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1 long beep and 2 short beeps, no video input on startup

A few days ago, I finally connected everything in my PC together after moving house. I realised that sometimes my LCD monitor will go momentarily blank or flicker with purple lines when using the computer for routine tasks. The monitor is connected to the PC using a DVI connection.

Then suddenly when I start up my computer this morning, the computer refused to boot, giving me one long beep and 2 short beeps continuously. When I turned on my monitor, it claimed there was no video input. Suspecting that it was a video card problem after googling for the problem, I changed the card (7300) with another (8500). Same problem. Then I tried to change the slot from the 16x to the 8x using my 8500 card. Still the same problem.  So I'm at a loss now, what exactly could be the problem?
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blueutopia
Asked:
blueutopia
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ExcelGuideConsultantCommented:
it could be your powersupply as well...just trying to think out loud. If your pci-e slot does not get enough power the computer will not boot.

I had this problem once and the powersupply was the problem (he wasnt supplying enough power). The powersupply was working but not good enough. It is not the most expensive part, so you could test it out

Good luck
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
One long and two short beeps is a video adapter error with virtually every BIOS => the wording changes a bit as to exactly what it means, but it's always a video error [You can look up the exact wording for your BIOS here:
http://www.bioscentral.com/ => the Beep Codes are listed on the right side ... just click on the proper set for your BIOS].

Since you're having the same problem with two different cards, I'd agree that it may be a power issue ... see if you get video okay if you remove all but one memory module and disconnect all of your hard drives, optical drives, etc.  [i.e. minimize the amount of power being used by other devices].   This isn't as good a test as trying another power supply or using a tester; but if you can get to BIOS setup like this with good video, then it's almost certainly a power problem.


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nobusCommented:
if the above does not help, test the monitor also on another pc (you can test the cards then too)
you can also calculate the power you need here : http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculator.jsp      
(in case you need another PS)
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blueutopiaAuthor Commented:
Erm I think its not a power-related issue, as I've been using the rig for nearly a year without any problems. This happened pretty suddenly.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
When power supplies fail they tend to do so "... pretty suddenly ..." => so I wouldn't rule out a power problem.   Did you try booting to the BIOS with all other power connections disconnected and a single stick of memory?
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blueutopiaAuthor Commented:
I used the calculator Nobus recommended me and found out that I had more than enough power for my rig... Could it be the power source burnt out? But it has been really sunny for the past few days, so I rule out any power surge... Or could it be just my DVI cable wrecking havoc? Although it seems tightly plugged into my GFX and monitor there is always one screw on the GFX side that can't be tightened completely...
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nep1Commented:
Maybe the pc's had some sort of static discharge during the tranfer, or some loose screws fell onto mothermoard maybe. Test with mulimetre!
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
As I noted before, one long and two short beeps is a video issue with almost all BIOS manufacturer's ==> AMI, Award, Phoenix, etc. (see the list at BIOSCENTRAL I referred you to).

If you hadn't tried two different video cards, I'd suspect your video card.   But since BOTH video cards are causing the same symptom, it's most likely either your PCIe bus controller (i.e. the motherboard) or your power supply (the 12v bus may be failing).   It's a lot easier to test for power issues than to replace the motherboard.

Did you do the test I suggested?
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blueutopiaAuthor Commented:
I will ask someone else to help me unplug the individual components as I'm not confident to do it myself. The innards of the mobo is beyond me...
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blueutopiaAuthor Commented:
OK I have removed the power connections to all my drives, took out all the USB and ethernet connections, and left only my GFX and 1 stick of ram in the mobo. Still the same problem.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Unfortunately that doesn't prove anything ... if it had allowed the system to work, that would have been fairly conclusive that power is the issue.   But as I noted before, if it doesn't work (it didn't), it doesn't really tell you anything.

It's unlikely that your DVI cable has suddently failed ... but just to be sure, unplug it and reattach it on both ends.   Be sure you seat it correctly.   If you have access to another cable, try it.

If that doesn't help, then your problem is almost certainly one of these:

(1)  You have TWO bad video cards [ :-) --> VERY unlikely, but it is possible]
(2)  A bad DVI cable [Possible ... but it would have to fail in a fairly unlikely way to cause the beep codes you're getting]
(3)  The PCIe controller on the motherboard is bad --> i.e. you need to replace the motherboard
(4)  The power supply has failed (most likely the 12v bus)

There's no simply way to isolate which of those is the issue without test equipment or spares.   I would look VERY carefully at the motherboard (use a flashlight) for any signs of leaking or bulging capacitors ... most motherboard failures are due to capacitor failure.   If you don't see anything suspicious, then the most likely suspect is the power supply [although trying another DVI cable would be a good idea first -> simply to eliminate it for sure].
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nobusCommented:
did you test the monitor on another pc? - just to be sure...
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
... or another monitor on this PC :-)   It would be a strange failure mode on the monitor that would cause that beep code ... but anything's possible.

--> Do you get the same beep code if you simply unplug the DVI cable from the video card?
(do that while the system's off)
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blueutopiaAuthor Commented:
I just realised something, I had activated the overclocking feature in my BIOS and made the computer overclock by 5% for a couple of months. Could this be the cause of failure? If so, what was most likely to have broken down first?
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blueutopiaAuthor Commented:
Sorry folks for all the trouble. I cleared the CMOS and everything worked smoothly. It's probably the overclocking - guess I won't overclock again even if it's available simply by adjusting the BIOS. Thanks.
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blueutopiaAuthor Commented:
He probably got it right by pinpointing to a power problem, but attirbuted it to a different cause.
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jrupnersCommented:
however i did have the same issue, and removing all but 1 stick did allow it to boot.  i suppose using a 500 watt power supply for two years when a minimun 600 is recommended will cause some deleterious effect upon that piece of hardware...  i am running but am also shopping for a spiffy and powerful PS now.
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