Getting to the Bottom of Computer Beep Codes

Finding out what your computer beep codes, PC beep codes mean or POST beep codes are is a simple step in figuring out whatever problem is there that is preventing your computer from starting up.  If your PC speaker isn't connected, visit computer tower cases and I'll show you how to get your PC speaker connected to the motherboard so you can hear the beep codes.

Listening for the Beeps

There are short beeps and long beeps.  Simply count the beeps, either short or long and write down how many you counted.  1 short beep for example is the sound of a good POST.  All is well and the computer will start up.  For the purpose of this page, we're going to use the standard IBM beep codes.  Almost all the computers on the market have adopted these and continue to use them.

If you know what type of BIOS you have and you don't find your beep code listed below, you can simply search for the type of BIOS you have followed by beep codes to give you a complete list for your BIOS.  Your motherboard documentation should also tell you what type of BIOS is installed in your computer.

TIP!  I just use the list I have below for computer beep codes, at the time of this writing, I've never needed the complete list by BIOS type.

Your Computer Beep Codes and what They Mean

  • No Beeps - Your computer has no power, there is a short, an internal card is not seated all the way, or the PC speaker inside the computer is not connected.
  • 1 Short Beep - The POST was successful, the computer will start normally.
  • 2 Short Beeps - There was an error, details will be displayed on the monitor as to what exactly the problem is.
  • Continuous Beep - An internal card, RAM, or other connector is not seated properly.  May also happen if you forget to connect all the power wires on the motherboard.
  • Repeating Short Beeps - An internal card, RAM, or other connector is not seated properly.  May also happen if you forget to connect all the power wires on the motherboard.
  • One Long Beep, One Short Beep - There is a problem with the motherboard.
  • One Long Beep and Two or Three Short Beeps - There is a problem with your video.  The power to the video card may not be connected, the card may not be fully seated, or the card is failing to function and may need replacing.
  • Three Long Beeps - Typically just happens if you forget to connect the keyboard, but can also happen if a key is stuck on the keyboard.  It signifies a keybaord error.

Sometimes you will get a short beep signifying the computer has booted up properly, but you don't have any video.  This usually happens when a video card is finished, but can also happen if you have a weak power supply or the video card needs cleaning and continuously shuts itself of on boot.

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Updated October 14 2013

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