how to find out if a motherboard is broken or not

Hi experts,
Can you tell me how to find out that motherboard of a cp not good is? my pc won't start up. The only thing that starts is the fan.  I want to know if the cable that goes from the power switch to the board Ok is or not.
sharschoAsked:
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jmcgurerCommented:
This could be very tricky if you don't have spare parts around to try. If the fan is working though I would assume that you are getting power. Do you see lights on the motherboard when you have the computer plugged in too?
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Diagnostic tools generally cost you more than replacement parts.  

Replace the power supply

Before replacing, perform proper troubleshooting steps.

Remove EVERYTHING from the board except power supply, case connectors, CPU, one stick of RAM, and the video card (reset the RAM and video card unless it's onboard).  Does the system work?
If so, add one piece back at a time until it stops working.  Sometimes it can be as simple as reseating a component.  Other times, things fail.
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sharschoAuthor Commented:
How do I reset the RAM and the video card? I did disconnect the things you mentioned. Only the fan works when the power is on. I don't see any lights when the power is turned on. I think there are no lights on the motherboard. It stopped working from oneday to the other. I have a suspicion that the cable that goes from the button to the board is not OK but I can't confirm that. If you can tell me how to reset the RAM and video card.
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yankees9920Commented:
I think he meant to RESEAT the ram, meaning take it out and put it back in. Make sure it is pressed in all the way until it clicks into place.

Also you may want to try assembling the motherboard outside of the case (on top of the anti-static wrap). There could be a grounding issue with the case which causes the board to immediately short out. Something as small as a metal shard from the case hitting the motherboard can cause this.

Check your motherboard manual to see if there is an alternate way to power it on (avoiding the cable that may be bad). Many new boards include a power button right on the board.
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CallandorCommented:
You can turn on the motherboard by temporarily shorting the two pins on the motherboard that are connected to the case button.  Reseating the RAM and video card means taking them out and putting them back in - this sometimes cleans the contacts and enables startup.  You should know that a common failure in motherboards and power supplies is that the capacitors dry out or leak: www.badcaps.net
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sharschoAuthor Commented:
I did take out the memory card and the disk drives. I also did take out the video card and reinsert them all. When I power it on I see the led light again. It was not working before I reinserted the parts. Now it flashes again but the pc won't start. Only the fan and the power led give signs of life. I will buy an aeroclean spray to clean the slots and see if that helps. I also tried to connect the pins to where the power on cable is attached together but that did not work either. I will clean today and see what happens. Will post again tomorrow. Thanks for the advices!
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nobusCommented:
did you use my guide?  it will lead you to the solution !
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sharschoAuthor Commented:
Sorry for neglecting this question, I was 2 weeks on vacation and I update this question. I could not find the problem. It might be the capacitors but I don't know much about that. I tried putting the harddisk in another pc but that did not work either (logically). So I am at a point of no return for this problem. I made some pictures of the motherboard which I will be uploading later on today. Maybe you can see what it looks like and point things out which I don't see. I thank you for your advices and patience.
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nobusCommented:
did you follow my guide??
if in doubt about some point, just ask !
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sharschoAuthor Commented:
I did follow your guide but I see that it does not give any sign of life. I think I will have to accept that the problem is with the motherboard. I still think that there is something with the cable that goes from the on/off switch to the motherboard but I can't seem to find out what it is. I thank you all for your advices and patience.
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nobusCommented:
if you followed my guide, it brings you down to mobo or cpu.
if you have a compatible mobo, you can test the cpu
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sharschoAuthor Commented:
I wiil need to get the cpu from the board, I did not dare to do that yet but I will do it now because I don't think it will hurt more than the issues I have now with this pc. One question, you mention compatible mobo, I have 3 pcs at home on which I can test the cpu but what has to be same as this defected pc for the cpu to function properly? My problem is that I need the data on the harddisk and I can't put the HD in another pc because the other pcs won't start with this HD. which I don't completely understand.
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nobusCommented:
it needs to have the same socket, or the cpu won't fit.
if you google the mobo , it will show in the specs what cpu's it supports
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nobusCommented:
>>  because the other pcs won't start with this HD. which I don't completely understand.   <<   that is because the disk interface blocks the motherboard.
if you need the data, you should replace the disk logic board with the same model and firmware level !
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sharschoAuthor Commented:
Seems like I won't be able to fix this. I will have to dump the pc. Thank you all for you advices.
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nobusCommented:
you're welcome !
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