The RED Light on Motherboard and What it Means – Best Guide [2022]

When you see the RED light on motherboard, it can be quite alarming. The RED light means that the board isn’t booting up correctly, and you may need to troubleshoot the problem in order to get it working again.

The RED Light on Motherboard and What it Means
The RED Light on Motherboard and What it Means

The good news is that when you see the RED light on motherboard , it only means that there’s something wrong with your setup – there’s no damage done to the hardware yet.

If you notice red light on motherboard,

  • it means that the internal hardware may have been plugged in incorrectly or may not be working properly.
  • Internal hardware examples include the CPU, RAM, or a graphics card.
  • Sometimes a dead CMOS battery is responsible for this.
  • Also if there are some boot errors on the hard drive when installing the initial OS, this can also cause a red light.

A red light on motherboard appears after the computer turns on, but in most cases, it will not boot, go into the BIOS, or display anything on the monitor.

The particular error depends on the motherboard and the position of the red light.

Some motherboard manufacturers include labels on the board to explain what the problem is.

Motherboards in use a few years ago will only have one, unlabeled red LED, making it more difficult to tell what is happening.

If you can’t identify what’s wrong at a glance (something isn’t plugged in correctly, etc.), you can always consult the user manual that came with your motherboard.

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The Actual Problem

This is why a single problem on the motherboard can crash the whole machine.

On the other hand, the motherboard is also equipped with diagnostic capabilities that eliminate any possible threats.

Among these, the most common way for a motherboard to indicate an error is through LED status.

It is pleasing to the eye and you immediately look for what’s wrong with it.

Originally, there was only one LED on the motherboard which meant constant repairs to avoid hardware issues.

Now it’s undoubtedly been like an uphill battle to prevent those hardware problems.

It took a long time for a single LED to sense a problem with the system as a whole.

However, with the advancement of technology, the situation has improved tremendously.

Now you will see multiple LED lights on each motherboard. These only represent specific hardware.

The process becomes much simpler and you switch immediately in the problem-solving approach.

Nevertheless, if you are new to this, do not fear; motherboards are quite intimidating at first glance.

Here is a guide that will help you learn about the different lights on your motherboard. Let’s take a look.

How to Read a Red Light on Motherboard

More modern boards have four indicators on them, with a red indicator light next to each one. These are

BOOT: If you see a red light near the BOOT indicator, this means that there is something wrong with the hard drive storing the operating system.

VGA: A flashing red light next to the VGA or GPU icon indicates that the graphics card isn’t seated correctly.

DRAM: The problem could be as simple as a misaligned memory module; if you see either side of the module is not properly attached, try reattaching the RAM module.

CPU: A red light near this indicator could mean many things. It could be the CPU is not plugged in correctly, or the CPU pins are bent. The first possible cause is that the CPU fan is not plugged in. If this is not the issue, a dead CMOS battery can also lead to a computer powering on with a red light.

Note: Older motherboards only have a single red LED to indicate a hardware malfunction, but they don’t indicate the specific error. To find the source of the problem, disconnect all of the wires and plug them back in one by one.

How do You know if Your Motherboard Is Dying?

The most simple way to figure out if your motherboard is on its last legs is to boot it up without as many peripheral connections plugged in.

If the computer still doesn’t turn on or POST, the motherboard or power supply may be faulty.

It’s often the power supply that’s to blame. If you replace the power supply and the computer still doesn’t turn on, then it’s not the power supply; it’s the motherboard.

Under some circumstances, you may be able to spot damage on the board such as burnt or defective pins, chips, and other components.Although no board killed by static shock will show any signs of damage.

How to Fix the Red light on motherboard?

A superficial understanding of the issue is not enough. The ways to deal with this issue are as follows, previously mentioned: playing with RAM or GPU. Still, there are several other solutions you can try in order to fix this problem.

The steps below will help you reset the network and return to normal. Out of these options, some of them are fairly simple to execute while others will need to be re-stocked periodically.

Now, let’s delve into the subject.

Reset BIOS

One of the most efficient and effortless ways to remedy the problem is to simply reset the BIOS. Chances are that you’ll be done with the task in just this step.

  • The BIOS (basic input/output system) is a software component in the machine’s hard drive, without which the computer will not work at all.
  • Changes here can result in distinct outputs, such as the hard drive’s incessant red light.
  • It is easy, you just need to unplug the CMOS battery. You can also reset the BIOS by plugging the device in for five minutes and removing the power, another way is to use the CMOS jumper.
  • This three-pin jumper is usually located on the side of the CMOS battery and usually configured to fit onto two of the pins (either 1 and 2 or 2 and 3). Connect the jumper cable to the two pins it belongs to for five minutes and then reconnect it to its proper position.

The auto start process will now be silky-smooth.

If the red light is still there, try one of these other methods.

Remove Hardware

Now is the time to completely free up the motherboard and inspect for damages. Remove all attached hardware from the motherboard and disconnect every cord too.

Start by completing the easiest task before inspecting the laptop. Wipe the motherboard clean with a dry, smooth cloth. Even dust can collect on any machine, the same can be said here.

In the next stage, carefully inspect each of the pieces of hardware, looking for anything that might be missing or is no longer functioning, and finally give everything a thorough clean.

Time to go over all the pins and connectors. Start by cleaning the dirt from the ends of the pins or any connector.

In addition, look for any wrongly sized components. If you do find something like that, do not panic. With the help of a screwdriver, this can be resolved.

Replace CMOS

What if the red light blinks after resetting the BIOS? Something may be wrong with the CMOS battery. It’s common for these events to happen if you have an old computer and you’re not familiar with this situation.

To get rid of this issue, you should attempt to replace your CMOS battery with a new one. You should only do this, however, if you’re certain that the problem doesn’t belong to anywhere else.

Storage Device Check

You may need the help of your friends. Once again, replace your storage device and start up the process.

It is difficult to tell exactly what the problem is, because it could be an issue with the software or hardware.

Borrow a USB storage device from a friend and check whether the computer has resumed functioning or not.

Disconnect all Peripherals and Connectors

The solution you’ve been looking for, in other words the last step, is to remove all external cables and peripherals. Give your keyboard, mouse, or speakers a break by detaching them.

Finally, remove the remaining cables, including the power and display cables. Afterward, turn on the computer.

The system starts? Check if all the cables and peripherals are connected. If you inspect them all at once, you’ll figure out which of them is the culprit.


The points discussed in this document may prove useful in rectifying this issue.

The motherboard not turning on because of a dead battery issue is one that’s been around for a while.

Don’t fret, your PC will be just fine. But remember, to troubleshoot you need a cool head and a clear understanding of your goal.

Then, out of nowhere, you’ll notice that the LED has stopped blinking.

For what if the problem isn’t solved yet? This would be the perfect time to contact a computer technician.

It is also possible to contact the local authorized dealer of your computer.

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