Let’s start by defining what a computer motherboard is. So what is a computer motherboard? A computer’s motherboard is the channel through which the flow of electricity is directed through millions of different pathways and switches. This enables the computer to function and carry out tasks. So, if the delicate circuity happens to be disrupted by a short circuit, an improper connection between two points on the board, the computer will stop functioning entirely.
However, a short is quite difficult to identify. This is because it displays the same symptoms as several other issues. But the good news is, addressing these issues, as well as clearing the board or potential shorts, can sometimes bring a motherboard back from the dead.
How can you fix a shorted-out motherboard?
- Start with inspecting the motherboard for improper points of contact. This can be unseated components or debris directly touching the circuitry of the motherboard. Metal from other components, debris and even the computer case itself has a way of creating a short circuit. This will prevent the motherboard from functioning properly.
- Next, you have to check the power supply. If the board is not showing signs of life and does not attempt to power on, then the issue may be the power supply instead of a short. You can test the power supply using a PSU tester or multimeter at home if you have access to either tool. You can also test it at a computer repair shop. Alternatively, you can plug a verified working power supply into the motherboard.
- They remove the RAM modules from the board and attempt to boot the machine. If the motherboard is actually attempting to boot, then you will discover that it will produce error beep codes after a few seconds due to the missing RAM. If beep codes are sounded, the motherboard is attempting to boot. This indicates that the board is likely undamaged but is running into an issue because of a bad component
- Re-seat all the remaining components as well as peripherals. This is because a graphics card or PCI peripheral that is improperly seated in its slot can stop a motherboard from booting. You are to remove each component from its slot, check the slot and contacts for any debris or obstructions, and then re-seat the component.
- Then install RAM back onto the motherboard one module at a time. You can attempt to power on the computer after each module is installed. If the computer boots properly, then you can insert the next module and boot again. Keep testing each module until either the computer refuses to boot, identifying the bad module, or all the RAM has been installed. Understand that bad RAM can prevent a motherboard from booting.