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Compaq BIOS beep codes?

Posted on 2001-07-18
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I have a Dekspro 5200 that emits 1 Long, 3 short beeps before the post initalizes, and then the 2 normal beeps after POST. WHat gives? No resource i have found sheds light on the first beeps.
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Question by:j2
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14 Comments
 
LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 6296553
It depends on the BIOS your Compaq has but I suspect it's a VIDEO RAM problem.  See:

http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:mtNRBUYTHIE:www.vusd.solanocoe.k12.ca.us/Buck/beepcod1.htm+compaq+beep+codes&hl=en

Under the AWARD BIOS section.
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LVL 12

Author Comment

by:j2
ID: 6296566
Well, all video tests passes, and this is _before_ the post itself?
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:SunBow
ID: 6296573
Beep codes are more intended for POST prior to validating video (which could have next phase of visible checks, such as ram parity error).
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by:j2
ID: 6296584
In fact all the diagnostics on the diag partition checks out, even after 50 repeats of them :)
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Expert Comment

by:SunBow
ID: 6296609
What is your BIOS mfr & version?
follow on jhance comment:
This reference to video RAM is likely not the RAM on board a separate video card, but the bank(s) reserved under 1MB and over 640K limit. Some of this may or may not be needed, depending on your video H/W including ROM. The B&W and low_res, for ex.

Try options in your BIOS' config settings to use the ram from A000 - C800 and see if any difference. Better yet, reseat it, especially if recently changed/upgraded. Also validate that all your ram on mobo is identical (if not, there are timing considerations). You may also want to recheck you dip settings, if any, for use of alternative monitors (that you do not have).
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:SunBow
ID: 6296617
I dunno your system. Some have dip option to check parity or not. Some require ram to have parity, while many do not care. To have bios check a ram for parity, when ram does not have it, and mobo does not require it, rather defeats purpose.  Not saying it your case, just simple example of a kind of strangeness that would look as error one way, then not as another.

Still, if you've mixed sizes or speeds, you need more care in arrangements if you want it to be stable. Has it always been like this? When did beeps begin? After RAM upgrade? Or when purchased? (refurbished?)
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LVL 12

Author Comment

by:j2
ID: 6296643
Its a used system i purchased from an auction. All compaq original parts.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 6296765
On "most" Compaq's there is either a single or sometimes a double beep  when you can hit a certain key (usally F10) to get into the CMOS setup, usally there is also a blinking cursor in the upper right side of the screen, this usally last for a few seconds then it continues the boot process        

If my memory serves me there is several beeps for the older Compaq systems, this is normal, if there was a problem the boot would stop and an error may show on screen, but as long as it continues booting then I would say everything is normal
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LVL 12

Author Comment

by:j2
ID: 6297121
Yes, but again. These beeps happen _immediately_ after powering the system. And i've been around a few hundred DP systems in my days, and none has done this :)
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Accepted Solution

by:
genguy earned 200 total points
ID: 6301125
It could be a rom problem.
You can get a rom paq, and diagnostic software here:
http://www.compaq.com/support/files/desktops/us/locate/24_102.html#2
If I'm not mistaken, Compaq puts the bios setup info on the hard drive, so if it was wiped, this info might be lost and causing the problem.
If it even has one, the motherboard battery may be dead.

If you read this advisory carefully, you will see that if you hold down the esc key during boot, it will emit 1 long and 3 short beeps. This could be a keyboard error.
http://www.compaq.com/support/techpubs/customer_advisories/DD000907_CW01_1.html
This is the only document on compaq's site where 1long and 3short beeps are mentioned.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:genguy
ID: 6301213
I checked the manual for it (I think), and it does have a battery.
If it's dead, it could be causing the beeps.
Is it a Deskpro 2000 Model 5200?
ftp://ftp.compaq.com/pub/supportinformation/techpubs/technical_reference_guides/416b0797.pdf
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:SunBow
ID: 6312910
done?
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Expert Comment

by:ComTech
ID: 6373594
Hello everyone,

This question has been open for quite awhile. I am going to allow feedback from the questioner and experts. If it is not resolved, I will delete or accept an answer based on the info I have been given. Experts, feel free to offer input. I will monitor this question for a period of 5-7 days and come back and evaluate.  

I reserve the right to disallow any comments that may not have a direct conclusion

Thank you,
ComTech
Community Support Moderator

*Question Author, please return and resolve this question.
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Expert Comment

by:jj_in_lr
ID: 9429595
The answer is on page 2-11  of the following link:
ftp://ftp.compaq.com/pub/supportinformation/techpubs/user_reference_guides/122838-002.pdf

"System ROM is bad: system is running in Failsafe Boot Block Mode.

Reflash the ROM using a ROMPaq diskette.  Refer to the "Failsafe Boot Block ROM" section of the "Intelligent Manageablity" guide."

This Answer is directly from Compaq (HP?)

Good Luck finding the proper "ROMPaq" at the new HP!!!!




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