Beeps at Boot-up

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Hey guys. Got quite a serious problem here.

For some random reason, about 2 days ago my computer would not start
up. The computer would get as far as spinning up the hard drive and
fans (so we're talking the first few seconds after you press the power
ON button) then just as it is about to reach the opening screen where
the BIOS information and memory test is performed, the computer starts
beeping at me.

The sequence was always the same and went as follows:

1 long beep, followed by 2 short beeps.

After that nothing else would happen. I began to get a bit worried so I
took my case off and checked my RAM and peripheral cards were secure.
Upon re-attaching the case the PC ran fine, but crashed on me after
about an hour of light use, no games or anything like that.

Since then I can get it to boot about 1 in every 5 attempts, it seems
to be an entirely random (ie. it doesn't only happen when the computer
has been on for hours and it quite hot). Basically I'm getting a bit
fed-up with all this messing about. I need my computer to work reliably
at the moment so I need to identify what this problem is.

According to the Award website (my BIOS manufacturer) the beep sequence
is a graphics card problem. However, I have read elsewhere that it
could also be pointing to a RAM or CPU problem. So I need some
clarification before I go out and spend money on a new graphics card!

One last bit of info I can give you though: From this morning onwards,
my computer (when it does boot up that is) runs very slowly once it
gets into Windows. All the images that come up on the screen appear
with a scrolling effect (ie. no images just appear at once, but appear
bit by bit with the top of the image first and the bottom last - a bit
like the effect in Powerpoint). I have tried reinstalling my graphics
card drivers and the problem appeared to go away when I uninstalled the
old drivers - but it came right back as soon as the drivers were

I've never heard of anything like this so I could really do with some
help. I've given my PC specs below but if anyone needs any more
information please do not hesistate to ask.

Kind Regards,


PC Specs:

CPU:                         AMD Athlon XP 2000+
Motherboard:             Gigabyte GA-7VAX KT400 Chipset
RAM:                        1.25GB PC2700 DDR
Graphics Card:          Connect3D Radeon 9550 256MB AGP
Operating System:     Windows XP SP2

Re: Beeps at Boot-up

Uninstalling the drivers probably resulted in using the 'standard' VGA
800x600 mode drivers that windows defaults
to. This driver puts a minimum strain on the video and doesn't use any of
the features on your card (i.e. may not be using areas
of memory on the video card that are going bad).

I would suggest that you go back to removing the display drivers and run for
awhile in that mode (ugly I agree). If your machine
seems to be otherwise functional then consider pulling the video card,
cleaning its board contacts gently (soft pencil eraser works well).
Also remove any memory or other items from the video card, inspect and clean
contacts and reassemble the thing.

General hits for fixing erratic machines include removing all devices except
keyboard and display. Then add things back one at a time
(memory - mouse - modem - ethernet card etc till you get back to failures).
If there was a bad connector problem you might just get lucky
and by the time you get it all back together it works!

Have fun,

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Re: Beeps at Boot-up

Matt wrote:

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So it's very likely that your graphics card is about to die.

My suggestion to narrow down the problem:

"Downgrade" to unaccellerated standard VGA for testing. As you discovered,
the problem seems to disappear when you deinstall the drivers of your
graphics card. Give it a try.

Then check the RAM in size and integrity, but I doubt that this is the cause
of your problem.

To be really sure, verify that your CPU is running at the speed you expect.

If all this doesn't result in another component being responsible for the
crashes, it's most likely to be your graphics card.

Components of nowaday's complexity don't die in an instance like a bulb. The
weakest part dies first probably without your notice, then the next and so
on until you notice. Your graphics card is such a complex component. You
mentioned games in your original post. This e.g. requires graphics
accelleration. To provide this, modern graphics cards are some kind of
computers within the computer. They are specialized in calculating
graphics. Higher resolutions than VGA(640x480 256 colors) provided by the
OS also rely on parts of this specialized co-computing. That's what the
driver is for. And some part of this appears to be broken



Re: Beeps at Boot-up

Matt wrote:
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Have you tried to go into the BIOS when it does let you boot up and
check the temperatures, fan speeds, etc?  Also have you tried using a
program like Speedfan while in Windows to monitor the temperatures and
voltages?  You may have a problem with the CPU overheating which would
explain the slow running or you might have a failing power supply that
would explain the power on problems.

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Re: Beeps at Boot-up

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Sadly the computer doesn't get that far. I've got Speedfan running and
nothing seems to be out of place so far. The beep code website given
seems to strongly suggest it's a graphics card issue, but thanks for
the suggestions all the same.



Re: Beeps at Boot-up

I have just put the case back on my computer and as soon as I did the
screen went all fuzzy and the computer locked up. Now when I try to
boot up all I get is the beeps.

So I've taken out my card and put an old card I had lying around in.
Now it boots up but I still get the stuttering when I scrtoll up and
down, though this could be due to my card being a PCI Riva TNT with
only 16Mb of video RAM (ancient I know!)

Anyway - a program that tests your graphics card for faults would be
enough to convince me to send it back, I don't want to run the risk of
the card actually being ok and then not getting a refund (thankfully
it's still under warranty).

Kind regards,


Re: Beeps at Boot-up

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Re: Beeps at Boot-up

Also look in your computer motherboard book to see what the beep mean.
There is not standard for the beep codes.  The error could be almost
anything other than the graphics card (like as easy as the keyboard or a
dead battery on the motherboard)

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Re: Beeps at Boot-up

I would say to also replace your PS as this can make video cards, ram, and
HD start to fail. if you do not have a good PS with stable currint. I will
kill a computer

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