Computer boots up with intermittent beeping

Question

when i boot my computer it sometimes starts with a intermitted bleeping then windows shuts down .

i have to disconect power for a few minuets and then re-boot .

this can happen if i install software or hard ware drivers , or try to set up internet access.

i have built this computer and wonderd in the motherboad has a a problem.

i have built many computers but never had a problem like this before.

can you shed some light on the problem

many thanks dave

Answer

This question was answered on August 3, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

What is a BIOS Beep Code?

When you power on a computer the BIOS immediately takes control of the computer and performs the P.O.S.T (Power On Self Test) At the end of the POST the computer will play an audible 'BEEP' through either the PC's internal speaker of through speakers attached to the sound card (if you have a built-in sound chip) If the POST completed successfully without detecting any problems with then system will play a single short beep to let you know the test is complete and the computer will continue to startup and load the operating system.

If during the POST the BIOS detects a problem it will normally display a visual error message on the monitor explaining what the problem is However, if a problem is detected before the BIOS initializes the video card, or a video card is not present or not detected then the BIOS will play several 'BEEPS' through the speaker to let you know there is a problem Depending on the type of the BIOS you have the BIOS may play beeps in a specific pattern to indicate what the problem is, or play the same beep a number of times indicating the problem It is very important that you pay close attention to the number and/or pattern of the beeps your computer plays on startup.

Below is a table of the most common AMI, Phoenix and Award BIOS beep codes.

AMI (American Megatrends International) BIOS Beep Codes.

AMI BIOS uses beeps of the same length and pitch The error is displayed as a number of beeps For example, 4 beeps indicated a timer failure.

BEEP CODE MEANING POSSIBLE CAUSE

1 Beep (No video) Memory refresh failure Bad memory

2 Beeps Memory parity error Bad memory

3 Beeps Base 64K mem failure Bad memory

4 Beeps Timer not operational Bad motherboard

5 Beeps Processor error Bad processor

6 Beeps 8042 Gate A20 failure Bad CPU or Motherboard

7 Beeps Processor exception Bad processor

8 Beeps Video memory error Bad video card or memory

9 Beeps ROM checksum error Bad BIOS

10 Beeps CMOS checksum error Bad motherboard

11 Beeps Cache memory bad Bad CPU or motherboard

Award BIOS Beep Codes

Award BIOS uses beeps of varying duration A long beep will typically last for 2 seconds while a short beep will last only 1 second Award BIOS also uses beeps of different frequency to indicate critical errors If an Award BIOS detects that the CPU is overheating it may play a high pitched repeating beep while the computer is running.

BEEP CODE MEANING POSSIBLE CAUSE

1 Long, 2 Short Video adapter failure Bad video adapter

Repeating (Endless loop) Memory error Bad memory or bad connection

1 Long, 3 Short Video adapter failure Bad video adapter or memory

High freq beeps (while running) CPU is overheating CPU fan failure

Repeating High, Low beeps CPU failure Bad processor

Phoenix BIOS Beep Codes

Phoenix BIOS uses beep code patterns to indicate problems In the table below the '-' indicates a brief pause between beeps.

Example: 1 - 1 - 2 would sound like BEEP <pause> BEEP <pause> BEEP BEEP

BEEP CODE MEANING POSSIBLE CAUSE

1 - 1 - 2 CPU / motherboard failure Bad CPU / motherboard

1 - 1 - 3 CMOS read/write failure Bad motherboard

1 - 1 - 4 BIOS ROM failure Bad BIOS chip

1 - 2 - 1 Timer failure Bad motherboard

1 - 2 - 2 DMA failure Bad motherboard

1 - 2 - 3 DMA failure Bad motherboard

1 - 3 - 1 Memory refresh failure Bad memory

1 - 3 - 2 64K memory failure Bad memory

1 - 3 - 3 64K memory failure Bad memory

1 - 3 - 4 64K memory failure Bad memory

1 - 4 - 1 Address line failure Bad memory

1 - 4 - 2 Parity error Bad memory

1 - 4 - 3 Timer failure Bad motherboard

1 - 4 - 4 NMI port failure Bad motherboard

2 - 1 - 1 64K memory failure Bad memory

2 - 1 - 2 64K memory failure Bad memory

2 - 1 - 3 64K memory failure Bad memory

2 - 1 - 4 64K memory failure Bad memory

2 - 2 - 1 64K memory failure Bad memory

2 - 2 - 2 64K memory failure Bad memory

2 - 2 - 3 64K memory failure Bad memory

2 - 2 - 4 64K memory failure Bad memory

2 - 3 - 1 64K memory failure Bad memory

2 - 3 - 2 64K memory failure Bad memory

2 - 3 - 3 64K memory failure Bad memory

2 - 3 - 4 64K memory failure Bad memory

2 - 4 - 1 64K memory failure Bad memory

2 - 4 - 2 64K memory failure Bad memory

2 - 4 - 4 64K memory failure Bad memory

2 - 4 - 4 64K memory failure Bad memory

3 - 1 - 1 Slave DMA failure Bad motherboard

3 - 1 - 2 Master DMA failure Bad motherboard

3 - 1 - 3 Interrupt controller failure Bad motherboard

3 - 1 -4 Slave IC failure Bad motherboard

3 - 2 -2 Interrupt Controller failure Bad motherboard

3 - 2 - 3 <RESERVED>

3 - 2 - 4 Keyboard control failure Bad motherboard

3 - 3 - 1 CMOS batter failure Bad CMOS battery

3 - 3 - 2 CMOS configuration error Incorrect setting

3 - 3 - 3 <RESERVED>

3 - 3 - 4 Video memory failure Bad video card or memory

3 - 4 - 1 Video init failure Bad video card or memory

4 - 2 - 1 Timer failure Bad motherboard

4 - 2 - 2 CMOS shutdown failure Bad motherboard

4 - 2 - 3 Gate A20 failure Bad motherboard

4 - 2 - 4 Unexpected interrupt Bad processor

4 - 3 - 1 RAM test failure Bad memory

4 - 3 - 3 Timer failure Bad motherboard

4 - 3 - 4 RTC failure Bad motherboard

4 - 4 - 1 Serial port failure Bad motherboard

4 - 4 - 2 Parallel port failure Bad motherboard

4 - 4 - 3 Coprocessor failure Bad motherboard or CPU.

9 - 2 - 1 Video adapter incompatibility Use a different brand of video card

Try to hear the beep codes and print this out so that you can figure out these beeps

I hope this help Good Luck

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Author

Posted by robert of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on August 3, 2004