Recycle your Computers & Technology with us.

What do beeps on startup mean on my Hewlett Packard?

Posted By : of Data Doctors on August 22, 1999

Follow us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   Follow us on LinkedIn

Let Data Doctors be your personal IT department today

1. SOMETIMES when I turn on my computer it will sound a rapid series of beeps until I turn it off and restart. What's wrong?

2.Related question: Sometimes while using my computer the screen will start fluttering, and neither the mouse nor keyboard will work until I turn off & restart the computer.

This question was answered on August 22, 1999. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Your profile indicates a HP computer When HP turn on they will indicate errors during the startup POST(power on self test), by beeping Below you will find further HP information regarding these errors:

HP Pavilion PCs - Error or Beep Codes


Errors can occur during POST (Power On Self-Test), which is performed every time that you turn on your system Each time that the computer is turned on, the POST checks the following:

System motherboard



Certain peripheral devices


The POST is operating while the HP Logo is being displayed There will be three potential results of POST:

POST does not detect any errors; the system beeps once and starts up Microsoft (R) Windows

Errors that do not prevent the startup process (non-fatal errors) display a message that looks similar to the following:

ERROR Message Line 1

ERROR Message Line 2

At this time, you can note the error and press ESC to resume the startup process or F1 to enter the Setup program

Errors that prevent the startup process from continuing (fatal errors) are communicated by a series of audible beeps If this type of error occurs, refer to the BIOS Error Messages and Beep Codes sections that follow

For most displayed error messages, there is only one message If a second message appears, it is "RUN SETUP" If this message occurs, press F1 to run BIOS Setup

This document explains BIOS error codes and beep codes for the HP Pavilion PC Model x4xx Series

BIOS error messages

Error Messages


8042 Gate - A20 Error

Gate A20 on the keyboard controller (8042) is not working Replace the 8042

Address Line Short!

Error in the address-decoding circuitry on the motherboard

Cache Memory Bad, Do Not Enable Cache!

Cache memory is defective Replace it

CH-2 Timer Error

Most AT systems include two timers There is an error in timer 2

CMOS Battery State Low

CMOS RAM is powered by a battery The battery power is low Replace the battery

CMOS Checksum Failure

After CMOS RAM values are saved, a checksum value is generated for error checking The previous value is different from the current value Run BIOS Setup

CMOS System Options Not Set

The values stored in CMOS RAM are either corrupt or nonexistent Run Setup

CMOS Display Type Mismatch

The video type in CMOS RAM does not match the type detected by the BIOS Run BIOS Setup

CMOS Memory Size Mismatch

The amount of memory on the motherboard is different than the amount in CMOS RAM Run BIOS Setup

CMOS Time and Date Not Set

Run Standard CMOS Setup to set the date and time in CMOS RAM

Diskette Boot Failure

The boot disk in floppy drive A: is corrupt It cannot be used to boot the system Use another boot disk and follow the onscreen instructions

Display Switch Not Proper

Some systems require a video switch on the motherboard to be set to either color or monochrome Turn the system off, set the switch, and then power on

DMA Error

Error in the DMA controller

DMA #1 Error

Error in the first DMA channel

DMA #2 Error

Error in the second DMA channel

FDD Controller Failure

The BIOS cannot communicate with the floppy disk drive controller Check all appropriate connections after the system is powered down

HDD Controller Failure

The BIOS cannot communicate with the hard disk drive controller Check all appropriate connections after the system is powered down

INTR #1 Error

Interrupt channel 1 failed POST

INTR #2 Error

Interrupt channel 2 failed POST

Invalid Boot Diskette

The BIOS can read the disk in floppy drive A: but cannot boot the system Use another boot disk

Keyboard Is Locked...Unlock It

The keyboard lock on the system is engaged The system must be unlocked to continue

Keyboard Error

There is a timing problem with the keyboard Set the Keyboard option in Standard CMOS Setup to Not Installed to skip the keyboard POST routines

KB/Interface Error

There is an error in the keyboard connector

Off Board Parity Error

Parity error in memory installed in an expansion slot The format is:


XXXX is the hex address where the error occurred

On Board Parity Error

Parity is not supported on this product; this error will not occur

Parity Error

Parity error in system memory at an unknown address

Beep codes


Error Message



Refresh Failure

The memory refresh circuitry on the motherboard is faulty


Parity Error

Parity is not supported on this product (and will not occur)


Base 64 kilobytes (KB) Memory Failure

Memory failure in the first 64 KB, or Monitor not plugged in


Timer Not Operational

Memory failure in the first 64 KB of memory, or Timer 1 on the motherboard is not functioning


Processor Error

The CPU on the motherboard generated an error


8042 - Gate A20 Failure

The keyboard controller (8042) may be bad The BIOS cannot switch to protected mode


Processor Exception Interrupt Error

The CPU generated an exception interrupt


Display Memory Read/Write Error

The system video adapter is either missing, or its memory is faulty This is not a fatal error


ROM Checksum Error

ROM checksum value does not match the value encoded in BIOS


CMOS Shutdown Register Read/Write Error

The shutdown register for CMOS RAM failed


Cache Error/External Cache Bad

The external cache is faulty

Microsoft (R) is a U.S registered trademark of

Microsoft Corp

Windows (R) and MS Windows (R) are U.S

registered trademarks of Microsoft Corp

Copyright Hewlett-Packard Co 1998

This information is subject to change without notice and

is provided "as is" with no warranty

Hewlett-Packard shall not be liable for any direct,

indirect, special, incidental or consequential damages

in connection with the use of this material

About the author

Posted by of Data Doctors on August 22, 1999

Need Help with this Issue?

We help people with technology! It's what we do.
Contact or Schedule an Appointment with a location for help!