Post beep codes | AMI, Phoenix & Award BIOS error codes.
Building a new PC or installing new hardware is fairly straightforward, until things go wrong.
When a PC is first switched on, or reset, it performs a special diagnostic test called a POST (Power-On Self Test). To check all of the components in the PC, the POST program sends out a signal to each device initialising each device's built-in self-test procedure.
The POST test is a two stage process, first it will check all of the basic components, including amongst other things, the system clock, the processor, RAM, the keyboard controller and the video card.
When a device fails the first part of the POST, the BIOS will send a series of beeps from the PC's speaker (internal), to inform the PC user that there is a problem. These beeps are coded, allowing the user to diagnose the troublesome component.
After the video has been tested successfully, the BIOS will then display any errors encountered on the screen. The error message will be either a numeric code or a text message.
When the POST has been completed successfully, the PC will make a short beep to let the user know everything is as it should be.
Below are some common beep codes for AMI and Phoenix BIOS.
AMI BIOS error beep codes
- 1 Beep - Memory Refresh Failure (check memory)
- 2 Beeps - Memory Parity Error in first 64KB block (check memory)
- 3 Beeps - Memory Read/Write Error in first 64KB block (check memory)
- 4 Beeps - Motherboard timer not functioning (possible motherboard replacement)
- 5 Beeps - Processor Error (may need replacement Processor)
- 6 Beeps - Gate A20/keyboard controller failure (possible motherboard replacement)
- 7 Beeps - Processor Exception Interrupt Error (may need replacement Processor)
- 8 Beeps - Display Memory Read/Write Failure (reseat or replace video card)
- 9 Beeps - ROM checksum Error (replace BIOS chip or motherboard)
- 10 Beeps - CMOS shutdown Read/Write error (possible motherboard replacement)
- 11 Beeps - Bad Cache Memory - test failed (replace cache memory)
Phoenix BIOS error beep codes
Phoenix BIOS beep codes are a series of beeps separated by a pause, for example:
--- beep beep
--- beep beep
would be 1-2-1-2
- 1-1-4-1 - Cache Error (level 2)
- 1-2-2-3 - BIOS ROM Checksum
- 1-3-1-1 - DRAM Refresh Test
- 1-3-1-3 - Keyboard controller test
- 1-3-4-1 - RAM Failure on address line xxxx (check memory)
- 1-3-4-3 - RAM Failure on data bits xxxx of low byte of memory bus
- 1-4-1-1 - RAM Failure on data bits xxxx of high byte of memory bus
- 2-1-2-3 - ROM copyright notice
- 2-2-3-1 - Test for unexpected interrupts
AWARD BIOS error beep codes
There are 2 main beep codes for the Award BIOS:
- one long beep and two short beeps - Video error (reseat or replace video card)
- two short beeps - Non-Fatal Error (reseat RAM, check other components)
For more on BIOS beep codes or numeric codes see the manufacturer's website: