherboard combo.
- Is this a “NEW” Motherboard Combo I just assembled? (With new parts)
- Is this an older Motherboard Combo I just assembled with “USED” parts?
- Is this a Motherboard Combo in a system that just suddenly stopped working?
If you answered “Yes” to questions #2 or #3, you are possibly looking at a piece of bad (or incompatible) hardware that is preventing your motherboard combo from POSTing. If that is the case you will need to diagnose the individual parts to ensure they are working. Read the guides below to check for faulty PC parts.
- How to Check for a Bad CPU and Motherboard. (Coming Soon)
If the Motherboard Combo you are working with is a new combo that you just put together with new parts, it may be a hardware configuration issue that is keeping the board from POSTing. In that case there are some common issues to look for to troubleshoot the problem.
(The troubleshooting steps below are effective if you have ensured that all of your hardware is in “working” condition. If you have not yet determined this refer to the links above.)
Troubleshooting Power to the Motherboard Combo
- If your power supply has an ON/OFF (the black switch with a one and zero on it) make sure it is set to “ON” (set to the number one).
- As you plugged into a power strip and if so, is the power strip set to on?
- Is the outlet you are plugged into controlled by a wall switch? If so, make sure the wall switch is flipped to “ON”.
- Do you have both the 20/24 pin ATX Power connection and the 4 pin ATX Power connection plugged into the board?
- Reseat your ATX Power connections on the motherboard to ensure they are plugged in all the way. Do the same with the AC cable the plug that goes into your power supply.
- To rule out your front panel wiring disconnect the wires from the motherboard and connect the two power pins with a flathead screw driver to start the computer.
Check for Configuration Issues with the PC Hardware
- Clear the CMOS of the motherboard by using the Clear CMOS Jumper (Refer to your manual to identify this jumper) or by removing the CMOS battery from the motherboard. Make sure you do not have the AC power connected to the system when you clear the CMOS to ensure the system does not hold a small charge and retain it’s settings.
- Remove any additional expansion cards from the system. (Sound cards, graphics cards, network cards, etc.)
- Reseat the memory in the system. Make sure the memory is seated all the way in the socket and that the tabs on the socket are locked in and holding the memory in place.
- Disconnect any drives (SATA or IDE) from the system, so that the only things hooked up the motherboard are the CPU, Memory, and Power Supply (And Video Card if needed).
- Reseat your CPU and make sure it has been installed properly in the CPU Socket. Make sure the CPU is aligned correctly in the socket. Check the socket and CPU for any bent pins, lint, or other issues that may be keeping the CPU from making proper contact with the motherboard.
Perform an Isolated POST Test
Remove the motherboard from the case to make sure you are not running into any grounding issues that are keeping the system from POSTing. Make sure to test the motherboard on an isolated surface. For more information on how-to perform a Motherboard POST Test checkout the guide below.
If none of troubleshooting steps listed above have resolved your issue you may be running into a problem with the hardware itself. If this is the case I would recommend contacting the manufacturer of the hardware for extended troubleshooting and RMA contact information to send the part in for replacement.
You can also contact the vendor that you purchased the hardware from if they provide technical support services or warranty coverage on the computer hardware they sell.