If Your Computer Beeps And Fails to Boot

Award: Award BIOS es typically use more screen errors than beep codes. For Award BIOS es manufactured by Phoenix Technologies, note the following from the Phoenix Technologies Award Bios Error Messages page:

“The only Award Bios beep code indicates that a video error has occurred and the BIOS cannot initialize the video screen to display any additional information. This beep code consists of a single long beep followed by two short beeps. Any other beeps are probably RAM (Random Access Memory) problems.”

Award BIOS es not manufactured under Phoenix Technologies use the following beeps; this information is from the BIOS Central Award BIOS Beep Codes page:

BeepsMeaning
1 long, 2 shortVideo adapter error: Bad or improperly seated video card
Repeating beepsMemory error: Bad or improperly seated RAM
1 long, 3 shortBad video RAM or video card not present
High-frequency beepsOverheated CPU: Check fans
Repeating high/low beepsCPU: Improperly seated or defective CPU
Beep Signals

AMI (American Mega trends): The information below is from the BIOS Central AMI BIOS Beep Codes page.

BeepsMeaning
1 shortDRAM refresh failure
2 shortParity circuit failure in the first 64 KB of RAM: Likely a bad RAM IC, or possibly one of the hardware tests has failed
3 shortMemory failure in the first 64 KB of RAM: Likely a bad RAM IC
4 shortSystem timer failure: Bad clock IC or bad RAM in the first bank of memory
5 shortProcessor failure: The CPU has failed.
6 shortKeyboard controller Gate A20 error: The keyboard controller has failed. Due to its integration into the system board, you usually must replace the motherboard.
7 shortVirtual mode exception error: CPU has generated an exception error; bad CPU or motherboard
8 shortDisplay memory Read/Write test failure: Bad video card
9 shortROM BIOS checksum failure: BIOS is defective
10 shortCMOS shutdown Read/Write error
11 shortCache Memory error: Specifically, the L2 cache is bad.
1 long, 2 shortVideo system failure: Error in video card BIOS, or a horizontal retrace has failed
1 long, 3 shortConventional/Extended memory failure: RAM is bad
1 long, 8 shortDisplay/Retrace test failed: Video adapter is defective or missing
Beep Signals

AST BIOS: The following information is from the BIOS Central AST BIOS Beep Codes page.

BeepsMeaning
1 shortCPU register test failure: The CPU has failed.
2 shortKeyboard controller buffer failure: The keyboard controller has failed.
3 shortKeyboard controller reset failure: The keyboard controller has failed or the motherboard circuitry is faulty.
4 shortKeyboard communication failure: Bad keyboard controller or keyboard
5 shortKeyboard input failure: The keyboard controller IC has failed.
6 shortSystem board chip set failure: The chip set on the motherboard has failed. Replace the motherboard.
9 shortBIOS ROM checksum error: The BIOS ROM has failed. If possible, replace the BIOS on the motherboard.
10 shortSystem timer test failure: The system clock IC has failed.
11 shortASIC failure: Motherboard circuitry has failed. Replace the motherboard.
12 shortCMOS RAM shutdown register failure: The real-time clock/CMOS IC failed. Replace the CMOS or motherboard.
1 longDMA controller 0 failure: The DMA controller IC for channel 0 has failed. If possible, replace the IC.
1 long, 1 shortDMA controller 1 failure: The DMA controller IC for channel 1 has failed. If possible, replace the IC.
1 long, 2 shortVideo vertical retrace failure: The video adapter has probably failed. Replace the video adapter.
1 long, 3 shortVideo memory test failure: The video adapter’s memory has failed. Replace the video adapter.
1 long, 4 shortVideo adapter failure: The video adapter has failed. Replace the video adapter.
1 long, 5 short64 KB memory failure: A failure has occurred in the base 64 KB of memory. If possible, replace the RAM IC.
1 long, 6 shortUnable to load interrupt vectors: The BIOS was unable to load the interrupt vectors into memory.
1 long, 7 shortUnable to initialize video: This is a video problem. Replace the video adapter first. If the problem persists, replace the motherboard.
1 long, 8 shortVideo memory failure: There is a failure in the video memory. Replace the video adapter first. If the problem persists, replace the motherboard.

Compaq: The following information is from the BIOS Central Compaq BIOS Beep Codes page.

BeepsMeaning
1 shortNo error: The system is booting properly.
1 long, 1 shortBIOS ROM checksum error: The contents of the BIOS ROM do not match the expected contents. If possible, reload the BIOS from the PAQ.
2 shortGeneral error: No specifics available on what this code means
1 long, 2 shortVideo error: Check the video adapter and make sure it’s seated properly. If possible, replace the video adapter.
7 beeps (1 long, 1 short, 1 long, 1 short, pause, 1 long, 1 short, 1 short)AGP video: The AGP video card is faulty. Re seat the card or replace it outright. This beep pertains to Compaq Desk pro systems.
Continuous beepMemory error: Bad RAM; replace and test
1 short, 2 longBad RAM: Re seat RAM, then retest; replace RAM if failure continues.
Beep Signals

Phoenix: The following information applies to Phoenix BIOS Q3.07 or 4.x. This information is from the Phoenix BIOS beep codes section of the Computer POST and beep codes page. Dashes indicate pauses between beeps.

BeepsMeaning
1-1-1-3Verify real mode.
1-1-2-1Get CPU type.
1-1-2-3Initialize system hardware.
1-1-3-1Initialize chip set registers with initial POST values.
1-1-3-2Set in POST flag.
1-1-3-3Initialize CPU registers.
1-1-4-1Initialize cache to initial POST values.
1-1-4-3Initialize I/O.
1-2-1-1Initialize Power Management.
1-2-1-2Load alternate registers with initial POST values.
1-2-1-3Jump to UserPatch0.
1-2-2-1Initialize keyboard controller.
1-2-2-3BIOS ROM checksum
1-2-3-18254 timer initialization
1-2-3-38237 DMA controller initialization
1-2-4-1Reset Programmable Interrupt Controller.
1-3-1-1Test DRAM refresh.
1-3-1-3Test 8742 Keyboard Controller.
1-3-2-1Set ES segment to register to 4 GB.
1-3-3-128 Auto size DRAM.
1-3-3-3Clear 512 KB base RAM.
1-3-4-1Test 512 KB base address lines.
1-3-4-3Test 512 KB base memory.
1-4-1-3Test CPU bus-clock frequency.
1-4-2-4Reinitialize the chip set.
1-4-3-1Shadow system BIOS ROM.
1-4-3-2Reinitialize the cache.
1-4-3-3Auto size cache.
1-4-4-1Configure advanced chip set registers.
1-4-4-2Load alternate registers with CMOS values.
2-1-1-1Set Initial CPU speed.
2-1-1-3Initialize interrupt vectors.
2-1-2-1Initialize BIOS interrupts.
2-1-2-3Check ROM copyright notice.
2-1-2-4Initialize manager for PCI Options ROM’s.
2-1-3-1Check video configuration against CMOS.
2-1-3-2Initialize PCI bus and devices.
2-1-3-3Initialize all video adapters in system.
2-1-4-1Shadow video BIOS ROM.
2-1-4-3Display copyright notice.
2-2-1-1Display CPU type and speed.
2-2-1-3Test keyboard.
2-2-2-1Set key click if enabled.
2-2-2-356 Enable keyboard.
2-2-3-1Test for unexpected interrupts.
2-2-3-3Display message “Press F2 to enter SETUP”.
2-2-4-1Test RAM between 512 and 640 KB.
2-3-1-1Test expanded memory.
2-3-1-3Test extended memory address lines.
2-3-2-1Jump to UserPatch1.
2-3-2-3Configure advanced cache registers.
2-3-3-1Enable external and CPU caches.
2-3-3-3Display external cache size.
2-3-4-1Display shadow message.
2-3-4-3Display non-disposable segments.
2-4-1-1Display error messages.
2-4-1-3Check for configuration errors.
2-4-2-1Test real-time clock.
2-4-2-3Check for keyboard errors.
2-4-4-1Set up hardware interrupts vectors.
2-4-4-3Test co processor if present.
3-1-1-1Disable onboard I/O ports.
3-1-1-3Detect and install external RS232 ports.
3-1-2-1Detect and install external parallel ports.
3-1-2-3Re-initialize onboard I/O ports.
3-1-3-1Initialize BIOS Data Area.
3-1-3-3Initialize Extended BIOS Data Area.
3-1-4-1Initialize floppy controller.
3-2-1-1Initialize hard-disk controller.
3-2-1-2Initialize local-bus hard-disk controller.
3-2-1-3Jump to UserPatch2.
3-2-2-1Disable A20 address line.
3-2-2-3Clear huge ES segment register.
3-2-3-1Search for option ROM’s.
3-2-3-3Shadow option ROM’s.
3-2-4-1Set up Power Management.
3-2-4-3Enable hardware interrupts.
3-3-1-1Set time of day.
3-3-1-3Check key lock.
3-3-3-1Erase “F2” message.
3-3-3-3Scan for F2 keystroke.
3-3-4-1Enter SETUP.
3-3-4-3Clear in-POST flag.
3-4-1-1Check for errors.
3-4-1-3POST complete; prepare to boot operating system.
3-4-2-1One beep.
3-4-2-3Check password (optional).
3-4-3-1Clear global descriptor table.
3-4-4-1Clear parity checkers.
3-4-4-3Clear screen (optional).
3-4-4-4Check virus and backup reminders.
4-1-1-1Try to boot with INT 19.
4-2-1-1Interrupt handler error.
4-2-1-3Unknown interrupt error.
4-2-2-1Pending interrupt error.
4-2-2-3Initialize option ROM error.
4-2-3-1Shutdown error.
4-2-3-3Extended Block Move.
4-2-4-1Shutdown 10 error.
4-3-1-3Initialize the chip set.
4-3-1-4Initialize refresh counter.
4-3-2-1Check for Forced Flash.
4-3-2-2Check HW status of ROM.
4-3-2-3BIOS ROM is okay.
4-3-2-4Do a complete RAM test.
4-3-3-1Do OEM initialization.
4-3-3-2Initialize interrupt controller.
4-3-3-3Read in bootstrap code.
4-3-3-4Initialize all vectors.
4-3-4-1Boot the Flash program.
4-3-4-2Initialize the boot device.
4-3-4-3Boot code was read okay.
Beep Signals

IBM Desktop

BeepsMeaning
No beepNo power, loose expansion card (ISA, PCI, or AGP), a short, or an improperly grounded motherboard
1 shortSystem okay
1 longVideo/display problem; video card incorrectly seated or defective
2 shortPOST Error displayed on monitor
3 longProblem with 3270 keyboard card
1 long, 1 shortProblem with system board
1 long, 2 shortProblem with display adapter (MDA, CGA)
1 long, 3 shortProblem with EGA
Repeating short beepsProblem with power supply or system board
Continuous beepProblem with power supply or system board
Beep Signals

IBM Think Pad

BeepsMeaning
Continuous beepingSystem board failure
1 beep with blank displayLCD connector problem, LCD backlight inverter failure, video adapter failure, or LCD assembly failure
1 beep w/message “Unable to access boot source”Boot device failure or bad system board
1 long, 2 shortSystem board, video adapter, or LCD assembly failure
1 long, 4 shortLow battery voltage
1 beep every secondLow battery voltage
2 short w/messageRead the error message on the display
2 short with blank displaySystem board failure
Beep Signals

Mylex:

BeepsMeaning
1Normal boot: No problems
2Video adapter error: Video adapter is not seated or is faulty
3Keyboard controller error: Keyboard controller IC bad
4Keyboard error: Keyboard itself might be bad, or the controller IC on the motherboard
5PIC 0 error: The programmable interrupt controller IC is bad
6PIC 1 error: Same as above
7DMA page register error: DMA controller IC is bad
8RAM refresh error
9RAM data error
10RAM parity error
11DMA controller 0 error: DMA controller IC for channel 0 has failed
12CMOS RAM error: Bad CMOS RAM
13DMA controller 1 error: DMA controller IC for channel 1 has failed
14CMOS RAM battery error: Dead CMOS battery; can usually be replaced
15CMOS RAM checksum error: CMOS RAM failed
16BIOS ROM checksum error: BIOS RAM failed
Beep Signals

Quadtel BIOS: The following information is from the BIOS Central Quad tel BIOS Beep Codes page.

1 shortNormal boot: System is booting normally.
2 shortCMOS IC error: The CMOS RAM is faulty. Replace the IC if possible.
1 long, 2 shortVideo failure: The video adapter is faulty. Re seat the video adapter or replace the adapter if possible.
1 long, 3 shortPeripheral controller error: One or more of the system peripheral controllers is bad. Replace the controllers and retest.

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