How to Test a Motherboard with a Multimeter

How to Test a Motherboard with a Multimeter

Are you thinking about an upgrade or a new motherboard so that you can build your own new PC? Or are you having any problems with your motherboard lately? If you are struggling with any of such situations, then you might be thinking of ways to test the component.

However, is it that simple to evaluate your motherboard and give a verdict? While there are several different strategies one can use to test a motherboard, choosing to go with the most effective one is extremely important. If you are wondering about all of these points as well, then you are at the right spot to get things under control.

How can you test a motherboard?

An electronic component can wear out with the passage of time. This may make you confront problems with functionality and performance. However, there are ways to test these components for possible problems so that one can go on to the treatment phase.

If we talk about motherboards, there are numerous methods you can employ to check the unit. From visible checking of hardware to troubleshooting problems and finding beep sounds, one can try many things. However, if you want to make use of one of the best and most effective methods, using a multimeter can be quite helpful.

What is a multimeter?

A measurement device that can assess several electrical characteristics of an electronic component is a multimeter. Another name for it is “volt-ohm-milliammeter,” which refers to a multimeter that has the ability to measure three of the following properties simultaneously:


  • Voltage
  • Current

It has the ability to measure all three as the device incorporates functions of

  • Ammeter
  • Voltmeter
  • Ohmmeter

How can a multimeter test motherboard?

Now that you are aware of this gadget and its potential, it’s time for you to know how you can use it to test your motherboard. One thing that you need to remember is that a multimeter can be used in two of the following distinct ways:

  • In order to test DC voltage
  • For testing short circuit

In this guide ahead, we have mentioned steps of both of these ways so that you can make the most from our end.

Testing a motherboard with a multimeter for short circuit

Following are the steps that you need to follow if you want to check your motherboard with the help of a multimeter for a possible short circuit. Moreover, you can always know how to fix a shorted-out motherboard if the results suggest so.

Step 1

The foremost thing that you need to do in this case is shut your system down completely. Plus, make sure to unhook all of the power supply plugs that are attached to it.

Step 2

After shutting off the system, give it a little time to cool down and ensure that it does not hold any charge on it. Take your time and don’t rush to the next stage; remember that dealing with such components should involve patience.

Step 3

Select the minimum level on your multimeter, which is often 200 Ohm. You must tap both leads with each other to reset the scale to zero. Verify it with the help of a chassis to ensure that it has reached zero afterward. This is only a safety measure.

Step 4

In the fourth step, you have to dismantle your pc afterward, ensuring the safety at step 3 to locate the motherboard. Now take the motherboard’s ATX connection off as well.

Step 5

Now you have to attach the leads. As there are two leads on your multimeter, black and red, go on to attach the red one with the AC ground pin of the PSU. On the other hand, you will have to connect the black-colored lead to the DC connection. Ensure that the reading is still at zero.

Step 6

Afterward, make sure the black-colored lead remains where it belongs, and then use the red wire to inspect each colored cable on your board. If you get a reading of 50 or above, you won’t have any issues. However, if the reading is lower than 50, you might have a problem to deal with.

Using a multimeter in order to test DC voltage

Here is a step wise guide on checking your motherboard’s DC voltage with a multimeter.

Step 1

Unlike the previous procedure, in this case, it is important for you to ensure the connection of the power supply witch to your system. Other than this, ensuring the fact that the ATX connection is plugged in is critical at this step as well.

Step 2

Now you have to adjust your multimeter as well. So, make sure to set the instrument on 20 volt DC.

Step 3

Now, you have to use the black-colored lead of your instrument and connect it with the GND pins ranging from 15 to 17. This step will help you in evaluating the rear side of your component.

Step 4

With the help of the red lead, evaluate the below-mentioned pins as well, and take readings accordingly:

At pin number 9, you should get a reading of 5 volts. If any other number appears, your PSU might be problematic.
At pin number 14, you must get a reading ranging from 3 to 5V. If not, your switch might be malfunctioning.

Step 5

Switch on the PC once you’ve finished. Everything will be alright if the measurements hit zero. If not, you could have some problems to resolve.

Step 6

You must now repeat the red-lead test in order to check the 8th pin. The optimal value is above 2.5 V. To check if the readout drops to zero and then rises again, try pressing the reset button. Don’t worry at all if this does not happen, as you can seek professional help in this case.

The Bottom Line

If you have been facing problems with your motherboard lately, it is critical for you to check it out. In order to test out your motherboard, you need to use a multimeter. The guide that we have crafted above for you will aid you in doing so in the most effective and efficient way.

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