Motherboard Failure Causes [You Should Definitely Avoid]

One of the worst things that can happen to your device is motherboard failure. The motherboard serves as the backbone of our computer, and all other components are connected to it. Well, it can fail!

There are several Motherboard failure causes, but there are few common culprits involve that usually lead to this unfortunate event.

The top reasons why motherboard fails include physical damageoverheating, and surge in electrical shocks; and if you’re living in a dusty region, dust can aggravate the already sensitive situation.

Reasons Why Motherboard Failure Causes?

Depending on the model of your motherboard and the maintenance it has received over its lifetime, a legion of failures can cause it to fail.

Some simple practices allow the user to protect the motherboard of their device and prolong its lifespan.


To detect the difference between a motherboard that failed and a motherboard that is failing could be quite a tricky task.

The reason for the difficulty in troubleshooting is the fact that nowadays, many key components are connected directly to the motherboard.

Therefore, if you are facing trouble with the display, the flaw in the video card could be the reason your motherboard failing.

However, certain symptoms let you know that your motherboard is failing, which include random powering up and powering down of certain sub-systems within the motherboard and an erroneous display.



A short circuit is a problem that occurs more frequently than we might think. Not so much because of a motherboard design flaw, but rather, our fault.

If we are fond of assembling and disassembling components inside our desktop or laptop devices, one of the greatest dangers is the screws that fall off during assembly.

If, for any reason, we do not remember to remove this screw and it remains on a chip on the motherboard, rest assured that a short circuit will occur that will damage your motherboard.

Hence, to avoid such an event, suggest that, when you finish working assembling new hardware, and before starting the PC, you turn the device upside down to ensure that there are no screws or anything else that can cause short circuits.


Physical damage is one of the causes of motherboard failure that is likely to happen. Also, a laptop’s motherboard is comparatively more prone to damage than desktop motherboards.

Although laptop tends to stay cleaner due to easier maintenance, they have a higher chance to be damaged by blunt forces since it is more likely to be moved around.

Drinks or any liquid could also damage the motherboard if the user accidentally spills the drink on it while working on a desktop or laptop. 



In general, motherboards are very stable, but if a failure occurs, one of the most likely causes is overheating. Every component inside of a CPU or motherboard has a specific temperature rating, and temperatures exceeding the limits can cause components to become hot and wear out.

Overheating occurs due to fan failure or obstruction of airflow to the motherboard. Methods of avoiding overheating of motherboard include installing the adequate cooling requirements through fans or liquid coolants, ensuring the use of thermal paste and thermal heat ducts that assist in dissipating heat energy generated by the operating motherboard.


The third most common malefactor for the dead motherboard is due to electrical damage. During maintenance operations, static charge develops over the technicians’ hands, and an electrical surge discharges into the motherboard.

To avoid static discharge, proper grounding techniques must be utilized by the maintenance provider. Another reason for electrical surge damage is due to the connection of faulty peripherals such as HDMI or USB.

Certain devices tend to take the cheap route and minimize costs associated with sufficient grounding. The connection of such devices through ports can send static or high voltage to the motherboard, immediately frying it.

Damage due to electrical surges is immensely difficult to diagnose because any or all of the sub-components within the motherboard can be damaged because of such an event.

Hence, it is recommended to use a preemptive measure such as a surge protector to protect the motherboard from sudden spikes in voltage.


A motherboard may fail regardless of the care it receives; however, some factors ensure a longer life for your motherboard.

First, make sure that the device is placed at a location where it is stable and will not be knocked over and cause physical damage to the device.

Ensure that no liquids lay around the workspace and make it a habit to eat and drink away from your workplace. Keep a clean and dust-free motherboard to ensure its longevity.

However, one must be careful since most computer manufacturers don’t allow the computers to be opened before the warranty expires. Doing so will render your warranty useless.

It is important to use a laptop sleeve or bag that is specifically designed to protect it from bumps from the environment. Also, there are many laptops with vents on their back or bottom for cooling purposes.

It is important that while working, these events are free from any obstructions to ensure proper airflow. As an added preventive measure using external laptop cooling fans is recommended if you live somewhere where it tends to get hot during the summers.



Diagnosing a failed motherboard can be a difficult task. Although there are specialized tools to determine specific motherboard failure, the easiest method is to perform a bench test.

A bench test requires another working device and using it to diagnose the various possibilities of failures. For instance, if a random system is shut down, the unit of power supply, connecting cables, or the motherboard itself can be damaged.

In this situation, the way to diagnose your motherboard is to connect the power supply of the faulty device to another device to see if it works correctly. If the problem continues, the likely explanation is a damaged power supply unit.

Similarly, in case the device fails to display anything, the video card of the first device can be moved to the second to determine if it has malfunctioned.

Although bench testing is a foolproof way of diagnosing the issue albeit it is difficult to master and requires excess components lying around your house.


In essence, with technological advancements, it’s very unlikely that a new motherboard will suddenly stop working, but the reasons mentioned will add to its life.

Taking necessary care and maintenance of motherboard is also essential and will ensure that no issues occur out of the blue.

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