The computer's motherboard contains the hardware and components that are important for the computer as well as connections for other system peripherals. The vast majority of all motherboards are made for IBM compatible systems. It is necessary to identify Dell motherboards if your Dell system needs a replacement motherboard. Dell systems can only work with Dell parts. Therefore, knowing the part number will ensure that the new motherboard is compatible with your computer. Many motherboards do not have a BIOS number or FCC number printed on the board, which makes identification more difficult.
Check the motherboard--some will have the model number and manufacturer printed on the board. Some motherboards may have this information on the socket or CPU slot. Dell motherboards are manufactured by Intel. Many times the motherboard will not have any information printed on it.
Use the FCC number to identify the motherboard. All computer parts should come with this number but some do not. This number combines the company code, a dash, and then the equipment code. Look around the board for this type of number--it can appear anywhere on the part.
Go to an FCC ID # search page, (see Resources), and input the FCC number. The search will provide the manufacturer based on the company code. When the manufacturer is known you can search the companies website for motherboard information.
Use the BIOS number if there is no FCC number. Restart the computer. As it boots up pause the boot when the BIOS information is on the screen. This is done by pressing the pause/break key in the upper right hand corner of the keyboard. Press the pause when the Boot information pops up on the screen. Copy down the BIOS number.
Look up the motherboard manufacturer by using a BIOS number search engine (see Resources). Type in the number and the manufacturer information will appear.