Today we are going to talk about Motherboards!, the most major and complex component through which power flows to all other hardware of your computer and holds it in a place at the same time.
Just like human beings, motherboards also come in a variety of shapes and sizes and sometimes lack features making them a tad bit inferior to their counterparts, however, all of them are prone to breakage or malfunction, at least at some point.
Now, you may be wondering why does that malfunction happen? The answer is quite simple since all the electrical components rely on circuitry and silicon transistors, sometimes they are damaged due to heat or physical shock.
This causes the whole operation to fail that is happening on the motherboard and if by any chance this phenomenon has also happened to you, it might be time to diagnose your motherboard.
Now you might say, wow To Diagnose A Motherboard For Malfunction? Well, To check any sort of failure in your motherboard circuitry, you cannot just pry in its sensitive transistor with your fingers, which is why Multimeter comes into play.
Here is how to test a motherboard with a multimeter, but before we proceed, take a look at some preliminaries.
What Exactly Is Multimeter?
Well, it is every electrical engineer’s best friend that handles all sorts of information related to electrical flow such as Resistance, Voltage, and current.
It also overlooks and acts as a diagnostic tool to monitor any sort of abnormal activity in your electrical hardware and lets the owner know that something that is out of place needs technical care.
How To Test A Motherboard With A Multimeter
Before we proceed, here are a couple of things you might be needing.
- Anlaog or digital Multimeter
- A Faulty Motherboard (obviously)
After you have gathered everything, you have to take into account that a multimeter can only diagnose two sorts of errors in a motherboard. Why? Well, a motherboard can have only two sorts of malfunction, to begin with, that could be addressed through a Multimeter.
These issues are,
- DC Voltage
- Short Circuit
Diagnostics Regarding DC Voltage
- First of all, Hook your Computer to an electrical outlet and ensure that an Alternate current (AC) is passing throw its motherboard.
- Now Tweak your Multimeter to 20V DC, it would be quite easy if it’s a digital multimeter.
- Take a look at the Black probe and make sure it is connected to the back and ensure that it has direct contact with 15,16 and 17 pins, respectively.
- After you have used the Black probe, take the Red probe and connect it to 9 and 14 pins.
- Ensure that everything is in its place, pin 9 should indicate 5 V measuring, while Pin 14 should have been anywhere between 3 and 5 V.
- Turn the power button on your computer and check if the reading on your multimeter drops to zero, if it doesn’t, you might be having an issue at hand.
- Inspect the red probe and make sure pin 8 indicates 2.5 V. Press the Reset button to see if it drops to zero and rises again, if it doesn’t, there may be a problem.
Diagnostic Regarding Short Circuit
- Unlike the DC Voltage tests, Short Circuit diagnostics don’t need your PC to be on, or even connected to any sort of electrical outlet.
- Wait a while and let it take its time to cool off its component and lose static power build-up.
- Use your digital or analog voltmeter and set it to the lowest OHM setting which in our case is 200 Ohm.
- Once your probes are in contact with one another, you can check if they indicate readings of zero, and after you make contact with the chassis, you can check again if they indicate absolute zero.
- Now pry open your computer and remove the ATX cable from the motherboard.
- Keep the red probe on your PSU ground pin connecter and make sure the black probe of the multimeter is attached to the chassis.
- Now use the Red probe and check all the colored cables and measure their readings.
- If you see measurements below 50, there might be some sort of issue going on that needs to be addressed.
- If you want a thorough diagnostic, you can completely remove the motherboard and place it on your workbench.
- Now, look for the ATX plug connector interface and diagnose the following number of pins in the 20 pin ATX interface.
- With the Red Probe diagnoses for PIN numbers 3,5,7,13,15,16,17 and check for their readings.
- If they indicate anywhere above zero, you might be having an issue at hand.
So that’s about it, I hope this guide about how to test a motherboard with a multimeter was helpful and was free from any sort of confusion. Feel free to bookmark this article so you can access it later with ease.
As always, stay safe and have a nice day.