How To Maintain A Motherboard [Best-Tips!]

The motherboard, the unit that holds everything together must be taken care of. After reading this guide, you can be assured you will know all the best tips when it comes to maintaining a motherboard.

Quick & Easy Maintenance Tips That Will Keep Your Motherboard Healthy

Tip 1: Check Your Capacitors For Swelling And Leakages

maintain motherboard capacitors
Motherboard Capacitors

It’s a common belief that with most electronic units, the capacitors are the first item to go. Check your motherboard for capacitors that are bulging, this is a quick and easy way to diagnose a dysfunctional motherboard.

The problem is called the “Capacitor plague” and this problem is prevalent among aluminum electrolyte capacitors. It happens over time eventually you will see the vents of the capacitor “bulge” due to it drying out.

bulging capactiors
This image shows bulging capacitors at their tops. Image Courtesy Of BusyTails

Moreover, the bulging capacitors can be seen to be leaking a dark brown fluid which is called electrolytes.

If you want to maintain longevity in your capacitors, keep heat away because heat drys out the capacitors at an accelerated rate.

A tip to keep the heat low is to always run the capacitors at its rated voltage, never higher.

If you’re thinking about replacing capacitors on a motherboard, yes it’s indeed possible. In order to replace the capacitors on a motherboard, it is best to have prior experience with damaged tech.

Additionally, having steady hands will help substantially as you can easily damage other parts of the motherboard if you’re not careful.

Guide To Replacing Damaged Capacitors:

  1. To remove a blown capacitor, you must first locate it. You can distinguish a damaged capacitor from the others by checking if there are brown secretions around a capacitor, or if it’s bloated compared to other capacitors.
  2. Now removing the blown capacitor requires for you to remove the motherboard from the case, you need access to the back of the motherboard. You are going to need a soldering iron to heat the already existing solder keeping the capacitors two legs in place. Once the solder has been melted, gently remove the capacitor from the board.
  3. Clean the hole the previous capacitor was in before replacing it with a new capacitor. With your new capacitor, locate the positive terminal (positive leg is slightly longer) and insert the capacitor with the longer leg in its designated hole. The holes where a capacitor should be usually is marked with its respected sign (+,-).

When resoldering the capacitor back into place, make sure not to touch existing solder as you can short circuit your motherboard.

Full respected guide can be found here!

Tip 2: Keeping Your Whole Computer & Surrounding area Clean

Removing built up dust on the motherboard can extend your motherboard’s lifespan longer than you’ve ever thought. This maintenance trick will benefit the whole system, so you can’t forget this one.

When fans suck in air, they’re also sucking in dust from the surrounding area and eventually it gets stuck on the motherboard.

You won’t even notice the buildup until you look inside your computer case a few months later.

Dust is a big problem for two reasons, The first being heat. Dust hampers the air flow of your system by clogging the fans making them work inefficiently, furthermore dust blocks vents preventing hot air from escaping.

If you remember from Tip 1, heat accelerates the death of capacitors by drying them out and expand.

The second problem with dust is that if the dust catches moisture or any other conductive substance, it can potentially damage your motherboard by short-circuiting it.

My recommendation for you is to clean your whole computer periodically, say about every month or two.

You can clean your whole computer with electronic compressed air, blow the dust out of every vent.

Tip 3: Don’t Fry Your Motherboard With Static Electricity!

Static electricity occurs when there is a difference in electrical charge with two objects. One object positively charged, one negatively.

If you didn’t know already, static electricity can be detrimental to most electronics if to come in contact with it.

Static electricity can build up on your body and you can fry your motherboard and other components without even knowing.

While one having a static charge is involuntary, you can essentially remove it by discharging yourself. You can make use of these tips that will save you time and money when maintaining your system.

  1. You can discharge yourself by touching a metal part of the computer case. Do this before touching any electronic component.
  2. Leave the power supply plugged in, but have the PSU turned off.
  3. Stay away from carpet.
  4. Use a static wrist-band and attach it to the PC case.

Tip 4: The CMOS Battery Keeps Your Motherboard Alive

Seriously, if your CMOS battery dies, then your motherboard would forget all its hardware specifications and presets, even the date and time. If you’re going to be replacing the CMOS battery, I can tell you mean it when you want to maintain a motherboard

Don’t worry though, CMOS batteries can easily be replaced, and they do not cause any physical damage to the motherboard when they die.

Also, they last a very long time 2-10 Years and are very affordable. Your motherboard most probably uses the CR2032 lithium coin cell, and you can pick them up for as cheap as $1.

Tip 5: Make Sure Your BIOS Is Up To Date!

Everyone forgets this super important tip, its great to keep the software side of your motherboard in top condition also.

You may not be inclined to update your motherboards BIOS, but if you want the most longevity out of your hardware, its best to keep things updated.

Usually, whenever there is an update for something, they’re usually fixing issues that the older version had, its a new & better version of the older program.

Updating your motherboards BIOS can help up with things such as boot time, compatibility issues, and overall speed of the system.

Always check with your manufactures website to find the newest version to your BIOS, this will require for you to know the exact model of your motherboard.

For more on this topic please check out this detailed guide.

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