You’ve probably heard that building a computer is easy or simple. And sure, it is, but mistakes are always possible, especially if you don’t have any experience in the field.
One of the worst things that can appear on your screen after assembling your computer is “CPU not found“. Your computer will not start unless you resolve this problem.
Don’t worry. This error message does not mean that you’ve broken your CPU. Instead, here are a couple of solutions you can try before replacing the processor.
Let’s repair the CPU!
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Fix 1: Reset BIOS
Whenever a CPU cannot be detected, there are only a couple of causes. Either there’s something wrong with the BIOS, the motherboard, or the CPU itself.
But, usually, it is the BIOS. Fortunately, this is the easiest thing you can test and fix, so we recommend trying this fix first.
Here’s what you can do to reset the BIOS:
- Completely turn off your PC and turn the PSU off too.
- Remove the case side panel.
- Now, start looking for the CMOS BIOS battery. It’s a circular-silver battery, so you should be able to spot it quickly. If not, it may be hidden behind the GPU, so you’ll have to remove that too.
- To remove it, press the metal tab on the side, and it will pop out. Again, use MSI’s B550 image above as a guide.
- Leave the battery out for a couple of minutes to ensure any power in the motherboard is completely drained. After that, put the battery back, and the BIOS will be reset.
This will fix the CPU detection issue. If not, try the next solution.
Fix 2: Reseat CPU
The CPU can fit into its socket only in one way, so it won’t be detected if it isn’t properly seated. You will need to reseat the CPU to resolve that.
- Unplug the CPU cooler.
- Unscrew the cooler and remove it.
- Slightly press the metal handle on the socket and then pull it upwards. This will release the CPU.
- Check if any pins on the socket (Intel) or CPU (AMD Ryzen) are bent. If they aren’t, look for a small golden triangle on the CPU’s corner and align it with the triangle on the socket.
- Once the CPU is in place, push the metal handle back into place.
With this done, try booting up your computer to see whether the processor will be detected.
Fix 3: Update BIOS
AMD utilized the AM4 platform for numerous Ryzen processors, unlike Intel. However, the motherboard needs the accurate BIOS in order to identify older or newer CPUs for this functionality to operate effectively.
Fortunately, some motherboards have BIOS Flashback, which allows the BIOS to be updated through USB without a CPU installed.
With BIOS Flashback
If your motherboard does support such a feature, you’ll need another computer, and then here’s what you will need to do:
- Go to the motherboard’s official support site and download the right BIOS files (the version that supports your CPU).
- After downloading the file, grab an empty USB flash drive and format it into FAT32. You can do that by heading into This PC, right-clicking the USB, selecting format, and then under file system, select FAT32.
- Now extract the downloaded files and add them to the USB Flash drive.
- Add the USB into the PC’s USB Flashback port (it should be marked).
- Ensure the PC is shut down, and then hold the BIOS Flashback button for about three seconds.
After a few minutes, the BIOS update should be finished, so boot up the PC and check if the CPU is detected.
Without BIOS Flashback
For the people without the BIOS Flashback feature on their motherboard, it’s going to be a bit more complicated.
To access the BIOS, you must locate an older processor that is compatible with the motherboard. For instance, if you aim to use a Ryzen 3000 series CPU on a B450 motherboard lacking the newest BIOS, you’ll need to insert a Ryzen 1000 or 2000 CPU into its socket.
After that, you can flash the BIOS to the appropriate version.
Fix 4: Replace The CPU
If the CPU or motherboard socket pins have been bent or damaged, you won’t be able to boot your PC. In that case, you could try fixing the bent pins by yourself, which is a daunting task, or replace the CPU (or motherboard) altogether.
Replacing it can be expensive, but there is a chance that the warranty covers it if you didn’t cause the CPU damage.