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How to Fix a Motherboard that Keeps Beeping

written by: Steve McFarlane•edited by: Bill Fulks•updated: 5/31/2010

What to do if a computer motherboard keeps beeping.

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    Beeping Motherboards

    If a computer keeps beeping, it’s more than likely that something is wrong. When a computer is turned on it usually beeps once, to confirm that all is OK, before it continues the boot-up process. In this article, we will look at what causes computer motherboards to keep beeping.

    Beep codes are a computer’s way of communicating that something has gone wrong with some configuration parameter or a hardware component; the computer usually discovers these problems at startup. When the computer is turned on it will do a POST (power on self test) before proceeding. The POST verifies that all components are present, working and are properly configured to work with other hardware components; if the motherboard discovers a fault it will start beeping.

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    What the Beep Codes Mean

    Computer audio codes are sounded in a pattern of beeps and pauses. To decipher what each series of beeps mean, the technician Motherboard that Keeps Beeping must first listen to the beeps and record how long the beeps are, the pitch of each beep (high or low), the pauses that occur between each beep (or a series of beeps) and how many beeps occur between the pauses.

    After the beep sequence is noted, the next step is to check what the codes mean as per the manufacturer's specifications. To do this, one has to consult the motherboard’s documentation or other resources that should be made available by the motherboard’s manufacturer. Beep codes will vary depending on who manufactured the board. While some boards use the same beep codes, some codes are specific to the motherboard.

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    The Bright Side – Some Problems are Easily Resolved

    To look at things from the brighter side, even though the computer has a problem, at least it is not too far gone that it can’t self diagnose, to some extent. In many instances the problem that is being reported by the beep code can be easily resolved.

    An example would be a case where the motherboard makes one long beep. This usually indicates that there is a problem with the memory. In some cases, reseating the memory modules can quickly resolve this problem. In other cases making quick configuration changes to the BIOS (basic input output system) is all that is required to resolve some other issues.

    However, the beep codes can alert users to more serious problems that require the replacement of a computer hardware part or require more technical diagnostic methods to pinpoint the cause of the problem.

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    Summary

    If a computer motherboard keeps beeping, more than likely something is wrong with the computer. What the beep codes means can be determined by making note of the beep code including the pauses, pitch, as well as the number of beeps. Once this is done, deciphering what the code means is easy. Simply find the appropriate beep code reference for the motherboard and search for the code and what problem it is diagnosing.

    Credit Image: "Motherboard that keeps beeping" Aressauburn.