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How To Interpret Beep Codes

Each time you start the computer, the BIOS conducts a power-on self-test (POST). If the computer freezes or otherwise fails to boot, the CPU may be unable to communicate with one or more hardware components. The cause may be a faulty component, faulty installation or a problem with the BIOS. During the POST, a series of beeps may sound an audio code to indicate what problem has occurred. Most PCs beep once at the successful completion of the POST, some beep twice.

Caution: Please read our safety information before attempting any testing or repairs.

The meaning of the code will depend on what brand and version of BIOS is used. Furthermore, motherboard and computer manufacturers will sometimes modify the BIOS and associated codes. The table below describes the general case failure associated with the beep code for the three most popular BIOS'. Be advised that because of a lack of standardization, your beep codes may not match this table.

Symptom

Check
Click on underlined items for further information

1 Beep

If the PC boots properly, then this beep is normal. It is an audio cue that the PC has passed the POST and started to boot.

  • (AMI) Memory problem
  • (AWARD) Memory problem

2 Beeps

  • (AMI) Memory problem

3 Beeps

  • (AMI) Memory or motherboard problem
  • (AWARD) Video problem
  • (IBM) Keyboard problem

4 Beeps

  • (AMI) System timer failure
  • (AWARD) Video Problem

5 Beeps

  • (AMI) CPU or motherboard problem

6 Beeps

  • (AMI) Keyboard or motherboard problem

7 Beeps

  • (AMI) CPU or motherboard problem

8 Beeps

  • (AMI) Video card or video memory problem
9 Beeps
  • (AMI) Motherboard problem
10 Beeps
  • (AMI) Motherboard problem
11 Beeps
  • (AMI) Cache memory error
Continuous Beeping
  • (AMI) Memory or Video Problem
  • (AWARD) Memory or Video Problem
  • (IBM) Power problem or loose card



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