One day when turning on the PC we find that it has stopped working, in principle we do not know what the cause may be, but we open our tower and see how when the system starts some lights come on inside. In this tutorial we will tell you what each LED indicator on the motherboard means, what problems they point to and what is the solution to them.
It is common for the hardware to stop working on our PC, luckily there are ways in which the computer can tell us that something is wrong. The use of light indicators to mark certain problems helps us to easily diagnose these problems. Let’s see what each LED indicator marks on each motherboard.
Why does my motherboard have LED lights?
The explanation for this is very simple, many times our PC may have a serious hardware error that prevents us from starting it normally. If we cannot turn on the computer, then we will find that we cannot get the information about the error, since we cannot interact with it.
That is why on many motherboards we can see a series of LED indicators with a label that refers to a specific component, generally being the following: CPU, RAM, Boot and Graphics Card. Some manufacturers make use of various colored lighting to indicate to the user about the different problems that exist in it. However, not everyone has agreed on what each color means and, therefore, what problem it refers to.
The LED indicators on the motherboard have a very simple operation, through the power pins of the different components. If these have simply stopped working and consequently the signal does not reach them, then the corresponding indicator will light up.
Order of LED lights by brands
Unfortunately, not all manufacturers respect the same order when placing the warning lights on their motherboards, but within each brand. This may seem trivial to many readers, but it is possible that for some reason we cannot read the label that accompanies each LED indicator.
Keep in mind that not all motherboards have these indicators and there are more advanced models that usually use two seven-segment indicators to indicate the error code, in hexadecimal format, of what is happening on our PC. In any case, we leave you the order in which the LED lights are arranged on the motherboards of the different manufacturers.
- boots (green)
- VGA (white)
- DRAM (yellow)
- CPU (red).
What does each LED light on the motherboard tell us?
Once we know the order of the motherboard indicators according to the different brands, it is time to say what each of them means, what problem they indicate and how to solve it. As a note, if you start the system with the bare board you will see that in many cases the lights come on during the boot process, don’t be scared, it is part of the process of checking that each element works correctly.
CPU LED indicator on motherboard
It lights up when the processor is broken or defective and therefore cannot boot normally. Either due to the fact that it has been installed incorrectly in the socket, it has burned after overheating or it has a bad design from the factory. If you have a BGA type CPU then you will not be able to do anything when it is soldered to the plate and you will have to call the manufacturer to make the corresponding change if it is under warranty.
On the other hand, if you have a processor that mounts on a socket, the problem will be solved most of the time by reinstalling the processor. Our recommendation is that you take the opportunity to clean the CPU socket of dust before putting it back to check if this motherboard LED indicator has turned on due to a bad installation and not due to factory defects.
DRAM LED indicator on motherboard
As with the previous one, this motherboard LED indicator is very clear to understand, but in this case it will indicate the health status of the PC’s RAM memory. Therefore, it will turn on if one of the modules stops working, has been incorrectly installed at the factory or by the user, or simply has a defect at source. So we recommend the same as in the previous case, so if you run into this problem just reinstall the RAM, clean its connectors and socket connectors and reassemble it again.
The third LED indicator on the motherboard refers to the failure of the graphics card, its name has been inherited from when the VGA video output was standard on PCs and graphics cards were referenced under that name. This indicator lights up when there is no graphics card in the PC. Although it will not if the processor of it has an integrated GPU. However, it will not only turn on if there is no graphics card, but also if there is a graphics card and it suddenly stops working.
Again and as in the previous cases, if your PC uses a conventional graphics card and does not have an integrated one, then you will have to reinstall it. Take advantage during the installation to carry out the corresponding cleaning of both the graphics card and the PCI Express port to which it is connected.
Boot LED indicator on motherboard
This LED indicator on the motherboard will light up when we don’t have a storage device. Let’s not forget that despite the fact that the first space accessed by the CPU corresponds to the UEFI BIOS, a storage device is needed to store the operating system.
The difference with the previous cases is that in this situation we have two different cases, since today we can install both an SSD or a hard drive through a SATA port or a solid state drive in an M.2 slot. . In the first case, check that the SATA connectors are properly connected to the drive. In the second case, what you should do is check that the SSD is properly connected.
It must be taken into account that despite the fact that from the BIOS we can assign a startup hierarchy between the different units, there must always be one that starts the system. So if during the boot process no storage drive has an operating system then this LED may also light up. Although this will depend on the manufacturer and most of the time what we will see will be a message on the screen indicating the problem.