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Computer Beep Codes

When your computer starts to make beeping noises at boot, something may be wrong.

A single beep during the boot process is generally normal and does not indicate failure.

Beeps vary from one BIOS to another. The links below provide a guide to the beep codes (POST codes) for the three most common BIOSs. These codes are not guaranteed to be consistent. Contact your exact motherboard or computer manufacturer for absolute certainty.

AMI BIOS

One short beep: DRAM refresh failure

As the system attempts to refresh the memory, there is a problem. Hopefully, it is just a poorly inserted module, but could also be a defective module or motherboard memory bank.

Two short beeps: Parity circuit failure

This is a system memory problem caused while checking the parity bit on the system memory. Hopefully, it is just a poorly inserted module, but it could also be a defective module or motherboard memory bank.

Three short beeps: Base 64K RAM failure

The first bank of memory (within the first 64K to be exact) has a problem. Hopefully, it is just a poorly inserted module, but it could also be a defective module or motherboard memory bank.

Four short beeps: System timer failure

One of the timers used for controlling motherboard system functions has an error. There's either a failure of the motherboard or one of the devices on the motherboard.

Five short beeps: Processor failure

Some sort of problem related to the processor. This doesn't necessarily mean the processor is dead though because the processor runs the BIOS code. Common causes may be poor jumper settings on the motherboard or overheating problems (from overclocking?).

Six short beeps: Keyboard controller failure

Either the chip that communicates with the motherboard is bad, or the right keyboard is not properly connected.

Seven short beeps: Virtual mode exception error

This is likely a problem with the processor; it doesn't necessarily mean the processor is dead though because the processor runs the BIOS code.

Eight short beeps: Display memory failure

The frame buffer memory on the video card cannot be written to. The computer will likely continue to boot on this error, but there's a problem with the video card.

Nine short beeps: ROM BIOS checksum failure

There is probably a defective BIOS ROM chip on the motherboard.

Ten short beeps: CMOS error

There is a problem with the motherboard as it attempts to communicate with the CMOS (the memory that holds your BIOS settings).

Eleven short beeps: Cache memory error

There is likely a problem with your system's L2 cache or motherboard. Check to make sure the cache is inserted correctly and the motherboard jumpers are set properly before deciding the cache module itself is bad.

Continuous beeping: Memory or video problem

Memory problems are the likely culprits when a BIOS begins to beep uncontrollably.

Continued...

Computer Beep Codes

Award BIOS
AMI BIOS
Phoenix BIOS

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PHOENIX BIOS

The Phoenix BIOS has far and away the most complex and detailed array of POST codes -- complex enough that every POST code has a following code associated with it.


The definition of the codes are too complex to list here. For a breakdown, visit this site.

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AWARD BIOS

One long beep: Memory problem

There could be a failure in the first bank of memory. This is hopefully just a poorly inserted module, but could also be a defective module or motherboard memory bank.

One long, then two short beeps: Video error

Possible problem with the video card, video card memory, insertion of the video card, or even the motherboard.

One long, then three short beeps: Video error

There could be a problem with the video card, video card memory, insertion of the video card, or even the motherboard.

Continuous beeping: Memory or video card problem

Memory problems are the likely culprits when a BIOS begins to beep uncontrollably.