Computer beeping on startup

Help …

We had a power fluctuation that blacked out the house for about 30 seconds. Everything else came back on normally, but the poor desktop has problems.

There is no signal getting to the monitor, and there is a light beep every 30 seconds or so. I tried leaving teh box off for the last hour, and when i boot up i get the beep immedaiately on powering up. I would love to know what is going on, but as I said, the monitor is blank, and just the beeping. I checked search and came up with this posting which doesnt seem to apply.

Running winXP pro, but for the life of me cant remember what motherboard or cpu innards I happen to have as it was originally a custom build 8 years ago that has had bits and pieces replaced over the years so not even the case is original…

any suggestions? i am sort of desperate=(


You might be screwed. The cheapest fixes/tests that come to mind:

  1. Bypass your surge protector and plug the machine directly into the wall & see if it works–protector may have taken one for the team, but probably not.

  2. Take the power supply to a computer geek shop and have it tested. A power spike might have murdered it. The tests are usually free for the power supply and a new one costs like $30. Except yours, which will require a custom-made one that will run $200.

  3. if neither of those reveal your problem it’s probably time for a new machine. The motherboard can be tested for damage, but if the first two tests don’t give you answers then it probably IS damaged, and testing the motherboard takes a few hours and costs pretty much the same as a new motherboard.


Well, I can say that the surge bar is good, everything else [speakers, monitor and cell charger] is powered up and working.

Power supply - hm, the little light on the cd drice and that shows that teh computer is turned on light up so I would say that there is power headed into the box…and there is that annoying beeping… if the power supply was dead in the water, those wouldn’t work would they?

Hm, quick and dirty check of the motherboard I might be able to do if the components are the right size/type is a barebones system I got for christmas that needs ram, cpu, vid and sound cards, and hdd is sitting in teh living room. I could [as i said, if they fit] pop them into the barebones system and smke test it. That would actually show that the motherboard was fried, and give me a working computer=)

Hpw does that sound?

i’d start by trying out a different video card - could be you just blew yours and the beeping could be the POST for “no video” if your bios is configured that way.

The main problem with this is I havent worked in over 2.5 years, and it took me over a month to scrounge teh $11US + S&H for my new sound card…so popping in a new video cardisnt the easiest thing for me to do…

As I replied to Iniego, I do have a barebones that I could use to see if the motherboard is fried provided the bits I already have will fit into the barebones motherboard…

The beeping should be at a specific pattern. Write down the the pattern and do a google search for “beep codes”. They mean something!

I second that you check out your video card. Open up your CPU, take it out and re-plug it in.

This is true. The beeps are a code that tell you something about what is going on.

Unfortunately there is no standard code so different mobos beep in different ways to tell you the same thing. Without your manual or knowing exactly what mobo you have (BIOS revision might even be relevant) good luck deciphering what it is trying to tell you.

They would. When mine died everything looked right: ROM lights & CPU light lit up, the 3.5 floppy buzzed & genuflected but the monitor, getting no signal from the 'puter, just kind of stared back at me like the lifeless eyes of a corpse.

Evidently the komputermachine needs just the right amount of juice in order to work. The power supply can be baked to the point where it delivers some juice, enough to work the hardware, but not enough to spark consciousness. Think coma.

If it’s your video card I would assume the machine would completely boot up to Windows, you just couldn’t see it because, you know, no display. If this were the case you’d get your normal “Hail Microsoft” boot up tune. Are you getting that? Or would a videocard error stop the boot process?

A typical beep code is a repeating pattern that repeats a lot quicker than 30 seconds (usually it’s more like 5 seconds). In order to get a useful beep code you usually have to have at least the CPU and the boot rom on the motherboard working. If one of these is futzed, some motherboards will not beep at all, and others will have a default beep pattern that may be just a repeating beep with no real pattern to it.

The 3.3 volt output from your power supply is usually only used by the cpu and maybe some of its direct support chips. A lot of times if the 3.3 volt portion of the supply is dead but other voltages work you can get a beep code that indicates the cpu has died. The motherboard can’t tell the difference between a blown cpu chip and the the cpu not working because the 3.3 volt line is dead, because in both cases the cpu just shows up as non-responsive.

It depends on how the video card fails. If it fails completely, most motherboards will halt and put out a beep code for no video. If it fails in such a way that it still responds to the motherboard but does not put out any useful video signal, then it will boot all the way into windows, you just won’t see anything on the screen (or it may crash or do weird things while loading windows, it may not run completely).

Well, to be honest, I dont ever remember getting a microsnarf tone on start up - i lack a sound card, and if it uses the on the MB microspeaker thingy [does my computer have one? where is the beep coming from…hmmmmm :dubious: ]

I still think my probable best option is to swap components over to teh barebones system.
I can try the remove and reseat the vid card thang, though I am not sure why to do that…if it was a power bonk why would unplugging/replugging it work?

<i may be able to ‘build’ a computer by swapping out parts, but as far as I am concerned most computer repairs are performed by an arcane sacrifice of kentucky fried chicken to St Vidicon by the tech in the back room…I am a plug and pray sort.>

I too had had the same problem.

Have you tried reseating the video card in its slot? That was all that was wrong with mine and two others I have fixed…


When the transformer on the pole behind my house got hit with lightning, it also made my puter not respond…just beeps like you’re getting. In my case, I had to get a new mobo AND processor.

Let’s hope that in your case it isn’t that bad.