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Computer - 3 long post beep

Posted on 2011-02-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a computer with a MSI G31M3-L V2 motherboard.  It was working fine until yesterday when I boot up the PC, I get 3 long post beep and then nothing.  The monitor is blank with nothing.  I tried swapping new working RAM as well as a known working video card with no luck.  Normally, from my understanding with 3 long post beep is issue with RAM.  Yet, replacing it with a known working memory stick yield no result.  Could it be issue with the motherboard?  I took out all components, blow dust, and reseat it back with same result.  I tried swapping the memory stick from one slot to the other and same thing.  Tried clearing CMOS as well with no luck.

I'm out of option other than get a replacement motherboard.  However, most stores won't let me return the motherboard if I do find out it's not the motherboard after getting it.  Want to figure out what other options to try before going that route.

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Question by:holemania
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Expert Comment

by:AustinComputerLabs
ID: 35003954
It depends on the bios manufacturer, here a list of many common ones:
http://www.technick.net/public/code/cp_dpage.php?aiocp_dp=guide_beep_codes
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Assisted Solution

by:Dr. Klahn
Dr. Klahn earned 167 total points
ID: 35004092
Borrow a PCI POST 4 card, install it, and see what happens when the system comes on.  If the motherboard is even a little bit alive, the display will change from 0000 to a series of numeric codes.  The last code displayed tells where the problem is being detected, and should give an idea of what the fix is.

If you can't borrow a POST card and have to buy one, make sure you get it from a US supplier.  You will have to pay significantly more, but it will not take a month to arrive from China.
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by:nobus
ID: 35004902
start with a minimum setup : motherboard, cpu , 1 ram stick, video card and monitor
(no peripheralsn keyb or mouse) if beeps : bad component : - since you changed video card - motherbaord...
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 166 total points
ID: 35004907
if NO beeps : connect keyboard and mouse - test again, then add devices..
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by:holemania
ID: 35008466
I believe the motherboard manufacturer is AMI, but could be wrong.  It gives 3 long beeps about 15-20 seconds long and then stop.  

I tried taking out every component and adding it one at a time.  Started with motherboard and cpu, and then adding memory.  However, still beeps.  Note that I had tried new memory as well as video card and still beeps.

As for PCI Post card, I do have one that I purchased a while back.  I don't remember the code or what it stand for any more, but mine is showing FF.  

As I mentioned before, starting out with minimum hardware and it beep right away.  This is with motherboard and CPU only.  Add in the memory and it still beep.  Add in video card and it beep.  Only thing I can rule out is the motherboard, but not sure how to tell if it's the motherboard since there's not enough info that point to it other than I tried swapping out everything except for CPU and motherboard.
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William Fulks earned 167 total points
ID: 35008618
You can also try to reset the BIOS. If that doesn't work after all else you've tried, then you've definitely got a bad motherboard. It happens.
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by:sjklein42
ID: 35008818
Last resort, remove the CPU heat sink, remove the CPU chip and reseat it.
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by:nobus
ID: 35009284
>>  I believe the motherboard manufacturer is AMI  <<   you are wrong; AMI only makes BIOS'es
anyhow, it looks like abad mobo or cpu - check also the capacotors around the cpu - for leaking or bulging ones
caps.png
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Author Comment

by:holemania
ID: 35010518
Yes, correction what I meant to said is the bios manufacturer is I think AMI and this is in answering the first post about post beep.  The brand of the motherboard is MSI as mentioned on my original thread.

Anyway to test a CPU to see if it's bad?   I would assume if it's a bad CPU, I would get a post beep from the motherboard indicating that it's issue with CPU.  However, 3 long beep from what I've been researching indicate bad ram or keyboard.  However, replacing both of these does nothing.  I hate to try it on a motherboard and find out that isn't it either since I don't have Socket 775 compatiable mobo to test it with.
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Expert Comment

by:Dr. Klahn
ID: 35013094
Agree with nobus.  Sounds like it may be a bad CPU at this point.  Try borrowing one and swapping it.

Also see if there is an emergency BIOS flash procedure.  The emergency procedure can reflash the BIOS without booting the system.  If there is an emergency procedure, try to flash the earliest available BIOS.
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by:William Fulks
ID: 35014682
Do you have another power supply you could test with it? Maybe it's just the power supply not working properly. Those tend to go out far more often than the CPU.
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by:nobus
ID: 35014963
>>  Anyway to test a CPU to see if it's bad?  <<  yes - try it on a KNOWN GOOD compatible motherboard
that's the only practical way to test it - apart from buying equipment for 100.000$
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Author Comment

by:holemania
ID: 35156059
Turns out it's the motherboard.  After replacing it, it seems to be working.
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by:nobus
ID: 35157474
>>    After replacing it, it seems to be working.   <<  strange comment - it works or not imo...
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