BIOS Beep Codes for AMI BIOS Award BIOS Phoenix BIOS

You’ll find BIOS Beep Codes for AMI BIOS Award BIOS and Phoenix BIOS below. Use them for reference when working on computers that do not boot, but instead product a series of beep codes. The BIOS (Basic Input Output System) is a program installed on a ROM chip physically connected to the motherboard. Modern PC’s use a technique called “flashing the BIOS” which means rewriting the data that is on this chip. This chip is considered “firmware” because it is a combination of hardware and software. Under normal conditions the BIOS makes the PC aware of itself by initiating the hardware and software installed on the computer.  However, when there is a critical problem, the BIOS uses a series of BEEP CODES to alert the user of the problem. Usually you can tell what BIOS your system is using by either watching the start-up screen or by looking for the name stamped on the BIOS chip on the motherboard.

AMI BIOS Beep Codes

Beeps Error Message Description
1 short DRAM refresh failure The programmable interrupt timer or programmable interrupt controller has probably failed
2 short Memory parity error A memory parity error has occurred in the first 64K of RAM.  The RAM IC is probably bad
3 short Base 64K memory failure A memory failure has occurred in the first 64K of RAM.  The RAM IC is probably bad
4 short System timer failure The system clock/timer IC has failed or there is a memory error in the first bank of memory
5 short Processor error The system CPU has failed
6 short Gate A20 failure The keyboard controller IC has failed, which is not allowing Gate A20 to switch the processor to protected mode. Replace the keyboard controller
7 short Virtual mode processor exception error The CPU has generated an exception error because of a fault in the CPU or motherboard circuitry
8 short Display memory read/write error The system video adapter is missing or defective
9 short ROM checksum error The contents of the system BIOS ROM does not match the expected checksum value.  The BIOS ROM is probably defective and should be replaced
10 short CMOS shutdown register read/write error The shutdown for the CMOS has failed
11 short Cache error The L2 cache is faulty
1 long, 2 short Failure in video system An error was encountered in the video BIOS ROM, or a horizontal retrace failure has been encountered
1 long, 3 short Memory test failure A fault has been detected in memory above 64KB
1 long, 8 short Display test failure The video adapter is either missing or defective
2 short POST Failure One of the hardware testa have failed
1 long POST has passed all tests

Award BIOS Beep Codes

Beeps Error Message Description
1long, 2 short Video adapter error Either video adapter is bad or is not seated properly.  Also, check to ensure the monitor cable is connected properly.
Repeating (endless loop) Memory error Check for improperly seated or missing memory.
1long, 3short No video card or bad video RAM Reseat or replace the video card.
High frequency beeeps while running Overheated CPU Check the CPU fan for proper operation. Check the case for proper air flow.
Repeating High/Low CPU Either the CPU is not seated properly or the CPU is damaged. May also be due to excess heat. Check the CPU fan or BIOS settings for proper fan speed.

Phoenix BIOS Beep Codes

Beeps Error Message Description
1-1-2 CPU test failure The CPU is faulty.  Replace the CPU
Low 1-1-2 System board select failure The motherboard is having an undetermined fault.  Replace the motherboard
1-1-3 CMOS read/write error The real time clock/CMOS is faulty.   Replace the CMOS if possible
Low 1-1-3 Extended CMOS RAM failure The extended portion of the CMOS RAM has failed.  Replace the CMOS if possible
1-1-4 BIOS ROM checksum error The BIOS ROM has failed.  Replace the BIOS or upgrade if possible
1-2-1 PIT failure The programmable interrupt timer has failed.  Replace if possible
1-2-2 DMA failure The DMA controller has failed.   Replace the IC if possible
1-2-3 DMA read/write failure The DMA controller has failed.   Replace the IC if possible
1-3-1 RAM refresh failure The RAM refresh controller has failed
1-3-2 64KB RAM failure The test of the first 64KB RAM has failed to start
1-3-3 First 64KB RAM failure The first RAM IC has failed.   Replace the IC if possible
1-3-4 First 64KB logic failure The first RAM control logic has failed
1-4-1 Address line failure The address line to the first 64KB RAM has failed
1-4-2 Parity RAM failure The first RAM IC has failed.   Replace if possible
1-4-3 EISA fail-safe timer test Replace the motherboard
1-4-4 EISA NMI port 462 test Replace the motherboard
2-1-1 64KB RAM failure Bit 0; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-1-2 64KB RAM failure Bit 1; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-1-3 64KB RAM failure Bit 2; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-1-4 64KB RAM failure Bit 3; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-2-1 64KB RAM failure Bit 4; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-2-2 64KB RAM failure Bit 5; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-2-3 64KB RAM failure Bit 6; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-2-4 64KB RAM failure Bit 7; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-3-1 64KB RAM failure Bit 8; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-3-2 64KB RAM failure Bit 9; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-3-3 64KB RAM failure Bit 10; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-3-4 64KB RAM failure Bit 11; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-4-1 64KB RAM failure Bit 12; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-4-2 64KB RAM failure Bit 13; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-4-3 64KB RAM failure Bit 14; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-4-4 64KB RAM failure Bit 15; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
3-1-1 Slave DMA register failure The DMA controller has failed.   Replace the controller if possible
3-1-2 Master DMA register failure The DMA controller had failed.   Replace the controller if possible
3-1-3 Master interrupt mask register failure The interrupt controller IC has failed
3-1-4 Slave interrupt mask register failure The interrupt controller IC has failed
3-2-2 Interrupt vector error The BIOS was unable to load the interrupt vectors into memory.  Replace the motherboard
3-2-3 Reserved
3-2-4 Keyboard controller failure The keyboard controller has failed. Replace the IC if possible
3-3-1 CMOS RAM power bad Replace the CMOS battery or CMOS RAM if possible
3-3-2 CMOS configuration error The CMOS configuration has failed. Restore the configuration or replace the battery
3-3-3 Reserved
3-3-4 Video memory failure There is a problem with the video memory. Replace the video adapter if possible
3-4-1 Video initialization failure There is a problem with the video adapter. Reseat the adapter or replace the adapter
4-2-1 Timer failure The system’s timer IC has failed.
4-2-2 Shutdown failure The CMOS has failed.  Replace the CMOS IC if possible
4-2-3 Gate A20 failure The keyboard controller has failed.   Replace the IC if possible
4-2-4 Unexpected interrupt in protected mode This is a CPU problem.  Replace the CPU and retest
4-3-1 RAM test failure System RAM addressing circuitry is faulty.  Replace the motherboard
4-3-3 Interval timer channel 2 failure The system timer IC has failed.   Replace the IC if possible
4-3-4 Time of day clock failure The real time clock/CMOS has failed.   Replace the CMOS if possible
4-4-1 Serial port failure A error has occurred in the serial port circuitry
4-4-2 Parallel port failure A error has occurred in the parallel port circuitry
4-4-3 Math coprocessor failure The math coprocessor has failed.   If possible, replace the MPU

If you have a Dell, it might have diagnostic lights on the back. Refer to the Dell Diagnostic Lights article for more information on Dell BIOS codes.