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In my 30 years of experience as a computer technician, a motherboard is one of the most challenging components to diagnose due to the number of components connected to it.
If a motherboard fails, you could have blue screens, freezing, beeps, inability to detect USB drives and other hardware, and more. This guide will teach you how to test a motherboard with a multi-meter before installing other PC parts.
You will need the following tools to complete your motherboard diagnostics testing.
A Phillips screwdriver or power switch jumper
A multimeter to check voltages
A working PSU (Power Supply Unit)
A new CMOS battery if necessary
CPU thermal paste
Set the motherboard on a flat, non-conductive surface such as a wooden table.
Install the processor and apply thermal paste.
Attach the CPU cooler and connect it to the motherboard.
Place at least one RAM module into the slot labeled (DIMM 1).
Attach the GPU to the motherboard and connect the necessary power connector if necessary. Read your GPU manual to verify.
Plug the ATX 24-pin connector from the PSU (Power Supply) into the motherboard.
Connect the monitor to the HDMI connection on the side of the board for onboard graphics or into the GPU if it’s your primary display.
Plug the PSU power cable into a surge protector or wall outlet.
To turn on the computer, use a power switch jumper, or if you do not have one available, you can even use a screwdriver to complete the power circuit shown above.
After verifying a successful POST, turn the PC off by flipping the switch located on the power supply back to the off position.
If the computer boots to the BIOS, you are good to go. Unplug everything, and install the motherboard into your case and install everything as usual. If your motherboard did not POST, retry the steps again, and if it still fails, contact the motherboard manufacturer and request an RMA to get a new motherboard.
Motherboards can be one of the most stubborn components to diagnose due to the sheer number of tiny parts embedded in them. In my experience, when motherboards fail, they typically will not boot, power on, or anything. The following steps can help narrow down your symptoms.
The Power-On-Self-Test or (POST) happens each time you turn on your computer. If your computer is operating normally, you should continue the startup. If you are unable to complete the POST, then proceed to the next step.
Verify that your motherboard is not shorting out on your case. Verify that you have correctly installed stand-off screws in all the correct screw locations inside the case.
Check your system for possible overheating. Open the case and ensure that there is not dust covering the fans, components, and motherboard. If so, use a can of compressed air found at your local hardware store to clean it.
Listen for beep codes when booting your PC. These beep codes will help you identify the faulty component or issue. For a list of beep codes and what they mean, go here.
Use the BIOS to check for updates, download and install them. If no updates are available, restore or reset your BIOS to reverse all settings to default and restart the computer.
If you still cannot access the BIOS because your computer keeps restarting, Replace the CMOS Battery. If your PC continues into BIOS after battery replacement, your motherboard issues should end. But if they do not, continue diagnosis.
Finally, remove all components other than the CPU, the CPU Cooling Fan, and the RAM. If your motherboard boots and POSTs, you will need to add one piece of hardware at a time until you find the faulty component.
If you cannot diagnose your motherboard with the steps listed above, it is time to use a multimeter. You can purchase one at your local hardware store or on Amazon. This one at Amazon sells for less than $13 and works great.
If you have a multimeter, then you will be able to detect issues with the motherboard easily. Even if you have never used a multimeter in the past, I will walk you step-by-step on how to test your motherboard for component failure.
The first thing you want to look for with the multimeter is a short circuit. These are common issues and can happen when there might be a surge in electricity. Below we will be verifying the AC voltage of the motherboard.
Standard 24pin ATX pin layout
Next, remove the motherboard from the case and refer to the layout picture or this ATX 24-pin chart to find the PINs. Using the red lead, test each of the following: (3,5,7,15,17,18, and 19) must have a 0 reading. Anything else indicates a bad PSU connector.
The last test will require you to remove the ATX power adapter and the CPU from the motherboard. Test the same ATX pins located on the motherboard. Any reading other than 0 means there is a problem with the motherboard connector.
To check DC voltages, follow the steps below. The steps here are slightly different than AC voltages.
If you have found that the motherboard has failed, don’t try repairing it on your own. Even if a repair is successful, improper voltage regulation could destroy everything in your computer. It is always better to have an experienced electronic technician repair the motherboard or replace it than venturing to fix it yourself.
With the computer turned off, carefully probe the back of the connector using the black lead. It should be in contact with one of the negative pins 15,17,18 or 19, registering a 0 voltage.
Use the red lead to probe and verify the following pins: Pin 16 (green in color) reading between 3-5 volts and Pin 9 (purple color) reading 5 volts.
Now, start the PC. Pin 16 (green color) should drop down to 0 volts. If it doesn’t, this is indicative of a faulty switch. (Turn off the PC)
Finally, use the red lead on Pin 8 (gray color) should read 5 volts. Start the computer and press the reset button; now, the voltage will drop down to 0 volts, then go back up to 5 volts. If not, this is a good indicator that you have a defective RAM slot, and you will need a new motherboard.FAQs
You don’t have to have a CPU to verify that the motherboard is working and powering connected components like case fans and RGB lighting. I know because I have done this on numerous occasions.How to test a capacitor on a motherboard?
Unfortunately, there is no way to test the capacitor on a motherboard without removing the capacitor itself. However, you can visually inspect each capacitor for rust, cracks, leaks, or bulges, and this will give you a good idea that the capacitor is damaged.Can a motherboard be repaired?
A motherboard can be repaired by an experienced electronics technician in many cases and may still be less expensive than a replacement if it is an older PC. If you have to purchase a new motherboard, you may also have to replace the CPU and RAM.Is replacing a motherboard worth it?
The fact that the motherboard is responsible for distributing controlled amounts of current throughout the computer and its peripherals makes it very worth it. A failing motherboard could cause surges of current that could potentially destroy your RAM, GPU, CPU, etc.What happens if my motherboard is damaged?
If you just purchased your motherboard and it was damaged when you opened it or during installation, it should be under the manufactures warranty. You will need to call the manufacture and request an RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization).
If you have had the motherboard for a long time and it is out of the warranty period, you will need to purchase a new one.
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What is Web Testing?
Web Testing, or website testing is checking your web application or website for potential bugs before its made live and is accessible to general public. Web Testing checks for functionality, usability, security, compatibility, performance of the web application or website.
Before we pen down more details on the type of web testing, let’s quickly define Web Testing.
During this stage issues such as that of web application security, the functioning of the site, its access to handicapped as well as regular users and its ability to handle traffic is checked.How to Test Web Application or Website
In Software Engineering, the following testing types/technique may be performed depending on your web testing requirements.
1. Functionality Testing of a Website
Functionality Testing of a Website is a process that includes several testing parameters like user interface, APIs, database testing, security testing, client and server testing and basic website functionalities. Functional testing is very convenient and it allows users to perform both manual and automated testing. It is performed to test the functionalities of each feature on the website.
Web based Testing Activities includes:
Test Forms are working as expected. This will include-
Scripting checks on the form are working as expected. For example- if a user does not fill a mandatory field in a form an error message is shown.
Check default values are being populated
Once submitted, the data in the forms is submitted to a live database or is linked to a working email address
Forms are optimally formatted for better readability
Test Cookies are working as expected. Cookies are small files used by websites to primarily remember active user sessions so you do not need to log in every time you visit a website. Cookie Testing will include
Testing cookies (sessions) are deleted either when cache is cleared or when they reach their expiry.
Delete cookies (sessions) and test that login credentials are asked for when you next visit the site.
Test HTML and CSS to ensure that search engines can crawl your site easily. This will include
Checking for Syntax Errors
Readable Color Schemas
Standard Compliance. Ensure standards such W3C, OASIS, IETF, ISO, ECMA, or WS-I are followed.
Test business workflow– This will include
Testing your end – to – end workflow/ business scenarios which takes the user through a series of webpages to complete.
Test negative scenarios as well, such that when a user executes an unexpected step, appropriate error message or help is shown in your web application.
Tools that can be used: QTP , IBM Rational , Selenium2. Usability testing:
Usability Testing has now become a vital part of any web based project. It can be carried out by testers like you or a small focus group similar to the target audience of the web application.
Test the site Navigation:
Menus, buttons or Links to different pages on your site should be easily visible and consistent on all webpages
Test the Content:
Content should be legible with no spelling or grammatical errors.
Images if present should contain an “alt” text
Tools that can be used: Chalkmark, Contentsquare, and Clixpy3.Interface Testing:
Three areas to be tested here are – Application, Web and Database Server
Application: Test requests are sent correctly to the Database and output at the client side is displayed correctly. Errors if any must be caught by the application and must be only shown to the administrator and not the end user.
Web Server: Test Web server is handling all application requests without any service denial.
Database Server: Make sure queries sent to the database give expected results.
Test system response when connection between the three layers (Application, Web and Database) cannot be established and appropriate message is shown to the end user.
Tools that can be used: Ranorex4. Database Testing:
Database is one critical component of your web application and stress must be laid to test it thoroughly. Testing activities will include-
Test if any errors are shown while executing queries
Data Integrity is maintained while creating, updating or deleting data in database.
Check response time of queries and fine tune them if necessary.
Test data retrieved from your database is shown accurately in your web application
Tools that can be used: QTP, Selenium5. Compatibility testing.
Compatibility tests ensures that your web application displays correctly across different devices. This would include-
The rendering of web elements like buttons, text fields etc. changes with change in Operating System. Make sure your website works fine for various combination of Operating systems such as Windows, Linux, Mac and Browsers such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari etc.
Tools that can be used: Dynatrace6. Performance Testing:
Website application response times at different connection speeds
Test if a crash occurs due to peak load, how does the site recover from such an event
Make sure optimization techniques like gzip compression, browser and server side cache enabled to reduce load times
Tools that can be used: Loadrunner, JMeter7. Security testing:
Security Testing is vital for e-commerce website that store sensitive customer information like credit cards. Testing Activities will include-
Test unauthorized access to secure pages should not be permitted
Restricted files should not be downloadable without appropriate access
Check sessions are automatically killed after prolonged user inactivity
On use of SSL certificates, website should re-direct to encrypted SSL pages.
Intruder is a powerful vulnerability scanner that will help you uncover the many weaknesses lurking in your web applications and underlying infrastructure. Offering industry-leading security checks, continuous monitoring and an easy-to-use platform, Intruder keeps businesses of all sizes safe from hackers.
Best-in-class threat coverage with over 10,000 security checks
Checks for configuration weaknesses, missing patches, application weaknesses (such as SQL injection & cross-site scripting) and more
Automatic analysis and prioritisation of scan results
Intuitive interface, quick to set-up and run your first scans
Proactive security monitoring for the latest vulnerabilities
AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud connectors
API integration with your CI/CD pipeline8. Crowd Testing:
You will select a large number of people (crowd) to execute tests which otherwise would have been executed a select group of people in the company. Crowdsourced testing is an interesting and upcoming concept and helps unravel many a unnoticed defects.
Tools that can be used: Crowd Testing Platform
This concludes the tutorial. It includes almost all testing types applicable to your web application.
As a Web-tester its important to note that web testing is quite an arduous process and you are bound to come across many obstacles. One of the major problems you will face is of course deadline pressure. Everything is always needed yesterday! The number of times the code will need changing is also taxing. Make sure you plan your work and know clearly what is expected of you. Its best define all the tasks involved in your web testing and then create a work chart for accurate estimates and planning.
If you’re an engineer or a developer, chances are you’ve had to test an API at some point. Whether for a side project or a full-time gig, testing your application’s ability to send and receive data from other apps is essential to ensure everything works as intended. Luckily for us, there are several ways to do this to ensure you’re getting the most out of your application!These are My Top Three Methods for Testing Out APIs
There are a lot of ways to test out an API, but these are my top three:
Postman. This Chrome extension allows you to create and send requests to an API without having to code up anything. It’s great for testing out how the API works and what responses you get from it.
Code it up in Python, Ruby, or any other language that supports making HTTP requests with libraries like Requests or Net::HTTP.
The best way I’ve found so far is using some combination of all three methods—you get quick feedback from doing things manually through Postman while still being able to test out complex functionality through curl scripts when needed!
9 Best Cybersecurity Companies in the WorldUse Postman
The best way to test an API is to use a tool like Postman. It’s a Chrome extension that lets you build and save HTTP requests, making it easy to run large numbers quickly. You can also use it with the REST Request Builder to perform CRUD operations on your APIs using a simple “drag-and-drop” interface.
curl is a command line tool for sending HTTP requests and getting HTTP responses. It’s available on most operating systems and can test an API without writing code.
curl supports sending POST, PUT and DELETE requests as well as GET requests by default, but it can also be configured to support other request methods like HEAD if you need them.Code It Up in Python and Make Calls Directly to The API
To test an API, you’ll need to be able to make calls directly to the API. This is done by using a library for Python called requests. It’s available for download on PyPI, so you can install it via pip:
pip install requests
These are my top three methods for testing out APIs. If you’re interested in learning more about how to test your API, check out the official documentation or this blog post by Google. They provide lots of information on how to use the different tools mentioned here and other helpful tips that might help make your life easier when dealing with APIs!
The Windows 10 operating system offers a powerful built-in Windows Firewall that prevents hackers or malicious software from gaining access to your computer through a network or the Internet. Although the built-in firewall is good for most users, some users prefer to use a third-party free Firewall software. Now if you want to test how good your Firewall is, these three free online Firewall Test & Post Scan services will conduct probative protocol tests on them and tell you how well they are doing their job.Free Online Firewall Test
A firewall is merely the first line of defense for any system’s security. As such, one should not rely solely on its ability to stop all the potential threats floating on the Internet. All sorts of misfortunes can occur for which a firewall is about as useful as ducking to cover for a big explosion.1] Gibson Research Privacy
The best method to check the strength and functioning of a firewall system is to try and breach its security. ShieldsUP! tests your firewall for such vulnerabilities.
When you choose a test type and agree to give ShieldsUP! permission to run tests on your computer, it looks for potential weaknesses and openings that can be used to attack your system. If there are no threats found, your system will get a green signal indicating it has achieved a perfect “TruStealth” rating.
You can test your firewall via Shields Up! in five different categories. These include,
All service ports
Once the test is complete, results are displayed alongside solution that can help you improve your security. In my case, no vulnerability was noted.2] Hackerwatch
It is a website to report and share information about Internet threats. By collecting and analyzing users’ firewall activity, the website can sense any suspicious activity, identify intrusion attempts, track complex attack patterns, and disclose the sources and targets of Internet threats. It mainly uses two methods,
Port Scan3] Audit My PC
The service is quite useful for testing remote desktop services, FTP servers and other services running on non-standard ports. It checks a system for commonly used ports and tests the ones commonly used by Viruses and Trojans. The test conducted by Audit My PC is extremely fast and maintains accuracy. The best part of the scan is that you don’t need to install anything for this online firewall test to run, you simply need to pick a port, or range of ports, to probe.
To avoid getting incorrect results, temporarily disable the auto-blocking feature (not the firewall), or you will likely get incorrect results
Also note that if you are running on a private network, (you may be connected to a router, proxy, or firewall) the firewall test may be conducted on other devices instead of your computer. For example, you are working for a company and using its network to audit the computer at your desk; the test will audit the company firewall instead of your PC’s firewall.
Note: This service seems to be currently temporarily down.
Before the test starts, chúng tôi reminds users that the service cannot be held responsible for any damage resulting from the use of its firewall test as users agree to the terms and conditions of the service before using it.
You might want to also take a look at these free web browser performance benchmark test tools. Also Test if Antivirus is working or not.
Advanced Mac users who are interested in the world of Information Security (InfoSec) can easily test out ParrotSec Linux in live boot mode by using a virtual machine.
In this particular walkthrough, we’ll show you how to quickly get ParrotSec running in live mode within the free Parallels Desktop Lite app, but if you want to try this with VirtualBox, VMware, or Parallels, you could do that just as easily too.
For some quick background; ParrotSec, or Parrot Security OS, is an increasingly popular infosec / security centric Linux distribution based on Debian, and it comes ready-made with a variety of security features and forensic tools. With a full suite of utilities for penetration testing, security research, digital forensics, vulnerability assessment, cryptography, software development, and anonymizing web browsers and privacy protection, ParrotSec can offer a simple to setup look into the world of tools and resources used by information security professionals.How to Run ParrotSec Live on Mac with Parallels Desktop Lite
Parallels Desktop Lite is free to download, as is ParrotSec. Getting the live mode to boot within Parallels is quite easy, here’s all you need to do:
Get Parallels Desktop Lite free from the Mac App Store
Now get ParrotSec free from chúng tôi for the tutorial here we’re using the free Home Edition 64bit ISO, which is 1.8 GB. You can download the security centric build or other builds if you want
Run Parallels Desktop Lite and under “Create New” select the option to ‘Install Windows or another OS from a DVD or image file’
At the Parrot home boot menu, choose “Live Mode” to boot into the ParrotSec desktop experience (or select another boot option if desired)
In a few moments you’ll be at the ParrotSec desktop in a live boot mode, where you can explore and play around with some of the tools available, as of this writing, the ParrotSec live username is “live” and the live password is “toor”
When finished, shut down the Parallels virtual machine or quit the app to leave ParrotSec
Remember this is a virtual machine, so the performance is not going to be anywhere close to what you’d expect if running system software natively on actual hardware. But for the curious, it should still be fun to explore and experiment with.
If you toyed around with ParrotSec and decided you have no use for it, you can just delete the ISO file you downloaded and that’ll be that. You could also remove Parallels Desktop Lite if you’d like, but it’s a handy app to have around for virtualizing various Linux and MacOS releases.
You can also use VirtualBox (free), VMware (paid), or Parallels (paid), but for our purposes here we are using Parallels Desktop Lite because it’s extremely simple. Parallels Lite is also cool because the free version also allows you to run MacOS Mojave in Parallels Desktop Lite, or MacOS High Sierra and Sierra in Parallels Desktop Lite too, as well as various other Linux distributions. You will have to pay to use Windows with Parallels, but if you’re committed to virtualizing Windows and want to use free software you can get preconfigured Windows 10 with Microsoft Edge virtual machines or simply install Windows 10 into VirtualBox too, whichever works for your needs.
If the topic of virtual machines interests you, you might enjoy reading and exploring our other virtual machine articles which cover virtualizing Mac OS, Windows, Linux, Android, and much more. And likewise if the topic of tech security fascinates you, then browse through our security related articles where you’ll find some interesting security tips and information for Mac and iOS.
Your webcam needs to be set up and configured for video calls, so it’s important to test it beforehand, especially the first time you use it. It can be easily tested with the built-in camera app, but if you’re using a third-party video-chatting application, it would be best to test the webcam using that same app. This tutorial shows you how to test your webcam in both situations.How to Test Your Webcam Using the Camera App
The built-in camera app is the most convenient method to test the webcam and is easy to use. Follow the instructions below to test your webcam:
There is also a “Reset Default Camera Settings” option if you want to reset the customized webcam settings.
For webcam-related issues or a non-working webcam, read on to learn how to fix webcams that aren’t working in Windows.
Testing your webcam with the built-in camera app is convenient, but if you are using a third-party app for videoconferencing, it’s best to test the webcam with that app.1. Google Meet
Follow these steps to test your new webcam with Google Meet.2. Skype
Follow the steps below to check your webcam on Skype.
A video stream from your webcam will appear on the right side of the Skype window.3. Zoom
These steps will test your webcam on Zoom.
If your webcam is working properly, the video will appear immediately.4. Slack
The steps to test your webcam on Slack are as follows:
Navigate to “Audio & video” on the left side of the panel.
If you are not able to see yourself with the launch of the webcam, your video device is probably not set to the right webcam.5. Discord
If you want to test your webcam with Discord, follow the steps below:
Your image should appear on the right side of the window.Customize Privacy Settings in Windows
Testing the webcam is not enough; you also need to customize the privacy settings. Thankfully, Windows is pretty versatile, and the OS has multiple customization settings dedicated to privacy.Webcam Privacy Settings
Windows has a dedicated Privacy and Security section that protects users. Usually, this is excellent, but if you don’t customize it properly, you may have trouble with your webcam. It may start working for some apps you don’t want to use it with it and stop working for those you do want to use with it.
To customize webcam privacy settings in Windows, follow the steps below.
Toggle the “Camera Access” option toward the top to activate or deactivate the webcam.
Toggle the “Let Apps Access Your Camera” option to allow or deny the app access to the webcam. Toggle the application options below to allow or deny access to those apps.Browser Privacy Settings
In the browser privacy settings, you can prevent access to the microphone and camera for websites that don’t have permission. The permission pop-up is different for each browser. If you do not see a pop-up, you may want to check the privacy settings for your web browser.
If you’re looking for a browser option other than Firefox or Google, check out these lightweight browsers for Windows.Frequently Asked Questions Why is my webcam so blurry?
The lens of the webcam could either have dust or a smudge on it, causing the blurriness. You should clean the lens of the webcam with a dry cloth to see if that helps with the blurriness.How can I manually adjust my webcam focus?
There should be a plastic manual focus ring on the outer rim of your webcam casing. It allows you to adjust the focus by turning it, but this feature is only available on select webcams. The manual focus ring is available on high-end webcams and a few mid-range ones.Why does my 1080p webcam look so grainy?
When some webcam settings are turned on, they will make the video look grainy. Turn off the “Right Light” or “Low Light Compensation” option in the webcam settings, as these features brighten the video too much and add process strain on the camera, leading to the grainy look.
Image credit: Pixabay. All screenshots by Saurav Dey & Alexandra Arici
Saurav is a technology writer with more than 8 years of experience. He is a Windows enthusiast and an avid PC gamer. When Saurav is not writing, he is either having a hardcore gaming session on his PC or watching tech videos on YouTube.
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