Why does motherboards stop working?
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Re: Why does motherboards stop working?
Posted by tnkqwe on Fri Mar 2nd at 7:10pm 2012

I haven't been arround for a whille.

2 years ago the family PC stopped working. There was no smell from burned tech, the fans were working and there was no "beep" after booting the PC.

After sending the PC to the technician, he found out that the problem is in the motherboard. But he couldn't find out what is the problem.

Later I heard that a motherboard cannot work forever without any problems- it's meant to stop working after some time by the company.

I'm not sure if that's right. Something small in the motherboard might have fried. But I'm not sure about that ether. But I want to know what are the main reasons that can cause the motherboard to stop working without any smell from burned tech.

I want to know that so I can decide what to buy: a new fan for my old laptop or new speakers. And I also just want to know why.


Never think about bad things!
TNKqwe:The New Killer qwe

I am Engineer - Play Free Online Games

Citizen Arms

Re: Why does motherboards stop working?
Posted by Crono on Fri Mar 2nd at 8:37pm 2012

Just plain old component failure.

Actually, in most devices, chip failure is much more rare than component failure from normal use.

Capacitors and resistors die all the time.

The upside is ... they're cheap to replace ... the downside is, modern electronics use milimeter scale surface mounted parts ... so ... good luck. Even with the right equipment it's still a pain in the ass and time consuming to do ... and you have to actually find the dead component with a multimeter first.

If a resistor doesn't work ... it'll burn out other components, so if you don't notice anything at first, it'll allow current through unregulated and the chip or circuit it's there to protect will be entirely exposed. Meaning that the proper operation will last only as long as those chips can withstand the increased current. If those chips/circuit aren't very important ... you might not really notice anything at all. It can manifest in all sorts of ways.

So, yes, they die. They're not BUILT to die ... but every component has a limited lifespan ... caps and resistors and transistors have a very long projected lifespan ... but it's still limited.

You can't expect a motherboard, for instance, to work every day for 15 years, for example. The online time is just too high for the components, they naturally degrade with use.

Blame it on Microsoft, God does.

Re: Why does motherboards stop working?
Posted by omegaslayer on Sat Mar 3rd at 1:52am 2012

Like Crono said - stuff is pretty small. All it takes is one flaw to break an entire system. When diagnosing motherboards you typically try replacing these components in this order:

1) Power Supply
2) Fan
3) Memory
4) Case - yes.. I've encountered a case that was shorting a motherboard and putting it in a new case fixed it
5) CPU

Once you get to the end the only conclusion is broken motherboard. At which point if you have the money and you REALLY care about it you could find an exact replacement (difficult for name brand stuff like Dell, HP, Apple, etc) There are some signs of bad motherboards though. Like leaking capacitors. Typically you find these on low quality manufactures or motherboards well over 5 years old.

Later I heard that a motherboard cannot work forever without any problems- it's meant to stop working after some time by the company.

Well I can tell you now NOTHING will work FOREVER. It will eventually wear down in some way. But the company wont put an expiration device on your component that will trigger after some amount of time and fry everything. That would be illegal. Unless you're Apple. But companies do this thing called planned obsolescence, which is basically saying that after a certain amount of time no one is going to make replacement components for it any longer. It could be as simple as the next generation of RAM (DDR1 -> DDR2 -> DDR3) or software, like with Apple, after version 10.6 of their OS it couldn't be ran on any of their G4 processors. (seeing a pattern here?)

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