Manufacturers usually integrate motherboard noises and beep codes to help our computers communicate with us.
While some of them indicate the normal operation of our systems, others signal serious issues.
These noises come in beeps that we hear after turning on the computer.
However, the computer that can’t boot up due to severe internal issues warns us through these beeps.
What do they mean, and how can we stop them?
Why Is My Laptop Beeping? (Causes, Fixes)
Beeps are a way of telling you there’s something wrong with your hardware rather than software.
They’re codes that indicate a specific problem depending on the number of beeps.
Each manufacturer has its own way of assigning a sequence of beeps to each specific problem.
You should know the BIOS manufacturer and search the beep codes on their website to see what issue is indicated by the sequence you are hearing.
Alternatively, you could take your laptop to a repair technician to identify the culprit.
Computers have a power-on self-test (POST) feature, which ensures all the hardware components are functioning upon bootup.
It also checks for compatibility or connection issues, and if the computer passes these tests, it will finish its startup.
Some computers may produce a single beep to signal there’s no problem with hardware components.
However, if the computer finds issues with the hardware, it will indicate them via beep codes.
These beeps are only given when a hardware component is broken, but the computer can’t display it on the screen, making it impossible to take standard troubleshooting measures.
The hardware components whose problems are indicated by these beep codes are primarily RAM, GPU, CPU, and motherboard.
Since these beep codes come from the BIOS, you should know your BIOS manufacturer to decode these beeps.
That’s because each manufacturer has a different sequence of beeps to indicate a specific issue.
In addition, some manufacturers have different beep codes for their laptops and desktop computers.
If you don’t already know the manufacturer, and the hardware issue doesn’t allow you to access BIOS, you need to take your laptop to a repair technician to take care of it.
You could also consult your user’s manual or open the laptop back panel and look at the motherboard to find out your BIOS’s manufacturer.
To find the manufacturer, you should access the BIOS chip installed on the motherboard by removing the protective panel.
How To Look For Possible Issues
As mentioned, the beeps you hear on startup indicate hardware issues.
You should find out the underlying problem that triggered the beep codes.
However, before taking extreme measures, such as replacing components, you could try some general solutions and see if they help stop the beeps.
1. Restart The Laptop
Although beep codes indicate problems with hardware components, restarting the computer may help remove temporary glitches with hardware drivers.
By restarting the laptop, you can make sure the issue is serious, and you need to take extra measures with the hardware.
When you hear beep codes, you’re most probably not going to be able to boot the device and restart the system via the Start Menu.
Press the power button and hold it until the computer shuts off, unplug all the connections, and remove the battery.
Remember to remove any USB devices, including flash drives or external hard disks.
Wait for a couple of minutes, put the battery back in, and start the laptop.
You could also try turning on the laptop without the battery to ensure a faulty battery isn’t the culprit.
If the laptop starts without the battery, reattach the battery and see what happens.
If the beep reappears, it’s time to replace the battery.
You should also ensure the other external devices aren’t causing the issue.
Attach them one by one, turn on the laptop and see how things go.
2. Check Connections
We constantly move our laptops around.
These movements could cause connections to come loose.
These connections could be external, involving power cords and peripherals, or internal.
Start with inspecting all the external connections, and if everything is okay, you can move to the internal parts.
If you don’t know how to open a laptop’s back panel, watch a video tutorial about your specific brand of laptop and follow those instructions.
You should check the CPU, GPU, RAM, and hard disk connections.
They have data cables and power cables connected to them and other components, so inspect all of them carefully by removing and reattaching them.
3. Rule Out The Overheating Issue
Overheating can create a wide range of problems within the system, triggering the beep codes.
It’s essential to make sure all the cooling solutions inside the laptop are working properly.
Start with the fans, making sure they work, and all the connections are okay.
Clean the fan blades to help them move better and clean the vents on the laptop’s back cover.
You may also need to reapply thermal paste on the CPU and GPU.
4. Remove Newly Installed Hardware
If the beeps started after installing a new piece of hardware, it could be the root cause.
Try removing that component and see if that stops the beeps.
If so, you need to make sure the component isn’t defective.
Another possibility is that the new hardware isn’t compatible with your system specs or other hardware.
5. Check The Graphics Card
As you’ll see later, a faulty graphics card can trigger some of the beep codes produced by the motherboard.
It could be dirty, defective, or not properly seated.
Like any hardware component, a video card can come loose after some time due to the vibrations inside the computer panel.
One of the first things you should check is whether the video card is seated firmly in place.
Remove it, clean it with a lint-free cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol, and reseat it.
However, if your laptop comes with an embedded GPU that’s soldered into the motherboard, there’s not much you can do about it, and you need to replace the entire CPU or motherboard.
6. Check The RAM Modules
RAM is another component that creates a wide range of issues if defective.
It will trigger different beep codes and doesn’t allow the computer to start.
You first need to open the laptop’s back panel to check the RAM sticks.
Turn off the laptop and remove its battery and other peripherals and cables.
Press the power button and hold it for a few seconds to drain the static charge from the internal components.
Now, flip over the laptop and carefully inspect the back panel to see how many and what kind of screws you need to open.
After opening the panel, locate the RAM modules.
Most laptops typically have two, but you may find devices with one RAM module.
Make sure the RAM modules aren’t loosened by removing them and putting them back in place.
Removing RAM is pretty straightforward as it has two spring arms that easily pull up and unplug the RAM modules.
After the RAM pops up, you can easily slide it out and reseat it.
Each RAM stick can go into the slot only in one direction, so you can’t get it wrong.
Press down the module until you hear a click that shows the module is inserted correctly.
The next thing you should check is whether the RAM is faulty.
If you have two RAM sticks, remove one and turn on the laptop to see if you hear the beep.
If you do, try with another one.
If you have only one RAM stick, you need a working RAM stick and put it in the slot to see if it solves the issue.
This way, you can either solve the beep code problem or rule out the possibility of a faulty RAM.
You should also make sure the problem isn’t a faulty RAM slot.
To do so, take a RAM stick that you know is functional and attach it to one RAM slot at a time, turn on the laptop and see if it works.
If you identify a faulty RAM slot, you need to change the motherboard.
How To Identify Beep Codes
As mentioned, each BIOS manufacturer has a different way of indicating hardware issues through a sequence of beeps.
You should carefully listen to these beeps and identify the problem by referring to the manufacturer’s website or simply Googling the beep codes.
Since these beeps have a specific pattern, the chances are high that you won’t remember the code sequence the first time you hear it.
You should restart the computer and listen carefully for the beep sequence.
Write down the number of the beeps and their patterns.
You should also check if there are any pauses between the beeps or whether the beeps are short, long, high-pitched, or low-pitched.
Restarting the laptop several times won’t worsen the issue, so you could repeat this process until you have written down the exact beep code sequence.
If you have a Dell or MAC, your BIOS isn’t from a third-party vendor.
Therefore, you can go directly to Dell or Apple to look for the beep codes and see what they mean.
For other laptop brands, though, your BIOS could be from any of the following manufacturers:
Let’s go over the code meanings for a couple of these manufacturers:
AMI BIOS is a popular component used in many different motherboards.
The beep codes made by this BIOS are short and quick.
However, some motherboard manufacturers have changed their BIOS software, which may make the beep codes different.
The best way to identify these codes is to consult your user manual.
One short beep indicates a memory refresh time error and means the programmable interrupt controller or timer has run into problems.
You could start by reseating the RAM, and if that doesn’t work, reseat the motherboard.
Two short beeps indicate a memory parity error in the first 64kb block of the RAM.
It could also mean a failure in the RAM IC.
If you’re 100% sure that the culprit is a faulty RAM, there’s nothing you can do to fix it.
All you can do is replace the RAM.
Three short beeps are also indicators of a faulty RAM that you need to replace.
The problem is with the base memory in the first 64kb block of RAM or a RAM IC failure.
Four short beeps mean either an issue with the first bank of the RAM module or the motherboard timer.
Start by reseating the memory module, and if it doesn’t work, you’ll probably need to replace the motherboard.
Five short beeps could indicate damage to the CPU or the motherboard.
Reseating the CPU and memory may help, but if it doesn’t, you may need to replace the motherboard.
Replacing the CPU could be another alternative, but getting a new motherboard is advisable as it’s more cost-effective.
Six short beeps can indicate different issues, but in most cases, it shows a failure in the keyboard controller’s IC.
As a result, Gate A20 can’t switch the processor’s mode to Protect Mode.
Replacing the controller should fix the issue.
Otherwise, you need to change the motherboard.
Seven short beeps indicate an issue with the CPU, mostly an exception error or a motherboard circuitry.
First, you should determine which one is the main culprit and then replace the faulty component.
Eight short beeps indicate a display memory read/write error caused by a faulty or missing system video adaptor.
You’ll need to reseat or replace the video card in most cases.
Nine short beeps tell you there’s a ROM checksum error, meaning the system BIOS ROM contents and the checksum value don’t match.
The most significant culprit here is a faulty BIOS ROM, which needs a replacement.
However, since changing a BIOS chip is difficult, you may need to change the motherboard.
Sometimes, resetting the CMOS battery may also help.
Ten short beeps indicate a read/write error with the CMOS shutdown register, which can be due to a faulty AMI BIOS chip.
Again, you should replace the motherboard, but first, try resetting the CMOS battery and see if it works.
Eleven short beeps indicate a fault with the L2 cache.
It could probably mean that the CPU has failed or is not seated properly.
Try reseating the CPU and if it doesn’t help, use another Compatible CPU.
If the beep doesn’t stop, you should replace the motherboard.
One long and two short beeps show that the video system has failed due to an error in the video BIOS ROM.
Remove the video card and see if it helps.
Otherwise, you should replace it.
One long and three short beeps show that the memory above the 64kb block has failed.
In this case, you should replace the RAM.
One long and eight short beeps indicate a display test failure due to a missing or defective video adapter.
Reseating or replacing the video card is the solution to this error.
The award is another popular BIOS manufacturer whose products are used in many motherboard brands.
Since Phoenix Technologies owns Award, you may find that the Phoenix BIOS chips also make the same beep codes.
Plus, because each motherboard manufacturer has its custom BIOS software, the beeps may indicate different issues.
The best thing is to consult your user manual in these cases.
Award BIOS beeps usually come in quick successions and can also be different in terms of loudness.
Like most BIOS codes, Award BIOS also shows you the system is functional and everything is okay via one short beep.
You can hear it every time your computer boots up, and it doesn’t mean you need any troubleshooting.
One long and two short beeps indicate an error with the video adapter, meaning it could be faulty or not inserted properly.
A continuous beep that doesn’t stop indicates a memory error, and you should make sure the memory isn’t faulty or improperly seated.
One long and three short beeps indicate a faulty video card.
Alternating high-pitched and low-pitched beeps indicate CPU overheating or other issues with the CPU.
You may hear beep codes different from those mentioned above, which could mean memory problems.
Try reseating your RAM and make sure your RAM sticks are okay.
As mentioned, you could refer to your user manual or search the internet for your specific BIOS manufacturer beep codes.
Here are the most important ones you could refer to: