There are many brands of Basic Input / Output System (BIOS) on the market, so to decode the meaning of codes be sure to consult the manual of your particular motherboard for instructions. If you do not have the manual this information is easily located on the manufacturers website and downloadable.
Once you press the power on your computer it starts up a/k/a the boot process initiating the BIOS. Its function is vital to the boot process because it verifies each component connected to the computer is functioning properly, such as a printer, mouse, and keyboard. Continue reading it will become clearer.
What Is A Power-On-Self-Test?
When the computer is powered on the Computer Processing Unit (CPU) is initiated and triggers a series of clock ticks produced by the system clock. Read-Only-Memory (ROM BIOS ) houses the first instruction initiating the startup process which is the Power-On-Self-Test (POST). The POST tests your system’s hardware, such as the hard drive(s), keyboard, and mouse. Next it checks the software running on the system, such as Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7/8, and Windows 10 to ensure proper functionality.
If the system meets all necessary requirements and hardware configuration the startup will successfully complete and display the Windows splash screen.
If the software or hardware test fails the POST at any point the computer sounds off with short quick computer beeps in succession via the computer speakers. This will actually pin point the nature of the failure and where you’d begin to diagnose and then troubleshoot. Yes, the computer actually tells you where it hurts using beeps.
Computer beeps are varied depending on the manufacturer of the computer system, such as Award, IBM BIOS, Macintosh, Phoenix BIOS; however, the following is a list of the AMI (American Megatrends, Inc.)
Beep Codes, What Do They Mean To You?
No beep – A short circuit has occurred, power cord not attached, or a loose card.
1 short – The computer passed the POST sequence checking the motherboard, memory, video card, processor, and floppy (if applicable) and will boot normally.
2 short – Parity circuit failure > Issue with the BIOS / CMOS. Should display the error message on screen. Reseat the memory chips and reboot. If that doesn’t work then the memory chips are damaged.
3 short – Base 64K RAM failure > Base memory read / write test error.
4 short – System timer failure > Check Power Suppy Unit (PSU) to MB connectors are inserted properly.
5 short – Processor failure > CPU is not functioning.
6 short – Keyboard controller failed. Try another keyboard. If the issue still persists then the motherboard might have to be replaced.
7 short – Virtual mode processor exception error. This could mean the CPU is defective. If your advanced you have to reseat and reboot. If the issue persists the motherboard slot / socket is defective.
8 short – Display memory Read / Write test failure. The video card is not working properly. Reseat the video card; however, it it’s integrated it may be time for a new mother board.
9 short – ROM BIOS checksum error > The data in found in the BIOS is corrupted, invalid, or cannot be accessed.
10 short – CMOS shutdown register Read/Write error. Replace the motherboard.
11 short – Cache Memory error > The system cannot verify the secondary level2 operation.
12 short – Ram is not detected by the motherboard.
1 long, 2 short – Failure in video system
1 long, 3 short – Conventional / Extended memory failure
1 long, 8 short – Display / Retrace test failure
I hope this information was helpful determining the source of your computer issue.
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