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Beep Code Manual

(I'm Computer Technician, I use these codes to trouble shoot hardware issues at my job. Enjoy.)

BIOS Beep Codes

When a computer is first turned on, or rebooted, it's BIOS performs a power-on self test (POST) to test the system's hardware, checking to make sure that all of the system's hardware components are working properly. Under normal circumstances, the POST will display an error message; however, if the BIOS detects an error before it can access the video card, it will produce a series of beeps, and the pattern of the beeps indicates what kind of problem the BIOS has detected. Because there are many brands of BIOS, there are no standard beep codes for every BIOS.

The two most-used brands are AMI (American Megatrends International) and Phoenix.

Below are listed the beep codes for AMI systems, and here are the beep codes for Phoenix systems.

AMI Beep Codes

Beep Code Meaning
1. beep DRAM refresh failure. There is a problem in the system memory or the motherboard.
2. beeps Memory parity error. The parity circuit is not working properly.
3. beeps Base 64K RAM failure. There is a problem with the first 64K of system memory.
4. beeps system timer not operational. There is problem with the timer(s) that control functions on the motherboard.
5. beeps Processor failure. The system CPU has failed.
6. beeps Gate A20/keyboard controller failure. The keyboard IC controller has failed, preventing gate A20 from switching the processor to protect mode.
7. beeps Virtual mode exception error.
8. beeps Video memory error. The BIOS cannot write to the frame buffer memory on the video card.
9. beeps ROM checksum error. The BIOS ROM chip on the motherboard is likely faulty.
10. beeps CMOS checksum error. Something on the motherboard is causing an error when trying to interact with the CMOS.
11. beeps Bad cache memory. An error in the level 2 cache memory.

1 long beep, 2 short Failure in the video system.
1 long beep, 3 short A failure in the video system.
1 long beep, 8 short display test failure.
Continuous beeping A problem with the memory or video.
BIOS Beep Codes

Phoenix Beep Codes

Phoenix uses sequences of beeps to indicate problems. The "-" between each number below indicates a pause between each beep sequence.
For example, 1-2-3 indicates one beep, followed by a pause and three beeps. Phoenix version before 4.x use 3-beep codes, while Phoenix versions starting with 4.x use 4-beep codes.
Click here for AMI BIOS beep codes.
4-Beep Codes

Beep Code Meaning
1-1-1-3 Faulty CPU/motherboard. Verify real mode.
1-1-2-1 Faulty CPU/motherboard.
1-1-2-3 Faulty motherboard or one of its components.
1-1-3-1 Faulty motherboard or one of its components. Initialize chipset registers with initial POST values.
1-1-3-2 Faulty motherboard or one of its components.
1-1-3-3 Faulty motherboard or one of its components. Initialize CPU registers.
1-1-3-2
1-1-3-3
1-1-3-4 Failure in the first 64K of memory.
1-1-4-1 Level 2 cache error.
1-1-4-3 I/O port error.
1-2-1-1 Power management error.
1-2-1-2
1-2-1-3 Faulty motherboard or one of its components.
1-2-2-1 Keyboard controller failure.
1-2-2-3 BIOS ROM error.
1-2-3-1 System timer error.
1-2-3-3 DMA error.
1-2-4-1 IRQ controller error.
1-3-1-1 DRAM refresh error.
1-3-1-3 A20 gate failure.
1-3-2-1 Faulty motherboard or one of its components.
1-3-3-1 Extended memory error.
1-3-3-3
1-3-4-1
1-3-4-3 Error in first 1MB of system memory.
1-4-1-3
1-4-2-4 CPU error.
1-4-3-1
2-1-4-1 BIOS ROM shadow error.
1-4-3-2
1-4-3-3 Level 2 cache error.
1-4-4-1
1-4-4-2
2-1-1-1 Faulty motherboard or one of its components.
2-1-1-3
2-1-2-1 IRQ failure.
2-1-2-3 BIOS ROM error.
2-1-2-4
2-1-3-2 I/O port failure.
2-1-3-1
2-1-3-3 Video system failure.
2-1-1-3
2-1-2-1 IRQ failure.
2-1-2-3 BIOS ROM error.
2-1-2-4 I/O port failure.
2-1-4-3
2-2-1-1 Video card failure.
2-2-1-3
2-2-2-1
2-2-2-3 Keyboard controller failure.
2-2-3-1 IRQ error.
2-2-4-1 Error in first 1MB of system memory.
2-3-1-1
2-3-3-3 Extended memory failure.
2-3-2-1 Faulty motherboard or one of its components.
2-3-2-3
2-3-3-1 Level 2 cache error.
2-3-4-1
2-3-4-3 Motherboard or video card failure.
2-3-4-1
2-3-4-3
2-4-1-1 Motherboard or video card failure.
2-4-1-3 Faulty motherboard or one of its components.
2-4-2-1 RTC error.
2-4-2-3 Keyboard controller error.
2-4-4-1 IRQ error.
3-1-1-1
3-1-1-3
3-1-2-1
3-1-2-3 I/O port error.
3-1-3-1
3-1-3-3 Faulty motherboard or one of its components.
3-1-4-1
3-2-1-1
3-2-1-2 Floppy drive or hard drive failure.
3-2-1-3 Faulty motherboard or one of its components.
3-2-2-1 Keyboard controller error.
3-2-2-3
3-2-3-1
3-2-4-1 Faulty motherboard or one of its components.
3-2-4-3 IRQ error.
3-3-1-1 RTC error.
3-3-1-3 Key lock error.
3-3-3-3 Faulty motherboard or one of its components.
3-3-3-3
3-3-4-1
3-3-4-3
3-4-1-1
3-4-1-3
3-4-2-1
3-4-2-3
3-4-3-1
3-4-4-1
3-4-4-4 Faulty motherboard or one of its components.
4-1-1-1 Floppy drive or hard drive failure.
4-2-1-1
4-2-1-3
4-2-2-1 IRQ failure.
4-2-2-3
4-2-3-1
4-2-3-3
4-2-4-1 Faulty motherboard or one of its components.
4-2-4-3 Keyboard controller error.
4-3-1-3
4-3-1-4
4-3-2-1
4-3-2-2
4-3-3-1
4-3-4-1
4-3-4-3 Faulty motherboard or one of its components.
4-3-3-2
4-3-3-4 IRQ failure.
4-3-3-3
4-3-4-2 Floppy drive or hard drive failure.
3-Beep Codes
Beep Code Meaning
1-1-2 Faulty CPU/motherboard.
1-1-3 Faulty motherboard/CMOS read-write failure.
1-1-4 Faulty BIOS/BIOS ROM checksum error.
1-2-1 System timer not operational. There is a problem with the timer(s) that control functions on the motherboard.
1-2-2
1-2-3 Faulty motherboard/DMA failure.
1-3-1 Memory refresh failure.
1-3-2
1-3-3
1-3-4 Failure in the first 64K of memory.
1-4-1 Address line failure.
1-4-2 Parity RAM failure.
1-4-3 Timer failure.
1-4-4 NMI port failure.
2-_-_ Any combination of beeps after 2 indicates a failure in the first 64K of memory.
3-1-1 Master DMA failure.
3-1-2 Slave DMA failure.
3-1-3
3-1-4 Interrupt controller failure.
3-2-4 Keyboard controller failure.
3-3-1
3-3-2 CMOS error.
3-3-4 Video card failure.
3-4-1 Video card failure.
4-2-1 Timer failure.
4-2-2 CMOS shutdown failure.
4-2-3 Gate A20 failure.
4-2-4 Unexpected interrupt in protected mode.
4-3-1 RAM test failure.
4-3-3 Timer failure.
4-3-4 Time of day clock failure.
4-4-1 Serial port failure.
4-4-2 Parallel port failure.
4-4-3 Math coprocessor.

Good luck!

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2 Answers

my Dell laptop makes 12 beeps and won't start, why?


Unfortunately, they are bad news and omens of *****!

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    Jul 31, 2016 | Dell Computers & Internet

    1 Answer

    computer beeps 10 times on startup and switches off


    The beep codes should indicate hardware detection or mis match issues. Check if the RAM is loose, or there is a problem with the display connectivity, hardware or the hard disk attached. Different Bios have different beep codes for identifying the issues. We would clearly state the beep indication if we could know the Bios model and version which you can see on the Bios chip. Good luck.

    Jan 07, 2011 | HP Compaq dx2000 Microtower PC Desktop

    2 Answers

    my computer always beep. when i am printing my computer beeps very long so i turn it off. i thought it was the cpu overheating. i put some thermal paste and turn it on when the computer is in the desktop my computer beeps many short beep.... it always beeping when i turn it on..how to fix it? please help.......


    hi Robin.
    if your computer is making a beeping sound when it starts. No, you're not crazy, your computer really is beeping, and the sound may be coming from inside your computer, not your speakers.
    These beeps are called beep codes and are used by the BIOS (the software that runs your computer hardware) during the POST (an initial test to make sure your computer is OK to start) to report certain initial system errors. If you're hearing beep codes after you turn your computer on, it typically means that the motherboard has encountered some kind of problem before it was able to send any kind of error information to the monitor. The beeping, then, is a way to communicate a problem to you when the computer can't show a proper error on the screen.
    Follow the steps below to determine what computer problem the beep code is representing. Once you know what's wrong, you can work to fix the issue.

    How to Troubleshoot Beep Codes

    Figuring out why your computer is making beeping sounds should only take 10 to 15 minutes. Solving that problem that you identify is another task entirely and could take a few minutes to hours, depending on what the problem ends up being.
    1. Power on the computer, or restart it if it's already on.
    2. Listen very carefully to the beep codes that sound when the computer begins to boot.

      Restart your computer if you need to hear the beeping again. You're probably not going to make whatever problem you have worse by restarting a few times.
    1. Write down, in whatever way makes sense to you, how the beeps sound.

      Important: Pay close attention to the number of beeps, if the beeps are long or short (or all the same length), and if the beeping repeats or not. There is a big difference between a "beep-beep-beep" beep code and a "beep-beep" beep code.

      I know this might all seem a little crazy but this is important information that will help determine what issue the beep codes are representing. If you get this wrong, you'll be trying to solve a problem your computer doesn't have and ignoring the real one.
    1. Next you'll need to figure out what company manufactured the BIOS chip that's on your computer motherboard. Unfortunately, the computer industry never agreed on a uniform way to communicate with beeps, so it's important to get this right.

      The easiest way to figure this is out is by installing one of these free system information tools, which should tell you if your BIOS is made by AMI, Award, Phoenix, or another company. If that doesn't work, you could open your computer and take a peek at the actual BIOS chip on your computer motherboard, which should have the company name printed on or next to it.

      Important: Your computer maker is not the same as the BIOS maker and your motherboard maker is not necessarily the same as the BIOS maker, so don't assume you already know the right answer to this question.
    2. Now that you know the BIOS manufacturer, choose the troubleshooting guide below based on that information:
      Using the beep code information specific to those BIOS makers in those articles, you'll be able to figure out exactly what's wrong that's causing the beeping, be it a RAM issue, a video card problem, or some other hardware problem.
    3. Try to turn off beep sound in the BIOS

    More Help with Beep Codes

    Some computers, even though they may have BIOS firmware made by a particular company, like AMI or Award, further customize their beep-to-problem language, making this process a little frustrating. If you think this might be the case, or just worried it could be, almost every computer maker publishes their beep code list in their user guides, which you can probably find online.
    See How to Find Tech Support Information

    Dec 13, 2017 | Biostar MCP6P-M2 Motherboard - v6.0,...

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