Meaning of the BIOS beeps when starting the PC

Whenever we start our gear, the BIOS performs certain tests on the motherboard. The BIOS (or system uefi, if you have a more modern computer) is the most basic software on the PC and is responsible for loading the operating system and some general checks. If you notice that your computer starts making strange beeps, it means you have a problem.

But what exactly do those beeps mean? Considering that the PC has not yet loaded the operating system, it is impossible to use the computer’s speakers, and that is why the BIOS uses these beeps: to indicate to the user that it has detected an error on the motherboard or in some other hardware components of the PC.

What do these noises mean?

There is said to be a standard for these types of beeps or “beep codes”., but I advise you to check the meaning of your motherboard’s beep codes on the manufacturer’s website (you can find the links at the bottom of the post) because depending on the company that makes the boards, the meaning of some beeps may vary. . Some boards are made by IBM, some by Phoenix, some by American Megatrends, etc. and in each home the standard may be slightly different.

Basically, the standard I’m referring to is the following:

no beep: If you don’t hear any beeps, you have 3 options:
1- Everything is OK (some motherboards do not beep when everything is OK).
2- The internal speaker is damaged.
3- The motherboard is defective or there is a power failure.
a short beep: It means that everything is fine.
Single continuous tone: Power failure. This could be because the motherboard is damaged or the motherboard is not receiving power.
Continuous short beeps: Faulty motherboard.
One long beep: Problems with RAM memory. It may be damaged or misplaced. Try reconnecting it to the board, or swap it out with one you know works.
One long and one short beep: It’s either a motherboard error or a BIOS (ROM) error. If you think it is an error in the BIOS, you can try updating it.
One long and two short beeps: Graphics card failure. It could be that the graphics card is badly connected, the connector is damaged, or the graphics card itself is broken.
Two long and one short beep: Image synchronization could not be performed.
Two short beeps: Memory parity error. These types of errors no longer occur. You see, computers used to have RAM in modules two by two, the modules always came in pairs. Well, this error means that this pairing is faulty.
Three short beeps: Error in the first 64 KB of RAM memory.
Four short beeps: Timer or counter error.
Five short beeps: Stuck processor or graphics card.
Six short beeps: keyboard error. Either the keyboard is defective or the PS2 or USB port on your computer is defective.
Seven short beeps: Virtual AT processor mode active.
Eight short beeps: Error writing to video RAM.
Nine short beeps: BIOS RAM checksum error.

More information can be found in the official manual of each manufacturer:

See you in the next post!

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