How To Test A Motherboard With A Multimeter? – Secret ways

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The motherboard needs to perform properly for operating a computer precisely. A failing motherboard leads a computer to death. Unless you want to face any difficulty with your motherboard, you need to check it from time to time. Therefore, having a clear idea of how to test a motherboard with a multimeter is necessary. 

You need to test several things to ensure that your motherboard is working nicely. First, you need to taste the DC voltage of your motherboard using a multimeter. Then, testing the PSU and motherboard for short circuits is mandatory. By following some easy steps, you can properly test your motherboard. 

However, there are varieties of personal computers like desktops and laptops. For this reason, here you get a specific motherboard checking system for a laptop. Once you get our directions clearly, you can check the voltage of your motherboard on your own. 

How To Properly Test A Motherboard With A Multimeter? – Step by Step Guide

A multimeter will indicate how to test a motherboard with a multimeter. Before starting this process, be assured that the multimeter is working perfectly. 

Testing the DC voltages

The process starts with testing the DC voltage with the multimeter. By following these steps, you can test the DC voltages of the motherboard accurately. 

Step:1- Set the multimeter with the black probe

First, connect your computer to the AC power. The 20-pin ATX connector should be connected at the same time. Now, set the multimeter to a 20V DC connection. After that, probe the rear part of the connector using the black multimeter probe. Then, set the black probe with various GND pins. 

Step:2- Using the red probe

You can easily determine pin 9 as it’s purple-colored. It should be at 5V voltage and connected with the red probe. Similarly, the red probe will be attached with the green pin. The voltage of the green pin should lie between 3 to 5 volts. If there is any other reading, that indicates the faulty switch. 

Step:3- Checking pin 8

Now, you need to use the red probe to check pin 8. Its voltage shouldn’t be less than 2.5 V anyhow. If you find any irregularity here, it indicates a faulty system. By pressing the reset option, the Power_OK reading can be dropped to zero. 

How can you test a circuit board with a multimeter?

It’s possible to test a circuit board using a multimeter. Here are some tips to follow to perform this action.

  • The first thing to do is plug in the multimeter. After observing the polarity, you need to probe in the multimeter. There are two probes in each multimeter: red and black. When you need to use the positive probe, you should use the red one. Hence, use the black one. 
  • Now, turn the function knob from the multimeter to test the circuit board. Using this method, you can measure both the voltage and resistance of the circuit. However, after selecting the AC or DC voltage, the device will display the ultimate voltage. 
  • To check the circuit board, unplug the device as well as its housing. After that, turn it on and stay alert from touching the wirings. 
  • Now, touch the multimeter probes to the test points situated on the board. It’ll allow you to take the reading of the voltage. While taking the reading of resistance, you need to connect one probe to the end of each resistor. 
  • The last step is checking the ultimate result. To be assured about the circuit board’s condition, repeat the previous steps for each component. If you find any faulty component, dispose of it and replace it immediately. 

What is the right way to test a motherboard for a short circuit?

Now, you’ll briefly know how to test a motherboard for a short circuit. 

  • You need to unplug your PC from the AC power source first. Wait for several minutes so that the excess charge can be drained. 
  • Now, set the multimeter to the 200 Ohm setting. Then, carefully remove the ATX connector without damaging your motherboard. 
  • It’s time to determine the zero reading from the black and red lead. The black lead should be placed on the chassis. Similarly, the red test should be used to check the PSU’s ground pin. If you don’t find all the readings zero, there is a big problem. 
  • Now, keep the black lead on the chassis at this step. Using the red test, you need to check the values of the shaded wire pins. It’s normal if you find the reading from all the wires above 50 or equal to it. 
  • At this step, you need to remove the CPU from the motherboard socket. By using the ATX 20-pin chart, it’s possible to allude to nails numbed to the circuit board. 

Is it possible to check the voltage of my motherboard?

Using a multimeter, you can check the voltage of your motherboard. Follow these steps carefully to know the exact voltage. 

  • Ensure that the PC is trapped to the AC power. Also, make sure that the 20-pin ATX connector is in.
  • After that, set the multimeter to 20V DC. With the help of a black multimeter test, observe the back part of the connector. It’ll help you to observe the GND pins (15,16 or 17). 
  • Now, collect the voltage reading from the different pins. The pin-9 should carry 5V and the pin-14 should carry 3-5 V. If there is any other reading, it indicates an issue with PSU. 
  • At this point, press the power switch of your computer. This action will help to drop the PS_On value to zero. 
  • Now, use the red test to check pin-8. If the voltage is above 2.5, then your PC can be started. Otherwise, there might be a disaster if you try to turn on your PC. 

Can you check laptop motherboard with a multimeter?

Can you check laptop motherboard with a multimeter?

Are you using a laptop but having trouble checking its motherboard? No worries. In this section, your problem gets a specific solution. 

  • To check the condition of your laptop’s motherboard, check its charger first. If the charger isn’t yielding the correct voltage, there is a problem. 
  • After plugging in the adopter, you need to test the force connector. If you get 19V output, then there is no matter of concern.
  • Now, check if the RAM chips are performing nicely. You should supplant the RAM chips with known-great ones. 
  • Using the multimeter, you need to determine the battery voltage. Going for a digital multimeter may help you to determine the voltage precisely. The voltage reading should be exactly zero.
  • If the result is a number between 1 to 10, then you have a problem. Contacting the laptop manufacturer’s customer service and fixing it immediately is the wise move. 

You can also check out How do you know if your motherboard supports wifi?

Here we attached a video for a more detailed understanding:


Testing your motherboard should be a routine task for every PC user. By following this method, you can avoid motherboard failure and save a lot of money. Unfortunately, a large number of people aren’t aware of its exact testing process. This writing on how to test a motherboard with a multimeter must help them now. 

Once you identify the voltage of your motherboard, you can easily determine the motherboard’s condition. By following the steps carefully, you can use a multimeter to find the accurate voltage. If your motherboard is going through a short circuit, you can also easily determine it now. 

However, a multimeter can be used to determine the condition of a circuit board also. Checking a circuit breaker is pretty simple like checking the motherboard. Besides, laptop users can check their motherboard’s condition by observing the charger’s output. 

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Gary Scott

Hi There, I am Gary Scott, a Computer Engineer, and owner of this website. My friend and I created this website to share our knowledge, expertise, and experience with our fellow Computer community and pc enthusiast. I am a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). I have been writing for Motherboard, CPU, GPU, RAM, Power Supply, Intel/AMD comparisons, CPU/GPU benchmarking, Gaming performance, Xbox, Play Station, and How to build your own PC. I will be regularly updating this website with new resources, If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.

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