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Continuous beep at startup, does not boot

This is a discussion on Continuous beep at startup, does not boot within the Motherboards, Bios & CPU forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. My Dell Inspiron 531 will power on, then emits 1 continous tone from the motherboard SED or speaker. I pulled


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Old 12-16-2011, 07:48 PM   #1
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My Dell Inspiron 531 will power on, then emits 1 continous tone from the motherboard SED or speaker. I pulled the RAM sticks 1 at a time and swapped them around. On a couple of configurations I got 2 beeps then pause. The rest are all 1 continous beep. If I pull them all and start, I always get 2 then pause. Is it possible to fry all 4 sticks? The BIOS is Award and has been kept updated. Where is the best place to start? I have priced new RAM, a new CPU, and a new motherboard and all are reasonable to replace. The 2 beep code for award is for bad parity. Any ideas? Many thanks!!!

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Old 12-16-2011, 08:46 PM   #2
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Award BIOS Beep Codes - BIOS Central

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Old 12-16-2011, 09:26 PM   #3
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I swapped the sticks around and tried to start with only 1 or 2 and swapped all sticks in order and did not get anything different except for 2 combinations gave me the 2 beep pause message for bad parity. Is it possible to lose all 4 sticks or could this be the PSU just not creating enough juice? I appreciate the quick reply, but I have gone to the beep codes and followed the stick swapping to find the bad stick, but I am still not getting anything but a bad memory message. What do I try next? I got a good article on testing the output voltage of the PSU and I will try that first. I was wondering if it is likely to have all 4 1gig sticks crap out at the same time or since the swapping around trouble shoot didn't work, what's the next step.
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Old 12-16-2011, 11:46 PM   #4
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make sure the ram is seated the clips clicking does not mean it is seated

what are you running
video card brand and model
cpu
m/board
ram
power supply
brand
model
wattage

check the listings in the bios for 12v line voltages and temperatures and post them


try a higher wattage psu in it

Driverheaven Guides: testing your psu with a multimeter
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Old 12-17-2011, 06:50 AM   #5
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I tested all of the power on the 20 pin and it was right on the money with barely any deviation in voltage. As for the info:
OS-Windows Vista Home Basic
Video-Diamond Ati Ratheon 2400 512 Mb
CPU-AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ 2.0g 512K 2c 65W
RAM-4 gig-2 Dell DDR2 667mb 128x64 6400U, 2 Kingston DDR2 667 mb RX8 5300U bought from dell
PSU- AcBel PC 6037, 300W
I really appreciate the help. My funds aren't great and the PC really worked well until it didn't. I never really had many problems with Vista. I tested the power supply voltage and it was not off but by 100ths of a volt. I have tried 1 memory stick in each slot, in pairs, I kept track to try most every configuration and still have had no luck. I am only trying to fix this without buying a bunch of unnecisary parts. Thanks again.

And by the way, on the memory sticks, I checked the slots, cleaned the slots with compressed air and made sure they were fully engaged in the slots. I get the same thing on all different configurations, so I'm wondering if it is likely to have all of the sticks go at once or is the problem elsewhere. Will a dead CPU cause the constant tone. When all sticks are removed, the beep code is 2 pause, 2 pause etc. and Award lists this as bad parity.
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:18 PM   #6
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unlikely all sticks would go at the same time unless a voltage surge occurred

see if you can borrow a larger wattage psu to try in it

run dell diagnostics

check your cpu temp in the bios if it lists it
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:29 PM   #7
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So it could be a drain that is not allowing boot? I thought I should have gotten a larger PSU when I put the Raytheon card in. I checked the PCU and socket and blew it out and reinstalled. There was nothing left of the thermal paste but powder. Could the CPU be toast? The CPU fan and sink had a pretty bad clog about 6 months ago. I had been blowing it out regularly, but got behind. I'm just trying to give all of the info I can. I will not restart it until I get some thermal paste and recoat the chip where it contacts the sink. Dai, I really

appreciate the know how. Besides the thermal paste being gone, the caps look good, and there is no apparent shorts, I used a trouble shooting tip sheet and tested the grounds. I will try replacing the PSU and go from there. Thanks again.
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:43 PM   #8
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the paste could be the cause

Arctic Silver Incorporated - Route to Product Instructions for Arctic Silver 5
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Old 12-17-2011, 09:12 PM   #9
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Would a fried PCU cause the constant beep? I'll start with the thermal compound a new PSU and go from there. Thanks again.
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:29 PM   #10
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overheating cpu would

but they rarely burn out these days as they have a thermal shutdown incorporated into them
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:10 PM   #11
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Thanks for the help, I have a 350 watt dell replacement PSU that has already shipped and I ordered a tube of Arctic Silver 5 for the sink issue. If I'm lucky, I'll get it back up before the weekend. I will let you know how it turns out. Thanks again M8!
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:34 PM   #12
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it's pcie would have preferred a 550w unit
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:01 PM   #13
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I got this one for 16.99 from Red Planet trading, pretty much to see if that's the problem. I have had the card in for 4 years and this is the first glitch. If it comes back to life, I'll get it upgraded. I know I'll have to drop 150+ dollars minimum to upgraded to a 500 watt or better and I just don't have the funds right now, Holidays and all. I'll keep my fingers crossed. If I have to replace the motherboard and the PCU it'll kick me for another 160 bucks. Thanks for all of the help.

Hello again,
I got the PSU, pulled out the PCIE video card, to run off of the mobo shared video, installed a ram stick in slot 4, as Dell recommends for single memory, and installed the PCU with the center dot method after meticulously cleaning the processor and the heat sink and I got the same continuous beep. I swapped around all 4 cards, pulled the BIOS battery and tried all other troubleshooting tests we previously went through. So what's the next thing to look at? If I remove all of the sticks, I still get the 2 beep pause code for bad parity, does that mean my mobo may be OK? Not frustrated yet, due to the great help you have provided. Thanks.
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:52 PM   #14
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have you run dell diagnostics
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Old 12-23-2011, 03:48 AM   #15
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It wont boot at all. At power on, the hard drives, fans etc. can be heard powering up, but no video. Just the continuous beep. I tried starting it with the utilies CD in the drive, but it will not get past the power up.

Even with the old PSU, all of the drives had power and all of the board connections had power, but after the drives powered up, the tone would start and nothing more would happen.
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Old 12-23-2011, 04:37 AM   #16
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make
model
wattage of the new psu
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Old 12-23-2011, 05:32 PM   #17
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Bestec
ATX0350D5WA
350 W
It's out of a Dell unit and I jumped the startup on the unit and tested all output voltage. I removed any aftermarket cards and such from the PC to cut the drain and eliminate any other troubleshooting problems. I pulled the MoBo and gave it a good going over. Some of the caps appear a little disfigured, but no leakage etc. I bench tested the board with a monitor, 2 ram sticks I just ordered and received, the new PSU and got the same beep. I read another tech sites diagnosis of a similar problem and they were saying the thermal medium being dried up could have damaged the PCU.Is the AMD Athlon 64 X2 ADO3800+ AA5CU in the PC protected with a thermal shut down or could the dried up thermal paste have toasted it? I'm getting different diagnostic tones with the sticks out, so the MoBo is still sending the absence of the ram sticks, ie. continous beep with the sticks in, 2 beeps and pause with them out. I know this is a pretty crappy PSU, but could it be the PCU or the MoBo. I have google the daylights out of this problem and I'm pretty surprised this is not a more common problem or the continuous beep is not listed on the BIOS diagnostics code key. Thanks again.
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Old 12-23-2011, 07:30 PM   #18
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if the caps are swollen then they are gone

Badcaps.net - How To Identify

bestec are low quality
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Old 12-24-2011, 03:42 PM   #19
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Should I assume the mobo is the problem? If it is damaged, I can get one and swap out the components and start from there.
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Old 12-24-2011, 07:51 PM   #20
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if it has bad caps you can be sure it is at least part if not all of the cause

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