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
|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
|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
|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|
|3-2-4||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
|3-3-4||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.