Physical layout and CPU socket check
Below you will find a checklist so that you can easy do a pre-check before wasting time trying to test a motherboard that is physically damaged.
- Check all major chipsets, for instance if the customer says that the LAN does not work, make sure the LAN chip is not cracked.
- Check the entire PCB for scratches or other types of damage, if there is a long scratch that cut several lines there is no need to run further tests.
- Check the PCI and PCIEX sockets and make sure they are not damaged
- Take a close look at the CPU socket, if there are any bent pins this can cause everything from obvious errors like ”reboot loops” to errors you might not relate with bent pins like the sound card is not working or that the graphics card does not give a signal to the monitor. The amount of errors you may encounter by bent pins can be almost endless.Always check if there are any bent pins before you’re wasting time and money on running a test that could have been settled in 30 seconds by looking carefully in the CPU socket.
If the motherboard looks ok and it all checks out then it is time to assemble the system and run any tests that may be required.
Example of CPU socket in terrible shape
Scenario 1 – The motherboard is stuck in a reboot loop or the monitor is not getting a signal
- Perform the ”Physical and CPU socket check” if this has not already been done
- Locate the CLR_CMOS pins on the motherboard (If the motherboard does not have a CLR_CMOS continue to number 4.)
- Connect the 2 CLR_CMOS pins by placing a jumper on them (if you do not have a jumper connecting them with a screwdriver or other metal object will also work).
- Remove the jumper after a couple of seconds. This will clear any faulty BIOS settings and load ”optimized defaults” BIOS settings.
- If you do not have a CLR_CMOS feature on your motherboard please remove the battery and keep it out for 2 minutes, this will achieve the same results.
- Start the system and see if this technique helped or not.
If you could not get the system to boot by clearing the CMOS then try the following technique.
Recover from GIGABYTE Backup BIOS (Only for motherboards with Dual BIOS technology)
- Shut off the powersupply by pressing the button on the ”PSU” or by removing the power cable.
- Press the powerbutton 3-4 times to empty the stored energy in the power supply.
- Turn on the powersupply
- Press and hold the powerbutton, the system will start the bootup procedure but will shut down after a few second. Release the powerbutton after the system have shut down completely.
- Press the powerbutton to start the system.
- If this technique was successful the system will boot and you will see the following image.
- Shut your PC down.
- Hold the power AND the reset button for about 10 sec, than release.
- Backup BIOS should kick in anytime soon now.
- Short out pins 1 and 6 on the main BIOS chip (pin #1 should be marked with a red dot or whatever)
- Tell a friend (or a relative) of yours to press the power on button
- Remove the ghetto-like jumper you’re holding between pins 1 and 6 as soon as you hear a beep.
- Backup BIOS should kick in again and everything will (hopefully) be fine.
If you still cannot get the system to boot please try with another graphics card (internal graphics should also be tested if available), test another CPU/APU and different memory modules. If the system is still not booting up, then please request RMA for the motherboard.
Scenario 2 – The motherboard works with a older CPU/APU/Graphics card but not with a brand new one Update your BIOS on GIGABYTE motherboards
Some newer graphics cards as well as CPU’s and APU’s requires that you update the BIOS on the motherboard. You can find a guide how to update the BIOS on GIGABYTE motherboards here:
HOW-TO: Update your BIOS on GIGABYTE motherboards
NOTE: Graphics cards also contains a BIOS and sometimes this BIOS and the BIOS on the motherboard will not be compatible, updating the BIOS on the graphics card after updating the BIOS on the motherboard can solve also of compatibility issues. You can find a VGA BIOS collection with the latest BIOS available for your graphics card here:
Video BIOS Collection
GIGABYTE BIOS updates, drivers, utilities, manuals and CPU support list’s:
Support & Downloads
System unstable / Overheating: Download and install AIDA64 Extreme – Run the system stability test and use the sensor feature to monitor the temperatures
AIDA64 Extreme download