Cannot access bios/continious beep

Posted on 2004-10-18
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I have a machine with Win XP Pro (recent upgrade from Win98). Asus Mobo, Maxtor HD, AMD, etc. (Can give more exact specs tomorrow from office if need be). Today upon boot it went in to a continious loop and windows would not open. Finally I shut down and went into Bios to look at the settings. I noticed that in PC Health the CPU temp monitor was disabled, I enabled it not thinking it was a big deal. Got out of Bios and so began the continious beeping, for approx 10-15 Seconds and then machine shuts down. Will not allow me to get into Bios, but shuts itself off. This machine has always had intermitant and bizarre issues/conflicts that I hoped upgrading to XP would resolve. Recently the power supply died and I replaced that. I'm wondering about a possible short or other hardware issue. Any suggestions/direction would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance

Question by:bevel
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Expert Comment

by:Justin Malone
ID: 12343477
remove the battery on the motherboard for about 15 seconds to restore default settings to your bios and restart

Expert Comment

by:Justin Malone
ID: 12343483
oh yea i forgot to add some motherboards have the battery soddered onto it if so look in the mobo manual for the jumper to pull out (the jumper just disconnects the battery so its the same as takeing it out, make sure you put the jumper back in after 15 sec or so in the same place)
LVL 16

Accepted Solution

OliWarner earned 500 total points
ID: 12343715
It sounds like SERIOUS overheating or somethings not plugged in right.

Check the following:
- The cpu fan is on the CPU well, and the right way around =) you can put them on the wrong way on AMD XPs
- The cpu fan is spinning and the heatsink gets warm but not too hot to touch
- The cpu fan's power lead is plugged into the motherboard on the CPU_FAN power outlet
- The ram/video card/other PCI cards are well sat in their slots. Try resitting them.

Resetting the BIOS should allow you to get into bios but if you've got overheating issues you want that monitor on so you can see what temperatures are happening.

Finally if none of this works, rip everything out. Plug in the CPU and fan, the video card and the ram and boot like that.
Add things until you find a problem taking note of the CPU temperature as you go.

If its over 80 you need to think about changing your current CPU cooling solution to something more effective.
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Expert Comment

ID: 12343854
What type of mobo are you using?

Expert Comment

ID: 12349249
My bet is that it's related to you enabling the CPU Temperature Monitor (just a guess).  The CPU Overheat Protection setting is set too low, probably lower than the temperature the CPU reports at statup.  The BIOS should have a setting that allows you to specify at what temperature the system should shut down to protect from overheating damage.  You should be able to adjust this setting to well above the operating temperature of the CPU (+20 degrees C).  You will need to reset the BIOS to defaults before you continue.

To reset the BIOS, check the manual for the location of a reset jumper (usually JP1)-- this is much easier than removing your battery (though removing the battery will work).

Boot, access the BIOS, enter the same page where you enabled the CPU monitor, and check for the setting I mentioned.  Set it well above the normal CPU operating temperature.

If the above doesn't work, then you could either have a) an ineffective heatsink, or b) an electrical issue.

If a), you should be able to power up after leaving the machine off for 30 minutes, and operate for at least long enough to boot.  If you can't then, you have b) an electrical issue.  Check the condition of your power connectors.  I had two instances where a dual Athlon proc, multi-disk machine (Tyan Mobo) managed to melt down the main power connector on an Antec 400W PSU.  This led to some very strange problems.  You could also have mainboard shorts-- not fun to diagnose, or replace.

Just in case this is a card or DIMM issue, here are the two most common Award beep codes:

Looping long beep-- Video card-- reseat or replace
Long beep, then 3 short beeps-- Memory-- remove all but the DIMM in Slot 1.  If you can boot, add another DIMM to Slot 2 and retest, etc.  Replace any DIMM that was installed right before a failure.

Hopefully, it's just the mis-set BIOS setting that prevents CPU overheats by shutting the system down.


LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 12351013
I agree with Oil,
Open the case and check all your fans 1st to be sure somthings not overheating because if your troubleshooting it and it keeps shutting down then it could possibly damage the parts that arn't getting cooled enough. If all fans are spinning, then turn it on and try to listen to the beep pattern. This can tell you what it doesn't like. (there are short beeps and long beeps)

Expert Comment

ID: 12351104
I've seen this happen before when the power supply was not strong enough to support all components running on the machine... Machine would boot and work fine... THen it wouldn't boot... then it would freeze... then it would freez 10 more times then it would boot and work fine.... Just random booting, freezing... Not sure if this is your problem, but worth taking a look at..

Expert Comment

ID: 12356445
Some more specs would be nice, especially:

- Exact type of mainboard
- brand & Watts of PSU
- Brand, type of fan & if it has a 3-pin connector (speed sensing)

Did you change anything else than PSU, maybe toch/bump against CPU?

But you can start with the above mentioned tips. Look for CMOS reset jumper (near BIOS chip or battery, mostly labeled "JP5"), UNPLUG POWER, switch jumper position, wait 15 secs, set jumper back, and plug power back in.
Then you can try to tinker a bit with fan, cpu temperature treshold, and other settings if you like!


Author Comment

ID: 12362345
Thanks for all the awesome responses and feedback.

Anyhow, as far as the status now I have it back up and running. The first thing I did was remove the battery for 15 sec's and still no change. Piece by piece I ripped everything out including the RAM and booted one device/card at a time. Still no luck.

 Finally I changed the fan jumper to the CPU and put it on the second jumper, and after a bit of screeching it came up, telling me my CPU had changed and was bad. Anyhow, I was FINALLY able to get into bios reset to system defaults. So now my machine is back up but....

Still noticing some intermittent issues such as a jumping mouse, slow response time etc. etc. I have gone from one fan jumper to another hoping to isolate it as the sole issue, but not sure it is. The fan does seem to be running fine, and the CPU temp is 40 C .

I'm wondering if it is could be a short on the board, and if so how would I isolate that? Or would it be better just to replace the board? ( 1.5 months ago I replaced the power supply, also wondering if a short caused that to die also?)

 Thanks again for all the insights !


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