Diagnosing computer malfunction is not such a difficult task if the motherboard of your device is working properly, and there is no problem with downloading BIOS. The basic system, created to determine the process of loading a computer, is an excellent diagnostic tool if you can read the information that it is providing.
BIOS has its own language, which is used by the system to communicate with users. Sound signals (squeaks) that you may hear at the time when the system is loading are a kind of “Morse code”, and if you know how to decipher them correctly, you can easily determine malfunction. When your computer squeaks and does not start, you should immediately determine the type of BIOS that is installed in the motherboard. To do this, press the Del key on the keyboard immediately after turning on your computer. BIOS will start and you will be able to determine its type. Then deciphering signals, you will be able to identify the malfunction, which the basic system indicates with the help of squeaks.
Table of contents: 1. Phoenix bios sound signals 2. Award bios sound signals 3. Ami bios sound signals - Short signals - Combined signals
Phoenix bios sound signals
If there are any basic system diagnostic signals that can be compared with the Morse code, it will be Phoenix BIOS. Its creators have developed their own system for alerting the user about errors, and this system is based on giving a short alternating signals. This is how you should “read” them:
- 1-2-1: motherboard malfunction. It is recommended to remove the battery from the motherboard and leave it deenergized for 20-30 minutes. After that, the battery should be installed again, and you can make a new attempt to start your computer;
- 1-3-1: errors in reading information from memory sticks. It is necessary to replace the main memory. If you have several sticks installed on your computer, you can leave one and try to turn on the computer. It will help you to define a memory stick that is faulty;
- 1-4-1: problems with motherboard loading, you may need to replace it. It is recommended to restart the computer, and if the problem is still not solved – disconnect and reconnect all the components;
- 1-4-2: motherboard cannot read data from the RAM. Make sure all RAM sticks are installed correctly and also check all the slots where the sticks are installed;
- 1-1-3: there is a malfunction when reading information from the CMOS memory. In this situation, it is recommended to replace the battery, which is responsible for supplying the CMOS memory.
- 1-2-3: problems occur in the data link associated with the DMA memory. In this situation, replacement of the motherboard is highly recommended;
- 1-3-3 / 1-3-4 / 4-3-1: checking the information coming from the first 64 kilobytes of RAM leads to an error. In this situation, you need to remove all memory sticks from the system unit and connect them one by one to determine the one that leads to the problem. If only one RAM stick is connected to the motherboard, it should be replaced;
- 1-4-3 / 4-2-1 / 4-3-4: error is related to the system timer, which is responsible for the motherboard operating. In this situation, you can reset the timer – just remove the battery for half an hour, and then put it back again. If all performed procedures did not allow to get rid of the problem, motherboard replacement will be required;
- 1-1-4: errors occur while Phoenix BIOS is loading. Phoenix BIOS is flashed on the motherboard flash card. You need to re-flash the memory card or replace the microcircuit with BIOS;
- 1-4-4: problem occurs with the motherboard ports responsible for information input. It is necessary to check connection of the mouse, keyboard and monitor (if it is connected directly to the motherboard). It is recommended to disconnect all connected devices and turn on the computer, alternately connecting them to find the element that causes problems;
- 3-1-1 / 3-1-2: fault occurs during DMA channel verification phase. In this situation, you will need to replace the motherboard;
- 3-1-4: unidentified error in the motherboard operation. In this situation, it is recommended to disconnect all components from the board, remove the battery and leave it without power for 30-40 minutes. After that, the battery and all elements should be installed back, and the system has to be started again. If the problem was not solved this way, replacement of the motherboard will be required;
- 3-2-4 / 4-2-3: error is caused by the keyboard connector and controller. Motherboard cannot receive information from the input device. If this error persists on reboot, you may need to replace the motherboard;
- 3-3-4: problem is related to the video card. If the video memory is built into the motherboard, you will need to replace the motherboard or install a discrete graphic card and try to start the computer when the monitor is connected to it. If a discrete graphic card is already installed in your computer, make sure that it is properly connected;
- 4-2-4: motherboard diagnostic systems have detected problems connected to reading data from CPU. It is recommended to check the socket for bent legs;
- 4-4-1: error in the operation of the RS-232 port. Most often it is used to connect an uninterruptible power supply. To diagnose the error, try to disconnect all devices from the RS-232 port and start your computer;
- 4-4-2: an obsolete error that indicates a fault in the parallel port. It was previously used to transfer data from the printer, but now these ports are not provided on mass motherboards. And in case there is a need to connect printer to a parallel port, there should be used adapters for the USB connector;
- 4-4-3: motherboard cannot read the data from the mathematical co-processor. If the error persists after restarting the computer, you may need to replace the motherboard.
Above we listed the most common Phoenix BIOS diagnostic audio signals. In total, the software of this basic system contains more than 100 commands, but the remaining ones are much less common, and they mostly indicate errors in the operation of class “A” lines on the motherboard.
Award BIOS sound signals
Motherboard with the BIOS Award version of the basic system will let you know if something is wrong with the following signals:
- 1 short signal with repetition every second: there are problems with the power supply operation. Power supply unit should be cleaned from dust and then you can try to turn your computer back on again;
- 1 continuous signal with repetition every second: the computer’s RAM is installed incorrectly. Remove all memory sticks and reinstall them;
- 1 short signal: standard diagnostics were carried out by the motherboard, and no errors were detected. After one short signal, your computer should start normally;
- Continuous squeaking: power supply unit failed and does not perform its functions. There is a possibility that power supply unit was not chosen correctly and as wrong voltage;
- 2 short signals: diagnostic system detected problems in the data transfer between the elements of your computer. In such cases BIOS basic system is offering its users to run the CMOS Utility. This program helps you to eliminate the need to check some of the computer components. In the situation when your computer gives 2 short signals it is very important to check how well all loops are fixed. Especially pay attention to those transferring information from the motherboard to hard drives;
- 3 continuous signals: unexpected errors occurred when the motherboard was processing information from the keyboard controller. In such a situation, it is recommended to restart the computer, but if this does not help to get rid of the problem, you will need to replace the motherboard;
- 1 continuous signal and 1 short signal: RAM is recognized by your computer, but the data from it cannot be read. It is recommended to check all memory sticks for correct connection. If your computer has several memory stick, leave only one and try to start the computer again;
- 1 continuous signal and 2 short signals: your motherboard does not receive data from the graphic card. |in this situation most likely the graphic card is not installed correctly or the monitor is not connected to the graphic card port;
- 1 continuous signal and 3 short signals: the motherboard cannot detect the keyboard, it is necessary to check the reliability of their connection;
- 1 continuous signal and 9 short signals: information stored in the read-only memory (ROM) cannot be read. You should try restarting your computer. If the error occurs again, you will need to refresh the contents of the storage device, but not all motherboards support the software update mode for this component.
Award BIOS audio signals are always very clear. If you know what they mean it will be fairly easy for you to diagnose a computer malfunction if it occurs.
AMI BIOS sound signals
This basic system reminds very much the previous one (BIOS Award) because any computer failure in the AMI BIOS will be marked with short and long signals too.
- 1: motherboard diagnosed all the components that are connected to it, and the computer is starting to load. This signal is standard for error-free operation of the system;
- 2: there are problems with memory sticks connection. It is necessary to check which positions memory sticks are installed in, and if they are many, it is recommended to install them one by one and run the system to determine the faulty memory stick;
- 3: just like the previous error, this indicates problems with reading data from RAM. The solution of the problem is identical to the situation with 2 sound signals;
- 4: system timer of the motherboard is malfunctioning or broken. It is necessary to remove the battery from the motherboard and wait for half an hour while the information is being reset to the factory settings. Then you can re-install the battery and turn on the computer;
- 5: motherboard cannot receive information from the central processor. Check the processor for physical damage. If you can ot identify the problem visually, you will need to replace the CPU;
- 6: no information is received from the keyboard controller. First check whether the input device is securely connected. If the wrong connection is not the case, you will need to replace the keyboard or the motherboard, depending on which device is out of order;
- 7: motherboard cannot start the download because of an unspecified fault. It is required to replace it.
- 8: graphic card of the computer (built-in or discrete) is working with errors. Check the reliability of the connection when it comes to a discrete graphics card;
- 9: information recorded in the BIOS cannot be read. In this situation, motherboard will need to be flashed or replaced;
- 10: problem is caused by the inability to write information to the computer’s CMOS memory. CMOS chip has to be replaced, which very often is more expensive than buying a new motherboard;
- 11: motherboard software cannot read any information from the external cache.
- 1 continuous and 8 short signals: in most cases this way BIOS is reporting that the output device, that is, the monitor, is not connected. It is recommended to check the connection reliability;
- 1 continuous and 3 short signals (2 short signals): graphic card is faulty or not connected properly. You need to make sure that it is securely installed in the required slot and all necessary wires are connected to it.
If when you are trying to start your computer, it is giving squeaks and not loading, you will need to determine the nature of the sound, and then start troubleshooting. The most common problem is in the poor connection of components or in the motherboard malfunction.