When you start up your computer and it starts beeping, it can be super stressful, especially if you don’t know the cause. Generally speaking, beep codes are likely to indicate that your motherboard had an issue and was unable to send error information to your monitor. Unfortunately, there’s a number of reasons that your computer could be beeping, so before you try and do any quick fixes, make sure you know what problem you’re facing (if any at all).
What is BIOS?
Before we take a look at why your motherboard is beeping, it’s necessary to understand what BIOS is. ‘BIOS’ stands for Basic Input/Output System. It is a Read Only Memory (ROM) chip that sits on your motherboard. The BIOS is integral in helping your computer to operate, and if it is damaged, then your computer won’t be able to start up properly.
A BIOS chip is non-volatile. This means even if it doesn’t have a power supply, it retains the data stored on it. When you initiate your computer’s start up process, the BIOS chip plays a fundamental role, ensuring that your computer’s hardware communicates properly and that information is displayed on your monitor.
It’s essential to note that beep codes and their meanings vary depending on your BIOS chip’s manufacturer, so it’s best not to presume you know the answer before consulting the appropriate beep code troubleshoot guide.
How to troubleshoot beep codes
Fortunately, troubleshooting beep codes isn’t too complicated. Follow the steps we’ve outlined below to get one step closer to resolving your computer’s issue:
First, force a shutdown and then restart your computer. If the beep doesn’t happen again, then you’re probably fine. If it does, check how many beeps you hear, how long they are, and whether they’re all the same length.
Make sure to take note about the nature of the beeps. Doing this is essential to ensure that you’re identifying the specific problem correctly.
After you’ve done this, you’ll need to check which company produced the BIOS chip on your computer’s motherboard. This will allow you to consult the appropriate beep troubleshooting guide. Different BIOS chips have different beep codes. See below for how to check which company manufactured your BIOS chip.
Once you’ve consulted the relevant beep code troubleshooting guide, you should be able to match up the beeps you heard with a corresponding code to work out the problem. Once you’ve done this, we would advise taking your computer to a specialist to be fixed.
How to identify your BIOS chip manufacturer
Rather unhelpfully for us, there’s no standardization when it comes to BIOS chip identification. Before you break open your computer to physically look at the BIOS chip, try installing a system information tool. This software should be able to tell you which company manufactured your chip. If this doesn’t work, then you’ll need to open up your computer and look at the BIOS chip itself. It should be labeled with its manufacturer.
The troubleshooting guide for different kinds of beeps will depend on which company made your BIOS chip. For example, PhoenixBIOS and AwardBIOS have different beep code troubleshooting guides. Once you know where your BIOS chip is from, you can google the troubleshooting codes specific to that manufacturer.
What are the most common BIOS chip manufacturers?
The most common BIOS manufacturers are AMI, Award and Phoenix. Once you know which company made your BIOS chip, you can quickly google the beep code troubleshooting guide for the relevant company.
Reasons why your motherboard is beeping
- One short beep shows that there has been a problem with the memory refresh timer
- Two short beeps tells you have there has been an error in the base memory
- Four short beeps tells you that your motherboard’s timer isn’t working properly
- Eight short beeps means you have a problem with your graphics card
- One short beep means “all systems clear”
- One long beep and two short beeps means you have a problem with your graphics cards
- One long beep followed by three short beeps tells you that the graphics card hasn’t been installed or there is insufficient memory.
1 high-pitched beep followed by 1 low pitched beep means there is a CPU problem
- One single beep means “all systems clear”. This means you don’t actually have a problem!
- One long beep, two short beeps means a checksum error has occurred. This signals an issue with your motherboard.
- 1-2-2-3 beep code tells you that there has been a BIOS ROM checksum error
Why you shouldn’t panic if your motherboard is beeping
Although a beeping motherboard can be instantly stress-inducing, try not to let it get to you. Follow our simple step-by-step guide so that you can get to the root of the problem and one step closer to fixing the issue at hand. Plus, you never know, you might not even be facing an issue at all!
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