Dell Computer Error Codes

| April 30, 2010

Dell computer error codes are a fast way to diagnose problems with your PC. Most computers come with the ability to produce a BIOS beep code when there is a serious hardware problem that prevents Windows from loading normally. Many Dell models have Dell diagnostic codes, as well as additional diagnostic lights to help users and repair technicians quickly troubleshoot problems.

Dell Computer Error Codes

Dell Computer Error Codes

In addition to a beep code, your Dell PC might have diagnostic lights on the front panel, lights in the rear labeled A,B,C and D and even a power supply LED. These advanced tools can generally point to the problem part if you know what you’re looking for.

Front Panel Lights Dell Computer Error Codes

These lights are located on the front panel. They will change color and blink depending on the issue:

  1. A solid green light means the computer is powered on and functioning normally.
  2. A blinking green light means the computer is in stand-by.
  3. A solid yellow light means there is a device on the motherboard that may not be seated properly.
  4. A blinking yellow light means there is likely a problem with the motherboard or the power supply.

If you have a solid green light but are still not booting, be sure to check your monitor connection, listen for beeps or check the rear of the PC for additional lights.

Rear Lights Dell Computer Error Codes

Rear LEDS are labled A through D and can change from green to yellow. Some typical LED reading might be:

A – yellow, B – yellow, C – green, D – green <—— Indicates a problem with the RAM.

A – yellow, B – green,  C – yellow, D – green <—– Indicates a problem with the video card.

Refer to the Dell website for your specific model, as these lights can vary from model to model.

Dell BIOS Beep Codes

Beeps codes are audible beeps issued by the motherboard BIOS that help diagnose problems with hardware. Refer to the Dell website for your specific model. Some typical Dell BIOS beeps codes are:

3-3-4 is a video test failure.

4-2-2 is a shutdown failure.

3-2-4 is a keyboard controller test failure.

You can download PDF manuals that describe what each Dell computer error codes means for your model computer and it is recommended that you visit the Dell website to make sure the Dell diagnostic code you are hearing matches the explanation we gave above. For addition help, be sure to visit our computer chat room or our computer forums or refer to our other Dell computer tutorials.

Category: Dell

Dave

About the Author ()

Dave has been providing free computer repair and tech support advice online since 2002. Join us on our forums and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for weekly tips and other helpful computer articles. Connect with me on: Google+

Comments (37)

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  1. I MOVED MY DAUGHTER OVER THE WEEKEND.HER COMPUTER WAS RUNNING FINE.SHE PUT IT IN THE TRUNK OF HER CAR.ONE EDGE OF THE COMPUTER WAS LEANING ON A BOX.IT SLID OFF THAT BOX AND ” DROPPED ” ABOUT 3 INCHES ONTO HER CARPET COVERED TRUNK FLOOR.ONLY THE ONE SIDE ” DROPPED ” AS THE MAJORITY OF THE COMPUTERS WEIGHT WAS ALREADY ON THE TRUNK FLOOR.SHE HAS NOW ATTEMPTED TO HOOK BACK UP AND THE A & B LIGHTS ARE YELLOW/ORANGE.ACCORDING TO CODES LOOKS LIKE A PROBLEM WITH THE RAM.DO YOU THINK MAYBE THE RAM WAS JARRED LOOSE FROM THIS 3 INCH DROP?ARE THEY THAT SENSITIVE?IT WAS A SOFT SHORT DROP.SOUNDS LIKE I NEED TO TAKE IT TO MY LOCAL COMPUTER REPAIR SHOP.THANKS MARK

    • Dave Dave says:

      You can either take it in to the shop–or if you’re handy, you can unplug the machine and reseat the RAM chips. If you need further instruction, please feel free to join our free forums.

  2. gush says:

    my dell 1525 inspiron 32byt does not respond to messanger anymore,google and rest of internet seems allright. First I get this logo coming up msnmsgr.exe Bad Image. Then comes something about cryptnett dll not designed to run on windows and finally, Dell dock language file failed to load, check dell dock installation.

  3. Percy Mason says:

    my computer is connected but when my windows internet explorer screen comes up it blanks out. what can i do to fix this problem.Thank you

    • You mean it crashed back to the desktop? I would start by going into the control panel, then select Internet Options. Under tools>internet options>advanced, see if you have a button that says RESET. If you do, click it. If not, you will need to try and run Windows Update form the start menu and update Internet Explorer to the latest version.

  4. Stefanie says:

    I just recieved a PC from a friend who wanted me to take a look at it and see if it is worth the price to fix it. He told me a couple months ago it was making a very loud noise when he had it on and then one day it just shut off and now it doesn’t work. I am trying to figure out what it is wrong with it. I hooked it up to my monitor and turned it on. It was making a very loud noise coming from the fan. I took it apart and found the sticker from the fan fell off and was stuck in the fan which is why it wasn’t running. I put it back together and tried to turn it on. It turns on, it will have the DELL boot picture come on and I can access F2,F8,ANDF12. I tried last known good configuration which usually works on my pc, but it didn’t do anything. I tried several different options but the OS just won’t boot up. Does anyone have any idea what else could be wrong with this pc or any other trouble shooting I could do to try and fix this???

  5. Nicholas says:

    please, i have dell dimenson 4400 tower, when when it boot up there is error massenge from the CMOS, i setup date and time correctly it doe’st work , i replaced the CMOS Battery the same error occur . PLEASE I NEED YOUR HELP .

  6. Michaelk says:

    Need help with a Dell Dimension 3000, which on boot only lights a steady green and yellow light. Everything else is quiet….no fan or anything. Please help with any suggestion as to the problem.
    Thank you.

  7. Sunnie says:

    I accidentally used my daughter’s HP laptop power plug for my Dell laptop. They both have one prong in the center and it was not forced. I left it this way overnight and now the power led blinks green then orange repeatedly and the battery won’t charge. I tried to do a system restore, it was unsuccessful. I’m not sure what to do from here. Can someone please help?

  8. Bruce Grissom Jr. says:

    Have a Dell inspiron 4600. The Lan adapter driver uninstalled and reinstalled gets a code 31. Also tried a usb wifi card when installed gets a code 31. Thanks.

  9. Thomas Potter says:

    my brother has done it again.ask me to fix his comp.he’s telling me all he has is a black screen.i put it in diag mode and got a error code.can you tell me what this means.
    Error code 0146
    MSG:error code 2000-0146
    MSG:unit 0:DST log contains previous error(s)
    thanks in advance if you can help me.

    Thomas

  10. ozzie says:

    Help, I have a Dell Dimension 9200C and when I upgraded the windows vista to Windows 7 it worked great until the next mroning, it does not boot up. I tried system repair and start up rpa could nt find a problem, Then system restore but no retsore points have been created , Then system image recovery but windiws cannot find a system image what can I do, in there a commnad I can use using the commnad prompt ?

    • Dave Dave says:

      Did you confirm the that machine was capable of upgrading to Windows 7? There could be a component in that system that is causing problems. At the very least, I would troubleshoot by removing any external devices–printers, etc–that might be causing driver issues.

  11. Nicholas says:

    I have a dell studio xps I moved it from one room to another when it was plugged in there was 4 peeps every 3 sec no boot up or anything on the screen can you help please thank you

    • Dave Dave says:

      Sounds like a ram beep code, but it’s hard to say what would have caused it. If you’re comfortable doing so, open the compartment at the bottom, remove and reseat the RAM and see if that helps. Be sure to unplug the laptop and remove the battery first.

  12. ROFHIWA says:

    My dell computer doesn’t boot but the power is on and monitor is working, no bios present .it emits 6 beeps ,at the back LED only one A LED is green other are yellow.i try to disconnect all cables and hardware bt it doen’t help. Please help me.

    • Dave Dave says:

      Sounds like it could be a RAM issue. You can try reseating the RAM. I would also go to Dell and download the manual for your specific model in their Drivers and Support section.

    • Gary says:

      I have a Dell Dimension 3000 and today I plugged in a usb cord with nothing attached to it( it is for my kodak) anyhow as soon as I did this everything froze and I had to push the power button to shut it off. When I pushed it again, the front computer light came on for about 30 seconds then went off and no power light at all. Then I looked in the back and there was no diagnostic lights. I unplugged everything inside after holding the power button for 30 seconds after unplugging the power cord.I unplugged everything from the back. Then powered it back up and got the first A-diagnostic light steady green and B, C, D yellow with One long beep followed by three long beeps followed by two long beeps. Hey guess what ?,,there is no such thing for the beeps but the lights mean somethings wrong with the ram. So I reseated the ram and plugged everything back in and Wa La it`s fixed and running smoothly. I think what went wrong is that the usb cord had been laying on my bed and (picked up static electric)and when I plugged it in zap….well it seems like the only thing it could have been because it froze at the very moment I plugged it in.

  13. dwayne fultz says:

    i have the codes i just need to know what to do

  14. Kelly C. says:

    On the front of my computer the numbers 3 and 4 flash in the color of green when I turn my computer on, Please help me by telling me what those numbers mean and what I need to do in order to fix the problem.
    My monitor wont turn on ether now. Please help.
    Thank you
    Kelly C.

    • Dave Dave says:

      Sounds like a RAM problem. If you’re comfortable doing so, you can remove the ram modules and try and reseat them. If the problem persists, try one RAM module (if you have more than one) and then swap it with the other module until you find the culprit. Make sure the PC is OFF and UNLUGGED and only touch the edges of the RAM sticks when removing and reseating them.

  15. Kelly C. says:

    The 3 and 4 are not flashing any more. But my monitor still wont come on, it just gives me a black screen. Do you think it could be the video card?

  16. Ed says:

    My wife PC stop working. When we turn it on . All it does is beep 7 thmes over and over.

    • Dave Dave says:

      Hi Ed. Please join our forums–it’s free. Ask the question in there. Provide the model of Dell and one of our techs will be able to help you. Note if the beeps are short or long, as well. Example: Three short and four long beeps.

  17. Eric says:

    can somebody help me? i bought dell computer desk top, it was used one ,i am trying to instore windows but the computer is asking for a password which i think is on the mother board, what can i do to remove the password

  18. debi thiem says:

    i don’t know if i contacting the people but i need HELLLLLLLLLLLLLP! i keep getting a message & it locks out my external mouse. i am a bit old (lol) & cannot use the laptop mouse thingy so i have an external one. something keeps happening – sometimes i have to re-bo(t; sometimes i can catch the error pop-up before it disappears. my keyboard (not external) keeps messing up too. so far this has taken me 15 mginutes to type because my cursor keeps jumping around & i am (here is an exampleno gt typin) typing in the wrong place. any way here is what i get:
    A USB device has malfunctioned & exceeded the power limits of its hub port. you should disconnect the device.

    then it gives the location:
    Unknown USB Device; and
    Unknown USE Device (has it listed 2X’s & i must reset them both. i sure hope you can help me – i have had this computer since what seems like forever & have had the same mouse plugged into it from the start.

    • Dave Dave says:

      Your mouse is likely jumping aound when you type because the sensitivity of the trackpad is set too light. Go into the control panel and look under MOUSE. There might be trackpad adjustments there or it may have its own separate ICON. You may even be able to disable the trackpad since you do not use it. Regarding the mouse, try it in a different USB port. If it still does it, consider replacing the mouse and see if that helps.

  19. janet hughes says:

    My Windows was wiped out by someone from pc essentials on my Dell computer. Now I’m trying to reload windows with a cd. I get to the part of strike any key to reload the Windows from the CD but nothing happens. When I put the CD into the Dell tower the light under the CD slot flashes 5 times then three in succession then stops. I’m locked out of most everything because I forgot the administrative password. It does let me go to cd drive under F12 so that’s how I get to try the Windows CD. Nothing is happening though with the CD. I have been trying to figure this out for a long time , hope I haven’t contacted you before. Do you know how I can get to use the Windows CD. Thanks, Janet

    • Dave Dave says:

      If this is a genuine Windows DVD then you should be able to tap F12 at boot and then enter the BIOS Setup. Under boot options, select the CD drive as the first boot device. Save and Exit the BIOS. Now when the computer restarts, press any key to boot to the CD. Once you do that, the setup option should begin.

  20. Jay says:

    Hello guys I have an issue with my dell desktop… I turn it on and a code appears on a black screen… The code is NTLDR and I can not figure out what it means… Can someone please help me… I just got this computer the other dan and have not been able to use it… So someone please help me out… Thank you.. Jay