The next topic that I would like to discuss in troubleshooting is how a bulging filter capacitor(s) on your motherboard mess up your troubleshooting work. Capacitors that is mounted on your motherboard are called filter capacitors(refer to image), this type of capacitors are called electrolytic capacitors. The purpose of this capacitors is to smoothen the voltage within a particular circuitry, you can see lots of this beside the area of your microprocessor. As time passes some of these capacitors pops up causing an unfiltered voltage within your system, thereby making the motherboard to perform strangely. Some of the common problems you will encounter if you have a bulging filter capacitors are, system blackout ; resets intermittently; blue screen or system hangs-up while in the middle of your work.Often times this problems(except on blackout) are mistaken as a software problems prompting you to format your hard drive and later you found out that its not the software that is causing the problem. If you encounter problems I mentioned above, I suggest that inspect first the physical conditions of your motherboard filter capacitors before you reformat your hard disk, it may save a lot of time in your trouble shooting. If bulging capacitors are just too many, more often you will have a system black-out. Replacing bulging capacitors on your mother board will sometime do the fix but its a tedious process, motherboard replacement will be a lot easier but expensive. You decide what is best for you or to your customer.
Note:Filter capacitors are black tubes like shapes with silver on top; the appearance on top of this capacitors should be flat and clean otherwise its a already defective.(Please refer to the image above- the capacitors at the right are the good ones)