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Power On Self Test Beep Codes for AMI and Phoenix BIOS

When an IBM compatible computer is first turned on, the hardware runs a Power-On Self Test (POST). If errors are encountered during this POST test, they are usually displayed via an audio beep or in the form of a code number flashed across the screen. With this audio code in hand, you can determine what part of the system is having problems and find a solution.

Standard IBM Codes | AMI Codes | Phoenix Codes | Award Codes | BIOS Upgrades

Standard Original IBM POST Error Codes

BeepsMeaning
1 short beepNormal POST - system is OK
2 short beepsPOST Error - error code shown on screen
No beepPower supply or system board problem
Continuous beepPower supply, system board, or keyboard problem
Repeating short beepsPower supply or system board problem
1 long, 1 short beepSystem board problem
1 long, 2 short beepsDisplay Adaptor problem (MDA, CGA)
1 long, 3 short beepsEnhanced  Graphics Adaptor (EGA)
3 long beeps3270 keyboard card

CodeMeaning

100 - 199

System Board
200 - 299Memory
300 - 399Keyboard
400 - 499Monochrome Display
500 - 599Colour/Graphics Display
600 - 699Floppy-disk drive and/or Adaptor
700 - 799Math Coprocessor
900 - 999Parallel Printer Port
1000 - 1099Alternate Printer Adaptor
1100 - 1299Asynchronous Communication Device, Adaptor, or Port
1300 - 1399Game Port
1400 - 1499Colour/Graphics Printer
1500 - 1599Synchronous Communication Device, Adaptor, or Port
1700 - 1799Hard Drive and/or Adaptor
1800 - 1899Expansion Unit (XT)
2000 - 2199Bisynchronous Communication Adaptor
2400 - 2599EGA system-board Video (MCA)
3000 - 3199LAN Adaptor
4800 - 4999Internal Modem
7000 - 7099Phoenix BIOS Chips
7300 - 73993.5" Disk Drive
8900 - 8999MIDI Adaptor
11200 - 11299SCSI Adaptor
21000 - 21099SCSI Fixed Disk and Controller
21500 - 21599SCSI CD-ROM System

BeepsMeaning
1 Short BeepOne beep is good! Everything is OK, that is if you see things on the screen. If you don't see anything, check your monitor and video card first. Is everything connected? If they seem fine, your motherboard has some bad chips on it. First reset the SIMMs and reboot. If it does the same thing, one of the memory chips on the motherboard are bad, and you most likely need to get another motherboard since these chips are soldered on.
2 Short Beeps Your computer has memory problems. First check video. If video is working, you'll see an error message. If not, you have a parity error in your first 64K of memory. First check your SIMMs. Reseat them and reboot. If this doesn't do it, the memory chips may be bad. You can try switching the first and second banks memory chips. First banks are the memory banks that your CPU finds its first 64K of base memory in. You'll need to consult your manual to see which bank is first. If all your memory tests good, you probably need to buy another motherboard.
3 Short BeepsBasically the same thing as 2 beeps. Follow that diagnosis above.
4 Short BeepsBasically the same thing as 2 beeps. Follow that diagnosis above. It could also be a bad timer
5 Short BeepsYour motherboard is complaining. Try re seating the memory and rebooting. If that doesn't help, you should consider another motherboard. You could probably get away with just replacing the CPU, but that's not too cost-effective. Its just time to upgrade! 
6 Short BeepsThe chip on your motherboard that controls your keyboard (A20 gate) isn't working. First try another keyboard. If it doesn't help, reseat the chip that controls the keyboard, if it isn't soldered in. If it still beeps, replace the chip if possible. Replace the motherboard if it is soldered in.
7 Short BeepsYour CPU broke overnight. Its no good. Either replace the CPU, or buy another motherboard.
8 Short BeepsYour video card isn't working. Make sure it is seated well in the bus. If it still beeps, either the whole card is bad or the memory on it is. Best bet is to install another video card.
9 Short BeepsYour BIOS is bad. Reseat or Replace the BIOS.
10 Short BeepsYour problem lies deep inside the CMOS. All chips associated with the CMOS will likely have to be replaced. Your best bet is to get a new motherboard.
11 Short BeepsYour problem is in the Cache Memory chips on the motherboard. Reseat or Replace these chips.
1 Long, 3 Short BeepsYou've probably just added memory to the motherboard since this is a conventional or extended memory failure. Generally this is caused by a memory chip that is not seated properly. Reseat the memory chips.
1 Long, 8 Short BeepsDisplay / retrace test failed. Reseat the video card.

Phoenix BIOS Beep Codes

These audio codes are a little more detailed than the AMI codes. This BIOS emits three sets of beeps. For example, 1 -pause- 3 -pause 3 -pause. This is a 1-3-3 combo and each set of beeps is separated by a brief pause. Listen to this sequence of sounds, count them, and reboot and count again if you have to.

BeepsMeaning
1-1-3Your computer can't read the configuration info stored in the CMOS. Replace the motherboard.
1-1-4Your BIOS needs to be replaced.
1-2-1You have a bad timer chip on the motherboard. You need a new motherboard.
1-2-2The motherboard is bad.
1-2-3The motherboard is bad.
1-3-1You'll need to replace the motherboard.
1-3-3You'll need to replace the motherboard.
1-3-4 The motherboard is bad.
1-4-1The motherboard is bad.
1-4-2 Some of your memory is bad.
2-_-_ Any combo of beeps after two means that some of your memory is bad, and unless you want to get real technical, you should probably have the guys in the lab coats test the memory for you. Take it to the shop.
3-1-_ One of the chips on your motherboard is broken. You'll likely need to get another board.
3-2-4One of the chips on your motherboard that checks the keyboard is broken. You'll likely need to get another board.
3-3-4Your computer can't find the video card. Is it there? If so, try swapping it with another one and see if it works.
3-4-_ Your video card isn't working. You'll need to replace it.
4-2-1There's a bad chip on the motherboard. You need to buy another board.
4-2-2First check the keyboard for problems. If nothing, you have a bad motherboard.
4-2-3 Same as 4-2-2.
4-2-4 One of the cards is bad. Try yanking out the cards one by one to isolate the culprit. Replace the bad one. The last possibility is to buy another motherboard.
4-3-1Replace the motherboard.
4-3-2See 4-3-1
4-3-3See 4-3-1
4-3-4Time of day clock failure. Try running the setup program that comes with the computer. Check the date and time. If that doesn't work, replace the battery. If that doesn't work, replace the power supply. You may have to replace the motherboard, but that is rare.
4-4-1Your serial ports are acting up. Reseat, or replace, the I/O card. If the I/O is on the motherboard itself, disable them with a jumper (consult your manual to know which one) and then add an I/O card.
4-4-2See 4-4-1, but this time is your Parallel port that's acting up.
4-4-3You math coprocessor is having problems. Run a test program to double-check it. If it is indeed bad, disable it, or replace it.
Low 1-1-2Your motherboard is having problems
Low 1-1-3This is an Extended CMOS RAM problem, check your motherboard battery, and motherboard.

Award BIOS Post Codes

Unfortunately there are many versions of the Award BIOS, and they are supported not by one company, but by the motherboard maker. Award's website states "Award Software software products are sold to a board or system manufacturer ("hardware vendor"), who customises them further before selling the system. Award Software cannot supply upgrades for a BIOS that has been subsequently modified by hardware vendors."

For further help on Award BIOS problems contact: Unicore Software (1-800-800-BIOS) handles all upgrades for Award Software BIOS products. Their e-mail address is sales@unicore.com.

Unicore Software specialises in BIOS upgrades when the hardware vendor no longer supports your system. Additionally, upgrades from Unicore Software often support new technologies (such as larger hard drives, removable boot media, and new processors) that were unavailable when your system was designed.

The hardware vendor that designed your system is the best source for bug fixes and answers about your system.

BIOS Upgrades

With so many advances in technology, sometimes your computer may need a BIOS upgrade to take advantage of new devices, or make your computer perform better.

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Take advantage of their free tools to examine your BIOS and learn more.

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