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Ever wonder what those beeps mean and why there is an error?

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jack222

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2005
Beeps-For AMI BIOS's

1-Refresh failure
2-Parity error
3-Main memory read/write error
4-Timer not operational
5-Processor error
6-8042, gate A20 failure.
7-Processor exception interrupt error
8-Display memory read/write error
9-ROM checksum error
10-CMOS shutdown register read/write error
11-Cache memory
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=========================================================
Beeps-For Phoenix BIOS's

1-2-2-3=BIOS ROM checksum
1-3-1-1=Test DRAM refresh
1-3-1-3=Test 8742 keybaord error
1-3-5-1=RAM failure on address line xxxx
1-3-5-3=RAM failure on data bits xxxx of low byte of memory bus
2-1-2-3=Check ROM copyright notice
2-2-3-1=Test for unexpected interrupts
1-2=Search for ROMs;one long, two short on Checksum error
1=On short beep before boot
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=========================================================

Award BIOS's do not use beeps anymore.
=========================================================
=========================================================
How to fix the problems

Problem
RAM refresh failure-(1)Reseat and clean the RAM

Parity error,,,,,,,,,,,(2)Replace individual chips until the problem is corrected
RAM bit error
Base 64k error

8042 error(1)Reseat and clean keyboard chip
Gaet A20 error(2)Replace keyboard or motherboard
BIOS checksum error(1)Reseat, clean, or lastly replace ROM chip.
Video error(1)Reseat or replace video card
Cache memory error(1)Shutoff cache in CMOS, replace CPU
Everything elseClean or replace motherboard.
=========================================================
=========================================================
AMI BIOS BEEP CODES

The following are AMI BIOS Beep Codes that can occur. However because of the wide variety of different computer manufacturers with this BIOS the beep codes may vary.

Beep Code Descriptions
1 short DRAM refresh failure
2 short Parity circuit failure
3 short Base 64K RAM failure
4 short System timer failure
5 short Process failure
6 short Keyboard controller Gate A20 error
7 short Virtual mode exception error
8 short Display memory Read/Write test failure
9 short ROM BIOS checksum failure
10 short CMOS shutdown Read/Write error
11 short Cache Memory error
1 long, 3 short Conventional/Extended memory failure
1 long, 8 short Display/Retrace test failed

AWARD BIOS BEEP CODES

The following are Award BIOS Beep Codes that can occur. However because of the wide variety of different computer manufacturers with this BIOS the beep codes may vary.

Beep Code Description
1 long, 2 short Indicates a video error has occurred and the BIOS cannot initialize the video screen to display any additional information
Any other beep(s) RAM problem.

If any other correctable hardware issues the BIOS will display a message.



IBM BIOS

The following are IBM BIOS Beep Codes that can occur. However because of the wide variety of models shipping with this BIOS the beep codes may vary.

Beep Code Description
No Beeps No Power, Loose Card, or Short.
1 Short Beep Normal POST, computer is ok.
2 Short Beep POST error, review screen for error code.
Continuous Beep No Power, Loose Card, or Short.
Repeating Short Beep No Power, Loose Card, or Short.
One Long and one Short Beep Motherboard issue.
One Long and Two short Beeps Video (Mono/CGA Display Circuitry) issue.
One Long and Three Short Beeps. Video (EGA) Display Circuitry.
Three Long Beeps Keyboard / Keyboard card error.
One Beep, Blank or Incorrect Display Video Display Circuitry.

MACINTOSH STARTUP TONES
TONES ERROR
Error Tone. (two sets of different tones) Problem with logic board or SCSI bus.
Startup tone, drive spins, no video Problem with video controller.
Powers on, no tone. Logic board problem.
High Tone, four higher tones. Problem with SIMM.

PHOENIX BIOS BEEP CODES

The following is for PHOENIX BIOS Q3.07 OR 4.X
Beep Code Description / What to Check

1-1-1-3 Verify Real Mode.
1-1-2-1 Get CPU type.
1-1-2-3 Initialize system hardware.
1-1-3-1 Initialize chipset registers with initial POST values.
1-1-3-2 Set in POST flag.
1-1-3-3 Initialize CPU registers.
1-1-4-1 Initialize cache to initial POST values.
1-1-4-3 Initialize I/O.
1-2-1-1 Initialize Power Management.
1-2-1-2 Load alternate registers with initial POST values.
1-2-1-3 Jump to UserPatch0.
1-2-2-1 Initialize keyboard controller.
1-2-2-3 BIOS ROM checksum.
1-2-3-1 8254 timer initialization.
1-2-3-3 8237 DMA controller initialization.
1-2-4-1 Reset Programmable Interrupt Controller.
1-3-1-1 Test DRAM refresh.
1-3-1-3 Test 8742 Keyboard Controller.
1-3-2-1 Set ES segment to register to 4 GB.
1-3-3-1 28 Autosize DRAM.
1-3-3-3 Clear 512K base RAM.
1-3-4-1 Test 512 base address lines.
1-3-4-3 Test 512K base memory.
1-4-1-3 Test CPU bus-clock frequency.
1-4-2-4 Reinitialize the chipset.
1-4-3-1 Shadow system BIOS ROM.
1-4-3-2 Reinitialize the cache.
1-4-3-3 Autosize cache.
1-4-4-1 Configure advanced chipset registers.
1-4-4-2 Load alternate registers with CMOS values.
2-1-1-1 Set Initial CPU speed.
2-1-1-3 Initialize interrupt vectors.
2-1-2-1 Initialize BIOS interrupts.
2-1-2-3 Check ROM copyright notice.
2-1-2-4 Initialize manager for PCI Options ROMs.
2-1-3-1 Check video configuration against CMOS.
2-1-3-2 Initialize PCI bus and devices.
2-1-3-3 Initialize all video adapters in system.
2-1-4-1 Shadow video BIOS ROM.
2-1-4-3 Display copyright notice.
2-2-1-1 Display CPU type and speed.
2-2-1-3 Test keyboard.
2-2-2-1 Set key click if enabled.
2-2-2-3 56 Enable keyboard.
2-2-3-1 Test for unexpected interrupts.
2-2-3-3 Display prompt "Press F2 to enter SETUP".
2-2-4-1 Test RAM between 512 and 640k.
2-3-1-1 Test expanded memory.
2-3-1-3 Test extended memory address lines.
2-3-2-1 Jump to UserPatch1.
2-3-2-3 Configure advanced cache registers.
2-3-3-1 Enable external and CPU caches.
2-3-3-3 Display external cache size.
2-3-4-1 Display shadow message.
2-3-4-3 Display non-disposable segments.
2-4-1-1 Display error messages.
2-4-1-3 Check for configuration errors.
2-4-2-1 Test real-time clock.
2-4-2-3 Check for keyboard errors
2-4-4-1 Set up hardware interrupts vectors.
2-4-4-3 Test coprocessor if present.
3-1-1-1 Disable onboard I/O ports.
3-1-1-3 Detect and install external RS232 ports.
3-1-2-1 Detect and install external parallel ports.
3-1-2-3 Re-initialize onboard I/O ports.
3-1-3-1 Initialize BIOS Data Area.
3-1-3-3 Initialize Extended BIOS Data Area.
3-1-4-1 Initialize floppy controller.
3-2-1-1 Initialize hard-disk controller.
3-2-1-2 Initialize local-bus hard-disk controller.
3-2-1-3 Jump to UserPatch2.
3-2-2-1 Disable A20 address line.
3-2-2-3 Clear huge ES segment register.
3-2-3-1 Search for option ROMs.
3-2-3-3 Shadow option ROMs.
3-2-4-1 Set up Power Management.
3-2-4-3 Enable hardware interrupts.
3-3-1-1 Set time of day.
3-3-1-3 Check key lock.
3-3-3-1 Erase F2 prompt.
3-3-3-3 Scan for F2 key stroke.
3-3-4-1 Enter SETUP.
3-3-4-3 Clear in-POST flag.
3-4-1-1 Check for errors
3-4-1-3 POST done--prepare to boot operating system.
3-4-2-1 One beep.
3-4-2-3 Check password (optional).
3-4-3-1 Clear global descriptor table.
3-4-4-1 Clear parity checkers.
3-4-4-3 Clear screen (optional).
3-4-4-4 Check virus and backup reminders.
4-1-1-1 Try to boot with INT 19.
4-2-1-1 Interrupt handler error.
4-2-1-3 Unknown interrupt error.
4-2-2-1 Pending interrupt error.
4-2-2-3 Initialize option ROM error.
4-2-3-1 Shutdown error.
4-2-3-3 Extended Block Move.
4-2-4-1 Shutdown 10 error.
4-3-1-3 Initialize the chipset.
4-3-1-4 Initialize refresh counter.
4-3-2-1 Check for Forced Flash.
4-3-2-2 Check HW status of ROM.
4-3-2-3 BIOS ROM is OK.
4-3-2-4 Do a complete RAM test.
4-3-3-1 Do OEM initialization.
4-3-3-2 Initialize interrupt controller.
4-3-3-3 Read in bootstrap code.
4-3-3-4 Initialize all vectors.
4-3-4-1 Boot the Flash program.
4-3-4-2 Initialize the boot device.
4-3-4-3 Boot code was read OK.
=========================================================
=========================================================
Those were also found by me. If you do repair you may have heard of a post card. It fits in a pci expansion slot and relays a number back on any error. There is a book that accompany's that that shows what all the numbers mean. It is a great tool if you work on a lot of computers.
=========================================================
The beep sound unfamilier becuase you have never heard these problems. I got these from my A+ book. Hope this helps a little
=========================================================

POST troubleshooting steps.

Question:

Post troubleshooting steps.

Additional information:

This document is intended to help users who are experiencing issues with the POST and may have any of the below symptoms.

1. Computer beeps irregularly when the computer is turned on.
2. Computer turns on but does not boot.

Note: Not all computers have beep codes, some of the newer computers have LED's that light up that indicate the error or have a sound file to indicate the error.

If your a getting a beep code sequence such as one long beep and two short beeps you may want to first look at our beep code page to see if your beep code is listed.

Cause:

This issue can be caused by any of the below situations.

1. New hardware conflicting with old hardware
2. Bad or failing hardware device.
3. Other hardware issue.

Answer:

Warning: Some of the below steps recommend removing physical parts within the computer. While in the computer it is highly recommend that you be aware of ESD and its potential hazards.

Note: Make sure your computer is turning on, if you press the power button and nothing happens (no lights, no sound, no fans, etc.) then this issue is not a NO POST but is an power related issue see document CH000312.

1. If any new hardware has been recently added to the computer, remove that hardware to make sure it is not the cause of your issue. If after removing the new hardware your computer works it's likely the computer is either not compatible with the new hardware or a system setting needs to be changed to work with the new hardware device.
2. Remove everything from the back of the computer except the power cable. Turn on the computer and see if it beeps normally. If the computer has never beeped also connect a monitor to the computer to see if any change occurs.
3. If you are receiving a sequence of beeps see our beep code page for a listing of different beep codes and their explanation and/or your motherboard or computer documentation. These beep codes are meant as a method of quickly identifying what computer component is failing or bad.
4. Make sure all fans are running in the computer. If a fan has failed (especially the heat sink fan for the CPU) your computer could be overheating and/or detecting the fan failure causing the computer not to boot.
5. If you were unable to determine by the beep code what is failing or do not have a beep code disconnect the IDE cables from the CD-ROM, Hard Drive, and Floppy drive from the Motherboard. If this resolves your irregular post attempt to connect each device one at a time to determine which device and or cable is causing the issue.
6. If the above recommendations still have not resolved the irregular POST attempt to disconnect the Riser board (if applicable) and/or each of the expansion cards. If this resolves the issue or allows the computer to post connect one card at a time until you determine which card is causing the issue.
7. If you continue to to receive the same problem with all the above hardware removed attempt to disconnect the CPU and RAM from the Motherboard. Once done insert the CPU and RAM back into the computer to see doing this resolves your issue.
8. If after doing all of the above recommendations you continue to have the same issues unfortunately it is likely that you have bad Motherboard, CPU, and or RAM. The next step would be either to replace these components and/or have the computer serviced. If you plan on doing the repairs yourself or you are a repair shop it is suggested that you replace the Motherboard first, RAM, and then the CPU in that order and/or try swappable parts.

POST troubleshooting steps.

Question:

Post troubleshooting steps.

Additional information:

This document is intended to help users who are experiencing issues with the POST and may have any of the below symptoms.

1. Computer beeps irregularly when the computer is turned on.
2. Computer turns on but does not boot.

Note: Not all computers have beep codes, some of the newer computers have LED's that light up that indicate the error or have a sound file to indicate the error.

If your a getting a beep code sequence such as one long beep and two short beeps you may want to first look at our beep code page to see if your beep code is listed.

Cause:

This issue can be caused by any of the below situations.

1. New hardware conflicting with old hardware
2. Bad or failing hardware device.
3. Other hardware issue.

Answer:

Warning: Some of the below steps recommend removing physical parts within the computer. While in the computer it is highly recommend that you be aware of ESD and its potential hazards.

Note: Make sure your computer is turning on, if you press the power button and nothing happens (no lights, no sound, no fans, etc.) then this issue is not a NO POST but is an power related issue see document CH000312.

1. If any new hardware has been recently added to the computer, remove that hardware to make sure it is not the cause of your issue. If after removing the new hardware your computer works it's likely the computer is either not compatible with the new hardware or a system setting needs to be changed to work with the new hardware device.
2. Remove everything from the back of the computer except the power cable. Turn on the computer and see if it beeps normally. If the computer has never beeped also connect a monitor to the computer to see if any change occurs.
3. If you are receiving a sequence of beeps see our beep code page for a listing of different beep codes and their explanation and/or your motherboard or computer documentation. These beep codes are meant as a method of quickly identifying what computer component is failing or bad.
4. Make sure all fans are running in the computer. If a fan has failed (especially the heat sink fan for the CPU) your computer could be overheating and/or detecting the fan failure causing the computer not to boot.
5. If you were unable to determine by the beep code what is failing or do not have a beep code disconnect the IDE cables from the CD-ROM, Hard Drive, and Floppy drive from the Motherboard. If this resolves your irregular post attempt to connect each device one at a time to determine which device and or cable is causing the issue.
6. If the above recommendations still have not resolved the irregular POST attempt to disconnect the Riser board (if applicable) and/or each of the expansion cards. If this resolves the issue or allows the computer to post connect one card at a time until you determine which card is causing the issue.
7. If you continue to to receive the same problem with all the above hardware removed attempt to disconnect the CPU and RAM from the Motherboard. Once done insert the CPU and RAM back into the computer to see doing this resolves your issue.
8. If after doing all of the above recommendations you continue to have the same issues unfortunately it is likely that you have bad Motherboard, CPU, and or RAM. The next step would be either to replace these components and/or have the computer serviced. If you plan on doing the repairs yourself or you are a repair shop it is suggested that you replace the Motherboard first, RAM, and then the CPU in that order and/or try swappable parts.

David said:
Common Problems

* RAM, AGP, not properly seated, gold contacts are dirty.
* Bent CPU pin
* Smeared electrically conductive thermal compound on a component
* PSU switch is off <- done this myself as well
* Overclock pushed the PCI bus way out of spec causing corruption of data
* Left CMOS jumper in the clear mode
* Many boards will not boot if a fan is not attached to the first fan header, as a safety measure.
* Screws/pieces of metal can go astray and cause short circuits.
* Windows XP doesnt like it if you change hardware but use the same installation. Often you have to boot from CD and use the repair mode to get it to work.
* Weak or faulty PSUs can often cause things like random reboots and shutdowns, or can be at fault when the PC will not start. If you get these sort of problems, check your voltage rails using a program like Motherboard Monitor or Speedfan.
* Bad RAM can also cause many weird problems, such as random crashes, reboots or spontaneous and random errors. In the event of such areas, try a different stick of RAM to see if the errors go away.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sources:
...A+ certification by total seminars, 5th edition.
...Computerhope
...PC Hell
...David's thread
 
Last edited:

JigPu

Inactive Pokémon Moderator
Joined
Jun 20, 2001
Location
Vancouver, WA
Daaanng man! Looks like I won't have to be scouring the net for beep codes anymore :D

Just throw in links to the pages you got the info from so that we can avoid any possible plagerism issues (it looks like a lot of it came from a few Computerhope pages), and I'll definatly be stickying this! :)

JigPu
 

JigPu

Inactive Pokémon Moderator
Joined
Jun 20, 2001
Location
Vancouver, WA
/me wonders if threadglue can be used to stick threads instead of just sealing them shut...

/me applies threadglue

Stuck! :D

JigPu
 

dittohead

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2004
Location
London, UK
who can ever hear the beeps anymore?
i surely cant :D

doesnt mean i have a error...just means im deaf :p, nah i just cant hear them with my mobo

althought my mates pc i made....hes one were REALLLY quiet. even the mouse moving is louder :p