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Bios Beeps during reboot

I just recently successfully flashed my Ami bios on my MSI K9A2-CF-F V2 motherboard. I just built this computer & didn't know I could not install more than 4 Gigs of memory (if that) on a windows XP Pro 32 bit OS. I was getting the initial one beep, than a 3 beeps on the logo screen after every restart. I noticed this after I attempted to overclock my system. In which was unsuccessful. I think I may have damaged my memory somewhat. However, the PC still boots successfully each time I restart, beeps and all. I never did register more than 3.5 gig of memory on Windows, but did register close to the 8 gigs of ram I installed in the bios. I'm using 4 memory sticks of Corsair Dominators, 2 gig a piece at 1600 Mhz, but only 800 Mhz registers in the Bios. I removed 3 of the sticks and left one in the first Dimm slot but still I get the beeps. I will try using one of the three I removed later, but was wondering if anybody knows if my motherboard is bad considering I can still reboot with no problems other than the (1)pause, (3) beeps? Any ideas? as I'm quite frustrated. Thanks.

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  • JamesSav1 Mar 04, 2009

    Thank you Ubelong,

    I appreciate your effort to help in my dilemma.However, the user manual specifically stated that in order to utilize the dual channel memory cards, you must use them in pairs & also you must use them in either slots 1&2 only, or 3&4 only, or all 4 slots at once. I know the slots are colored coded, but I am thinking that is for single channel memory cards. I did try your method of slots 1 & 3 out of frustration, but it only made my PC reboot over & over repeatedly without successfully booting to the operating system. So I put them back into slots 1&2. I am able to boot up to the OS without any problems except the two beeps. Yes, for some reason, today it is only beeping twice. Mmmmm I am beginning to think it's the Video card I'm using as it is as old as my Grandma. And also, I am going to try entering the correct voltage, timing, and MHz for the memory cards into the bios tomorrow. I am at my wits end. The board is new. I also did a Memtest86 on the cards over night, The test results were ok and the test reported no problems with the cards. I've built computers before & I've heard everyone say re-seat the memory, switch them around, etc, Well, that may help in some cases, but when a guy like me puts memory into the slots, there is hardly any mistakes. But I did check. I looked into turning off the ECC checking in the bios, but AMIBIOS's V1.8 settings don't even have the option nor is it listed. L2 cache & L1 cache is not even listed either. I tried looking for the previous version of 1.7 that I flashed into 1.8 but could not find a 1.7 download from MSI. Once you flash, you can't go back. :-) Or can you? Why would you? Mmmmmm.

  • JamesSav1 Mar 05, 2009

    Today after gathering some information on Ram timings, I was able to enter my memory timings manually in the Dram configuration setting in my bios. I also changed the default MHz of 800 to 1600 Mhz that Corsair recommended. My Ram timings for my dominators according to Corsair are 5-5-5-15. After rebooting and rebooting again to check the timings, my bios had changed the settings on me to 5-7-7-29. So Increased my memory voltage from 2.10v to 2.20v and I was able to keep my 5-5-5-15 settings. I also re-formatted my hard drive & re-installed windows xp-pro. Now I'm only getting one short beep on re-boot which is normal, and one short, lighter sounding beep on the logo screen right before it boots to windows. My question is; is this a two beep scenario still or just a one beep error? I am thinking it's just the one beep now, in which according to Amibios is a "refresh failure" can anyone tell me how to remedy this? and if anyone knows what "refresh failure" is? everything else is just fine now. except the one beep error. Well, at least I am still in the game and not asking for a RMA yet. Thank God!

  • JamesSav1 Mar 11, 2009

    Hey guys,

    After two long weeks of trial & error, a ton of questions, disappointment & uncertainty of the keeping of my MSI K9A2-CF-F model# 7388-v2.0 motherboard, Thinking it was my memory, I have finally found out why this board is beeping 3 short beeps at the post screen after the single initial normal beep after the bios screen after every boot or startup.

    I finally got a hold of someone down at MSI who knows what their doing. It beeps according to how many USB devices that are connected to the board. Can you believe that ****? Sure as the world, I unplugged my USB pen drive and I got only two beeps at post. I still have my Keyboard & Printer plugged into two of the other USB slots on the back of the PC.

    I am finally relieved and very happy with the board. All this time I was hearing the same o'l thing. 3 beeps = memory error in the first 64K of your memory. Somehow I knew this was not the problem as I was always able to boot successfully & run my operating system. My memory cas latency settings is set at Corsairs specs for my 4GB of TWIN2X2048-8500 Dominators 1600MHz at 5-5-5-15 respectively with my Memory voltage at 2.20 Volts instead of Corsair's recommendation of 2.1V.

    I also did the memtest86 on my sticks and I never got any errors. I even overclocked this board into a crash and had to clear the bios but I never damaged a single thing. It was the USB devices all along.

    So there you have it! believe it or not, something so simple. So I hope all of you who have this board or another board from MSI, don't jump to conclusions, ask a lot of questions, and if all else fails, get a hold of the companies support staff or technician.

    I have yet to do any bench marks, but I can reboot in just half a minute. Mmmmmm.



  • JamesSav1 Mar 11, 2009

    BTW, My system is as follows:




    st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) }

    /* Style Definitions */
    {mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
    mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
    font-family:"Times New Roman";

    MSI K9A2-CF-F 7388/v2

    AMD 9500 PHENOM 2.20 GHz – 4X512KB CACHE – 1800 MHz – AM2+

    8 GB - CORSAIR DOMINATORS – TWIN2X4096-8500C5DF 1066 MHz

    Qty 2 - SEAGATE BARRACUDA – 7200.10 – 250GB – 16MB – Serial ATA 300 –

    Qty 2 – SONY – DRU V200 S – DVD/DVDR – SATA



    NOCTUA NH C12P CPU COOLER COPPER HEATPIPE – Qty 2 120 mm Fans – 125 mm

    ACER – 21” Flat LCD

    PONY TNT64 – 32 MB = **** but I’m getting a PCIE soon!


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According to the information at:

AMI beep codes of 1 long and 3 short are, in fact, correctly identified as memory errors. One thing to note is if this memory is Dual Channel, you can only install the memory in groups of two. You must first fill DIMM slot 1 and 3 before filling DIMM slots 2 and 4.

The below website has much more information about your particular motherboard and there's a note about some JEDEC setting for memory that you might want to watch out for or disable to see if it improves stability.

As for Windows XP 32-bit not recognizing more than 3.5 (at most) memory, this is unavoidable. To see all 8 GB, you would need a 64-bit version of Windows. This is something that cannot be altered by BIOS or memory choices, unfortunately. Feel lucky in the fact that you have XP Pro as XP Home will only recognize up to 2.5GB. You'll never utilize all 8GB unless you upgrade your OS, so keep that in mind!

Posted on Mar 04, 2009

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