How To Tell If Power Supply Is Bad Or Motherboard?

When a computer fails to turn on, it can be difficult to pinpoint the problem. The two most common culprits tend to be the power supply or the motherboard. It’s natural to assume the worst and replace both components at the same time, but that can be an expensive and unnecessary solution. In this guide, we’ll explore some common symptoms to help you figure out whether you’re dealing with a failing power supply or a malfunctioning motherboard.

Firstly, if you try to power on your computer and nothing happens, it’s possible that either the power supply or the motherboard has failed. However, if you do notice some signs of life, such as fans spinning or lights turning on, you can begin to narrow down the possible causes. It’s important to pay attention to any unusual sounds or smells as well. By considering these symptoms, you can start to diagnose which component is causing the issue. In the next section, we’ll go deeper into what signs to look out for to help you distinguish between a failing power supply and a malfunctioning motherboard.

How to Tell if Power Supply is Bad or Motherboard?

It can be difficult to determine whether a power supply or motherboard is faulty. However, there are a few steps you can take to help isolate the issue:

1. Check for power: If the computer is not turning on, the first thing to do is check if the power supply is providing power. You can do this by checking the power cable connection and ensuring the power switch on the back of the power supply is on. If there is power, the fan on the power supply should be spinning.

2. Test the power supply: You can use a power supply tester or a multimeter to test the output of the power supply. If the output voltages are outside of the expected range, it may be a sign that the power supply is faulty.

3. Check for motherboard issues: If the power supply is providing power and the computer is still not turning on, the issue may be with the motherboard. Look for signs of damage, such as blown capacitors or burn marks. You can also try resetting the CMOS by removing the battery on the motherboard for a few minutes and then reinserting it.

4. Check for beep codes: Some motherboards have beep codes that can help diagnose issues. Consult the motherboard manual or manufacturer’s website to see if there are any beep codes and what they mean.

5. Replace the power supply or motherboard: If you have determined that the issue is with either the power supply or motherboard, you may need to replace one or both components. It can be helpful to try replacing the power supply first as it is generally the easier and cheaper option. If replacing the power supply does not solve the issue, then it may be necessary to replace the motherboard.

Keep in mind that computers can have multiple issues, and it is possible that both the power supply and motherboard are faulty. It is always a good idea to consult with a professional if you are unsure about how to diagnose or replace components.


1. Q: How do I know if my power supply is bad or my motherboard is failing?

A: One way to identify the issue is by testing the voltage output of the power supply with a multimeter. If the output is within normal range, then your motherboard may be causing the problem.

2. Q: My computer won’t turn on, how can I determine if it’s the power supply or the motherboard?

A: Check if the fans start spinning and the lights turn on when you hit the power button. If there’s no sign of life from your PC, the power supply may be faulty. If the fans and lights do turn on, but you hear no beeps from the BIOS, it could be the motherboard.

3. Q: What are some symptoms of a failing power supply or motherboard?

A: Symptoms of a failing power supply include random shutdowns, inability to power up, and strange electrical noises. A failing motherboard can cause blue screens, random restarts, and hardware malfunctioning.

4. Q: Can a bad power supply damage the motherboard?

A: Yes, a failing power supply can cause power surges that can damage anything connected to it, including the motherboard.

5. Q: How can I protect my motherboard from damage caused by a bad power supply?

A: Invest in a good quality power supply with surge protection and avoid overloading the PSU with too many components. Keep an eye out for warning signs, such as strange noises or overheating, and replace the power supply as necessary.


In summary, determining whether a bad power supply or motherboard is causing issues with your computer can be a stressful task. However, by carefully examining the symptoms your computer is exhibiting and performing diagnostic tests, you can successfully identify the root cause of the problem. Remember to always take the necessary safety precautions and seek professional assistance if needed. By doing so, you can ensure your computer remains in top working condition.

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