Computer Beep Codes list and their meaning

A lot goes on when you boot up your computer. The first thing PC does is check if the hardware is working fine through its POST programme or Power On Self Test. It checks for hardware compatibility, and connections before going into the actual boot process. If you have noticed, as soon as you hit the power button, it sends out one BEEP, and then boots. This single beep is not a random thing. It signifies that everything is OK at the hardware level. So are there any other beep pattern? Yes, there is. Check out the Computer Beep codes list and their meaning.

Computer Beep Codes

Computer Beep Codes list
When the computer sends out more than one beep, it usually means that there is something wrong at the hardware level. The computer may not beep at all or may generate a series of beep in a fixed pattern. Some are continuous, while some have delays and mixed. Each pattern has a meaning which helps one to identify the problem. Some codes are very simple to troubleshoot, and you will be able to do it, and some will need a technician. Usually, the following are checked:

  • AC adapter
  • System board power
  • Processor failure
  • BIOS corruption
  • Memory failure
  • Graphics failure
  • System board failure
  • BIOS authentication failure

Since there is no standard followed by all the OEMs for the beep. Every OEM have their own pattern, and hence we are listing the popular ones below.

Dell Beep Codes

While the codes are listed below as 1, 2, 3 and so on, here is what it means. Beep Code 3 means that repeating series of 3 beeps with a small delay. When you shut down the PC, it will turn off the beep as well.

Power LED Blinking/Beep Codes for Inspiron

LED/Beep Code Fault Description Fault(s) Suggested Action
1 Motherboard: BIOS ROM Failure Motherboard, covers BIOS corruption or ROM error Run the Dell Diagnostics
2 Memory No Memory (RAM) detected Troubleshoot the Memory
3 Motherboard: Chipset
  • Chipset Error (North and South bridge error
  • Time-Of-Day Clock test failure
  • Gate A20 failure
  • Super I/O chip failure
  • Keyboard controller failure
Run the Dell Diagnostics
4 Memory Memory (RAM) Failure
5 Real Time Clock Power Failure CMOS battery failure Try reseating the CMOS Battery and run the Dell Diagnostics if that does not resolve the issue
6 Video BIOS Video card/chip failure Run the Dell Diagnostics
7 Central Processing Unit (CPU) Central Processing Unit (CPU) Failure Run the Dell Diagnostics

Power LED Blinking/Beep Codes for XPS

Error Description Suggested Next Step
1 Possible motherboard failure – BIOS ROM checksum failure Run the Dell Diagnostics
2 No RAM detected
Note: If you installed or replaced the memory module, ensure that the memory module is seated properly
Troubleshoot the Memory
3 Possible motherboard failure – Chipset error Run the Dell Diagnostics
4 RAM read/write failure. Troubleshoot the Memory
5 Real Time Clock (RTC) power fail Try reseating the CMOS Battery and run the Dell Diagnostics if that does not resolve the issue
6 Real Time Clock failure Run the Dell Diagnostics
7 Video card or chip failure.
8 Processor failure

More here on dell.com.

HP Error Beep codes with Common Core BIOS

HP Beep codes are little different from usual. There are two types of Major and Minor. While Major points to the category of error, Minor is specific to the problem within the category i.e. long and short blinks, accompanied by long and short beeps

Number of long beeps/blinks Error category
1 Not used; Single beep/blinks are not used
2 BIOS
3 Hardware
4 Thermal
5 System board

Patterns of blink/beep codes are determined by using the following parameters:

  • The 1-second pause occurs after the last major blink.
  • The 2-second pause occurs after the last minor blink.
  • Beep error code sequences occur for the first 5 iterations of the pattern and then stop.
  • Blink error code sequences continue until the computer is unplugged or the power button is pressed.

IBM Desktop

Beeps Meaning
No beep No power, loose expansion card (ISA, PCI, or AGP), a short, or an improperly grounded motherboard
1 short System okay
1 long Video/display problem; video card incorrectly seated or defective
2 short POST Error displayed on the monitor
3 long Problem with 3270 keyboard card
1 long, 1 short Problem with the system board
1 long, 2 short Problem with display adapter (MDA, CGA)
1 long, 3 short Problem with EGA
Repeating short beeps Problem with the power supply or system board
Continuous beep Problem with the power supply or system board

IBM ThinkPad

Beeps Meaning
Continuous beeping System board failure
1 beep with blank display LCD connector problem, LCD backlight inverter failure, video adapter failure, or LCD assembly failure
1 beep w/message “Unable to access boot source Boot device failure or bad system board
1 long, 2 short System board, video adapter, or LCD assembly failure
1 long, 4 short Low battery voltage
1 beep every second Low battery voltage
2 short w/message Read the error message on the display
2 short with blank display System board failure

Compaq

Beeps Meaning
1 short No error: The system is booting properly.
1 long, 1 short BIOS ROM checksum error: The contents of the BIOS ROM do not match the expected contents. If possible, reload the BIOS from the PAQ.
2 short General error: No specifics available on what this code means
1 long, 2 short Video error: Check the video adapter and make sure it’s seated properly. If possible, replace the video adapter.
7 beeps (1 long, 1 short, 1 long, 1 short, pause, 1 long, 1 short, 1 short) AGP video: The AGP video card is faulty. Reseat the card or replace it outright. This beep pertains to Compaq Deskpro systems.
Continuous beep Memory error: Bad RAM; replace and test
1 short, 2 long Bad RAM: Reseat RAM, then retest; replace RAM if failure continues.

ASUS BIOS beep codes

BIOS Beep Description
One short beep VGA detected / No keyboard detected
Two short beeps When using Crashfree to recover BIOS, the new BIOS is successfully recognized.
One continuous beep followed by two short beeps then a pause (repeated) No memory
One continuous beep followed by three short beeps  No VGA detected
One continuous beep followed by four short beeps  Failure of Hardware component

Lenovo Beep Codes

Symptom or error Service part or action, in sequence
One beep and a blank, unreadable, or flashing LCD.
  1. Reseat the LCD connector
  2. LCD assembly
  3. External CRT
  4. System board
One long and two short beeps, and a blank or unreadable LCD.
  1. System board
  2. LCD assembly
  3. DIMM
Two short beeps with error codes. POST error. See Numeric error codes for more help.
Two short beeps and a blank screen.
  1. System board
  2. DIMM
Three short beeps, pause, three more short beeps, and one short beep.
  1. DIMM
  2. System board
One short beep, pause, three short beeps, pause, three more short beeps, and one short beep.
  1. DIMM
  2. System board
Only a cursor appears. Reinstall the operating system
Four cycles of four short beeps and a blank screen. System board (Security chip)
Five short beeps and a blank screen. System board

We have covered computer Beep codes list and their meaning for major brands only. If you have a different one, make sure to check on the OEM site.

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Ashish is a veteran Windows, and Xbox user who excels in writing tips, tricks, and features on it to improve your day to day experience with your devices.