BIOS Beep Codes

March 7, 2008 – 8:45 AM
When you first “boot up” the BIOS takes control of the computer and performs the P.O.S.T (Power On Self Test). At the end of the POST, the computer will play an audible “beep” through either the PC’s internal speaker or through a set of external speakers attached to the computer. If the POST completed successfully without detecting any problems with then system will play a single short beep to let you know the test is complete and the computer will continue to startup and load the operating system. If the BIOS detects a problem during POST it will normally display a visual error message on the monitor explaining what the problem is. However, if a problem is detected before the BIOS initializes the video card, or a video card is not present or not detected, then the BIOS will play several “beeps” through the speaker to let you know there is a problem. Depending on the type of the BIOS you have the BIOS may play beeps in a specific pattern to indicate what the problem is, or play the same beep a number of times indicating the problem. It is very important that you pay close attention to the number and/or pattern of the beeps your computer plays on startup.
Choose your BIOS and determine the codes:
AMI (American Megatrends International) BIOS.
AMI uses beeps of the same length and pitch. The error is coded as a number of beeps. For example, 4 beeps indicated a timer failure.
 Code  Meaning  Possible Cause
 1 Beep (No video)  Memory refresh failure  Bad memory
 2 Beeps  Memory parity error  Bad memory
 3 Beeps  Base 64K mem failure  Bad memory
 4 Beeps  Timer not operational  Bad motherboard
 5 Beeps  Processor error  Bad processor
 6 Beeps  8042 Gate A20 failure  Bad CPU or Motherboard
 7 Beeps  Processor exception  Bad processor
 8 Beeps  Video memory error  Bad video card or memory
 9 Beeps  ROM checksum error  Bad BIOS
10 Beeps  CMOS checksum error  Bad motherboard
11 Beeps  Cache memory bad  Bad CPU or motherboard
 
Award BIOS.
Award BIOS uses beeps of different durations. A long beep will typically last for 2 seconds while a short beep will last only 1 second. Award BIOS also uses beeps of different frequency to indicate critical errors. If an Award BIOS detects that the CPU is overheating it may play a high pitched repeating beep while the computer is running.
 Code  Meaning  Possible Cause
 1 Long, 2 Short  Video adapter failure  Bad video adapter
 Repeating (Endless loop)  Memory error  Bad memory or bad connection
 1 Long, 3 Short  Video adapter failure  Bad video adapter or memory
 High freq. beeps (while running)  CPU is overheating  CPU fan failure
 Repeating High, Low beeps  CPU failure  Bad processor
 
Phoenix BIOS.
Phoenix BIOS uses beep code patterns to indicate problems. In the table below the “-” indicates a brief pause between beeps.
 Code  Meaning  Possible Cause
 1 – 1 – 2  CPU / motherboard failure  Bad CPU / motherboard
 1 – 1 – 3  CMOS read/write failure  Bad motherboard
 1 – 1 – 4  BIOS ROM failure  Bad BIOS chip
 1 – 2 – 1  Timer failure  Bad motherboard
 1 – 2 – 2  DMA failure  Bad motherboard
 1 – 2 – 3  DMA failure  Bad motherboard
 1 – 3 – 1  Memory refresh failure  Bad memory
 1 – 3 – 2  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 1 – 3 – 3  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 1 – 3 – 4  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 1 – 4 – 1  Address line failure  Bad memory
 1 – 4 – 2  Parity error  Bad memory
 1 – 4 – 3  Timer failure  Bad motherboard
 1 – 4 – 4  NMI port failure  Bad motherboard
 2 – 1 – 1  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 – 1 – 2  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 – 1 – 3  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 – 1 – 4  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 – 2 – 1  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 – 2 – 2  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 – 2 – 3  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 – 2 – 4  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 – 3 – 1  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 – 3 – 2  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 – 3 – 3  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 – 3 – 4  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 – 4 – 1  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 – 4 – 2  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 – 4 – 4  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 – 4 – 4  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 3 – 1 – 1  Slave DMA failure  Bad motherboard
 3 – 1 – 2  Master DMA failure  Bad motherboard
 3 – 1 – 3  Interrupt controller failure  Bad motherboard
 3 – 1 – 4  Slave IC failure  Bad motherboard
 3 – 2 – 2  Interrupt Controller failure  Bad motherboard
 3 – 2 – 3  <RESERVED>
 3 – 2 – 4  Keyboard control failure  Bad motherboard
 3 – 3 – 1  CMOS batter failure  Bad CMOS battery
 3 – 3 – 2  CMOS configuration error  Incorrect setting
 3 – 3 – 3  <RESERVED>
 3 – 3 – 4  Video memory failure  Bad video card or memory
 3 – 4 – 1  Video init failure  Bad video card or memory
 4 – 2 – 1  Timer failure  Bad motherboard
 4 – 2 – 2  CMOS shutdown failure  Bad motherboard
 4 – 2 – 3  Gate A20 failure  Bad motherboard
 4 – 2 – 4  Unexpected interrupt  Bad processor
 4 – 3 – 1  RAM test failure  Bad memory
 4 – 3 – 3  Timer failure  Bad motherboard
 4 – 3 – 4  RTC failure  Bad motherboard
 4 – 4 – 1  Serial port failure  Bad motherboard
 4 – 4 – 2  Parallel port failure  Bad motherboard
 4 – 4 – 3  Coprocessor failure  Bad motherboard or CPU.
 9 – 2 – 1  Video adapter incompatibility  Try using a different brand of video card
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