How to Test A Motherboard with A Multimeter – An Expert Guide

The motherboard is a vital part of how a PC or laptop works. It connects the different parts of your computer, like the central processing unit, graphics processing unit, power supply unit, etc. Like the brain controls the body, the motherboard controls the computer. Since the motherboard’s job is to make it easier for all the hardware parts to communicate, it might take a while to figure out what’s wrong with it. Problems with the motherboard, like poor ventilation, can damage several sensitive circuits. It can cause the device to get too hot or lose power. Examining how to test a motherboard with a multimeter to diagnose problems is vital.

Let’s find out more about this issue by investigating and checking the motherboard with a multimeter.


What Causes Problems with Motherboards?

Your motherboard might malfunction for several different reasons. Because of this, you need to think about everything that may be happening to identify the root of the problem and fix it quickly.


When your motherboard gets too hot, it can sometimes stop working. This condition could be caused by not getting enough air. It could also be because the computer doesn’t have enough RAM.

Dusty parts

Over time, dust and other particles will build up on the parts of your CPU that are inside. One simple thing you can do is clean your parts regularly. But many users probably don’t know what will happen if they don’t clean their computers every so often. If dust gets into the motherboard and slows things down, there is a high chance that the damage will be permanent.

Manufacturing fault

Many people choose cheap motherboards because they want to save money. They have to deal with broken motherboards because they are a fact of life.

Things to Remember Before Using Multimeter

Knowing which parts of the multimeter correspond to which pins on the motherboard is necessary before you can test the motherboard with the multimeter. Following these steps, you can use the multimeter to check for continuity, voltage, and resistance.

1. Using a multimeter, you can check for continuity by touching one of the motherboard’s pins with the positive lead and another with the negative lead. If the multimeter beeps, there is a solid connection between the probes.

2. Connect the multimeter’s positive lead to a pin on the motherboard, and use the other end to touch a ground pin to conduct a voltage test. The voltage between those two pins will be shown on the multimeter.

3. Connect the multimeter’s positive lead to a pin on the motherboard, and then touch the other pin with the negative probe to conduct a resistance test. Afterward, the multimeter will show the resistance between the two pins.

How to Test A Motherboard with A Multimeter

Here are two ways to use a multimeter to examine your motherboard.

Voltage Test

Step 1: First, ensure the computer is powered on by checking the status of the 20-pin ATX connection.

Step 2: Secondly, adjust the DC voltage range of the multimeter to 20 volts.

Step 3: Third, use the multimeter’s black probe to test the connection from behind by touching pins 15, 16, and 17.

Step 4: Fourth, check the red test with the numbers 9 and 14. The voltage at PIN 9 ought to be 5V, and that at

PIN 14 must range from 3V to 5V.

Step 5: The fifth step is to then power on the computer. If the numbers go to zero, it means that everything is normal. Otherwise, there may be problems that need fixing.

Short Circuit Test

In the worst-case scenario, a short circuit could prompt the motherboard to screw up and potentially ruin other elements. To forestall further problems, it’s a good idea to inspect the motherboard for any signs of short circuits.

Step 1: First, disconnect the computer from AC power and let it sit for a while to dissipate any remaining charge. Multimeters can be set to zero by touching the metal tips of the probes together while in the Ohms minimum range. Put the two leads in contact with the computer’s chassis; you should get zero reading on both.

Step 2: Next, carefully disconnect the ATX cable from the motherboard. Inspect the A/C ground pin on the Power supply and the black wire fasteners on the DC link with the red lead, keeping the black probe grounded on the chassis metal.

Step 3: Third, with the black lead still attached to the chassis, use the red probe to test the voltage at each colored wire pin on the DC plug. At least 50 are expected to be displayed across all colored wires.

Step 4: Unplug the central processing unit from the motherboard. The black wire should remain connected to the chassis, while the red wire checks the GND pins on the motherboard’s connector. All 7 pins (#3, #5, #7, #13, #15–#17) must read 0V. There may be an issue with the connector if the reading is different.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will you use a multimeter to test if a motherboard has continuity?

If you have a multimeter, you can check for a short by touching the probes together at two spots on the motherboard you suspect are connected. A short circuit exists between the two points indicated by the multimeter’s beeping or low resistance reading.

How to test the motherboard?

Self-testing is the first step in making sure the motherboard is functional. When a computer’s motherboard is wrong, it won’t boot, and an error message will appear on the BIOS setup screen. If a BIOS update is available, you should install it.

What can I do to determine if the motherboard is terrible?

A failure to boot is one of the symptoms you should look for when diagnosing a bad motherboard. The computer may begin booting, only to suddenly power down. Motherboard failure can cause a rise in Windows errors.


A lousy motherboard can cause problems like blue screens. The signs indicate a problem with the hardware, maybe with the motherboard. So, to check the motherboard, you should learn how to use a multimeter. After reading this article, you know how to test a motherboard with a multimeter. By running this test, you can figure out where on your motherboard the problem is keeping your computer from starting up. You won’t have to waste money and time going to a tech shop.

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