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3.2 Troubleshooting

POST (Power On Self Test) Beep Codes. Reference material Click Here - Computerhope.com

NEW! April 2004 Download @ Techrepublic/CNET


The following are AMI BIOS Beep Codes that can occur. However because of the wide variety of different computer manufacturers with this BIOS the beep codes may vary.

1 short DRAM refresh failure
2 short Parity circuit failure
3 short Base 64K RAM failure
4 short System timer failure
5 short Process failure
6 short Keyboard controller Gate A20 error
7 short Virtual mode exception error
8 short Display memory Read/Write test failure
9 short ROM BIOS checksum failure
10 short CMOS shutdown Read/Write error
11 short Cache Memory error
1 long, 3 short Conventional/Extended memory failure
1 long, 8 short Display/Retrace test failed


The following are Award BIOS Beep Codes that can occur. However because of the wide variety of different computer manufacturers with this BIOS the beep codes may vary.

1 long, 2 short Indicates a video error has occurred and the BIOS cannot initialize the video screen to display any additional information
Any other beep(s) RAM problem.

If any other correctable hardware issues, the BIOS will display a message.


The following are IBM BIOS Beep Codes that can occur. However because of the wide variety of models shipping with this BIOS the beep codes may vary.

No Beeps No Power, Loose Card, or Short.
1 Short Beep Normal POST, computer is ok.
2 Short Beep POST error, review screen for error code.
Continuous Beep No Power, Loose Card, or Short.
Repeating Short Beep No Power, Loose Card, or Short.
One Long and one Short Beep Motherboard issue.
One Long and Two short Beeps Video (Mono/CGA Display Circuitry) issue.
One Long and Three Short Beeps. Video (EGA) Display Circuitry.
Three Long Beeps Keyboard / Keyboard card error.
One Beep Blank or Incorrect Display Video Display Circuitry.


Error Tone. (two sets of different tones) Problem with logic board or SCSI bus.
Startup tone, drive spins, no video Problem with video controller.
Powers on, no tone. Logic board problem.
High Tone, four higher tones. Problem with SIMM.


The following is for PHOENIX BIOS Q3.07 OR 4.X

1-1-1-3 Verify Real Mode.
1-1-2-1 Get CPU type.
1-1-2-3 Initialize system hardware.
1-1-3-1 Initialize chipset registers with initial POST values.
1-1-3-2 Set in POST flag.
1-1-3-3 Initialize CPU registers.
1-1-4-1 Initialize cache to initial POST values.
1-1-4-3 Initialize I/O.
1-2-1-1 Initialize Power Management.
1-2-1-2 Load alternate registers with initial POST values.
1-2-1-3 Jump to UserPatch0.
1-2-2-1 Initialize keyboard controller.
1-2-2-3 BIOS ROM checksum.
1-2-3-1 8254 timer initialization.
1-2-3-3 8237 DMA controller initialization.
1-2-4-1 Reset Programmable Interrupt Controller.
1-3-1-1 Test DRAM refresh.
1-3-1-3 Test 8742 Keyboard Controller.
1-3-2-1 Set ES segment to register to 4 GB.
1-3-3-1 28 Autosize DRAM.
1-3-3-3 Clear 512K base RAM.
1-3-4-1 Test 512 base address lines.
1-3-4-3 Test 512K base memory.
1-4-1-3 Test CPU bus-clock frequency.
1-4-2-4 Reinitialize the chipset.
1-4-3-1 Shadow system BIOS ROM.
1-4-3-2 Reinitialize the cache.
1-4-3-3 Autosize cache.
1-4-4-1 Configure advanced chipset registers.
1-4-4-2 Load alternate registers with CMOS values.
2-1-1-1 Set Initial CPU speed.
2-1-1-3 Initialize interrupt vectors.
2-1-2-1 Initialize BIOS interrupts.
2-1-2-3 Check ROM copyright notice.
2-1-2-4 Initialize manager for PCI Options ROMs.
2-1-3-1 Check video configuration against CMOS.
2-1-3-2 Initialize PCI bus and devices.
2-1-3-3 Initialize all video adapters in system.
2-1-4-1 Shadow video BIOS ROM.
2-1-4-3 Display copyright notice.
2-2-1-1 Display CPU type and speed.
2-2-1-3 Test keyboard.
2-2-2-1 Set key click if enabled.
2-2-2-3 56 Enable keyboard.
2-2-3-1 Test for unexpected interrupts.
2-2-3-3 Display prompt "Press F2 to enter SETUP".
2-2-4-1 Test RAM between 512 and 640k.
2-3-1-1 Test expanded memory.
2-3-1-3 Test extended memory address lines.
2-3-2-1 Jump to UserPatch1.
2-3-2-3 Configure advanced cache registers.
2-3-3-1 Enable external and CPU caches.
2-3-3-3 Display external cache size.
2-3-4-1 Display shadow message.
2-3-4-3 Display non-disposable segments.
2-4-1-1 Display error messages.
2-4-1-3 Check for configuration errors.
2-4-2-1 Test real-time clock.
2-4-2-3 Check for keyboard errors
2-4-4-1 Set up hardware interrupts vectors.
2-4-4-3 Test coprocessor if present.
3-1-1-1 Disable onboard I/O ports.
3-1-1-3 Detect and install external RS232 ports.
3-1-2-1 Detect and install external parallel ports.
3-1-2-3 Re-initialize onboard I/O ports.
3-1-3-1 Initialize BIOS Data Area.
3-1-3-3 Initialize Extended BIOS Data Area.
3-1-4-1 Initialize floppy controller.
3-2-1-1 Initialize hard-disk controller.
3-2-1-2 Initialize local-bus hard-disk controller.
3-2-1-3 Jump to UserPatch2.
3-2-2-1 Disable A20 address line.
3-2-2-3 Clear huge ES segment register.
3-2-3-1 Search for option ROMs.
3-2-3-3 Shadow option ROMs.
3-2-4-1 Set up Power Management.
3-2-4-3 Enable hardware interrupts.
3-3-1-1 Set time of day.
3-3-1-3 Check key lock.
3-3-3-1 Erase F2 prompt.
3-3-3-3 Scan for F2 key stroke.
3-3-4-1 Enter SETUP.
3-3-4-3 Clear in-POST flag.
3-4-1-1 Check for errors
3-4-1-3 POST done--prepare to boot operating system.
3-4-2-1 One beep.
3-4-2-3 Check password (optional).
3-4-3-1 Clear global descriptor table.
3-4-4-1 Clear parity checkers.
3-4-4-3 Clear screen (optional).
3-4-4-4 Check virus and backup reminders.
4-1-1-1 Try to boot with INT 19.
4-2-1-1 Interrupt handler error.
4-2-1-3 Unknown interrupt error.
4-2-2-1 Pending interrupt error.
4-2-2-3 Initialize option ROM error.
4-2-3-1 Shutdown error.
4-2-3-3 Extended Block Move.
4-2-4-1 Shutdown 10 error.
4-3-1-3 Initialize the chipset.
4-3-1-4 Initialize refresh counter.
4-3-2-1 Check for Forced Flash.
4-3-2-2 Check HW status of ROM.
4-3-2-3 BIOS ROM is OK.
4-3-2-4 Do a complete RAM test.
4-3-3-1 Do OEM initialization.
4-3-3-2 Initialize interrupt controller.
4-3-3-3 Read in bootstrap code.
4-3-3-4 Initialize all vectors.
4-3-4-1 Boot the Flash program.
4-3-4-2 Initialize the boot device.
4-3-4-3 Boot code was read OK.

by vkr See Profile edited by dbmaven See Profile
last modified: 2004-04-21 16:10:39

Test your memory using DocMemory RAM Diagnostic Software
or MemTest 86 RAM Testing Software

by Cariad See Profile edited by dbmaven See Profile
last modified: 2003-09-05 11:12:44

This is a typical startup situation when building a new system using an AMD processor.

The original Athlon/Duron processors, and early 'Thunderbirds', ran at a 100 mhz Front Side Bus (FSB). Later 'T-Birds', Palominos, and Thoroughbreds are meant to run at a 133 mhz FSB, and newer Barton's run at a 166 mhz FSB.

However, many motherboards ship with the default FSB set to 100 mhz - this is in effect a "legacy" of the original Athlons.

For example, if you install an XP2400+ expecting it to report a 2.0 Ghz processor speed, and the BIOS or other utilities report it as an XP1800+ running at 1.5 Ghz - your FSB is defaulting to the 100 mhz setting.

Depending on your motherboard, you will either have to:
a) change a jumper from the 100 mhz setting to the 133/166 mhz setting
b) enter your system BIOS and change the Processor Speed or Front Side Bus setting from 100 to 133/166.

Consult your motherboard manual for specific details.

by dbmaven See Profile
last modified: 2003-09-05 10:57:53

ASUS A7A266 with an AMD 1.333 on it. Some people have had problems with thier pc's rebooting after inserting a second stick of RAM in the machine.
There is an undocumented jumper switch on the A7A266. It is located at the end of the AGP slot. As such, the fix is referred to as the "AGP Jumper Fix". Simply by moving the jumper from pins 1 and 2 to pins 2 and 3 the problem can be solved. What this does is increase the voltage from 2.5 to about 2.7 going to the DDR Ram.

Solution submitted by MGKnight

by Cariad See Profile edited by dbmaven See Profile
last modified: 2003-09-05 11:01:20

First, undo recent changes. If you've added or removed new hardware, altered CMOS settings, or installed new software, there's a good chance those changes are the cause of your problems. A PC that's been running well and hasn't been altered won't die suddenly, in general. So if your problems can't be solved by obvious solutions--like plugging in an unplugged power cord--try returning your PC to its original, pre-troubled configuration.

Of course, problems do sometimes arise without overt provocation. Hard disks crash, chips burn out, and monitors eventually expire. Software, too, can be corrupted. A power failure or an accidental press of the reset button can shut Windows down improperly, damaging key files, and that can lead to all kinds of trouble

by Cariad See Profile edited by dbmaven See Profile
last modified: 2003-09-05 11:00:21

Watch for clues. Before Windows starts, your PC performs an initialization process for many of its components. As it does so, on-screen messages either confirm the devices' proper initialization or report errors. So watch for clues as your PC boots up; you may be able to identify a troublesome component. If a message flashes on and off the screen too quickly to read, you can freeze the screen with the Pause key.

Reseat expansion cards. System lockups that occur before Windows' launch can be caused by poorly seated expansion cards. Reseat all cards.


by Cariad See Profile edited by dbmaven See Profile
last modified: 2003-09-05 11:00:39

Check Windows 98's System Configuration Utility. Select Start, Run, enter msconfig in the field, and click OK. Click the Startup tab in the resulting dialog box. Look down the list and make sure that Windows isn't starting up a given process more than once. If you see the same item twice, uncheck the box beside the second occurrence. Another thing to try: Uncheck suspect items you may have added recently that have no uninstall routines. When you're done making changes, click Apply, and then close the System Configuration Utility. You'll have to reboot before your changes take effect.

Restart in Safe Mode. Press F8 shortly after your PC powers up--when it displays the "Starting Windows 9x" text message--to arrive at the Windows 9x Startup Menu. Select Safe Mode, and Windows will load a stripped-down version of itself with a plain-vanilla VGA display driver and a minimum number of other drivers.

Unless Windows is damaged beyond repair, it should successfully launch in Safe Mode. If it does, your problem is likely a corrupted registry file, damaged or missing system files, or another Windows-related problem. Look for the root cause of your trouble by doing the following:

Run Scandisk to look for hard disk damage. A possible cause of missing or corrupted files is a dying hard disk. Run ScanDisk ( Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, ScanDisk) or type scandisk at the DOS prompt. Under "Type of test," select Thorough. If ScanDisk finds damaged sectors, that's a sign of significant system corruption or real hard drive problems (modern hard drives map out disk errors at the firmware level, so ScanDisk shouldn't report any). Back up everything immediately. On the other hand, a few cross-linked files or lost clusters is nothing to worry about, especially after a loss of power or a system crash. Just make sure you clean them up, as they can cause problems for Windows.

Look for hardware conflicts. Right-click My Computer, select Properties, and select the Device Manager tab. Scan the listing of your PC's components. If a component is marked with a yellow circle and exclamation point, double-click the component's name. At the center of the General tab is the Device Status box, which will tell you if the component is working properly. If it isn't, click the Resources tab and look in the Conflicting Device list.

If you find a conflict in that list, you must remove it. Do that physically--by removing one of the conflicting devices (of course, by powering down first and following good safety procedures)--or through software, by checking the "Disable in this hardware profile" box at the bottom of that device's General tab in Device Manager. Then try restarting your PC.

Start Windows with step-by-step confirmations. Restart Windows and hold down the F8 key to bring up the Windows 9x Startup Menu. Select Step-by-Step Confirmation. Windows then initializes devices one at a time and prompts you for a "Yes" or "No" before moving to the next device. A "No" skips that device's initialization. A "Yes" should lead to either a message confirming the device's initialization or an error message indicating initialization failure. So if Windows locks up, at the very least you'll know which device was being configured and, at most, you may even find out why.

Check your Registry files. Most of Windows' hardware settings (and most software settings) are stored in the Windows Registry. A damaged Registry file can lead to all kinds of PC problems. Fortunately, Windows 98 provides ScanReg, a utility that automatically creates and stores five days' worth of Registry backups.

To run ScanReg, restart your PC, press F8 to reach the Windows 98 Startup Menu, and select Command Prompt Only. From the DOS prompt you can then type scanreg and restore a backup of your Registry. For more complete instructions on using ScanReg (as well as some more advanced Registry recovery techniques) see "Troubleshoot and Repair Your Registry."

Create a boot log. If you're still stumped, restart once again, return to the Windows 98 Startup Menu (use F8 to get there) and select the "Logged (\BOOTLOG.TXT)" start-up option. As Windows launches, it will meticulously record each step of the start-up process in the file c:\bootlog.txt. Reading the file can reveal exactly what Windows was working on at the moment of its launch failure. The file's long list of techno-gibberish may appear useless, but putting it on a floppy and taking it to a specialist may save you many troubleshooting hours and dollars.


by Cariad See Profile edited by dbmaven See Profile
last modified: 2003-09-05 11:01:04

The Microsoft keyboards now have an F-Lock button. The default is for the F keys to be off. If you need to use the F keys to install windows or get into BIOS the F-Lock button has to be pushed in the beginning of POST. Microsoft's idea was to allow keys to do more than one operation.

If you really hate this feature, this F Lock Key Information site offers a zip file that will turn this 'enhanced' feature off and explains how it works.

by DSmithLady See Profile edited by dbmaven See Profile
last modified: 2003-09-05 11:01:33

Here is a link to a thread that has a good picture of a couple of bad caps.(capacitors)
»Re: Computer crash

Thanks to TNoeske »/profile/472725
and jc613ua »/profile/586790

by Cho Baka See Profile edited by dbmaven See Profile
last modified: 2004-09-12 01:09:59

Does your new system take a long time to complete post?

Have you recently installed a new PATA hard drive?

If so, particularly if your hard drive is a WD drive, please check the jumper settings on the new hard drive.

WD drives often have specific requirements if the drive is alone on the cable. In this case, "master" may not be appropriate for the drive that is "alone" on the cable. Either refer to the "alone" markings for jumper positioning on the top of the drive, or refer to the settings in this WD link:


Please note that a system that has many drives configured into numreous raid arrays may take longer to post or boot than an average system. This may be normal.

Some motherboards may offer you the ability to disable unused raid controllers in the bios which may also speed things up.

by Cho Baka See Profile edited by dbmaven See Profile
last modified: 2005-01-11 22:25:42