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General Description

Beeps are emitted from a computer during the boot process when some problem is encountered and can be used to troubleshoot a dead computer. They indicate problems such as bad memory, bad keyboard or bad motherboard. Usually if you hear beeps there is something real wrong and you should immediately turn off the computer and perform some troubleshooting. See the section below for your BIOS type (AMI, Award, Phoenix)

POST Beeping Error General Codes

* Bad Motherboard - 1 long and 1 short beep
* Disk drive related problem / Video card problem - 1 short beep then nothing happens
* Bad video card - 1 long and 2 short beeps
* Bad power supply - 1) continuous beeps, 2) non-stop short beeps
* Bad memory - 3 short beeps

These codes DO vary from one manufacturer to another. In time this section will break them down by manufacturer.

Also almost all computers list the appropriate codes in the User's manual under technical information or the troubleshooting section, so be sure to check the manual and verify what the codes mean.


AMI Beep Codes - ...Listing of Codes @ AMI Link,

Except for beep code #8, these codes are always fatal.

1 beep Refresh failure
- try reseating the memory, if the error still occurs, replace the memory
2 beeps Parity error
- try reseating the memory, if the error still occurs, replace the memory
3 beeps Base 64K memory failure
- try reseating the memory, if the error still occurs, replace the memory
4 beeps Timer not operational, system board bad
5 beeps Processor error, system board bad
6 beeps 8042 - gate A20 failure, try reseating the keyboard controller chip
7 beeps Processor exception interrupt error, system board bad
8 beeps Display memory video card read/write failure error, replace video memory or video card
9 beeps ROM checksum error, faulty BIOS chip(s), must replace them
10 beeps CMOS shutdown register read/write error, system board bad
11 beeps Cache memory bad

If no beeps are heard and no display is on the screen, its most likely the power supply. Check for Keyboard lights or for hard drive/floppy drive lights. If lights come on then power supply is good.

Next, inspect the motherboard for loose components. A loose or missing CPU, BIOS chip, Crystal Oscillator, or Chipset chip will cause the motherboard not to function. If you get lights then it could be one of the I/O cards. Try removing each card one at a time and restarting the computer.

(these codes are from the AMI web site)


Award BIOS Versions 2.xx and up, beeping codes - ...Listing of beep codes @ Award Link

The BIOS has only one standard beep code — one short, two long — indicating a video problem has occurred.
If you are receiving any other beeps, it's probably a RAM problem.


Phoenix BIOS Beep codes - ...More Info @ Phoenix Link

These codes are presented in sets of beeps, for instance 1-2-2-3 means one beep followed by 2 beeps then 2 more beeps then 3 beeps

* 1-2-2-3 BIOS ROM checksum
* 1-3-1-1 Test DRAM refresh
* 1-3-1-3 Test 8742 Keyboard Controller
* 1-3-4-1 RAM failure on address line xxxx
* 1-3-4-3 RAM failure on data bits xxx of low byte of memory
* 1-4-1-1 RAM failure on data bits xxxx of high byte of memory bus
* 2-1-2-3 Check ROM copyright notice
* 2-1-3-1 Test for unexpected interrupts
* 1-2 .......Search for option ROMs
* 1 ...........One short beep before boot, normal

(these codes are from the Phoenix web site)
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