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The motherboard is the main circuit board of a microcomputer.

The motherboard
contains the connectors for attaching additional boards. Typically, the motherboard
contains the CPU, BIOS, memory, mass storage interfaces, serial and parallel ports,
expansion slots, and all the controllers required to control standard peripheral
devices, such as the display screen, keyboard, and disk drive. Collectively, all these
chips that reside on the motherboard are known as the motherboard's chipset.

Different Form Factors of the Motherboard.

AT, Baby AT, ATX, Mini ATX, LPX, Mini LPX and NLX.

AT Motherboard is usually found on very old PCs.
(12 wide x 13.8 deep) Fits into full size A1 or tower cases only.

Baby AT Motherboard is usually found on older PCs.
(8.57 wide x 13.04 deep)

ATX Motherboard is usually found on newer PCs.
(12 wide x 9.6deep)
Mini ATX Motherboard is usually found on newer PCs.
(11.2 wide x 8.2 deep)
A1X motherboard has a stacked I/O connector panel mounted on the
motherboard. Single keyed internal power supply connector. 1he memory and
CPU was relocated which makes for better ventilation and easier upgrading.
Power management is possible with proper BIOS support.

LPX Motherboard is usually found on older retail PCs.
(9.0 wide x 13.0 deep)
1he motherboard riser card contains all of the expansion slots. Further,
placement of the video, parallel, two serial and PS/2 connections have changed
locations.

Mini LPX Motherboard is usually found on older retail PCs.

NLX Motherboard is usually found on newer retail PCs.
(Supports motherboards with overall dimensions of 9.0 x 13.6 maximum to
8.0 x 10.0 minimum)
Support for the Pentium II, ARP, USB, DIMM RAM and it is easier to access
internal components. 1his motherboard can be removed without using tools.

Know the difference between the AT and ATX motherboards.
Besides the dimensions: The keyboard connections are different.
AT Motherboard- 5 pin large connector
ATX Motherboard- 6 pin mini connector

Motherboard power connectors are different:

AT Motherboard- Single row two connectors 5v and 12v.
ATX Motherboard- Double row single connector 5v, 12v and 3.3v.

There are other differences but the above are the ones you should be aware
of.


Diagnosing and Troubleshooting

Recognize commons problems associated with each module and their symptoms, and
identify steps to isolate and troubleshoot the problems.


Motherboard failure is rare but when it occurs it is very serious. Many times the
motherboard is blamed for problems that are the fault of other components. The
best course of action is to troubleshoot the other components before deciding it is a
motherboard failure.

Motherboards can fail because of several reasons:

Electrostatic discharge (ESD)

Power surges, spikes, etc.

Physical damage to motherboard during initial installation

Physical damage while installing other components

Heat damage

If you suspect motherboard failure, try these 5 steps:

1. Make sure all the connections and hardware components are secure.

2. Try to boot the computer with the bare bones needed to boot.
A barebone system is a motherboard, processor, a full bank of memory, a video
card, and hard drive to boot off of.

We disconnect everything that is not needed: disk drives, DVD/CD drive, sound
cards, modems, other hard drives and other components. Make sure you disconnect
the printers, scanners or other peripherals.

If the computer boots then you know it is not the motherboard. Now try reinstalling
the components one-by-one to see if you can narrow down the problem.

3. If you installed a new motherboard or processor, make sure the jumper settings
are correct. Consult the motherboard manual or manufactures website.

4. Make sure it is not the power supply. Did you add more or newer components?
The power supply may not be powerful enough if you added more or newer
components.
5. Make sure it is not the hard drive. Try another hard drive. If the hard drive is
fine, insert a IDE controller card and connect the drive to it.



CMOS/BIOS Setting. Post audible/Visual error codes.

Try using the default setting for the BIOS.

If you are trying to troubleshoot startup problems, does the computer make a beep
sound? Count the number of beeps and consult the BIOS manufactures beep codes.

If you have a video signal, check to see if it shows an error or some other message.
If you receive an error message, consult your manual or manufactures website.




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