Repairing a motherboard is beyond the skill of most technicians. In most cases, it is cheaper and faster to purchase a new motherboard. You might also need to replace your motherboard to add new features or when you upgrade the processor. Use the following process to install a motherboard:
- If you are replacing an existing motherboard, document the current BIOS settings. You might need these settings to configure the new motherboard.
- Install the CPU, fan, heatsink, and memory before installing the motherboard in the system case. If necessary, set jumpers and DIP switches to configure devices or enable features.
- Add riser screws (also called standoffs) to the system case to match the hole pattern on the motherboard. The standoffs prevent the motherboard circuits from touching the system case.
- Insert the faceplate into the case.
- Install the motherboard, securing it to the riser screws with plastic washers and screws.
- Connect the power and accessory cables.
- Connect the main motherboard power cable and the CPU power cable.
- Connect the CPU fan power cable.
- Consult the motherboard documentation to identify the location for the power switch, hard disk activity light, and other accessory cables.
- Connect any case fan cables.
- If necessary, configure voltage and clock multipliers in the CMOS.
- Connect drives to PATA or SATA connectors.
- Install additional devices in bus slots.
- Connect devices (such as USB or Firewire) to motherboard header pins.
- Document the settings of the new motherboard.
Note: When selecting a motherboard, make sure the motherboard and system case use the same form factor.