How to Test a Motherboard With a Multimeter-Guide By

Motherboards are the main component of a computer. They join all the parts of the PC to make a proper PC. All the parts of the computer communicate through it. Your rig can not work without a motherboard and everybody also want to know how to test the motherboard with a multimeter.

If the mainboard of your PC stops working or is not working as it was in the past, you can get a lot of problems. A failing motherboard or a dead motherboard can cause a lot of errors in your system. A failing motherboard shows a lot of systems indicating that it can die soon. If you want to know the detail about a failing motherboard or its symptoms, “Signs of a Failing Motherboard.

Now, if your motherboard is problematic, you need to check it. This can be done at home by a multimeter. You can check the simple problems of your motherboard using a multimeter. If you have a multimeter, then you can detect the electronic issues of the motherboard easily.

How to Test DC Voltages?

To check the DC voltages, you need a multimeter. The multimeter can be a digital one or an analog. The steps to this procedure are given below so you can easily do it

Testing motherboard with multimeter

First Step

Turn the multimeter to 20V DC. Plug the 20-Pin Atx connector and then connect the computer to an AC power supply. Examine the 20-pin Atx connector’s backside with the meter’s black probe and then set the black probe with 16 or 17 pins of the connector.

Second Step

Now use the other probe of the meter to check the pins 9 and 14. While checking those pins, keep looking at the readers. Now take the red probe and probe pin 9. If the meter shows a reading of 5 V, then it’s all right, but any reading above or below 5 V indicates a problem with the power supply unit.

Now probe pin 14, if the reading is between 3 to 5 V, then there is no problem; otherwise, the faulty switch can be the cause. Probing the pin 14 turns on the power switch, the PS_On value should decrease to 0, or else the power switch is at fault.

Third Step

To check the Power_OK, probe pin 8. Multimeter should show a reading above 2.5 while probing pin 8 with the red probe. It is an indication that the computer is in good condition to start.

Press reset and recheck the meter; the reading should drop down to zero and then climb up while the computer restarts.

Related: Signs of a failing CPU

How to Test Motherboard for Short Circuits?

Short circuits can lead to a complete failure of the motherboard. Along with the motherboard, it can also harm other components. A computer motherboard can be repaired, but finding out the problem can save the computer’s different parts.

How to test a motherboard with a multimeter

The full method to check the motherboard and the power supply unit with the multimeter is given below. Check out the step by step method to learning.

First Step

For this test, you need to unplug your PC. Please take out the plug from your AC power and give it rest for some time. The rest will drain all the remaining charges in the PC. Now ready your multimeter.

Set the multimeter on the lowest Ohm setting, this should be 200 Ohm, and connect both probes to each to turn the reading to zero. Connect both of the probes, red and black, to the chassis of the PC. The reading on the meter should remain the same.

Second Step

Now for the next step, take out the 21-pin ATX connector from the motherboard. The black probe of the meter should remain on the chassis. Use the red probe to check the DC connector’s black wire pins and the power supply unit’s AC connector’s ground pin. The readings while doing that should be zero.

Third step

To check the readings for the colored wires of the DC connector in the third step, keep the black probe on the chassis and then probe the colored wires. The colored cables should give a reading of 50 V or above.

Fourth Step

In the fourth and final step, remove the CPU from the motherboard. Once the CPU is removed, keep the black probe on the chassis and use the red one to check the GND pins. Probe the pins 3, 5, 7, 13, 15, 16, and 17 using the meter’s red lead. If the reading is returned as zero, then the connector is all right. Any other reading is an indication that the connector is problematic.

Final Thoughts

We showed you how to check the motherboard with the multimeter. How will you know when to check the motherboard like this?

A failing motherboard, like an ill person, shows symptoms. The symptoms indicate that the motherboard or some other hardware is at fault. The test with the multimeter can reveal if the motherboard is problematic or not.

If you have a faulty motherboard at hand, then replace it because repairing is not an option. The faulty motherboard can ruin the whole PC. So it is wise to get a single part changed instead of the entire PC.

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