What Causes the Motherboard To Fail?


The motherboard of any laptop is the printed circuit board (PCB) that connects all different {hardware} to the processor. It performs such an important operate on a pc that if it fails, it stops working. You can inform the motherboard is useless when your laptop shuts down randomly and refuses to come back up once more. So, what causes the motherboard to fail in the first place? 

Quick Answer

Diagnosing motherboard failures is often onerous as a result of they share lots of the similar signs as different parts failing. However, the commonest wrongdoer for motherboard failure is overheating. Electric surge, water, and bodily injury are widespread causes of motherboard failure. 

You may take a couple of steps to make sure your motherboard doesn’t fail. Even although a motherboard will fail anyway, on account of age and unexpected circumstances, it’s much less prone to fail once you take precautions towards a few of the commonest causes of motherboard failure. This article elaborates on some widespread causes of motherboard failure and learn how to defend towards it. 

Table of Contents

  1. Common Causes of Motherboard Failure
    • Heat 
    • Electrical Surge or Spike
    • Dust and Debris 
    • Water 
    • Physical Damage 
    • Manufacturer Design Defect 
    • Improperly Seated Memory Module
    • Faulty CMOS Battery 
    • Incorrectly Connected Cables 
    • Normal Aging and Wear
  2. Conclusion 

Common Causes of Motherboard Failure

Generally talking, three fundamental parts make a pc work: the processor, storage (onerous drive and RAM), and motherboard. These three components work collectively for customers to work together with the laptop. But when the motherboard, which connects the whole lot, fails, a number of parts received’t work together with one another once more. 

However, there aren’t many early warning indicators to point {that a} motherboard is about to fail. But the fundamental factor you are able to do is to know what could cause a motherboard to fail and stop it from taking place. 


One of the main causes of a motherboard failing is overheating. The motherboard homes a number of parts like the CPU and video card, which generate quite a lot of warmth.

If the a number of parts linked to the motherboard are not cooled persistently to disperse the warmth, it’ll trigger the motherboard to overheat, thereby damaging a number of delicate parts. This explains why performing duties that require quite a lot of processes for a protracted interval may probably injury your laptop, primarily when it’s not constructed to deal with such duties.

Meanwhile, you’ll be able to forestall this by making certain all the cooling followers are appropriately working, and the laptop is saved in a well-ventilated area. 

Electrical Surge or Spike

Another widespread factor that may trigger your motherboard to fail is {an electrical} surge or spike. An electrical surge may be attributable to many issues, reminiscent of lightning, issues with wiring, power-hungry home equipment, and even energy service exterior. Although {most electrical} surges or spikes are short-lived, that burst of power could cause many issues in the motherboard. 

You can defend your laptop motherboard from electrical surges by connecting it to a surge protector. Although generally, some electrical surges would bypass a surge protector. To defend your self towards such circumstances, guarantee the energy outlet you join your laptop to is earthen

Dust and Debris 

Dust and international particles moving into your laptop can kill the motherboard. When an excessive amount of mud and particles discover their means into your laptop, they clog the heatsink and followers of your laptop inflicting warmth buildup. In some circumstances, the mud and particles may trigger a brief circuit and injury the motherboard. 

While it’s onerous to maintain mud and particles out of the motherboard, because it must be well-ventilated, you’ll be able to sometimes service the laptop by cleansing the inside. Also, preserving the laptop clear will help defend mud and particles from getting inside it in the first place.  


Spilling water or every other sort of liquid on a motherboard may trigger it to fail simply. Generally, liquids are partial conductors, and after they get into the circuit board of a pc, it causes a brief circuit. As you recognize, the motherboard homes a number of delicate parts, and having a present, irrespective of how little, flowing into the improper terminal could cause injury. 

To keep away from this, you must not maintain liquid close to a pc due to the chance of a spill occurring. You must also not maintain the laptop in a damp setting as moisture may trigger rust in the motherboard, additional deteriorating it. 

Physical Damage 

If there may be bodily injury to the motherboard, it may additionally trigger it to fail. This bodily injury may very well be attributable to many issues, together with carelessness and improper dealing with. For instance, suppose your laptop computer falls or one thing by accident falls in your laptop computer or laptop. In that case, it may trigger a crack in the motherboard, parts in the motherboard contact areas on the board it was not designed to, and so many issues, creating brief circuits or incomplete circulation

A whole motherboard substitute is beneficial typically, but it surely is likely to be salvageable if the injury will not be too extreme.

Manufacturer Design Defect 

Motherboards are produced in mass; as such, there are probabilities that manufacturing defects may happen. Most of the time, manufacturing defects come up from a defective capability, the bus structure was not engineered appropriately, or it may very well be cooling points. While that is uncommon, it’s not unattainable. Manufacturers know this; therefore, they provide customers a guarantee relying on how lengthy they anticipate the motherboard to final. 

In case the motherboard provides out earlier than the perfect time, the producer would exchange it at no further price

Improperly Seated Memory Module

As we stated earlier, the motherboard is a circuit board the place different laptop parts are linked. However, if these parts should not appropriately put in, be they inside or exterior, it may create a brief circuit situation which may injury the motherboard.

To keep away from this, you must all the time verify and double-check that the whole lot is linked and well-seated, significantly when putting in a brand new part on the motherboard, be it a brand new processor, RAM, onerous drive, graphics card, and so forth.  

Faulty CMOS Battery 

The CMOS battery will not be the most talked about part of any laptop, however they play a significant position in the motherboard. This CMOS battery is the purpose your laptop remembers no matter configuration you’ve made on it, even when there isn’t any battery in the laptop. 

While the CMOS battery is sturdy and lasts a very long time, it could possibly solely final round 5 to six years typically. Hence, if not changed, your laptop will malfunction, drivers can be lacking, and generally your laptop received’t come on. 

Incorrectly Connected Cables 

It is essential that when connecting something to the motherboard, you’re certain it’s linked to the right terminal. Connecting the improper cables to the improper port may trigger a brief circuit, damaging the motherboard simply.

So, when engaged on constructing, repairing, or cleansing your laptop, make sure you join the proper cables. Use the motherboard handbook as a information even when working with a pre-build OEM machine.

Normal Aging and Wear

Sometimes, your motherboard fails on account of regular getting old and put on. Eventually, your laptop motherboard will fail because it has a finite lifespan. But typically, a motherboard will final you for a long time. There is little you are able to do to keep away from this from taking place besides to deal with it correctly.  

Keep in Mind

Motherboards differ from each other, and in case your motherboard is broken, you must take it to knowledgeable for repairs or substitute, as the schematics of motherboards are usually not all that accessible to the public.


A broken motherboard might be the very last thing you wish to expertise together with your laptop. Finding the substitute, primarily if it’s a laptop computer, may be fairly difficult, and restore service may price some huge cash relying on the sort of motherboard and the nature of the injury. As such, being attentive to the causes of a broken motherboard would enable you to keep cautious and defend towards it. 

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