Computer Error Beep Codes
Have you experience turning on your computer and nothing appears on your screen? To your surprise you start hearing beep sounds? You start wondering what is that sound, and you start to panic. Your computer is trying to communicate to you through those beeps. As a computer user, you should learn to interpret each beep sound.
Beep codes are installed/programmed in your Basic Input Output System (BIOS). It is a unique chip in your motherboard. Even though we have different computer manufacturers, we only have few BIOS manufacturer. AMI and Phoenix are the most common used nowadays.
Power-on-self-test (POST) is handled by the BIOS designed to utilize assigned peripheral devices. During computer start up, it should authenticate the integrity of the BIOS code, measure and validate system memory, and create the system settings needed by the Operating System. BIOS start its POST when the CPU is reset.
When you turn on your computer, you will hear one short beep. Your computer is saying it is ok, it is working well. The computer system is okay.
Listed below are the standard beep code meaning for AMI and Phoenix.
AMI Beep Code Meaning
Continuous beeping - A problem with the memory or video.
1 beep - DRAM refresh failure
2 beeps - Memory parity error.
3 beeps - Base 64K RAM failure.
4 beeps - System timer not operational.
5 beeps - Processor failure.
6 beeps - Gate A20/keyboard controller failure.
7 beeps - Virtual mode exception error.
8 beeps - Video memory error.
9 beeps - ROM checksum error.
10 beeps - CMOS checksum error
11 beeps - Bad cache memory.
1 long beep, 2 short - Failure in the video system.
1 long beep, 3 short - A failure has been detected in memory above 64K.
1 long beep, 8 short - Display test failure.Phoenix Beep Code Meaning
The "-" between each number below indicates a pause between each beep sequence.
1-1-3 CMOS read/write failure
1-1-4 ROM BIOS checksum error
1-2-1 Programmable interval timer failure
1-2-2 DMA initialisation failure
1-2-3 DMA page register read/write failure
1-3-1 RAM refresh verification failure
1-3-3 First 64k RAM chip or data line failure
1-3-4 First 64k RAM odd/even logic failure
1-4-1 Address line failure first 64k RAM
1-4-2 Parity failure first 64k RAM
2-_-_ Faulty Memory
3-1-_ Faulty Motherboard
3-2-4 Keyboard controller Test failure
3-3-4 Screen initialisation failure
3-4-1 Screen retrace test failure
3-4-2 Search for video ROM in progress
4-2-1 Timer tick interrupt in progress or failure
4-2-2 Shutdown test in progress or failure
4-2-3 Gate A20 failure
4-2-4 Unexpected interrupt in protected mode
4-3-1 RAM test in progress or failure>ffffh
4-3-2 Faulty Motherboard
4-3-3 Interval timer channel 2 test or failure
4-3-4 Time of Day clock test failure
4-4-1 Serial port test or failure
4-4-2 Parallel port test or failure
4-4-3 Math coprocessor test or failure
Low 1-1-2 System Board select failure
Low 1-1-3 Extended CMOS RAM failure
IBM Beep Code Meaning
1 short beep - Normal POST - system is OK
2 short beeps - POST error - error code shown on screen
No beep - Power supply, system board problem, disconnected CPU, or disconnected speaker
Continuous beep - Power supply, system board, or keyboard problem
Repeating short beeps- Power supply or system board problem or keyboard
1 long, 1 short beep - System board problem
1 long, 2 short beeps - Display adapter problem (MDA, CGA)
1 long, 3 short beeps - Enhanced Graphics Adapter (EGA)
3 long beeps - 3270 keyboard card
To know further on the beep codes of each manufacturer, visit their web sites for updates.
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