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PCI-E Video cards cause POST error with one long beep and two short beeps

Posted on 2009-05-05
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I have a IBM Think Centre with a PCI-e slot. I wanted to upgrade my video card instead of using the crappy on board VGA so I purchased a new PCI-e card. I ended up having to replace the first one with 3 others in an attempt to get it working.

1st PCI-e x16 Video Card worked for 6 months - then black screen.
2nd PCI-e v2 Video Card - Black Screen - Did not work
3rd PCI-e v2 Video Card - Black Screen - Did not work
4th PCI-e x16 Video Card - Worked for 2 days - Changed resolution then screen went white. Reboot then screen would go white screen when window almost reached desktop. Uninstalled windows drivers and rebooted, since then am not able to get any video what-so-ever from PCI-e slot. Also receiving one long - two short - Post error message.
5th PCI-e x 16 - Still unable to get any video and receiving one long - two short - Post error message. When plugged into the on board VGA everything works fine.

Has anyone else had this similar problem? Could this mean my PCI-e slot is somehow damaged or defective? When I use the standard VGA with the card not in the computer everything works fine. But sometimes when I have the PCI-e card in it will not beep but I see a black screen (no post). I also tested the last video card in a different computer (but the same exact brand and model) and the video card worked fine.
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Question by:filtrationproducts
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Callandor earned 100 total points
ID: 24308671
Judging from the number of video cards that have gone bad, I suspect that your PCI-e slot is faulty.

>I also tested the last video card in a different computer (but the same exact brand and model) and the video card worked fine.

This pretty much eliminates the card as the problem, and points to your motherboard as the source.

>When I use the standard VGA with the card not in the computer everything works fine.

This eliminates everything on the motherboard except the PCI-e slot.

>receiving one long - two short - Post error message

This means your video card or your motherboard is faulty: http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/sys/beep/awardB12-c.html
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by:filtrationproducts
ID: 24308730
Thats pretty much what I thought, but I was hoping I was maybe missing something. I just downloaded the BIOS flash and an ATI video card drive update from IBM's website for this model. I will try these tomorrow and if I dont see any changes in the behavior I will accept your last answer as the solution.

Thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 24313485
are you sure your power supply can handle the load?
you can calculate the power needed here : http://web.aanet.com.au/SnooP/psucalc.php
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by:filtrationproducts
ID: 24313720
Good idea. But I already tried replacing a power supply with a 400W I know worked (and more than enough power for the system and video card requirements). I should have mentioned that, sorry.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 24315629
try to update the bios - can help.
also inspect your PCI-E slot for shorts and dirt
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Author Closing Comment

by:filtrationproducts
ID: 31578188
The bios upgade did not help so I am accepting your solution. I also tried a regular PCI video card just for kicks, worked fine. It has to be the PCI-E slot. I spoke with the person who owns this computer and they did mention that they were fiddling with the PCI-e video card inside the computer when it started giving him problems. I think he broke something or shorted something out when he was messing with it. Thanks guys.
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