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BIOS Error Codes

BIOS Audio Beep Errors and Messages
2004-08-01 (updated: 2009-11-09) by
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When a PC is turned on, it performs a Power-On Self Test (POST). Any errors detected at POST are reported via audio beeps or/and as a code number flashing accross the screen. The below reference tables are intended to give you a better idea of such error codes, description of the problems and possible solutions.






Award BIOS codes
There are many versions of the Award BIOS, modified and supported by the motherboard manufacturers. These are the only "standard" codes we're aware of:

Beeps Error Details
1 long, 2 short Video adapter Error Either the Video adapter is bad or is not seated properly. Also, check to ensure the monitor cable i connected properly.
Repeating, endless loop Memory Error Check for improperly seated or missing RAM
High-frequency beeps while running Overheated CPU Check the CPU fan for proper operation, check case for proper airflow.
Repeating High/Low CPU Either the CPU is not seated properly or the CPU is damaged. May also be due to excess heat. Check the CPU fan (or BIOS settings for proper fan speed).
1 long N/A Normal POST, all tests passed.


AMI BIOS codes

Beeps Error Details
1 short DRAM refresh failure The programmable interrupt timer/controller has probably failed.
2 short Memory parity error Parity error in the first 64K of RAM. Possible bad IC, try reseating/testing RAM.
3 short Base 64K memory failure RAM failure in the first 64K. Possible bad IC, try reseating/testing RAM.
4 short System timer failure The clock/timer IC failure, or there is a RAM error in the first bank of memory.
5 short Processor error CPU failure
6 short Gate A20 failure Keyboard controller IC failure.
7 short Virtual mode processor exception error CPU exception error, indicates a problem in either the CPU or motherboard circuitry
8 short Display memory read/write error The system video adapter is missing or defective
9 short ROM checksum error The system BIOS ROM has failed checksum check. The BIOS ROM might need replacing.
10 short CMOS shutdown register read/write error CMOS shutdown has failed.
11 short Cache error The L2 cache is faulty
1 long, 2 short failure in video system An error in the video BIOS ROM, or a horizontal retrace failure.
1 long, 3 short Memory test failure Memory error above 64K
1 long, 8 short Display test failure Missing or defective video adapter
continuous memory/video problem Memory or Video problem
1 long N/A Normal POST, all tests passed


IBM Original Desktop codes

Beeps Error/Details
1 short Normal POST, all tests passed
2 short Initialization error. Error code shown on screen
1 long, 1 short System board error
1 long, 2 short Video adapter problem (MDA, CGA)
1 long, 3 short EGA/VGA video adapter error
3 long 3270 keyboard adapter error
continuous, or no beep Power Supply, or system board failure.


IBM Thinkpad codes

Beeps Error/Details
1 beep, unreadable, blank or flashing LCD LCD connector problem; LCD backlight inverter failure; Video adapter failure; LCD assembly faulty; System board failure; PSU failure
1 beep; Message "Unable to access boot source" Boot device failure; System board failure
1 long, 2 short System board failure; Video adapter problem; LCD assembly failure
1 long, 4 short low battery voltage
continuous, 1 per second low battery voltage
2 short POST message, error codes on screen
continuous System board failure


Phoenix BIOS codes
The Phoenix BIOS (up to version 4.x) produces 3 sets of beeps, separated by short pauses.

Beeps Error/Details
1-1-2 CPU failure. Replace the CPU. Could also mean undetermined motherboard fault.
1-1-3 CMOS read/write error. Replace CMOS or motherboard
1-1-4 BIOS ROM checksum error. Repace BIOS or motherboard
1-2-1 PIT failure. The Programmable Interrupt Controller has failed. Replace if possible
1-2-2 DMA controller failure. Replace the chip if possible
1-2-3 DMA controller read/write failure. Replace if possible
1-3-1 RAM refresh controller failure.
1-3-2 64K RAM failure. The test of the first 64K of RAM has failed to start.
1-3-3 64K RAM failure. The first RAM chip has failed.
1-3-4 First 64K logic failure. The first RAM control logic has failed.
1-4-1 Address line failure. The address line to the first 64K of RAM has failed.
1-4-2 Parity RAM failure (in the first RAM chip)
1-4-3 EISA fail-safe timer test. Replace the motherboard.
1-4-4 EISA NMI port 462 test. Replace the motherboard.
2-*-* 64K RAM failure. A data bit (indicated by the second and third number of beeps) on the first RAM chip has failed. Replace if possible
3-1-1 Slave DMA register failure. The DMA controller has failed, replace if possible.
3-1-2 Master DMA register failure. The DMA controller has failed, replace if possible.
3-1-3 Master interrupt mask register failure. The interrupt controller chip has failed.
3-1-4 Slave interrupt mask register failure. The interrupt controller chip has failed.
3-2-2 Interrupt vector error. The BIOD was unable to load the interrupt vectors into memory. Replace the motherboard.
3-2-4 Keyboard controller failure. Replace the chip or motherboard.
3-3-1 CMOS RAM power problem. Replace the CMOS battery, could be CMOS RAM problem too.
3-3-2 CMOS configuration error. Restore the CMOS configuration and/or replace the battery.
3-3-4 Video memory failure. Reseat or replace the video adapter.
3-4-1 Video initialization failure. Reseat or replace the video adapter.
4-2-1 Timer failure. The system's timer chip has failed. Replace chip or motherboard.
4-2-2 Shutdown failure. The CMOS has failed. Replace the chip if possible.
4-2-3 Gate A20 failure. The keyboard controller chip has failed.
4-2-4 Unexpected interrupt in protected mode. Replace CPU and retest.
4-3-1 RAM test failure. System RAM addressing circuitry fault. Replace motherboard.
4-3-3 Interval timer channel 2 failure. The system timer chip has failed.
4-3-4 Real time clock/CMOS has failed. Replace CMOS if possible
4-4-1 Serial port circuitry error.
4-4-2 Parallel circuitry error.
4-4-3 Math coprocessor failure. Replace MPU


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