How to Fry a Motherboard

By Techwalla Computers Editor

A computer's motherboard holds all of its start up instructions and a matrix of complex circuitry. This flat piece of material contains all of the instructions for handling video, audio and routing information for the computer's peripheral devices, such as CDs, DVDs and card readers. Sometimes events happen that render the motherboard useless, or fried.

Step 1

Open the case while the system is running. This is an industry standard "no-no," and the introduction of debris and foreign matter into the case is a typical way to fry a motherboard.

Step 2

Spill even a small amount of liquid into or onto the computer case. Any liquid that enters the case containing the motherboard will cause a multitude of errors and eventually destroy the circuitry.

Step 3

Introduce an electrical current to the computer's power supply that exceeds the power supply rating. Electrical spikes are the most common manner in which motherboards fry. Surge protectors are a must to keep the computer's motherboard safe.

Step 4

Turn off the computer system's anti-virus software. Anti-virus software helps to keep out malicious code from entering the operating system. By turning this protection off, the motherboard is vulnerable to attack and damage.

Step 5

Disable the computer system's fans or cooling system. The heat generated by the operation of the computer is enough to literally melt components on the motherboard.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cross some of the circuitry on the motherboard. The small circuits are very delicate and susceptible to damage by placing any electrically conductive material across two circuits.
  • Reverse the power supply connection to the motherboard. By reversing the electric flow to the motherboard, there is instant damage.
  • Do not use any of these steps to purposely damage any computer system.