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hardware PC beeps: That's the problem


Do you boot up your PC and are greeted with mysterious beeps? Then there is a problem. If everything works fine during POST, your computer will boot straight into Windows without any problems. However, each motherboard or BIOS manufacturer has their own beep codes that are used to notify you when a hardware component is faulty.

What is a POST?

The Power-on self-test is a self-test of your computer that checks whether the individual components are fully functional or defective. If everything is correct, your computer will boot into Windows. However, if the POST detects a memory, cache, or processor failure, it will beep a certain number of times, depending on where the problem is.

Sometimes the solution is quite simple, such as incorrectly inserted RAM or a loose cable. But in other cases the CPU could also have failed. Either way, the beeps will alert you that something is wrong so that you can begin diagnosing and correcting the problem.

However, many motherboards these days have no speakers, so you may not hear a beep when you start your PC. Instead, many motherboards have small displays that show an error code for the problem in question.

How to find out why your PC is beeping

  1. Start Your computer or run one Restart if the computer is already on.
  2. Have a pen and paper ready. Now listen carefully to the sequence of signals your computer is emitting. If you are not sure, restart your computer if necessary. This hardly aggravates the problem already at hand. Along the way, write down the sequence of tones you hear. It is Long or short Sounds? Is a Break between? How often does the computer beep?
  3. Unfortunately, the computer industry has not agreed on a uniform way of communicating with beeps, so now you need to find out which one Manufacturer your BIOS chip is. This is on yours Motherboard. The easiest way to find out the manufacturer is by going into the User Guide Of your computer or, if you have assembled it yourself, look into that of the mainboard. If you don't have this to hand, you have to open your PC for better or worse and take a look yourself. The BIOS chip is usually located on the lower edge of the motherboard, next to the CMOS button battery, next to the PCI Express slots or under the chipset.
  4. Once you have identified the manufacturer, select the appropriate troubleshooting guide from the following troubleshooting guides:

Note: Keep in mind, however, that you may always want to seek help from an expert before attempting to solve the problem as an amateur.


  • 1 short tone: Replace the RAM or the motherboard.
  • 2 short beeps: Replace the RAM.
  • 3 short beeps: Replace the RAM.
  • 4 short beeps: Remove and then reinsert the memory. If that doesn't work, replace it. Otherwise replace the mainboard.
  • 5 short beeps: Remove and then reinsert the processor. If the problem is not resolved, replace it.
  • 6 short beeps: Remove the keyboard. Check that none of the pins on the motherboard are bent or broken. Otherwise, replace the motherboard.
  • 7 short beeps: Replace the motherboard or processor.
  • 8 short beeps: Check that the graphics card is properly seated in its slot. Otherwise, replace them.
  • 9 short beeps: Reset the CMOS, the memory on which the BIOS settings are located. To do this, remove the battery from the motherboard and reinsert it after a few minutes. If that doesn't work, replace the motherboard.
  • 10 short beeps: Remove all plug-in cards and then reinsert them. Also reset the CMOS. If that didn't help, replace the motherboard.
  • 11 short beeps: There is a hardware problem, mostly caused by the motherboard. Replace this if necessary.
  • 1x long, 2x short: Remove and reinsert the graphics card. Also, check that the card is properly seated in the slot. Otherwise replace the main memory.
  • 1x long, 8x short: Check that the graphics card is plugged in and that it may not be receiving enough power. If possible, use two cables instead of one.

Was your code missing? You can find the official manual here.


  • 1x long, 2x short: Check that the graphics card is properly seated in the slot. Otherwise, replace them.
  • 1x long, 3x short: Remove and reinsert the graphics card. Make sure it is properly anchored.
  • 1 high tone, 1 low tone (repeating): The CPU could be overheating or malfunctioning in some other way.
  • 1 high tone (repeating): The CPU is overheating. Immediately shut down the computer and check the fans.
  • Other: Replace the RAM.


  • continuous tone: Remove and reinsert the CPU.
  • 1x short, 1x long: Replace the RAM.
  • 1x long, 2x short: Replace the motherboard.
  • 4 consecutive tones / 1-1-1-1 pattern: Replace the RAM.
  • 1-2-2-3 pattern: Replace the motherboard.
  • 1-3-1-1 pattern: Check all plug-in cards and the RAM. If necessary, replace the motherboard.
  • 1-3-1-3 patterns: Remove the keyboard.
  • 1-3-4-1 pattern: Replace the RAM.
  • 1-3-4-3 patterns: Replace the RAM.
  • 2-1-2-3 pattern: Replace the motherboard.
  • 2-2-3-1 pattern: Check the plug-in cards and remove them if necessary.

Didn't find your beep code? Look over here.