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If you are reading this, chances are you might be facing a solid red light on motherboard issue. This error can happen due to a number of reasons.
Oftentimes, the issue is minor and can be solved easily. Follow the instructions below to solve all sorts of red light errors on your motherboard with ease.
What Does the Red Light on the Motherboard Mean?
The red light on your motherboard indicates a problem with your internal hardware. It could be anything from a dead battery, to something not being plugged properly or is faulty.
This light usually appears when you try to boot up your machine. To find the specific error, you will have to determine which indicator is lit up. A few common issues include:
- RAM module is not properly plugged
- Dead CMOS battery
- Your CPU and Graphics Cards aren’t communicating
- Bent or broken Connector pins
- Storage device is not detected
- There is a CPU error or it is defective
- A component is not seated properly (Display adapter, Computer RGB systems, Ethernet cable, etc)
- Motherboard’s power supply cable is not fully plugged in
- Incorrect BIOS settings
That’s not all. There are many other issues why you might face this issue. You can pinpoint the error by looking at the indicator that is lit up. However, you must know how to read the red light first.
Let’s take a look at how you can tell the red LED light signals on your motherboard apart.
How to Read a Red Light on a Motherboard
There are four main indicators where the red light pops up.
CPU Red Light
There are lots of reasons why the red CPU light is on. It could mean that the CPU is not detected by your motherboard.
If the CPU is properly plugged in, check the CPU fan and other components. It can also indicate that your CMOS battery is dead and might need to be replaced.
A lit red light for RAM, or a DRAM red light, indicates that the computer cannot detect your RAM. Ensure that all of the RAM slot positions are seated correctly.
Push both clamps until they lock the ends of the RAM stick. Make sure you are using a compatible RAM module for your computer.
If the light is next to the VGA or GPU, it means that your dedicated Graphics Card is not detected. Check if you have plugged the correct power connectors. Also, ensure that your card is properly seated in the PCIe slot.
A red light present next to the BOOT means that all boot devices cannot be read. The boot device is where your operating system is stored.
Check on your storage device to see if there are any loose connectors. Look at the power cable connecting your HDD.
If the cable is damaged, it will not get detected by the motherboard. Make sure that it is properly set in and not damaged from anywhere.
Locating the Red Light Error on Non-OEM Motherboards
Various types of motherboards have different red light locations. The Asus motherboards usually have it on the top left. This makes it easily visible for you to spot and troubleshoot red light errors.
If you have a case that allows you to see from the side, you can find out what component is causing the issue.
On most MSI and Gigabyte motherboards, the light can usually be found on the top right side. Having it on the right side gives the same benefits as the Asus motherboard. It allows you to see what component is causing the error with ease.
Finally, if you have other custom branded motherboards, it is generally situated on the corners of the motherboard.
In some rare cases, it can be found near the RAM slots. Or you may have to troubleshoot an unlabeled red LED light, which could be hard
Red Light on OEM motherboards
If you have an OEM board made before 2015, you will notice that there is no red light. Because almost all older motherboard models do not have a red light. Most modern motherboards do have one, however.
Depending on the motherboard manufacturers and model, you can typically find the red light at the corners. It might even be located next to the RAM sticks, very similar to the more popular branded motherboard we talked about above.
Different Types of Red lights Diagnosis (Blinking red light, Stable, and Boot Device Errors)
Depending on what error you are facing, there might be different types of red lights, or the same red light for different issues. First up, if the light is blinking, that can indicate two things.
This most commonly happens when the CPU is overheating. If you are able to load Windows, take a look at your computer cooling system components. The temperature should not be over 80c.
Secondly, it can indicate faulty power supply. If your CPU has normal temperature, make sure the 8 pin CPU power connecter is connected properly.
Faulty power can be quite dangerous. After properly connecting the pins, restart your system and do a power on self test to see if the light is still blinking or not.
If the CPU indicator light is blinking, it may be hardware connection problems. For instance, the CPU might not be seated correctly.
Ensure that there are no bent pins and the CPU is mounted properly. Once everything is in order, hit the reset switch on your computer system and check the light.
On the other hand, if the light is stable, it indicates other errors. As aforementioned, it can light up due to issues with your GPU, CPU, RAM, and storage devices.
Take a look at what is causing the issue. In some motherboards, it may be a blue light instead of a red light. Just check your light code in the user manual included with your motherboard.
Sometimes, you might face a “Boot Device Error” when you try to boot your system. There are a few solutions to fix Boot errors:
- Check the Power Cable Connecting Your HDD
- Clean your RAM
- See if Boot Device is read in BIOS screen
- Check Boot Order in BIOS
- Enable/Disable Legacy Boot
- Change BIOS settings to Best Defaults
- Fix Windows Boot files
The most common solution is to clean your RAM. To do so, first of all, power off your computer. Once it is fully off, take off your system’s sideboard.
Locate your RAM and unlock it by pressing on the two clamps at its side.
Slowly remove the RAM and clean it with a soft cloth. Do not apply too much pressure as that can damage it.
Afterward, properly fit the RAM back in and close the clamps. If you hear a clicking sound, that means it is seated.
Troubleshooting and Solving the Red Light on Motherboard Issues
To fix the issues, you must follow our helpful steps below. They apply to all motherboard models. Even if you have an older motherboard without a red light indicator, you can still use these methods.
Reset the BIOS
If you do not know how to do this, you should consult the user manual. Make sure to visit the support website of your motherboard. The easiest way to reset BIOS is to enter the BIOS setup utility and select Reset BIOS Settings.
There might be differences depending on your motherboard like reset to default, clear BIOS, and factory default. Alternatively, you can take out the CMOS battery for five minutes before plugging it back in.
Replace the CMOS battery
As aforementioned, take out the CMOS battery and plug it back in after five minutes. If that doesn’t work, you could be dealing with an empty CMOS battery or a faulty CMOS chip.
If you cannot find problems with anything else, changing your CMOS battery might do the trick. Simply head down to your local tech store and get a new one, it’s relatively cheap. Don’t use the same battery again.
Unplug All Hardware
If the problem still persists, unplug all your hardware and all the cables one by one. While removing the computer parts, check for debris or dust in them.
In case of dirt, clean the connectors with a soft pencil eraser. Unplugging external peripherals is also recommended. Afterward, connect them one by one correctly to ensure that everything is in place.
Disconnect the Affected Hardware
Check to see which indicator is lit up in your motherboard. Once you’ve identified the issue, unplug that component. After unplugging, clean it and double check that it is compatible and plugged in correctly.
Afterward, look if the red light is still on or not. If the indicator lights up, that specific component might be affected. You should replace it or get it fixed.
These are all the best solutions to fix the red light issue on your motherboard. We hope that this guide helped you troubleshoot your error. You also learned what the different red lights mean as well.
If you have any other solutions, we would love to hear about them. Let us know in the comments below if you managed to fix this issue or if you want to ask a question.
What Does a Red Flashing Light Mean on an AMD Motherboard?
A flashing red light indicates issues with the video card, CPU recognition issues, or debris in the motherboard. Check to see which indicator is lit up to find the problem easily. If you cannot find it, consult with the user manual or talk to customer support.
Why is There a Red LED Light on the Motherboard After I Installed RAM?
A red LED light on the motherboard after you installed RAM might indicate that your RAM is not properly seated or is faulty. Check to see if the RAM is compatible with your hardware. Also, insert it properly, in the correct slot if it is not seated. You will hear a click sound once it is fully connected.
What Does a Constant Red Light on a Motherboard Mean?
A constant red light on a motherboard means that there is a problem with one or more of the components. Most new motherboards have four indicators to show if there is an issue with GPU, CPU, RAM, or storage devices.
It could be an issue with your whole computer system, low power area RAM, external connectors, or other issues you simply have to troubleshoot.