Thursday, August 18, 2011

Laptop Motherboard Repair - Tips To Fix or Repair Laptop Motherboard Problems

Okay it's time to talk about motherboards. Now I get the impression that motherboards scare a lot of people in this field, you know people don't want to deal with them or replace them or try to fix them. It's a little daunting to try to diagnose the motherboard it might seem, but what I'm going tell you is it's pretty easy. Here's four main symptoms that could go wrong with the motherboard and they are:

Four symptoms of a bad motherboard:

1. Computer won't turn on
2. Components won't work
3. Computer shuts down randomly
4. Computer acts abnormally

Number one, the laptop won't power on.
Two, components in the laptop are not working malfunctioning.
Three, the computer shuts down randomly.
And four, the computer acts abnormally.

Now, we are going with these symptoms one by one. There could be more symptoms but these are the ones that I've found in my experiences. Now number one, computer won't power on. We got a laptop that doesn't power on. How can you tell if the motherboard is bad? Well, you just ask yourself why else wouldn't a computer power on? Number one, if it's on battery power, the battery is dead or the battery is bad and number two the AC adapter could be bad, so let's roll out number one.

Pull the battery out, keep the battery out of the computer for this test and then take your AC adapter and check the voltage with the voltmeter and I'm going show you how to do that right here. Take a voltmeter and what you want to test for is voltage. Put the meter at 20 volts DC and take the tip, the power jack tip. You hold your black, your negative on the outside of the tip and you put the red in the hole in the inside of the tip. Be very careful not to touch the red and the black and the tips together, otherwise it will create a short circuit. After doing these things, be sure you have 19 volts DC or just about 19 volts DC registered on your multimeter so we can know that the power adapter works. Now, just to make sure the connections is tight, kinda bend the power cord a little bit and make sure that the registered 19 volts DC on the multimeter or voltmeter will not fluctuate or move when you bend the power adapter cord a little. Okay if you're still getting 19 volts DC when bending the power adapter cord, jiggle the power adapter cord a little bit around make sure that there's no crimson wire. Now, after you bend the power adapter cord and jiggle it and you still have 19 volts registered on your multimeter, then the power adapter tip is probably good. A lot of time you know the tip will break, great in this area here, and you wouldn't get that 19 volts DC after you do that, after it's broken. So instead of just taking the whole computer apart and finding out if the laptop has appropriately good power jack, test the power adapter first.

Now another reason a motherboard might not turned on is because it's not getting power to the power jack. Power jack might be damaged, so absorb what you can from the outside and see if it's the power jack is loose or detached from the motherboard and if it is then you know you have to replace the power jack probably, but if it looks like it's secure the only way we we're gonna be able to test the power jack is to get down to the motherboard level and look it where the power jack is soldered on to the motherboard and this I cover in many of the case study videos.

Watch the case study videos for power jack repairs on the link provided below.

Other things that may cause a laptop motherboard not to power on...

Now there's a few other things that might cause a motherboard not to turn on or computer not to turn on, it could have a bad processor, but bad processor are fairly rare I would say 1 out of 75 computers are working on, it's the processor rather than the motherboard that's bad and also there's like maybe the power button on the actual laptop is broken or something mechanical like that, but again that's unlikely but you could check those things too.

2. Components won't work

Okay number two, components on a laptop won't work. For example, a CD drive or a wireless card don't show up in windows. Whether not working properly, well that could possibly be a motherboard but the way to test that is to replace that component. If your CD drive is not working replace the CD drive if it's still not working maybe the CD drive controller or the motherboard is bad. I've had that happened on a couple Toshiba laptops I worked on. I've bought a brand new CD drive put it in, still not working, still wasn't recognized by the BIOS and it was a bad motherboard. Now HP, I also had a problem of their wireless card but it wasn't the wireless cards that were bad it was the actual controller on the motherboard, that controls the card that was bad. I think it was positioned next to a chip that got real hot like the graphics chip or something like that, on the motherboard. So if you have a laptop with components not working, you replace the components and they're still not working then you might have a bad motherboard. Now how do you roll out if windows isn't causing this problem or the operating system's not causing the problem. Well, test it with a different operating systems. This is always a good test of the motherboard using like Linux distribution like knoppix or using the Ultimate Boot CD for windows. These are both bootable CD's and it's essentially testing the hardware of a laptop because you're running it on a different operating systems. Last thing to try if components aren't working and you suspect is your motherboard. Flash the bios of the motherboard, maybe the BIOS got corrupted somehow, and since the BIOS is like handles the basic functions of a computer, maybe it's not doing it's job and causing some abnormal activity in the computer.

3. Computer shuts down randomly

Okay number three, laptop shuts down randomly. Now this is a common symptom of a laptop overheating. So let's make sure it's not an overheating problem and how do we do that? Well, what I do is I take a can of compressed air and I blow it in the laptop, in the bottom where the fan is and also in the heat sink, on the side of the computer. If you do this you might see clouds of dust come out and that's a good thing that you want to make sure you get all the chunks out of the laptop before you turned it back on, because those chunks of dust that might still be stuck in there, might cause the fan blades to actually stick. I go over this in the case study videos several of them. Watch how I do that there and you can see in action you know cleaning out laptop, getting old dust out of it. Now, once you get the dust out of a laptop and you're sure that the fan is spinning and the airways are clean, if the computer keeps shutting down after this, you can be very sure that's not the CPU overheating that's causing the problem but the problem with the motherboard. I had systems where I opened them up I make sure all the airways were clean, I make sure that the heat sink was making a good connection with the processor, put it all back together and the computer still power down. It turned out it was a bad motherboard

4. Computer acts abnormally

Okay number 4, the computer or the laptop acts abnormally. It blue screens, things aren't working the way they're suppose to, it doesn't boot up every time, it doesn't boot up at all sometimes. Now, first I want to make sure it's not Windows that causing a problem. So again we're not going to deal to much for the software sides to do all your Windows fixes and make sure Windows isn't causing the problem or like I said before, just run knoppix which is a good Linux distribution, the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows which is also great and then you'll know Windows isn't the thing that's causing the problem then. If you're still having problems with the computer acting abnormally, start taking out components one by one. Take the hard drive out, you could do that if you're running it from a live Linux distribution. Take the ram out, replace the ram maybe with the stick around that you know is good that you have around in the shop, take the wireless card out take the CD drive out. Start taking components out one by one and get the motherboard down to basics like CPU, one stick of ram, motherboard and power, and hook up the screen, and just make sure that it goes on. But break it down to basics so you're sure that it's not a component that's causing the problem. So once you have it of broken down to basics and you're sure windows isn't causing the problem, then it's probably a bad motherboard. Okay it's a bad motherboard.
Now, you need to buy a motherboard. Where do I buy my motherboards? you guessed it, on eBay. Oh I love buying on eBay coz you got a great selection. You go buy from multiple sellers, usually you get the best price. Now, the way to search on eBay for motherboard is first try to get the model no. of the motherboard itself. If you can, if you have access to the motherboard you're already took the computer apart, get the model of the motherboard and research for that motherboard. If you're not at that point, then you still need to order the motherboard. You could type in the model no. of the computer you got the motherboard out of it and do a search that way. Like let's say, if it's a Compact M2000, just type on eBay Compact M2000 motherboard and do a search like that. The problem with doing a search like that though is, for example, HP's have like a DV6000 model but there's actually like a hundred different sub models in the DV6000 series and some of them have different motherboards than each other. Like say, there's a DV6310US or DV6425 so that's when you have a computer like that it's a little dangerous to search for a motherboard just by model no. of the computer alone. I've got burn on that many times myself and so it's best just to pull the motherboard out and look on the motherboard and get the model of the motherboard and do a search to buy one using the model no. of the motherboard

Now, that leads to the next question how do you get the motherboard out? Well, that's what all the case study videos show you. A lot of them bringing the laptop down the motherboard level when we're doing a repair, but before you watch the case study videos make sure you watch the video on how to take a laptop apart? Get the basics, then watch the case study videos and then you got attempt it yourself.

Click Here! To learn how to fix a laptop computer by watching HD Videos check out Laptop Repair Course


Peter Parker said...

I've bought two refurbished units over time and have been very pleased with the value they represented. These models at least in my experience have no blemishes and you cannot tell the difference between newly-opened boxes and refurb machines. I was searching for it from so long finally got a good deal at Electro Computer Warehouse. I am telling you they are selling refurbished machines at a very low cost you can check for you as well

Ross Taylor said...

Thanks, to sharing here great tips of motherboard repairing. I enjoyed reading your blog and I got a lot of essential information related to motherboard issues. Using this information we easily find out basic motherboard issues and solve these problems. Technology Market Report

Motherboard Connector said...

Really interesting!!
This is very helpful post. More interesting word you say more traffic you will get from your comment.

Harry Potter said...

These are really healthy and more interesting ways to repair the motherboard and i like your all 4 idea. We all knows that the BGA rework station always the best way of repairing the motherboard and it is the most secure way that prevent the PCB or the motherboard from overheating and which cause less damages.
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Guzzi sager said...

Very informative and well written post! Quite interesting and nice topic chosen for the post.

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