BIOS Beep Codes for AMI BIOS Award BIOS Phoenix BIOS

| October 1, 2010

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 shortDRAM refresh failureThe programmable interrupt timer or programmable interrupt controller has probably failed
2 shortMemory parity errorA memory parity error has occurred in the first 64K of RAM.  The RAM IC is probably bad
3 shortBase 64K memory failureA memory failure has occurred in the first 64K of RAM.  The RAM IC is probably bad
4 shortSystem timer failureThe system clock/timer IC has failed or there is a memory error in the first bank of memory
5 shortProcessor errorThe system CPU has failed
6 shortGate A20 failureThe keyboard controller IC has failed, which is not allowing Gate A20 to switch the processor to protected mode. Replace the keyboard controller
7 shortVirtual mode processor exception errorThe CPU has generated an exception error because of a fault in the CPU or motherboard circuitry
8 shortDisplay memory read/write errorThe system video adapter is missing or defective
9 shortROM checksum errorThe contents of the system BIOS ROM does not match the expected checksum value.  The BIOS ROM is probably defective and should be replaced
10 shortCMOS shutdown register read/write errorThe shutdown for the CMOS has failed
11 shortCache errorThe L2 cache is faulty
1 long, 2 shortFailure in video systemAn error was encountered in the video BIOS ROM, or a horizontal retrace failure has been encountered
1 long, 3 shortMemory test failureA fault has been detected in memory above 64KB
1 long, 8 shortDisplay test failureThe video adapter is either missing or defective
2 shortPOST FailureOne of the hardware testa have failed
1 longPOST has passed all tests

Award BIOS Beep Codes

Beeps Error Message Description
1long, 2 shortVideo adapter errorEither video adapter is bad or is not seated properly.  Also, check to ensure the monitor cable is connected properly.
Repeating (endless loop)Memory errorCheck for improperly seated or missing memory.
1long, 3shortNo video card or bad video RAMReseat or replace the video card.
High frequency beeeps while runningOverheated CPUCheck the CPU fan for proper operation. Check the case for proper air flow.
Repeating High/LowCPUEither 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
1-1-2CPU test failureThe CPU is faulty.  Replace the CPU
Low 1-1-2System board select failureThe motherboard is having an undetermined fault.  Replace the motherboard
1-1-3CMOS read/write errorThe real time clock/CMOS is faulty.   Replace the CMOS if possible
Low 1-1-3Extended CMOS RAM failureThe extended portion of the CMOS RAM has failed.  Replace the CMOS if possible
1-1-4BIOS ROM checksum errorThe BIOS ROM has failed.  Replace the BIOS or upgrade if possible
1-2-1PIT failureThe programmable interrupt timer has failed.  Replace if possible
1-2-2DMA failureThe DMA controller has failed.   Replace the IC if possible
1-2-3DMA read/write failureThe DMA controller has failed.   Replace the IC if possible
1-3-1RAM refresh failureThe RAM refresh controller has failed
1-3-264KB RAM failureThe test of the first 64KB RAM has failed to start
1-3-3First 64KB RAM failureThe first RAM IC has failed.   Replace the IC if possible
1-3-4First 64KB logic failureThe first RAM control logic has failed
1-4-1Address line failureThe address line to the first 64KB RAM has failed
1-4-2Parity RAM failureThe first RAM IC has failed.   Replace if possible
1-4-3EISA fail-safe timer testReplace the motherboard
1-4-4EISA NMI port 462 testReplace the motherboard
2-1-164KB RAM failureBit 0; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-1-264KB RAM failureBit 1; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-1-364KB RAM failureBit 2; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-1-464KB RAM failureBit 3; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-2-164KB RAM failureBit 4; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-2-264KB RAM failureBit 5; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-2-364KB RAM failureBit 6; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-2-464KB RAM failureBit 7; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-3-164KB RAM failureBit 8; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-3-264KB RAM failureBit 9; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-3-364KB RAM failureBit 10; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-3-464KB RAM failureBit 11; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-4-164KB RAM failureBit 12; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-4-264KB RAM failureBit 13; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-4-364KB RAM failureBit 14; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
2-4-464KB RAM failureBit 15; This data bit on the first RAM IC has failed.
3-1-1Slave DMA register failureThe DMA controller has failed.   Replace the controller if possible
3-1-2Master DMA register failureThe DMA controller had failed.   Replace the controller if possible
3-1-3Master interrupt mask register failureThe interrupt controller IC has failed
3-1-4Slave interrupt mask register failureThe interrupt controller IC has failed
3-2-2Interrupt vector errorThe BIOS was unable to load the interrupt vectors into memory.  Replace the motherboard
3-2-3Reserved
3-2-4Keyboard controller failureThe keyboard controller has failed. Replace the IC if possible
3-3-1CMOS RAM power badReplace the CMOS battery or CMOS RAM if possible
3-3-2CMOS configuration errorThe CMOS configuration has failed. Restore the configuration or replace the battery
3-3-3Reserved
3-3-4Video memory failureThere is a problem with the video memory. Replace the video adapter if possible
3-4-1Video initialization failureThere is a problem with the video adapter. Reseat the adapter or replace the adapter
4-2-1Timer failureThe system’s timer IC has failed.
4-2-2Shutdown failureThe CMOS has failed.  Replace the CMOS IC if possible
4-2-3Gate A20 failureThe keyboard controller has failed.   Replace the IC if possible
4-2-4Unexpected interrupt in protected modeThis is a CPU problem.  Replace the CPU and retest
4-3-1RAM test failureSystem RAM addressing circuitry is faulty.  Replace the motherboard
4-3-3Interval timer channel 2 failureThe system timer IC has failed.   Replace the IC if possible
4-3-4Time of day clock failureThe real time clock/CMOS has failed.   Replace the CMOS if possible
4-4-1Serial port failureA error has occurred in the serial port circuitry
4-4-2Parallel port failureA error has occurred in the parallel port circuitry
4-4-3Math coprocessor failureThe 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.

Category: Hardware

Dave

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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 (3)

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  1. teresa says:

    I have a Gateway 9310S, XP Home Edition. When I turn it on there are three beeps and then nothing but whirling fans. Is it a lost cause? Seems I remember this happening before and I read to hold down some key while turning it on.

  2. Tunde says:

    What if the beep is 4-2. Pls email me d solution

    • Dave Dave says:

      Must have more info. What BIOS is in that PC, what model is it–Dell, etc. The best place to post questions is in our forums.