Friday, March 23, 2007
BIOS Beep Codes
Decipher What the Beep Codes Mean.
What is a beep code?
BIOS “beep code” are an audible code that may beep in a specific pattern to indicate what the problem may be with the system.
Why do we have "beep codes"?
When the computer system is starting to boot up it performs a "Power on Self Test" or the "POST". At the completion of the POST if there are no problems detected there is usually a short beep and the operating system is loaded.
What happens if during the POST the BIOS detect a problem?
During the POST, if there is a problem starting the system there may be a visual error message on the display as well describing the problem. If the problem is happening before the video is initialized than the BIOS will play audible beeps to let you know there is a problem.
How do I know what the beeps mean when I hear them?
The beep codes can be difficult to determine what they mean. But manufacturers of motherboards and the BIOS companies usually have copies of the code for your specific motherboard and BIOS.
Below is a table of some of the most common BIOS beep codes. Depending on the type of BIOS you have there may be different beep patterns. You need to listen carefully for the beeps to determine what the pattern may be.
BEEP CODE MEANING POSSIBLE CAUSE
1 Beep (No video) Memory refresh failure Bad memory
2 Beeps Memory parity error Bad memory
3 Beeps Base 64K memory 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
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
The Phoenix BIOS is more complicated and uses patterns in the audible beeps
to distinguish what the problem may be with the system. Below is the link to BIOS Central which has more manufacturers of different computer systems as well like COMPAQ, AT&T, IBM and the Phoenix BIOS.