PC Won’t Turn On But Motherboard Light Is On – How to Fix?

Being an enthusiast laptop savvy, Evan Charles shares his wisdom on LaptopEcho to help others pick the right machine. He loves guiding people to get...

Imagine how frustrating it is when you’re ready to start your workday, but your PC won’t turn on; all you get is a motherboard light and a black screen. We’ve all been caught up in such a situation; if not, you’re probably here because your computer is acting up this way.

Sometimes if your PC won’t turn on but motherboard light is on, it can be challenging to identify the exact cause and even troubleshoot. Technological advancements have made computers complex machines, increasing the likelihood of multiple causes of this problem. Because of the various hardware configurations, you may have to diagnose several components to figure out the problem.

While it may sound confusing, it’s easier done practically than written. In this article, we help you solve the mystery surrounding why your PC won’t turn on but the power light is on, as well as provide a few workable solutions to this problem. Let’s dive in.

Key Points:

  • Listening to motherboard beeps can easily direct you to where your PC problem could be.
  • A faulty motherboard can cause your PC not to turn on even when its light is on.
  • The easiest way to determine whether the motherboard is working is to perform a power-on self-test (POST).

Why PC Won’t Turn On But Motherboard Light Is On?

Several reasons could cause your PC not to turn on, but the motherboard light is on, including an incompatible/missing RAM module, faulty power button, graphics card problem, missing/damaged CPU, failing PSU (power supply unit), etc.

PC Won't Turn On But Motherboard Light Is On

External devices can also prevent your computer from booting. If you have a faulty motherboard, your PC won’t turn on but may show a power LED. Here is what to do when your PC won’t turn on, but the motherboard light is on:

Change Your Power Source

If your PC won’t turn on, but the power light is on, it could mean your power source does not provide enough power to boot your computer. Try connecting it to a different wall outlet. If you have a power surge protector or use a power extension cord, try connecting your computer directly to a wall outlet.

Check The Connection Of Your Monitor

It might be a display problem. If you hear your computer fans running but still no display, check that your monitor is properly powered up, connected, and switched on. Then double-check that the cable connecting your computer to the display is secure, undamaged, and connected to the right input. If it still doesn’t work, try using a different display unit to eliminate the doubt of a damaged monitor.

Listen For Beeps

Most PCs make a beep sound when booting up, and each beeping sound has a meaning. Listening carefully to these beeps can hint you where the problem could be. For example, a single short beep usually implies the system is running well. A long-sustained beep means a key stuck on your keyboard. A succession of beeps could mean RAM or logic board problems. Look up the meaning of these beeps in your PC’s handbook or official manufacturer’s website.

Unplug External Devices

In some cases, external peripherals may interfere with your computer’s boot-up process. Remove all peripherals connected to your PC, including external drives, cameras, printers, etc. Restart it with only the mouse, keyboard, and display connected.

How To Fix a PC Won’t Turn On But Motherboard Light Is On

Since there’s no specific cause to this problem, fixing a computer that won’t turn on but the motherboard light is on involves performing multiple diagnostic tests. Basically, you can start with basic troubleshooting to more advanced procedures if your problem is not solved.

How To Fix a PC Won't Turn On But Motherboard Light Is On

Below are some ways to fix a PC that won’t turn on but the logic board light is on:

Restart Your Computer.

Restarting your computer is the easiest way to troubleshoot various problems. All you need to do is disconnect all external peripherals and restart your system.

Check Your Power Button.

If your computer won’t turn on, but the motherboard light is on, the problem might be with your power button. Try turning on your computer from the onboard power button. Keep in mind not all logic boards have an inbuilt power button.

If this is your case, you may jumpstart your computer by shorting the power switch pins using a flat screwdriver. This is a good short-term fix to check if there’s an issue with your power button.

Reset CMOS Settings

It’s likely that you’re experiencing a strange compatibility issue or BIOS setting fault rather than a hardware issue. If this is what is causing the problem, it’s a simple remedy. Use the CMOS reset button/switch to reset your motherboard’s BIOS settings.

If your motherboard has no reset switch, disconnect your computer’s power supply. Open your chassis and locate the CMOS battery on the logic board; usually, a silver battery resembles a coin. Use a paper clip or flat screwdriver to remove it. Press the power button/switch and hold it down for roughly thirty seconds. Put back the CMOS battery, reconnect your power supply, and power on your PC.

Check for Compatibility Issues

If you recently installed or upgraded a component on your PC, especially the RAM, graphics card, or CPU, check the manufacturer’s documentation to see if they are compatible with your motherboard. Also, check if new components are correctly installed. Usually, RAM modules and processor chips have a clock speed that may not work well with your PC’s motherboard.

Boot In Safe Mode

Booting your computer in safe mode launches a few applications making it easier to pinpoint the source of the issue. Follow these steps below to boot your computer in safe mode:

  • Step 1: Press the power button to Turn on your PC.
  • Step 2: Press [F8] or [Shift] +[F8] while your computer boots.
  • Step 3: Use the arrow keys to navigate and press [Enter] to select safe mode.
  • Step 4: Once in safe mode, restore your PC to a previous state and restart

How Do You Test The Motherboard If It Is Working?

A faulty motherboard is likely to cause multiple problems to your PC, including boot failure, random unexpected crashes, and freezing. There are several methods to troubleshoot and test whether your motherboard is working or not.

First, do a visual hardware check. This involves careful looking at your motherboard for blown or bulged capacitors. If you find any, that’s likely to cause motherboard issues. Second, do a post (Power-On-Self-Test) to establish if your logic board works. Here is how:

  • Put your motherboard on a non-conductive surface.
  • Insert a processor chip on the CPU socket.
  • Apply thermal solution and fit the CPU cooler in position.
  • Install RAM to the memory slot on the motherboard.
  • Connect your motherboard to a power supply unit.
  • Use a flat screwdriver to short the power switch header pins and listen to the beep sound.
  • If it beeps once (short beep), the motherboard is working okay.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is My PC Not Turning On But It Has Power?

If your computer has power but won’t turn on, the first thing you need to check is your power button and the cables that link it to the logic board. Other possible causes of this problem include faulty logic board, missing/bad processor chip, missing or incompatible memory module, damaged video graphics card, etc.

Will A Computer Turn On With A Bad Motherboard?

A computer with a bad motherboard may initialize the boot-up process but immediately display a “blue screen of death” or shut down and try to boot again. If you recently replaced your board and such a failure occurs, check for components compatibility, including RAM, CPU, and graphics card, before ruling out you have a bad motherboard.

Can a Processor Cause No Display?

Yes. A computer with a damaged or without a processor chip won’t boot up normally when powered on. You may notice the hard drive and fans running in some cases, but nothing on display. Mostly, a bad processor may display the “blue screen of death” (BSOD). At this point, no amount of mouse clicking or key pressing will bring back a response. You have to replace the CPU.

Will Motherboard Turn On Without CPU?

The answer is not certainly yes or no; since it depends on the motherboard you have. While most motherboards will turn on without a CPU, some will not. The best way to try this is to connect it to the power LED light indicator and power your motherboard. If the LED turns on, it means your motherboard is on. This feature is called BIOS flashback support.


Ideally, computers are meant to make our lives more enjoyable; however, they sometimes can turn into a headache. At the untimeliest moments, these machines may fail, leaving us clambering for possible solutions.

Here, we have provided several tips and solutions to help you tackle a PC that won’t turn on, but the motherboard light is on. You can use any of the procedures explained earlier to get your PC back in working order as quickly as possible. Suppose none works successfully; feel free to contact a hardware specialist or the manufacturer. Good luck!

Evan Charles

Evan Charles

Being an enthusiast laptop savvy, Evan Charles shares his wisdom on LaptopEcho to help others pick the right machine. He loves guiding people to get the best out of their laptops as he does.

More Posts - Website

Subscribe to Laptop Echo

Subscribe to our daily newsletter to get the latest industry news.

    By clicking the "Subscribe" button, I agree and accept the privacy policy of LaptopEcho.

    Leave a Comment