Unidentified IBM PC Motherboard
March 30, 2005 4:09 PM   Subscribe

Out of boredom, I have decided to cobble together a bare-bones computer (read: pile of wires and parts on a desk). Something seems to be atwitter with the BIOS on the motherboard, and it won't progress beyond the standard bios screen. We are not talking anything life threatening, just the end of my boredom buster, but does anyone know how I might identify the motherboard, and prod the BIOS back to life?
posted by potch to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Usually the model number is printed on the board somewhere, see anything? If you get something that looks like a model number, googling it will tell you most likely what it is. If the motherboard is literally laying on a desk, it may be improper grounding is the problem. Although I've seen computers work just laying out like that, I've also had a motherboard that didn't power up until I used copper screws to secure it to its case.

1. Are there any error messages displayed?
2. Are you getting any beeps? If so, describe them (long, short, how many).

Also, some motherboards actually tell you what's wrong, if you hook up headphones or speakers to the sound output (recent motherboards only). Might want to try that.
posted by knave at 4:27 PM on March 30, 2005

I'd first look for the model number like knave said, after that I believe there should be an FCC id somewhere on the motherboard you can search for on the FCC.gov website. Failing that Googling for the chipset, or any random serials you find on the board can help.

Usually when I have a moher board that does that, it's either ide cables, memory or the actual drives connected.

What are the specs of your equipment? Heck if you can take a photo of it, I might be able to tell what it is.. I've seen alot of motherboards in my day.
posted by jackofsaxons at 4:52 PM on March 30, 2005

Sometimes the model number is on a barcode sticker attached to the side of the last expansion slot (pci or isa).

Try resetting the bios with the clear CMOS jumper (there is almost always a clear CMOS jumper). You are probably hugely overclocking the CPU or something...

Has this combination of CPU and MB ever worked together? separately?
posted by Chuckles at 10:22 PM on March 30, 2005

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