Beep Codes

Beep codes are the beeps you hear from the
PC speaker when you turn on your computer. They are your computer’s way of letting you
know what’s going on when there is no video signal. These codes are programmed into the
BIOS of the PC.

There is no official standard for these codes due
to the many brands of BIOS there are on motherboards, but two popular brands are Phoenix
and American Megatrends, Inc.. As a result, these beep code formats are the most common,
and will be covered here. If you don’t know who made your BIOS, you can consult the manual
for your motherboard. If you don’t have a manual, simply take off the case and look. Once
you find the BIOS chip(s), just look at the sticker on it and see if it says
“AMI” or “Phoenix”.

Once you have determined your BIOS make, consult
the following to see what’s wrong with your computer.

Normally, a computer with AMI BIOS doesn’t bother
with beeps. It will flash a nice little error message right across your screen. Its when
the video card isn’t working or something rather serious goes wrong that your computer
will start beeping.


of beeps

What’s Wrong
none You’re supposed to
hear at least one beep. If you truly don’t hear anything, either
your computer’s power supply, motherboard, or PC speaker is no good.
System RAM Refresh failure. Your programmable
interrupt timer on your motherboard has failed. It could also be
your interrupt controller, but either way, your motherboard will
need to be replaced to fix it.
2 short Your computer has
memory problems. First, check video. If video is working, you’ll see
an error message. If not, you have a parity error in your first 64K
of memory. Check your SIMMs. Reseat them and reboot. If this doesn’t
do it, the memory chips may be bad. You can try switching the first
and second bank memory chips. First banks are the memory
banks in which your CPU finds its first 64K of base memory. You’ll
need to consult your manual to see which bank is first. If all of
your memory tests good, you probably need to buy another
Same as 2 beeps;
follow diagnosis above.
4 short Your problem could
be a bad timer. The system timer failed to work properly. It will
require motherboard replacement.
CPU Failure. Replace the CPU or possibly the
6 short The chip on your
motherboard that controls your keyboard isn’t working. First, try
another keyboard. If that doesn’t help, reseat the chip that
controls the keyboard, if it isn’t soldered in. If it still beeps,
replace the chip if possible. The chip is erroring in the gate A20
switch that allows the system to run in virtual mode. Replace the
motherboard if the chip is soldered in.
Your CPU has
generated an exception error. This could be a fault of the CPU or a
combination of problems with the motherboard. Try replacing the
8 short Your video card
isn’t working. Make sure it is seated well in the bus. If it still
beeps, either the whole card is bad or the memory on it is. Your
best bet is to install another video card.
ROM checksum error. This means that the checksum
error checking value does not match the content of the BIOS ROM.
This means the BIOS ROM is probably bad, and needs to be replaced.
10 short Your problem lies
deep inside the CMOS. All chips associated with the CMOS will likely
have to be replaced. Your best bet is to get a new motherboard.

11 short
Your L2 cache
memory is bad and your computer disabled it for you. You could
reactivate it by pressing -Ctrl- -Alt- -Shift- -+- , but you
probably shouldn’t. Instead, replace your L2 cache memory.
Obviously, this could lead to outright motherboard replacement.
1 long, 3 shortMemory test failure. An error has been detected
in the memory over the first 64K. Try replacing the memory, and if
that doesn’t do it, the motherboard.
1 long, 8 shortDisplay test failure. Your video card is either
missing or defective. Replace it. If its part of your motherboard,
you’ll need to replace it or bypass it.

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  1. Thanks for this information. The beep codes came in very handy for diagnosing my computer

  2. t powers up, but I get no video or a series of beep codes, Before I put in the new hard disk to set it up everything worked well. The Monitor button lights up but then goes into a sleep mode.

    Any HELP on this matter will be gently appreciated
    I was running Win 98 and plan to put a new 160 GB Seagate so I may run Win XP Pro.


    sometimes beep codes is not realistic..but it cam help…

  4. what is the beep code if its just continuous beeping I counted up to 30 and it was still going

  5. i’m working on a computer in class and we were to take the whole thing apart and put it back together. When I turn on the computer i get no video and one long beep… over and over again… ???

  6. Thanks, I have something similar posted on my forum. Wondering if there is a universal beep code or is each manufacturer different?

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