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How to test a mother board

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January 6, 2012 7:58:37 PM

hi there,

I recently had a problem with my toshiba laptop whereby on start up the blue power light comes on and the optical drive clicks a few times but them the rest of the computer fails to boot and displays nothing.

After a bit of research it was suggested the mother board may be the problem so.....

As the laptop is about 3 years old I have stripped it down and removed the motherboard to gain a bit of knowledge on how to strip down a laptop.

There is no visible damage any where on the board but I was wondering if there is any other way that I could carry out some checks while the boards out of the machine.

If anything It'll give me a bit more experience on these things!

Thanks!

More about : test mother board

January 6, 2012 9:57:04 PM

A board can be fried without showing any visible damage. It's a little more difficult to run tests on a laptop's hardware since you usually don't have a bunch of spare parts for one to be able to test different components. It does, however, sound like either your motherboard/on-board graphics, RAM, or CPU gave up. In my experience it's usually the board, but those would be the components I would try to test first.
January 7, 2012 6:26:20 AM

Thanks for the reply mate,

Yes there is no visible damage on the board which makes it tricky.

I had actually bought another of the same laptops cheap off eBay that was being sold as spares or repairs.

I think I will dismantle this one aswell and see if I can swap out any components to see if it makes any difference.

Is it possible or is there a safe way of attempting to switch on the machine with the casing open and the components/ board exposed?

This will allow me to quickly swap and change any components I have and see if it has any effect.

Thanks

it came with all of the components so I might try to mix and match the components to see if it makes any difference
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January 8, 2012 2:47:51 PM

thegoos3 said:
A board can be fried without showing any visible damage. It's a little more difficult to run tests on a laptop's hardware since you usually don't have a bunch of spare parts for one to be able to test different components. It does, however, sound like either your motherboard/on-board graphics, RAM, or CPU gave up. In my experience it's usually the board, but those would be the components I would try to test first.



Ok so I tried swapping and changing parts like the CPU/ram etc and the entire board itself.

All in all it was a good exercise as I can now confidently do a complete strip down and rebuild of a laptop confidently however none my efforts solved the initial problem so would it be safe to say the board is fried and it's time to buy a new laptop?

Opinions appreciated

January 9, 2012 12:15:16 AM

That's great experience to have under your belt. When you say none of your efforts solved the initial problem, does that mean that even if you used all the components from your spare laptop on your original laptop (with the questionable board), the system still does not boot nor displays anything?

Though this information would probably have been more valuable to you earlier, here is what I would have done to test the laptop:

1) Boot up the spare laptop and make sure all of its component actually work.
2) Replace the CPU/RAM from the questionable laptop with those from the spare laptop. If the questionable laptop does not boot, time to buy another motherboard. If the laptop DOES boot, go to 3.
3) Put ONLY the original CPU from the questionable laptop back into its motherboard, while still using the RAM from the spare laptop. If it does not boot, your CPU is damaged. If it DOES boot, then you basically know that the original RAM was the problem, but you can go ahead and verify this by performing step 4.
4) Put ONLY the original RAM from the questionable laptop back into its motherboard, but use the CPU from the spare laptop. If you completed these steps in order, then this configuration would probably be your problem child and proves that the RAM is your issue.

My explanations only really work if you do them in order, but you get the idea of how to test each component individually and narrow down what the issue is.

Let me know if any of this doesn't make any sense and I'll try to break it down/help further. Good luck!
January 9, 2012 12:17:51 AM

And obviously shut down between each of the steps--never swap any of those components while the computer is on.

Also, be sure to touch something metal (usually done by touching the metal on a computer case, but on a laptop you would just need to make sure you touch something metal to ground yourself) before you go poking around the internals. It would be a real shame to short something out.
January 17, 2012 7:47:02 PM

thegoos3 said:
That's great experience to have under your belt. When you say none of your efforts solved the initial problem, does that mean that even if you used all the components from your spare laptop on your original laptop (with the questionable board), the system still does not boot nor displays anything?

Though this information would probably have been more valuable to you earlier, here is what I would have done to test the laptop:

1) Boot up the spare laptop and make sure all of its component actually work.
2) Replace the CPU/RAM from the questionable laptop with those from the spare laptop. If the questionable laptop does not boot, time to buy another motherboard. If the laptop DOES boot, go to 3.
3) Put ONLY the original CPU from the questionable laptop back into its motherboard, while still using the RAM from the spare laptop. If it does not boot, your CPU is damaged. If it DOES boot, then you basically know that the original RAM was the problem, but you can go ahead and verify this by performing step 4.
4) Put ONLY the original RAM from the questionable laptop back into its motherboard, but use the CPU from the spare laptop. If you completed these steps in order, then this configuration would probably be your problem child and proves that the RAM is your issue.

My explanations only really work if you do them in order, but you get the idea of how to test each component individually and narrow down what the issue is.

Let me know if any of this doesn't make any sense and I'll try to break it down/help further. Good luck!


Hi Mate, thanks again for the additional input.

i tried out these steps and unfortunately no luck in any of the cases so it looks like time to get a new laptop.
one thing i have noticed is that there seems to be a steady supply of similar models (pro a200 series note books ) constantly being sold on ebay as faulty or for spares. i think i will get a new laptop but i will keep hold of the old one just in case i manage to find the spares im looking for one day and ill try again to fix it.

Thanks again
!