Identifying Beep Codes

Beep codes produced by a computer is very important for a Computer Technician. YOu can save a lot of time troubleshooting by just listening to these beep codes. That's why it is very important to bring your own PC speaker when you are in the field. I always encounter PC's that doesn't have a PC speaker, or if there is one, it is connected the wrong way (+ to - and vice versa) so make sure to check it first before doing anything else.

Old-school PC speaker

Small but terrible. This is what i bring whenever i'm on the road.

THe most common beeps that you will encounter 95% of the time in repairing PC's are:

1 beep - computer ok
continous beeps / long beeps - memory error
continous short beeps - bios boot block/corrupted bios
1 long beep followed by 3 short beeps - video card error

They are the most common/standard beep codes that you will encounter daily as a Computer Tech. However if you happen to came across other beep codes that are not listed above, you can check out this list


1 short - Computer ok
2 short - RAM failure
3 short - Parity RAM failure
4 short - System timer failure
5 short - Motherboard failure
6 short - Keyboard controller error
7 short - CPU failure
8 short - Video RAM failure
9 short - ROM BIOS error
10 short - CMOS read/write error
11 short - Cache RAM error
1 short, 3 long - Memory failure
1 short, 8 long - Video adapter failure

Check board/chipset makers website for more infomation.


1 long - Memory error
1 long, 2 short - Video error
1 long, 3 short - Video failure
Continuous beeps - Memory or video failure

note that AWARD relies on motherboard manufacturers to develop their own beep codes - the above are only their own internal codes. You will need to refer to your own manual for an explanation of precise codes.

Standard IBM beep codes.

No beep - Power supply or motherboard failure
1 short - System is ok
2 short - POST error (code displayed on screen)
Repeating short - Motherboard failure
1 long, 1 short - Motherboard failure
1 long, 2 short - Video display adapter failure
1 long, 3 short - Video display adapter error
3 long - Keyboard error

Pheonix beep codes

1-1-3 CMOS memory failure
1-1-4 BIOS failure
1-2-1 System timer error
1-2-2 Motherboard error
1-2-3 Motherboard error
1-3-1 Motherboard error
1-4-1 Motherboard error
1-4-2 Memory error
2-x-x Memory failure (any number of other beeps)
3-1-x Chipset error (any number of other beeps)
3-2-4 Keyboard controller error
3-3-4 Video adapter failure
4-2-4 Expansion card failure
4-3-4 Time of day clock failure
4-4-1 Serial port error
4-4-2 Parallel port error
4-4-3 Math co-processor error

Any suggestion, question or violent reaction? Feel free to leave a comment.


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Anonymous said…
hi..can you help me to troubleshot my my loptap...because when i turn screen will appeare and i cant read the error posted on the loptap is hp..just sent the your answer to my email
Anonymous said…
if you can help me with this beep code it would be awesome (continues beeps)

Edmar said…
Disconnect the keyboard. Seems like a stucked keyboard to me.

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