Guide to replacing your computers motherboard

should you replace your computers mother board
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    Is it worth replacing the motherboard?

    If you are a laptop computer user, then in most cases the cost of a replacement motherboard can often be more than the laptop is worth. If, however, you own a high spec laptop then it could be worth looking to replace the motherboard or sending it away to a specialist company for repair.

    When it comes to desktop computers, then in most cases it generally works out cheaper to replace the motherboard than to buy a new machine. Just like a laptop, however, it really depends on the age and condition of the machine itself.

    Can you just replace the motherboard?

    In those situations where you are able to replace the motherboard on a computer, there are a number of factors that need to be considered.  The process is far more complex than simply sticking a brand new motherboard into your computer as you need to ensure that the new motherboard is compatible with your processor, memory power supply unit etc.

    With a new motherboard, the windows operating system is sometimes unable to load due to the computer hard drive not being configured correctly. Often your computer settings have to be tweaked and the operating system may need to be re-installed from scratch.

    How long does a motherboard last?

    In general a motherboard should last at least 5+ years, however I have seen some go on for 15+ years. Unfortunately, I have also witnessed motherboards fail in under a year. It really is the luck of the draw.

    Can I use my old hard drive with a new motherboard?

    Yes, for most situations, you can simply connect your old hard drive to a new motherboard and carry on as usual. As explained above, however, if the hard drive cannot configure to the new motherboard, then a new windows installation may have to be carried out.

    What happens if the motherboard is replaced?

    Your computer will need to be partially striped down and re-wired to all the internal components, so that the new software for the motherboard can be configured. Having completed this, you will be able to use your machine as normal, with your computer functioning just as it did before.

    What are the signs of a bad motherboard?

    Unfortunately, there are often no warning signs that your motherboard is about to fail. One day it can be working fine and the next day it simply stops functioning. You may get alerted that your USBs are not functioning efficiently or that your mouse or keyboard are not being recognised.

    The most common problem with a motherboard, however, effects the on board video input and you may switch your computer on, only to be greeted by a blank screen.

    How much does a new motherboard cost?

    The cost of a new motherboard varies, depending on the spec of the computer. A new motherboard for a generic desktop computer should not cost more than £50 – £70, however, if you own a gaming machine then you can expect to pay anywhere between £200 – £400.

    As explained earlier, laptop motherboards will often cost more than the laptop is actually worth.

    Will I lose data if I replace my motherboard?

    You should not lose any personal files when you replace the motherboard, however if we have to re-install your windows due to your hard drive not being configured correctly, then we may have to retrieve your personal files for you.

    We may also have to re-install programs such as office, anti-virus and printer software etc.

    Which motherboard is the best?

    Again, this depends on the spec of your computer, but from personal experience I would always use Asus boards, especially when it comes to higher end machines. You can get cheaper budget motherboards, but you get what your pay for and they often do not last as long.


    I hope you have found this blog on replacement motherboards helpful. In order to summarise the main points, you should always consider the age and spec of your computer in order to check that it would be viable for replacement. In most cases, if your desktop computer is between 3-5 years old, then it should still be worth purchasing a replacing motherboard. This is not the case for laptops, however, as once the motherboard fails the cost to repair it often is not viable.

    If you are ever in doubt, simply give us a call and we can come and diagnose your computer for you and advise if it is worth going ahead with the repair.

    Related reading: Why should you use anti static wrist straps…

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    Lee Harvey

    Lee is an experienced computer repair engineer and operates across Cornwall from his base in St Austell.

    Computer Repair Cornwall

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