A red light on motherboard might alarm you if you do not know the reason behind it. Most of us see this red light usually because of some issue in the system. If you see a red light on your motherboard, you will want to jump on to resolving it without having complete knowledge. This can be dangerous and can take a lot of time. But do not worry, we got your back!

In this article, we will help you resolve this issue but before that, we will learn what this means and what is triggering this motherboard red light.

What Does The Red Light on Motherboard Mean?

red cpu light on motherboard

A motherboard is like a center for all operations of your system. This is why even a minute issue can cause trouble to the entire system. Having said that, the motherboard is not only a hub of all operations but is also equipped with ways you can eradicate issues. This means, in case any error occurs and you are performing steps to eliminate it, the motherboard will be responsible for resourcing your resolving operations. 

A red light is mostly an indication that an issue has occurred and it needs your attention. This can be a minor or major issue. In some cases, you will also hear a beeping sound along with a blinking red light. Regardless of everything, this will indicate that a problem has occurred and it needs your immediate attention. 

Initially you will not know how serious the situation is but as you look into its depth, you will realize its seriousness. It can occur due to defects in hardware or due to wiring issues or some other alarming issue. In most cases, you will see the red light as you turn on the computer. However, if such a thing happens, your computer will either not start or if it is starting, there will be no display. 

What Triggers A Motherboard Red Light?

Each and every issue that occurs is triggered by one or the other factor. Below are the list of reasons why you might be facing this problem:


We might be looking for the problem all over when the real reason is right in front. This means that the very first thing that should come to our mind is that maybe the issue is arising not because there are different defects but because the motherboard is defective or has faults. In simple words, you may come across this problem when the motherboard itself is faulty.

CMOS Battery is Drained

CMOS, i.e. complementary metal oxide semiconductor is a physical part of the motherboard. It is a hub of setting configurations and run by a battery attached. However, when this battery drains out, CMOS will stop running properly and therefore, a red light issue might occur.

Defected Hardware

You might be facing this issue because of a defect in hardware or the entire hardware is damaged. Therefore, you can check all your system hardware if you face such a problem.

Misplacement of Graphic or Central Processing Unit

You might be facing the problem of red light because either your central processing unit or your graphics processing unit is not placed properly over the motherboard. This will lead to several problems, let alone, a red CPU light on the motherboard. 

Power Cable

The red light on the motherboard can arise when your power cable is not connected properly or is probably damaged. Another thing that might be wrong is a connection issue with your power cable. These are three possible power cable defects that will lead to this issue. 

Your CPU is Overheating

When you operate your system for a longer period, not only your CPU but your entire system will heat up. Since the central processing unit is the hub for all operations of the computer, you will see the redlight when it will heat up. 

Your Basic Input/Output System Is Causing Problem

CPU red light on motherboard can occur when an issue arises with your basic input/output system, i.e. BIOS. BIOS is responsible for booting your operating system and loading all the hardware devices on your computer. Therefore an issue in it will raise the red light. 

Hard Drive

Another issue that is triggering the red light on motherboard is an ongoing problem with the hard drive. This problem can be a defect in the hard drive, a virus, or even an overflowing of the hard drive. The best way to deal with it is to either get your hard drive checked or replace it.

How To Read A Red Light On Motherboard?

red light on motherboard

When you look at the motherboard, you will see there are four red lights and all are labeled. Each red light indicates different issues. Let’s learn how you can read the red lights.

  • CPU Red Light

When you see the CPU light on, it is a direct indication that the processor is malfunctioning. Since the CPU light indicates malfunctioning of the processor, you will notice that the system is not turning on. 

Any issue with your central processing units like a fan not working properly or an issue in the pin socket can cause the CPU light to emit. The problems with the central processing unit lead to the failure to connect the CPU with the system. 

Basically, failure to establish a good connection between the system and the CPU will lead to this light turning on. You must take care of the problem, whether it is overheating or fan failure. 

  • DRAM Red Light

The DRAM Red Light emits because of issues related to RAM. Random Access Memory is a storage unit of your computer. This light will turn on when the RAM of your computer is either overflowed or corrupted. 

The RAM can be corrupted or damaged because of several reasons like viruses or malware. Moreover, when the RAm is not set up or installed properly, the light will emit. 

  • GPU Red Light

The GPU red light emits when the graphics processing unit is causing problems. The GPU helps in all the graphics-related work. However, when there is some issue with you, the light will turn on.

This indicates that the GPU might not be connected properly or is overburdened. It can also indicate that the GPU is corrupted and needs your immediate attention. moreover, when the GPU connection is loosened, the light will turn on.

  • BOOT 

Any issue arising due to BOOT will turn on this lead. Since BOOT will help in boosting the operating system, you will notice that the system is not turning on. BOOT is really important in order to ensure the smooth running of the computer.

The red light will emit mostly when the motherboard fails to identify BOOT on your system. However, there are other factors as well. Like, for when the BOOT is not connected properly or is corrupted. The BOOT connection is loosened causing the light to turn on.

How To Resolve The Red Light On Motherboard?

We have already discussed that the red light only emits when a certain issue needs immediate attention. Therefore, below are some resolution methods or troubleshooters for red CPU light on motherboard.

Method 1: Examine The PSU

PSU is short for power supply units. All the energy that your entire system is operating on comes from this very place. The power supply unit has all the connectors attached to it including the one that supplies power to the motherboard. 

Examine The PSU

If the issue is rising from the PSU itself, then you might encounter a red light. However, in order to resolve it, firstly, check if all the connectors are attached properly. A better option is to disconnect all the connectors and then connect them properly. However, if the problem still persists, here’s what you need to do:

  • Start with unplugging all the connections.
  • Then from the system’s case, de-attach each and every PSU cable that is connected to the motherboard and the hardware.
  • Now all you have to do is remove the PSU and attach it to a properly working system.
  • If everything goes well and good, there is another issue causing the red light to turn on. If not, replace the PSU and connect the fixed one properly into the system.

Method 2: Reattach The Storage Drives

Reattach The Storage Drives

There are mainly two types of storage drives, i.e. Solid State Drives (SSD) and Hard Disk Drive (HDD). issues like when the motherboard cannot properly detect the storage drives on your system can lead to the above mentioned problem. However, this red light issue can be fixed simply by ensuring that the connection between your motherboard be it  A520 or X570 motherboard, and SSD or HDD is strong enough. Here’s how this can be done:

  • Firstly disconnect the power cables.
  • Open the system’s case and remove the SATA cables connected to the storage drives.
  • Clean the ports, the drives, and the cable with a cotton or soft brush, carefully.
  • Once done, place all the cables back into their original and correct ports.

Method 3: Fix The Hardware Defect

Any defect in the hardware or the entire damaged hardware can cause this issue. However, it can be resolved. First of all you will need to figure out which hardware is defective and what is the defect. Secondly, you will have to verify whether the defect can be resolved or not. 

If not, then you do not have any other option than to replace the part. However, if the defect can be fixed, get it fixed. There can be chances that you do not find any defect or damage. In such cases, check all the wires. Ensure that none is loosened and all wires are connected in the correct ports and all are properly fixed. 

Having said that, the hardware-causing issue can be resolved by either fixing the damage, replacing the part, or simply by checking for loosened connections.

Method 4: Fix CMOS Battery

Fix CMOS Battery red light on motherboard

The complementary metal oxide semiconductor or CMOS is the house to all settings configuration and it is operated by a battery. However, when the battery is damaged or drained, the red light turns on as an indication that this issue needs to be resolved. 

You can deal with this situation if you simply replace or reset the battery. Follow the steps below if you want to reset the battery:

  • Start by removing the CMOS battery.
  • Leave the system like this for around 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Now reseat the battery back to where it was connected.
  • Alternatively, use a CMOS jumper located just beside the battery on the motherboard to reset the BIOS.
  • Locate the jumper and detach it for a few seconds and connect it again.
  • If the issue persists, remove the battery and replace it with a fresh and working one.

Method 5: Amend The Placing of GPU and RAM

We have already discussed that when RAM or the Graphics Processing Unit is not seated or connected properly, you will come across such issues. However, in order to resolve it all you have to do is ensure that both RAM and the GPU is seated properly where they are supposed to be. 

In case you have two RAMs in your system, you are gonna have to check both of them here’s how:

  • Disconnect all the power connections, to avoid getting an electric shock.
  • Open the case of the system and locate the ports of RAM on the motherboard.
  • Deattach the RAM or RAMs from those ports.
  • Now with a soft brush or cotton, clean both the slots and the RAM/RAMs properly and carefully.
  • After you finish cleaning, connect and place the RAM or RAMs correctly. 

Method 6: Check Power Supply Cable

The red light might be emitting due to problems caused by the power supply cable. Therefore, check the cable and make sure it is connected properly. Even after this if the problem persists, you should consider replacing it.

This is because a damaged cable will not provide sufficient power to the motherboard. Failure to get sufficient energy the motherboard will show you the red light. Therefore replace the damaged power supply cable with the right one. 

Make sure you get the correct cable with on damage and connect it properly. Also, ensure that the power cable is not cheap or a fake one because then you might end up encountering a motherboard red light.

Method 7: Reboot or Upgrade BIOS

When your basic input/output system starts giving you a hard time, you can encounter a red light on the motherboard. BIOS is responsible for booting your operating system and loading all the hardware devices on your computer. Therefore any issue with it might cause hindrance with the entire system. The motherboard warns you of the problem via the red light. 

Reboot or Upgrade BIOS

Here’s how you can deal with it:

  • Restart your computer.
  • As soon as the BIOS boots, press F12/F2/Del/Esc.
  • You’ll see the load defaults option, hit it.
  • Without making any changes, just hit the save and exit option.
  • Hit on ok. Your system will then reboot.
  • With this, BIOS will be reset.

Method 8: Simmer Your CPU Down

The most common reason for the CPU red light on the motherboard is the overheating of the CPU. The Central Processing Unit overheats when you use the system for a longer time without any breaks. Therefore, the system might shut off and as a result, you face a red light problem.

In order to resolve this problem, you will need to cool off your CPU. You can do this by limiting the use of it and shutting down the system entirely and plugging off the power cable as well, for around ten minutes. Next, follow the steps below:

  • Disconnect the CPU from the system.
  • Put it on a hard surface and open its case.
  • Use cotton or a brush to clean off the fan.
  • Ensure all the cables are properly connected between the fan and the motherboard.
  • Also verify if the fans are working properly and smoothly, if not, replace them.

Method 9: Change The Motherboard

Change The Motherboard

If you have tried all the methods of troubleshooting but the red light is still booted up, this probably means that the motherboard is damaged. The best solution is to replace it with one that is free of flaws. Detach the motherboard and switch it with a perfectly working one.


A red light on motherboard is an indication of an underlying issue that is hindering your system and needs immediate attention. If the issue is not resolved, you might not be able to operate your system. Therefore, in the above article, we have discussed everything about this red light. You will learn what it is and how it is triggered. Moreover, you will also learn how you can resolve if stuck in a similar problem. We hope that you were able to resolve this issue with this guide.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1: What does the red light on motherboard mean?

A: The red light on motherboard is an indication that something is wrong with either hardware, wiring or another part of your system. When you see the red light, you will also notice that your system is not booted. You will not be able to operate your computer properly if you do not find the underlying problem that the red light is indicating.

Q2: Why is my CPU showing a red light?

  • CMOs battery is drained
  • CPU is overheating
  • Hardware is damaged.
  • Power supply cable is not connected properly or damaged.
  • RAM or GPU not seated properly.
  • CPU fans not working.
  • BIOS is causing problems.
  • Motherboard is defective.

Q3: How do I fix the red CPU light on motherboard?

  • Replace the motherboard.
  • Fix or replace defective hardware.
  • Cool down your CPU.
  • Reset or replace CMOS battery.
  • Reset BIOS.
  • Check the PSU and the power cables.
  • Connect your storage drives again.
  • Place GPU and RAM properly.

Q4: Why is there a red LED light on the motherboard after I installed RAM?

A: When the RAM that you have installed is either not connected properly or is not seated correctly, the red light will turn on, on the motherboard. This is to indicate to you about the issue so that you can fix it right away. Therefore, make sure you put RAM in the right slot and connect it tightly (not loosened), RAM is not damaged and is compatible with your system.