My weird BEEPING computer--help!

There seem to be quite a few knowlegable computer people here, so I thought I’d throw out this question.

I just got my PC back, (I USPed it to a friend who did some upgrades.) When he got it, he said right out of the box it would give off these long annoying beeps. Intermittent. It would be like “beeeeeep…beep…beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep”. No pattern to the beeps, they start and stop randomly. Not coming from the external speakers, but from the PC. It happens during normal operation of the PC. I got the PC back yesterday, and it is still doing it. I notice that the little green light on my minitower (the one that lights up when the PC is on, it has the icon of a lightbulb above it) blinks in time with the beeps. So it’s beeping, and this green light (the power light?) is keeping time with the beeps.

I have a generic custom-built PC, it’s an ATX form, an ASUS P5A motherboard. (That’s about all the technical stuff I know about this computer.) Running Win98, AMD K62-450, 128 megs RAM.

The computer boots up normally, seems to perform normally. Though I have not really done much with it yet, since I just got it back.

I am writing this from my iMac. (Which is working FINE right now…knock on wood.) These PC problems are pushing me to be more and more of a Machead! Sheesh! Any ideas what the beeping is?

If the computer still boots normally, while randomly beeping, my first thoght is that it’s a temperature alarm, and that maybe a fan is blown. Of course, I could be, and probably am, wildly wrong. If it beeped a bunch of times during startup, then they would most likely be “beep codes”, which are used for diagnostic purposes (two beeps mean bad controller card, three is a bad keyboard, or whatever). Of course, it could be something as innocent as a key that gets stuck down sporadically. That would cause a beeping too.

That’d be my first guess too (that a fan is not working, and you are overheating, and the intermittent beeping is due to your CPU temperature fluctuating right around the alarm set point). This is very easy to check. Just open the side of your computer, and start it up. Make sure all of your fans are spinning (especially the CPU fan). If one is not spinning, make sure it is plugged in before you go buy a new one (turn off the computer before you do any plugging or unplugging).

If all of your fans are spinning, look closely at the fan / heatsink combo on your CPU, and make sure it is sitting level on the CPU. If it is not level, it is not making contact with the entire surface, and is thus unable to get rid of the heat the CPU generates.

A last check for temperature would to be to go into your BIOS, and look at your temperatures (if your BIOS and motherboard support that feature).

I hope that’s it, because it is easy and cheap to diagnose and fix.

if the above isint the problem try listening to the beeps again. What seems like not a pattern may be. Each manufacture of Motherboard has a different set of codes. some use long and short beeps, some use beeps with pauses and then more beeps. Take a listen to what the beeps are and post them here so we can compare them to any lists that may be floating around

Find your cmos bios screen, usually hit DEL when starting, it asks for it, in the bios, turn off any alarms you might find. & choose ‘ignore’ for any fan speeds or temperature ratings & see if its quiet.

Thanks everyone!

I am a chicken about the BIOS, but I will ask my computer geek friend (the one that set this up for me) if he can talk me through doing this. I do know that fans are working (at least some fans are working) and I also know that it will start beeping (often one long continuous beep) not too long after boot-up (but after Windows is totally loaded. It was just beeping a few minutes ago, when I was writing email.)

It wouldn’t surprise me that something came loose during transit. Before I sent it down to my friend, it NEVER beeped like this. But it came to him beeping. Damned UPS.

I have a P5A Asus board, and I have played with many of them at my office. They do have “PC Health Monitoring” for the CPU and main board temps.

The K6-2 450MHz is a very hot burning CPU, so my guess is the alarm is set in the BIOS and you are peaking the temp.
If the system starts beeping at boot up, the cpu hasn’t had time to really start warming up yet, so the temp setting in the bios my just be set too low. 105 deg F is a good level for the alarm.

You can download a simple utility from which will tell you the real time temp of your motherboard and cpu. It’s also on the CD that came with the motherboard, if you still know where that is.

Check it out and see if the cpu is above 95 deg. Also, check your cpu fan. If that isn’t running or is running slow then it will need to be repaired.

Good luck.

If it beeps through the PC speaker, you can just disconnect that wire.

Yes, handy, but it’s beeping for a reason. If it’s an overheating alarm (which sounds most probable), then disconnecting the speaker won’t stop the overheating, and in a few months, yosemitebabe won’t have a computer left to be asking questions about. Treat the cause, not the symptom.

I can’t believe this thread has made it to 9 posts without some Machead castigating yosemitebabe for buying a PC. yosemitebabe must be blessed!

That’s because I am already a Machead…or partly so.

I got into Macs late last year…I’ve had this PC for longer than that. It’s an investment (and useful for many things) so I want to keep using it.

But I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t really miss the PC all that much when it was with my friend being upgraded. The iMac kept me busy. And the iMac WORKS. Sheesh. I have been muttering “PC–Piece of Crap” ever since this beeping thing started.

But bellyaching aside, I do need my PC to work, and I need to find out what the damned BEEPING IS!!! Ack!

>> If it beeps through the PC speaker, you can just disconnect that wire

Handy, do you think that is a reasonable solution? Not to pick on you but I cannot think of anything dumber to say. Doesn’t it occur to you that she should find the cause of the beeping rather than ignore it?

If the red oil warning lamp in your car is lit, would you recommend putting a piece of tape over it so you can’t see it? Would that solve the problem?

I think she would want to get to the cause of the alarm, not just ignore it until maybe the processor goes up in smoke.

sailor, ahem, you forgot that Im deaf. I never hear no beeping. All my computers work fine. I work on about 70 per year & don’t need the beeps.

You also forgot that power light flashes too in response to the alarms! So, you don’t have to listen to it, you can see it, so don’t want to listen? Unplug the speaker.

While you have the case open, check the connection from the power supply to the mainboard. Also wiggle the memory in the socket. If the beeping doesn’t stop, try swapping out the power supply.

First check around for a pager or cellphone. Read on if you don’t find one.

Don’t forget Your using a socket 7 board.

Beeping during start up only would be mother board codes for problems. The card would only beep codes for major problems.

Beeping at different times during the use of the computer,or start up could be a couple things. Over heating of the processor, or something set wrong in the bios for hardware monitoring. Your power supply could be too small for all the peripherals you installed. Newer AGP video cards can try to pull more current than that board’s chip set can handle.

What would overheat the processor?

  1. The fan is not turning.
    A. The fan is dead.
    B. Power feed to fan is dead.
    C. A wire or cable is setting in the fan, preventing it from turning.

  2. You are overclocking the processor.
    A. You jacked up the CPU voltages and now run hotter.
    B. You just increased the speed.

  3. It’s summer and the room temperature is hotter.

What would be wrong with the bios monitoring settings?

  1. The temperatures are set to too low.

  2. The fan speed is set for too high a minimum speed, and you drop below that sometimes.

  3. The voltage settings are set too close to a minimum or maximum voltage that your power supply puts out.

Thanks guys, this information is helpful!

To further clarify the problem, it used to have a 333 MHz chip. I sent it down to my techie friend to get it upgraded to 450 MHz. He said as soon as he got it out of the box, and turned it on (he always turns a computer on and runs it for a while before upgrading) it did the beep thing. So it was beeping while having a 333 MHz CPU. And it did NOT beep when it left my house. No changes in any BIOS settings (you think I’m going to change any settings? A chicken like me?!?! HA!) So whatever settings it had before the trip (where it NEVER beeped) it had when it arrived at my friend’s house, where it beeped.

My suspicion is that during transit, something shifted, got loose, whatever.

‘techie friend’ eh? You get what you pay for :slight_smile:

Maybe he did not set the board jumpers for the new speed?

Maybe it didn’t happen in transit. Maybe the problem is a result of something your friend did during the upgrade. Maybe he was then unable to diagnose the reason for the beeps and correct it and so he told you it was that way when it arrived. Sherlock Holmes would say that it is not impossible.

I’m with Galen. Whatever your friend did has caused this problem and you are just unsophisticated enough about computers to accept his word BECAUSE he is a friend. Now he doesn’t know how to fix it so he is claiming it was a pre-existing problem. Very unlikely IMHO. Ask him to return the computer to its prior configuration as a diagnostic procedure and I’m willing to bet the problem will go away. Then find another friend who knows what he is doing or pay a real technician to do the work.

No…I tend to believe my friend. He owns up to things he messes up. He’s paid to replace entire computers because he felt that he messed them up. If he says it came out of the box that way, I believe him. He is also a very accomplished techie person - been doing this for 20 years, currently works as an IT. But that doesn’t mean he’s infallable - he didn’t fix my beeping problem, after all! But he’s not an incompetent, or dishonest.

I just don’t believe he caused it. I think it is more likely that something came unseated on the trip down, and he didn’t detect what it was.