144 - Computer Beep Codes

A beep code is the audio signal provided by a personal computer during the boot process. Most beep codes are related to a power on self test (POST), where a beep code helps show end-users that there is a hardware problem preventing normal operation.

When you first turn your computer on it runs a self test known as the POST. Computer beep codes let you know if this runs successfully or not. You usually hear one beep to let you know that this has completed successfully. This depends on the BIOS version of your computer.

Sometimes your computer will not complete this test and to let you know about the failure your computer will emit a series of beeps known as computer beep codes. This SOS signal varies depending on what BIOS your computer is running.If your computer still starts up the BIOS information is displayed briefly on the screen. For those that can't read that fast you can find out the BIOS version while your computer is running.

01 Click on Start and then Run.
02 In the text box in the Run window, type msinfo32 and click OK. This will open the System Information program.
03 When System Information opens, it defaults to the System Summary.
04 On the right side of the program, locate the BIOS Version/Date information.

If your computer will not start up you can remove the side panel of your computer and locate the BIOS chip for manufacturer information or you can go to the computer manufacturer's website with your make and model number and find out more information about your version of bios and the relevant computer beep codes there.

AMI BIOS computer beep codes

1 Beep • Memory refresh timer error. The solution is often replacing the RAM.
2 Beeps • Parity error in base memory. This is a problem with the first 64KB memory block in your RAM. The solution is usually to replace the memory.
3 Beeps • Base memory read/write test error. Replacing the RAM usually solves this.
4 Beeps • Motherboard Timer error. Hardware failure within an expansion card or the motherboard itself could be the cause.
5 Beeps • Processor error. A damaged expansion card, the CPU or the motherboard could be at fault.
6 Beeps • 8042 Gate A20 test error. Usually an expansion card has failed or the motherboard itself.
7 Beeps • General exception error. Usually caused by a faulty expansion card, a motherboard hardware issue, or a damaged CPU. The fix is usually to replace the faulty component.
8 Beeps • Error with the display memory. Usually a failed video card causes this error. Replacing the video card fixes this.
9 Beeps • AMIBIOS ROM checksum error. This error points to a problem with the BIOS chip on the motherboard itself. This kind of problem is usually fixed by replacing the motherboard.
10 Beeps • CMOS shutdown register read/write error. This is usually caused by a hardware issue with the AMI BIOS chip. Replacing the motherboard is usually the way to fix this.
11 Beeps • Cache memory test has failed. Your problem is in the Cache Memory chips on the motherboard. Reseat or replace these chips if possible.

As you can see computer beep codes run in a sequence and need to be identified as such. Whether they are long or short beeps you have to determine where the sequence ends and the next begins. While the sequence is continuous there is a slight pause between the series of computer beep codes.

Award BIOS computer beep codes

1 Short Beep • A single, short beep from an Award BIOS is an indication that your computer has successfully passed the POST test. This is a good sign that all is well. No need to worry about it.
1 Long Beep, 2 Short Beeps • This indicates that there has been an error with the video card. Replacing the video card will fix this type of error.
1 Long Beep, 3 Short Beeps • One long beep followed by three short beeps means that either the video card isn't installed or the memory on the video card is bad. Reseating or replacing the video card will typically fix this.
1 High Pitched Beep, 1 Low Pitched Beep (Repeatedly) • A repeating high pitched / low pitched beep pattern is an indication of some kind of CPU problem. The CPU could be overheating or malfunctioning in some other way. You may have to reseat the CPU because of chip creep. Chip creep is a condition where the CPU is getting warm and cooling and working its way out of its seating.
1 High Pitched Beep (Repeatedly) • A single, repeating, high pitched beeping sound means that the CPU is overheating. You'll need to check if the fans are working and that you computer has the proper airflow. In some extreme cases it may be in need of serious cleaning.

Note: Turn the computer off immediately to prevent sustaining permanent damage to this component.
All Other Computer Beep CodesAny other beep code pattern indicates some kind of memory problem. Replacing the computers RAM will usually fix these problems.

Phoenix BIOS computer beep codes

1 Beep • A single, short beep from a Phoenix BIOS is an indication that your computer has successfully passed the POST test. This is a good sign that all is well. No need to worry about it.
1 Long Beep, 2 Short Beeps • Checksum error. Indicates that there is a problem with the motherboard. Replacing the motherboard should fix this problem.
1-2-2-3 Beep Code Pattern • BIOS ROM checksum error. There is a problem with the BIOS chip on the motherboard. Usually corrected by replacing the motherboard.
1-3-1-1 Beep Code Pattern • Indicates a problem testing the DRAM refresh. The culprit could be system memory, an expansion card, or the motherboard.
1-3-1-3 Beep Code Pattern • 8742 keyboard controller test has failed. This could mean a problem with the keyboard or a motherboard issue.
1-3-4-1 Beep Code Pattern • There is some kind of fault with the RAM. Replacing the RAM usually fixes this problem
1-3-4-3 Beep Code Pattern • Another memory issue. Replacing the RAM is recommended.
1-4-1-1 Beep Code Pattern • System memory fault. Replacing the RAM usually fixes this problem.
2-1-2-3 Beep Code PatternBIOS ROM error, indicates an issue with the BIOS chip on the motherboard. Usually corrected by replacing the motherboard.
2-2-3-1 Beep Code Pattern • Problem testing hardware related to IRQs. This could be a hardware or configuration problem with an expansion card or some kind of motherboard failure.

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