It is nearly unheard of for a motherboard to fail while it is running, as opposed to when you start the system. A dead system is more often caused by a dead power supply than a dead motherboard, so the first step to troubleshoot an apparently dead motherboard is to swap in a known-good power supply. Check the following possible causes to identify and solve the problem.
Cause 1: Power Source Is Incorrectly Plugged In
If your computer system is not plugged into its power outlet correctly, it will not turn on. Check to make sure that the computer’s electrical cord is completely plugged into the outlet. Additionally, the power outlet could be a problem. Plug something like a phone charger (with your phone plugged in) into the power outlet to check that the outlet is actually producing power. You could alternatively plug in a lamp or another electronic device that allows the user to easily tell if it is working.
Cause 2: Tripped Circuit Breaker or Fuse
Computers can draw a significant amount of power when they are first turning on, and it is not uncommon for computers to trip a circuit breaker or fuse. Check your circuit breaker to make sure that the computer’s power outlet was not tripped. If the breaker has been tripped, press the reset button on the outlet. If your outlet does not include a reset button, locate your circuit breaker panel (which may be located in the basement of your home) to reset the outlet.
Cause 3: Faulty Connections
If you have checked your computer’s power source and the system remains dead, take a look at your computer’s motherboard for any loose or faulty connections. Use the Computer Motherboard Replacement Guide to check the motherboard’s connections.
Cause 4: Faulty Motherboard
If the system remains completely dead with a known-good power supply, it's likely that the motherboard is defective and must be replaced. Use the Computer Motherboard Replacement Guide to replace your computer’s faulty motherboard.
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