I'm about to test my laptop motherboard to make sure a component is receiving power.

All guides point out I need to connect my multimeter to a proper electrical ground.

How do I locate such a ground?


Motherboards are covered in grounds. Any large metal pad on the motherboard should be a ground. However, there is an easier place to find a ground: The metal around any screw hole that mounts the motherboard to the case is a ground.

If you are unsure if a particular pad is a ground, put your multimeter into continuity mode - when it beeps if a circuit is made. Touch a known ground, such as a screw hole, with one probe and the other to what you are testing for ground. If it beeps, it is connected to ground.

  • 1
    I've taken my laptop apart to test for the power so the motherboard is no longer screwed into its case. – Merudo Dec 15 '18 at 8:32
  • 1
    @Merudo the screw holes are still attached to the ground plane. – Keltari Dec 15 '18 at 8:36
  • That continuity mode has to send a current through the motherboard. If the two points are not directly connected but are connected through a component on the board I'd be a bit concerned. Could the current introduced by the multimeter damage the component? Could you incorrectly conclude the other point is also ground even though the current had to pass through a component on the board? – kasperd Dec 15 '18 at 13:13

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