Hardware Motherboard Beep Codes

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Forward; The information found here has been around since the beginning of PCs, so this is nothing new. If you find yourself suddenly with a hardware problem you might think "Static Shock". Anything can cause it, just a touch to the keyboard and the hardware will lockup. Sometimes for weeks (or forever.) There is (sometimes) a cure, that I have used several times over the years, to bring a system back to life.

First! Unplug everything! 120v connection, battery, and everything.

Then; Using aluminum foil attempt to discharge the static in the cards, and motherboard by shorting every contact possible. Do the same to all the cards, especially video and RAM chips.

WARNING; Don't be stupid! use your head! DO NOT SHORT LIVE CONTACTS OF ANY KIND! The results will be disastrous if you ignore this warning.

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Found at several sites;

AMI (American "Megatrends" International) BIOS Beep Codes. AMI BIOS uses beeps of the same length and pitch. The error is displayed as a number of beeps. For example, 4 beeps indicated a timer failure.

 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 mem 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

Award BIOS Beep Codes Award BIOS uses beeps of varying duration. A long beep will typically last for 2 seconds while a short beep will last only 1 second. Award BIOS also uses beeps of different frequency to indicate critical errors. If an Award BIOS detects that the CPU is overheating it may play a high pitched repeating beep while the computer is running.

 BEEP CODE  MEANING  POSSIBLE CAUSE
 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

Phoenix BIOS Beep Codes Phoenix BIOS uses beep code patterns to indicate problems. In the table below the '-' indicates a brief pause between beeps.

Example: 1 - 1 - 2  would sound like BEEP <pause> BEEP <pause> BEEP BEEP

 BEEP CODE  MEANING  POSSIBLE CAUSE
 1 - 1 - 2  CPU / motherboard failure  Bad CPU / motherboard
 1 - 1 - 3  CMOS read/write failure  Bad motherboard
 1 - 1 - 4  BIOS ROM failure  Bad BIOS chip
 1 - 2 - 1  Timer failure  Bad motherboard
 1 - 2 - 2  DMA failure  Bad motherboard
 1 - 2 - 3  DMA failure  Bad motherboard
 1 - 3 - 1  Memory refresh failure  Bad memory
 1 - 3 - 2  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 1 - 3 - 3  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 1 - 3 - 4  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 1 - 4 - 1  Address line failure  Bad memory
 1 - 4 - 2  Parity error  Bad memory
 1 - 4 - 3  Timer failure  Bad motherboard
 1 - 4 - 4  NMI port failure  Bad motherboard
 2 - 1 - 1  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 - 1 - 2  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 - 1 - 3  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 - 1 - 4  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 - 2 - 1  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 - 2 - 2  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 - 2 - 3  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 - 2 - 4  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 - 3 - 1  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 - 3 - 2  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 - 3 - 3  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 - 3 - 4  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 - 4 - 1  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 - 4 - 2  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 - 4 - 4  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 2 - 4 - 4  64K memory failure  Bad memory
 3 - 1 - 1  Slave DMA failure  Bad motherboard
 3 - 1 - 2  Master DMA failure  Bad motherboard
 3 - 1 - 3  Interrupt controller failure  Bad motherboard
 3 - 1 -4  Slave IC failure  Bad motherboard
 3 - 2 -2  Interrupt Controller failure  Bad motherboard
 3 - 2 - 3  <RESERVED>  
 3 - 2 - 4  Keyboard control failure  Bad motherboard
 3 - 3 - 1  CMOS batter failure  Bad CMOS battery
 3 - 3 - 2  CMOS configuration error  Incorrect setting
 3 - 3 - 3  <RESERVED>  
 3 - 3 - 4  Video memory failure  Bad video card or memory
 3 - 4 - 1  Video init failure  Bad video card or memory
 4 - 2 - 1  Timer failure  Bad motherboard
 4 - 2 - 2  CMOS shutdown failure  Bad motherboard
 4 - 2 - 3  Gate A20 failure  Bad motherboard
 4 - 2 - 4  Unexpected interrupt  Bad processor
 4 - 3 - 1  RAM test failure  Bad memory
 4 - 3 - 3  Timer failure  Bad motherboard
 4 - 3 - 4  RTC failure  Bad motherboard
 4 - 4 - 1  Serial port failure  Bad motherboard
 4 - 4 - 2  Parallel port failure  Bad motherboard
 4 - 4 - 3  Coprocessor failure  Bad motherboard or CPU.
 9 - 2 - 1  Video adapter incompatibility  Use a different brand of video card