Troubleshooting BIOS Beep Codes

The BIOS performs a power-on self-test (POST) when the system is turned on. This test is used to ensure that the system is functioning properly and to gather information about what the system contains. When a problem is identified with the system during the POST, the BIOS will normally produce an error message. However, in some cases the problem is detected so early in the test that the BIOS cannot even access the video card to print the message! In this case the BIOS will produce a beeping pattern on the speaker to tell you what the problem is.

The exact meaning of the beep codes depends on the type and version of BIOS that you have. The two most popular types of BIOS are those made by Award and American Megatrends (AMI) If you are using a PC made by a company that writes its own BIOS, you will have to consult your owner's manual or the company's web site or other technical information for assistance.

Note: A single beep during the boot process, usually right before the BIOS startup screen is displayed, is normal and does not indicate a failure as long as the boot continues on.

Beep codes can be in several different patterns, depending on the BIOS that you are using. Some BIOSes use very simple beep codes in a pattern of varying numbers of short beeps, while others may mix short and long beeps.

The Beep codes are different according to the BIOS manufacturing company. Below are the beep codes for 2 popular BIOS


1 Beep: DRAM refresh failure

2 Beeps: Parity circuit failure

3 Beeps: Base 64K RAM failure

4 Beeps: System timer failure

5 Beeps: Processor failure

6 Beeps: Keyboard controller / gate A20 failure

7 Beeps: Virtual mode exception error

8 Beeps: Display memory read/write failure

9 Beeps: ROM BIOS checksum failure

10 Beeps: CMOS shutdown register read/write error

11 Beeps: Cache memory error

Continuous Beeping: Memory or video problem


1 Long Beep: Memory problem

1 Long, then 2 Short Beeps: Video error

1 Long, then 3 Short Beeps: Video error

Continuous Beeping: Memory or video problem


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