AMIBIOS is a kind of BIOS manufactured by American Megatrends (AMI). Many popular motherboard manufacturers have integrated AMI’s AMIBOS into their systems.

Other motherboard manufacturers have created custom BIOS software based on the AMIBIOS system. The beep codes from an AMIBIOS-based BIOS may be exactly the same as the true AMIBIOS beep codes below or they may vary slightly. You can always reference your motherboard’s manual if you think this might be an issue.

Note: AMIBIOS beep codes are short, sound in quick succession, and usually sound immediately after powering on the PC.

1 beep A single beep from an AMI based BIOS means there has been a memory refresh timer error. The solution is often to replace the RAM in the computer.
2 beeps Two beeps means there has been a parity error in base memory. This is an issue with the first 64KB block of memory in your RAM. The solution is usually to replace the memory.
3 beeps Three beeps means there has been a base memory read/write test error. Replacing the RAM usually solves this AMI beep code.
4 beeps Four beeps means that the motherboard timer is not working properly. A hardware failure with an expansion card or the motherboard itself could be the cause of this beep code.
5 beeps Five beeps means there has been a processor error. A damaged expansion card, the CPU, or the motherboard could be prompting this AMI beep code.
6 beeps Six beeps means that there has been an 8042 Gate A20 test error. This beep code is usually caused by an expansion card that has failed or the motherboard that is no longer working.
7 beeps Seven beeps indicates a general exception error. This AMI beep code could be caused by an expansion card problem, a motherboard hardware issue, or a damaged CPU. Replacing the faulty hardware usually fixes the cause of this beep code.
8 beeps Eight beeps means that there has been an error with the display memory. This beep code is usually caused by a faulty video card. Replacing the video card usually clears this up.
9 beeps Nine beeps means that there has been an AMIBIOS ROM checksum error. Literally, this would indicate an issue with the BIOS chip on the motherboard. However, since replacing a BIOS chip is sometimes impossible, this AMI BIOS issue is usually corrected by replacing the motherboard.
10 beeps Ten beeps means that there has been a CMOS shutdown register read/write error. This beep code is usually caused by a hardware issue with the AMI BIOS chip. A motherboard replacement will usually solve this problem, although it could be caused by a damaged expansion card in rare situations.
11 beeps Eleven beeps means that the cache memory test has failed. Some piece of failing hardware is usually to blame for this AMI BIOS beep code.

AwardBIOS is a kind of BIOS manufactured by Award, now owned by Phoenix Technologies. Many popular motherboard manufacturers use Award’s AwardBIOS in their systems.

Other motherboard manufacturers have created custom BIOS software based on the AwardBIOS system. The beep codes from an AwardBIOS-based BIOS may be the same as the original AwardBIOS beep codes (below) or they may vary a little. You can always reference your motherboard’s manual if you to be sure.

Note: AwardBIOS beep codes sound in quick succession and usually immediately after powering on the PC.

1 short beep A single, short beep from an Award based BIOS is actually an “all systems clear” notification. In other words, this is a beep code you want to hear and that you’ve probably been hearing each time your computer comes on since the day you purchased it. No troubleshooting necessary!
1 long beep, 2 short beeps One long beep followed by two short beeps indicates that there has been some kind of error with the video card. Replacing the video card is usually the most you’ll have to do to fix this one.
1 long beep, 3 short beeps One long beep followed by three short beeps means that either the video card isn’t installed or the memory on the video card is bad. Reseating or replacing the video card will typically fix the cause of this Award beep code.
1 high pitched beep, 1 low pitched beep (repeating) A repeating high pitched / low pitched beep pattern is an indication of some kind of CPU problem. The CPU could be overheating or malfunctioning in some other way.
1 high pitched beep (repeating) A single, repeating, high pitched beeping sound means that the CPU is overheating. You’ll need to figure out why the CPU is getting too hot before this Award beep code will go away.

Several custom implementations of the PhoenixBIOS system exist in many popular motherboards. The beep codes from a Phoenix-based BIOS may be exactly the same as the true Phoenix beep codes below or they may vary. You can always check your motherboard manual to be sure.

Note: PhoenixBIOS beep codes are short, sound in quick succession, and usually sound immediately after powering on the PC.

1 beep A single beep from a Phoenix based BIOS is actually an “all systems clear” notification. Technically, it’s an indication that the Power On Self Test is complete. No troubleshooting necessary!
1 continuous beep One continuous beep isn’t an officially listed Phoenix beep code but I know of several instances of this occurring. In at least one case, the solution was to reseat the CPU.
1 short beep, 1 long beep One short beep followed by one long beep also isn’t an officially listed Phoenix beep code but two readers have let me know about this one. In both cases, the problem was bad RAM which replacing obviously solved.
1 long beep, 2 short beeps One long beep followed by two short beeps indicates that there has been a checksum error. This means that there is some kind of motherboard issue. Replacing the motherboard should fix this problem.
1-1-1-1 beep code This pattern doesn’t oficially exist. Most often, it’s a problem with the system memory. This Phoenix BIOS issue is usually corrected by replacing the RAM.
1-2-2-3 beep code This pattern means that there has been a BIOS ROM checksum error. Literally, this would indicate an issue with the BIOS chip on the motherboard. Since replacing a BIOS chip is often not possible, this Phoenix BIOS issue is usually corrected by replacing the entire motherboard.
1-3-1-1 beep code This pattern means that there has been an issue while testing the DRAM refresh. This could be a problem with the system memory, an expansion card, or the motherboard.
1-3-1-3 beep code This pattern means that the 8742 keyboard controller test has failed. This usually means that there is a problem with the currently connected keyboard but it could also indicate a motherboard issue.
1-3-4-1 beep code This pattern means that there is some kind of issue with the RAM. Replacing the system memory usually fixes this problem.
1-3-4-3 beep code This pattern indicates some kind of issue with the memory. Replacing the RAM is the usual recommendation for solving this problem.
1-4-1-1 beep code This pattern means that there is an issue with the system memory. Replacing the RAM usually fixes this problem.
2-1-2-3 beep code This pattern means that there has been a BIOS ROM error, meaning an issue with the BIOS chip on the motherboard. This issue is usually corrected by replacing the motherboard.
2-2-3-1 beep code This pattern means that there has been an issue while testing hardware related to IRQs. This could be a hardware or misconfiguration problem with an expansion card or some kind of motherboard failure.

Source: 1, 2, 3

Leave a Reply