computer beeps when turning on

Posted on 2003-10-31
Last Modified: 2010-04-27

i've got an older computer (P200, 2gb, 64mb ram)  that i set up for my parents to use, it was all working fine, then one day when i went to turn it on, it made 3 beeps (instead of one) and the monitor didn't display anything. i've tried switiching monitors but it didn't work. i think it has something to do with the actual computer and not the monitor.

Question by:jbeohm
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LVL 44

Accepted Solution

CrazyOne earned 125 total points
ID: 9661518
Take a look at this
scroll until you see "BIOS Beep Codes:"

Unfortunately there are many versions of the Award BIOS, and they are supported not by one company, but by the motherboard maker. Award's website states "Award Software software products are sold to a board or system manufacturer ("hardware vendor"), who customizes them further before selling the system. Award Software cannot supply upgrades for a BIOS that has been subsequently modified by hardware vendors."
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 9661523
It probably is the video card. It may have worked itself loose and just needs to be reseated or has completely died.
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 9661534
Hmmm it may be the RAM. Replace the modules with know working ones to test
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Expert Comment

ID: 9661593
Almost certainly motherboard, memory or video card.  The beep code will tell you which.  The BIOS type and version is on a sticker stuck to a chip on the motherboard.  It should say "Award", "Phoenix" or "VIA" + a version number & date.


Expert Comment

ID: 9661905
probably video card
if  it's video card problem, u can see ur system(hdd LED blinks) will keep
loading, (just like norma)
if RAM problem, ur system will halt.
just try to change some working the video card and memory to check

Expert Comment

ID: 9662409

Can u check your RAM slot, normally when you’re RAM is lose in slot?
1.      Remove your RAM in slot.
2.      Press again in slot.
3.      Make possible that your RAM is not lose inn slot.


Expert Comment

ID: 9662450
>>> "Award", "Phoenix" or "VIA" + a version number & date.
correction: "Award", "Phoenix" or "AMI" + a version number & date.

It looks like, for most bios, 3 beeps means some flavour of dead motherboard (keyboard controller or built in ram shot).
If you remove the ram completely and get the same beeps it's time for a new PC.

You've probably got 4 sticks of 72 pin ram (about 4" long).
put 2 back in bank 0.  test.
take them out and put the other 2 in bank zero.

note: before you touch the ram ground yourself by touching the case.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 9662535
1) I assume this is an AMI BIOS since it's the only BIOS that beeps this way.

2) There are TWO possibilities depending on the specifics of the beeps:

  a) 3 short beeps: Base 64K memory failure A memory failure has occurred in the first 64K of RAM.  The RAM IC is probably bad.

In other words, BAD RAM.  Try reseating or replacing your RAM if this is the symptom.

  b) 1 long, 2 short beeps: Failure in video system An error was encountered in the video BIOS ROM, or a horizontal retrace failure has been encountered

In other words, BAD VIDEO.  Try reseating the video card or replacing the video card.


Expert Comment

ID: 9662601
I agree with the comments that the problem is with the video card.

I am certain that the card has simply come loose in the slot.


Expert Comment

ID: 9719417
Try to plug back the display card.
If still no display, pull is out a bit.
it work for me all the time. :)

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