What do the beep codes I receive before my computer boots mean?

Question

What do the beep codes mean.

Like long 2 shorts long or long 2 shorts

Thanks

Answer

This question was answered on May 21, 2007. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Use the beep chart to diagnose problems when the monitor will not show anything The BIOS will beep several times Use the follow chart to help to determine the problem:

General Beep Codes:

If the BIOS manufacturer is unknown the following will be the general Beep codes:

• 1 Long and 1 Short Beep ?Bad Motherboard

• 1 Short Beep and nothing else happens ?Disk Drive/Video Related Problems

• 1 Long and 2 Short Beeps ?Bad Video Card

• 1 Continuous Beep or Non-stop short Beeps ?Bad Power Supply

• 3 Short Beeps - Bad Memory

American Megatrends Inc (AMI) BEEP Codes:

• 1 Beep - Memory refresh timer error.

Reseat the memory, or replace with known good modules.

• 2 Beeps - Parity Error

Reseat the memory, or replace with known good modules.

• 3 Beeps - Main memory read / write test error.

Reseat the memory, or replace with known good modules.

• 4 Beeps - Motherboard timer not operational

• 5 Beeps - Processor Errors

• 6 Beeps - Keyboard controller BAT test error.

• 7 Beeps - General exception error.

• 8 Beeps - Display memory error.

If the system video adapter is an add-in card, replace or reseat the video adapter If the video adapter is an integrated part of the system board, the board may be faulty.

• 9 Beeps - ROM checksum error

• 10 Beeps - CMOS shutdown register read/write error

• 11 Beeps - Cache Memory Bad

Beeps 4-7, 9-11

Fatal error indicating a serious problem with the system Consult your system manufacturer.

Before declaring the motherboard beyond all hope, eliminate the possibility of interference by a malfunctioning add-in card Remove all expansion cards except the video adapter.

If the beep codes are generated even when all other expansion cards are absent, the motherboard has a serious problem Consult your system manufacturer.

If the beep codes are not generated when all other expansion cards are absent, one of the add-in cards is causing the malfunction Insert the cards back into the system one at a time until the problem happens again This will reveal the malfunctioning add-in card.

Award Bios BEEP Codes:

• 1 Long Beep: Memory problem

Explanation: There is a failure of some sort related to the system memory.

Diagnosis: The first bank of memory probably has a failure of some sort; this is usually just a physical problem such as an incorrectly inserted module, but may also mean a bad memory chip in a module It is possible that there is a failure related to the motherboard or a system device as well.

• 1 Long, then 2 Short Beeps: Video error

Explanation: The BIOS is unable to access the video system in order to write any error messages to the screen

Diagnosis: This is usually caused by a problem with the video card, or the memory on the video card It can also be a motherboard issue.

• 1 Long, then 3 Short Beeps: Video error

Explanation: The BIOS is unable to access the video system in order to write any error messages to the screen

Diagnosis: This is usually caused by a problem with the video card, or the memory on the video card It can also be a motherboard issue.

• Continuous Beeping: Memory or video problem

Explanation: The system is producing constant beeping in no specific pattern, or a fast "ringing" sound

Diagnosis: This is usually caused by a problem with the system memory, or possibly the video card The memory is more likely--the system complains long and loud if it can't find any usable memory, as there is no way to even start the boot process when this is the case The motherboard itself could also be the problem.

• Other Beep Codes

Explanation: You have encountered an Award BIOS beep code I do not have documented

Diagnosis: Award says that any beep patterns other than "one long followed by two short" are likely problems with the system memory However, of late they have started adding other beep codes to their systems as well

Phoenix BEEP Codes:

• 1-1-3

Explanation: Your computer can't read the configuration information stored in the CMOS

Diagnosis: Replace the motherboard.

• 1-1-4

Explanation: Your BIOS needs to be replaced.

Diagnosis: Got to your motherboard manufacturers web site and download the new Bios.

• 1-2-1

Explanation: You have a bad timer chip on the motherboard.

Diagnosis: Replace the motherboard.

• 1-2-2 or 1-2-3 or 1-3-1 or 1-3-3 or 1-3-4 or 1-4-1

Explanation: Motherboards is bad.

Diagnosis: Replace the motherboard.

• 1-4-2

Explanation: Some of your memory is bad.

Diagnosis: Go to Basic Trouble Shooting

• 1-3-1

Explanation: Motherboards is bad.

Diagnosis: Replace the motherboard.

• 2-_-_ Any combination of beeps after two

Explanation: Some of your memory might be bad.

Diagnosis: Go to Basic Trouble Shooting

• 3-1-_

Explanation: One of the chips on your motherboard is broken.

Diagnosis: Replace the motherboard.

• 3-2-4

Explanation: Keyboard controller failure.

Diagnosis:

• 3-3-4

Explanation: Your computer can't find the video card.

Diagnosis: Is it there? If so, try swapping it with another one and see if it works.

• 3-4-_

Explanation: Your video card isn't working.

Diagnosis: Replace Video Card

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Author

Posted by Ryan of Chandler-Gilbert Community College on May 21, 2007