Your motherboard is the heart of your computer.
It relays all the signals among other computer components. Without a
motherboard, your computer is essentially useless. Testing your
motherboard early can help you diagnose any problems it's having before
they're too severe to fix. It can also help you figure out why your
computer is being buggy, if you're having system problems.
User-friendly programs are available to help you test your motherboard
and determine which repairs are necessary.
a program to help you test your motherboard. Free programs are
available, but other options that cost money offer more choices and
more control over your test. Decide which one is right for you by
considering your budget and reading about what each program offers.
Even a free program can help you get a basic idea of how your
motherboard is functioning.
on to the website of the program you've decided to use, then download
the program. You may have to pay a fee if you've selected a commercial
Install the program once the file has downloaded, then open the program.
the correct options to test the motherboard. The way you run the
diagnostic scan will vary depending on the program you've selected, but
there should be a "Help" function if you're having trouble running the
motherboard test. Most programs are very user-friendly, and you'll be
able to run the
3. Install the program once the file has downloaded, then open the program
4. Select the
correct options to test the motherboard. The way you run the diagnostic
scan will vary depending on the program you've selected, but there
should be a "Help" function if you're having trouble running the
motherboard test. Most programs are very user-friendly, and you'll be
able to run the
Tips & Warnings:
If your motherboard isn't functioning at all, open your computer case
and shine a flashlight on it. Take a look at the components; if you see
a blown fuse or a burn mark, you'll know it's not something you can fix
without buying and installing new pieces into your motherboard. Do not
attempt to open your computer case if it will void your warranty.
How to Test Your Computer Motherboard Circuits:
motherboard is a central piece of hardware that oversees various
functions in the PC. A failing or malfunctioning motherboard can crash
a computer and prevent it from functioning in any manner. Typically,
must be sent to a repair shop to be scanned and fixed. However,
proactive testing can foresee a motherboard problem and guide you to a
solution before it becomes a problem. Learn how to test your computer
motherboard and keep your PC running longer.
some of the symptoms of a motherboard problem. One of the most visible
hints that your PC's motherboard is having trouble is an inability to
keep accurate time or a failure to save system settings. Peripheral
devices that fail to work may also point to motherboard issues.
that your computer's power supply is functioning properly. If you are
using a power source that did not originally come with the computer,
review its wattage and volts to ensure that it matches your computer's
requirements. Discrepancies between your computer's needs and the power
supply of your cable may cause problems that mimic motherboard errors.
the original manufacturer of your computer's motherboard to obtain
software that can test the stability of the motherboard circuitry.
Every motherboard is different. Hardware developers possess specific
tools that allow consumers to test the motherboard circuits. Most
manufacturers allow individuals to download the software from their
website, while others require you to pay a shipping and handling fee to
have a disc mailed to you. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on
running the diagnostic tools.
all peripheral devices, video and graphic cards, and extra memory (if
extra RAM is installed in the computer). Restart the computer in safe
mode by clicking Start and selecting Restart, then holding down the F8
key. Gradually reconnect peripheral devices and hardware to see if any
of these devices or hardware are causing motherboard-like problems.
How to Replace the Motherboard in a Toshiba Laptop
The motherboard is your laptop's main circuit board where all hardware devices connect with your computer.
Without a properly functioning motherboard, your Toshiba laptop will
not be able to operate. While you can replace your laptop's motherboard
yourself, it is a challenging, often risky procedure. Since most
hardware devices are directly connected to the motherboard, you must
dismantle the entire laptop to access the motherboard.
Things You'll Need:
Anti-static wrist strap
down your laptop. Disconnect the AC power cable from its socket.
Disconnect all other cables and devices from the laptop. Close the LCD
panel and place the laptop face-down with the front opening facing
forward. Remove the battery pack from along the top edge of the
laptop's bottom casing. Your battery is held in place by one or two
release buttons depending on your laptop's model.
the hard drive's plastic cover and the retaining Phillips-head screws
from the lower right or left corner of the laptop. Remove any screws
securing the hard drive inside the compartment. Grasp the hard drive
and lift it out of the laptop. Set it aside.
the large hardware compartment cover and its retaining Phillips-head
screws from the center of the laptop. This compartment contains your
laptop's RAM, wireless card and modem module. Spread the latches on
each side of the RAM module inside the compartment. Tilt the RAM module
up at an angle and pull the module from its memory slot. Repeat this
for each RAM module you remove from the laptop.
tweezers to disconnect the two antenna cables from the wireless card.
Remove any securing screws or spread the retaining latches on each side
of the wireless card. Lift the wireless card out of the laptop and set
the two Phillips-head screws from the modem module. Lift up on the
modem slightly and disconnect the cable from the motherboard. Remove
the modem module from the laptop.
the single Phillips-head screw securing the CD/DVD drive to the left or
right side of the laptop's bottom casing. Pull the drive from its
compartment and set it aside. Remove all Phillips-head screws from the
laptop's bottom casing and the rear panel where all data, power and
networking ports are located.
the laptop face-up and open the display panel. Insert a small,
flat-head screwdriver into the right side of the laptop's keyboard
bezel. The bezel is the thin, plastic strip between the keyboard and
LCD screen. Pry the bezel from the laptop.
the Phillips-head screws from behind the top row of keyboard keys. Tilt
the keyboard up and then place it face-down on the laptop's surface.
Disconnect the large ribbon cable extending from the bottom side of the
keyboard to its connector on the motherboard. Remove the keyboard from
all cables extending from each side of the display assembly to the
motherboard. Remove the Phillips-head screws from each display hinge.
Carefully lift the display assembly from the laptop's base. Place the
display panel on a flat surface with the screen facing up.
all remaining Phillips-head screws securing the top casing to the
laptop's base. Disconnect the touch pad cable from its motherboard
connector just above the touch pad device on the motherboard. Carefully
remove the top casing from the laptop's base. You may have to use a
thin guitar pick or flat-head screwdriver to pry the top casing from
all remaining cables and devices from the motherboard. Remove the
remaining Phillips-head screws securing the motherboard to the laptop's
base. Carefully lift the motherboard out of the laptop and set it aside.
Repeat this procedure in reverse to install the new motherboard.
How Motherboards Are Made
Motherboards hold all of the main components of your computer.
From the CPU to all of the peripherals, they all connect to the
motherboard. The motherboard is basically one large printed circuit
with all of the appropriate components plugged in and soldered into
The first step in making a motherboard is to create the
printed circuit. According to pcstats.com, Gigabyte, a motherboard
manufacturer in China that assembles motherboards, has the printed
circuit boards made somewhere else with pre-drilled holes and then
shipped to its factory for assembly.
Printed circuits are made
by layering copper or another conductive material on top of a non
conductive material (called a dielectric). Printed circuits may be made
using either "additive" or "subtractive" processes. In additive
processes, the conductive material is laminated to the dielectric in
the form of the circuit. In subtractive processes, the whole dielectric
may be covered with copper or another conductive material, and then the
unwanted copper can be removed by milling, etching or engraving.
The Assembly Process
Most of the assembly of motherboards at Gigabyte is done by SMT
(surface mount technology) machines. The motherboards are assembled in
sections as they travel
along conveyors to different stations. Machines can put the proper
components into place in just a few seconds with minimal error. But
before the components are put in place, the circuit board is covered
with a special soldering paste that will later be used to solder the
components into place.
After all of the components are in place on the motherboard, they are
then permanently soldered in place. But this isn't done with a typical
soldering iron. The almost-completed motherboards are placed into a
convection oven, which heats and melts the soldering paste. This makes
the solder permanent. After the components are soldered into place, the
finished circuit board moves to an automated optical inspection machine
that visually inspects it for any obvious soldering defects. Then a
human will further visually inspect the motherboard for missing or
misaligned components. If the motherboard passes visual inspection,
current is applied to its different components, and they are checked
for proper function. Once all quality checks are passed, the circuit
boards are sent out to be put into computers.
How to Find the Right Motherboard
come in many different shapes and sizes. Motherboards the size of your
hand use tiny processors and are used in tablet PCs. Motherboards that
are larger than a square foot can run four processors. Motherboards are
have many different functions: Some are made for servers to host
websites, some are made for gamers, and some are specifically made for
mobile computing. Picking out the right motherboard is a daunting task.
what kind of processor you will be using. You have to buy a motherboard
that is compatible with the processor. For example, a motherboard that
has an LGA775 socket has to be paired with an LGA775 processor.
Buy a motherboard that supports SLI or Crossfire if you are going to use the computer for graphics-intensive applications, such as high-end multimedia editing, intense gaming or watching Blu-Ray movies.
a motherboard that supports RAID 5 or 1 if you plan on building a
server with the motherboard. Make sure that the motherboard has at
least 6 SATA hard drive ports. Dual CPU motherboards are made almost
exclusively for servers and are very reliable; consider buying one if
you are building a server.
a simple and inexpensive motherboard if you plan on using the computer
just for simple tasks, such as web browsing and listening to music.