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9 Signs Of a Bad Motherboard – Here’s Why It is Failing

by  Jone -  Last updated on February 27, 2022
man taking out motherboard

The motherboard is the brain of your computer. Without it, your computer will not work. A broken or damaged motherboard can render any computer useless almost instantly. You might not realize just how many symptoms can be connected with a failing motherboard, particularly if you have never dealt with this problem before.

If you think that your computer is not behaving as it should, you should consider if your motherboard is the reason. It is always better to rule this issue out before assuming the best and running into major issues when your computer stops working. Taking care of a motherboard issue is critical, especially if you have not been reliably backing up the data on your computer.

If you are ready to learn more about how to tell if a motherboard is bad, you need to read on!

How to Tell if a Motherboard is Going Bad? – 9 Signs

Motherboard failure can be very obvious, or it can be a little harder to diagnose. While poor performance and application errors can be related to other issues, you should always consider your motherboard a likely cause of these problems as well.

Computers with damaged or failing hardware might immediately fail. Or they might display problems for a while before major issues crop up that are clearly related to the motherboard.

1. Freezing Computer

This is one of the most common symptoms of this problem. Your computer might freeze up when it is turned on and never fully boot, or it might lock up and refuse to respond while you are working. This symptom can at first show up as a brief moment or two where there is no response and it can then turn into a complete freeze that cannot be resolved without turning your computer on and off.

These kinds of crashes are very hard on your computer as they can impact the performance of programs and cause issues with updates that are not completed correctly. You will want to take behavior like this very seriously if your computer has displayed it more than once or twice recently. It can be impossible to recover data from a computer that has frozen and cannot be turned on or off correctly.

2. Blue Screen of Death

This is always a bad sign and it can be both the first and last sign that your motherboard has failed. This can mean that you have a very significant hardware problem and it can be impossible to salvage a computer that has displayed this sign of motherboard issues. Sometimes you can reboot your computer with an emergency reboot.

If you have seen the blue screen of death, you need to take this very seriously. You will want to have your computer repaired immediately rather than hoping that this will not happen again. The Blue Screen of Death almost guarantees that your motherboard is just about to fail completely.

3. Poor Performance

A major slow down in performance can indicate that there is an issue with your motherboard that needs attention. You will want to consider slowdowns as signs that something serious could be wrong with the actual hardware of your computer. While it is possible that a program is causing this issue or there is a virus or another problem that is leading to this problem, your motherboard can be the reason for the reduced performance you are experiencing.

Poor performance might start out as an occasional problem but it can quickly become a daily issue. If you have ruled out issues due to programs that you are running or viruses, you need to consider that your motherboard is the real issue behind the poor performance of your machine.

4. Hardware Recognition Issues

If your computer’s motherboard is experiencing problems before it completely breaks down, you might have issues connecting with external hardware such as mice, keyboards and more. This can be hard to diagnose since the connectivity of these devices can be to blame or the device itself might be bad.

If you have looked into other possible causes for connectivity issues to do with your hardware, you will need to turn to your motherboard as the next possible culprit. Hardware connectivity often depends directly on drivers and other logic that is managed by the motherboard itself, so connectivity can be a sign of bigger issues with your computer.

5. PC Reboots All the Time

Rather like the Blue Screen of Death, this is often a dead giveaway that something is very wrong with your motherboard. Your PC might reboot when it completes necessary updates, but it should warn you and request permission to do so. Any PC that is rebooting abruptly on its own is experiencing failures that are leading to a crash.

If your PC is rebooting on its own when you have not asked it to do so, you should consider a motherboard replacement essential. This process of crashing and rebooting can cause you to lose important work and to have corrupted data on your computer that will compromise other functionality.

Rebooting without permission or warning can also make your computer useless to you since you cannot count on it to save your work or function properly.

6. Your Computer Smells Hot

While this can be a sign that you have a fan issue or other problem, a PC that smells hot will often be dealing with motherboard problems. The hot smell of the PC is likely because the motherboard is overheating. If you let your PC operate with a hot motherboard for too long, you can cause damage to the rest of the computer that cannot be repaired.

Computers that are overheating or actively smell hot should not be used until they have been repaired. By the time that your computer smells hot, it might already be too late to fix it, even if you do replace the motherboard. PCs need to run at the right temperature to operate effectively.

7. The BIOS Menu Appears

The BIOS Menu is there to help you to configure parts of your computer when you are building a new machine or changing important hardware on the PC. If this menu shows up when you are booting up your computer, or is displayed when you are not expecting it, you can consider this a reliable sign that your machine is having motherboard issues.

The BIOS menu often shows up to warn you that there is an issue with your computer hardware communicating with other components of the computer. This menu might have shown up due to other configuration issues, but you should consider your motherboard suspect if you are seeing it when you should not be.

8. Beeping Coming From Your Machine

Motherboard failures are often indicated by a series of beeping noises that indicate that there is an issue with this part of the hardware. The series and sound of the beeps can vary depending on the manufacturer, but beeping coming from your machine during boot up or shut down is not a good sign for your motherboard.

The series of beeps and noises will usually follow an attempt to boot up your machine but they can happen when boot up fails as well.

You should consider beeping from the motherboard a good indicator that it is going bad and will need to be replaced.

If you want to know if the beeps that you heard indicate failure of the motherboard, you can easily use another computer or your phone to look up the beeping pattern that your computer’s motherboard will emit when it is failing.

9. Applications That Are not Working Right

Applications can misbehave for other reasons that are not related to your motherboard, which can make this symptom hard to connect to a hardware issue.

That being said, if you have applications on your computer that are not acting as they should or are lagging and behaving poorly overall, you should look at both the application and the hardware of your PC.

Computers with bad motherboards can experience issues with many applications, or they might show problems with performance of the larger applications that require more memory to operate.

If just one application is not working right, this might indicate the application is to blame. However, if more than one is performing poorly, this can indicate the motherboard is to blame.

Motherboard Issues Should be Taken Seriously

black motherboard

If your computer is displaying any of these symptoms of problems or poor performance, you need to consider that your motherboard might be the reason for the problems.

Computers with damaged or broken motherboards should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible before the data that is stored on them is corrupted or lost for good.

Always remember that it can be impossible to recover data from a machine that has a broken motherboard and you should not consider this problem one that can be taken lightly.

The motherboard of your computer is its brain and without a functioning motherboard you will not have a computer that can be relied upon to work correctly.

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