Last Updated on November 6, 2020
Resetting your motherboard is not something that you would want to do often. It should always come as a result of troubleshooting a serious problem or when your only solution requires the reset.
If you are having issues with your PC and if you tried out various troubleshooting methods, then you may want to know how to reset motherboard. Perhaps that will do the trick for you.
Resetting your motherboard can help you resolve system flaws and result in better performance. If you notice that the new BIOS version doesn’t support your hardware, or if the motherboard is failing to POST, then a reset could be the best solution.
To reset your motherboard, you need to reset the BIOS. The BIOS is the program that a computer uses to initialize the computer when you switch it on. It has all the basic settings that your motherboard operates on and resetting it will reset the settings.
What is CMOS?
You will see this term often concerning the motherboard so it’s best to know what it means. The CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor) is a memory module on the motherboard that stores the system settings, also known as the BIOS.
Since it stores the settings, clearing the CMOS will also cause the BIOS to reset. More on this later.
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Reasons for Resetting the Bios
The Extended System Configuration Data (ESCD) on your BIOS can get corrupted for one reason or another. When this happens, you will often need a fallback.
Power failures and surges can cause this and so can incorrect settings. Whatever the case, you will need to refresh the settings and go back to the version that was made default by the manufacturer.
You may also need to reset your BIOS if you have hardware that is incompatible with your current version. If you don’t, instabilities may, over time, render the system unfit for use.
Lastly, you can reset if you notice that your computer is not turning on. Specifically, if your computer is unable to POST correctly or you get no feedback from the screen.
POST is a test that the computer runs against its subsystems to ensure that everything is set up properly and working as expected.
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How to Reset Motherboard? – Resetting BIOS
Resetting the BIOS can be done in a variety of ways. When you boot up the computer, you can access the BIOS menu before the computer loads the OS. From this menu, you can perform basic configurations on your system and also you can reset the bios.
1. Resetting from the Bios Menu
Your computer needs to be restarted for this. Find the specific key you need to press to access the BIOS on your computer. Some popular ones are F2 and F12.
As the computer restarts, repeatedly press on the specific key you identified before you see the first logo. You will have a short window of time to do this.
When presented with the BIOS, it may look different from what you expected, but you can go about this all the same.
The setting you need to find is called “Setup Defaults” or something similar. What it does is it resets your BIOS to the default settings picked out by the manufacturer.
Use the arrow keys to navigate through the BIOS and the Enter key to select an option. Find the above setting and once you have changed it, ensure that you save changes before exiting the BIOS, otherwise your changes will be discarded.
After this, your computer may need to restart again. Once it does, your motherboard will have gotten reset.
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2. Using a Motherboard Button
Although not everyone will have this, if your computer comes with a “Clear” or “Reset” button on the case then you won’t have to go through all the trouble of actually accessing and resetting the board from the BIOS.
For you to use this option, you will also need to turn off your computer.
After the computer has been switched off, disconnect it from any external power supplies like a wall outlet.
You have to locate the button and press and hold it for some time. About ten seconds will do.
This button is usually small to prevent accidental presses and may even be set a little inside the case so you may need a pen or something with a thin but sturdy point to press it with.
3. Using the Motherboard Jumper
If you are unable to access the BIOS for whatever reason, then the next best alternative is using a motherboard jumper to rest the BIOS.
You may need to consult your motherboard’s manual for this to see if yours supports this option. Also, the manual can provide a more detailed description of how to go about doing this safely.
The general process is the same for most computers, however. You will have to switch it off first and disconnect it from all power sources to prevent any unwanted short circuits.
I said unwanted because this method involves inducing a short circuit in the motherboard’s CLEAR CMOS jumper.
Steps to Take
Once the computer is off and disconnected from all power sources, you will need to open it up and access the motherboard.
The jumper has a “CLEAR CMOS” label and if your board has one you will find it often close to the CMOS battery or the BIOS switch.
This is a three-pin module with a jumper connecting two of the pins. All you need to do here is move the jumper so that it covers one of the original pins and the other pin that was initially unconnected.
After this, you need to discharge all the power that has been stored in the computer’s capacitors. Do this by pressing and holding the power button for about 15 seconds.
Then, remove the jumper from this new position and return it to its original position and reconnect and switch on your computer. This will have reset the motherboard.
4. Removing the CMOS Battery
This method will also require you to have physical access to your motherboard. The computer will need to be disconnected from all power and switched off for this.
Find the CMOS battery, (it’s a small coin cell) and disconnect it. This will deprive the CMOS chip of power, but to ensure the method works, you will also need to press and hold the power button for about ten seconds.
This will drain all the residual power from the motherboard.
Reinsert the battery and reassemble your computer. Connect it to power and switch it on.
Removing the CMOS will reset the system’s clock. A warning will be presented to you that the time is not set.
Also it may be worth it to replace the CMOS battery with a new one if the motherboard doesn’t even POST.
For all the methods that involve working directly on the motherboard, you will need to ensure that you have safely grounded yourself to release all static electricity.
Any static charges on your body can cause damage to the system. Also, opening up your computer can void your warranty
How we talked about different ways on how to reset motherboard. Resetting a motherboard returns it to the default settings as configured by the manufacturer.
You need to do this only when necessary and you also need to know that any specific changes you may have made to the bios will be lost.
Nevertheless, using any of the methods above will let you reset your motherboard and hence fix some of the issues that you had.
Afterward, you will need to go back and re-configure the BIOS as you wish.