Hewlett packard post beep codes: troubleshooting hardware issues

When it comes to troubleshooting computer issues, understanding the meaning behind the post beep codes can be incredibly helpful. These beep codes are part of a computer's power-on self-test (POST) feature, which checks the internal hardware for compatibility and connection before the computer fully boots. In this article, we will explore the common beep codes associated with Hewlett Packard (HP) computers and how to interpret them.

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Understanding POST Beep Codes

POST beep codes are unique sets of beeps that indicate specific hardware issues within a computer. These codes can vary depending on the computer's BIOS manufacturer, and in this case, we will focus on the beep codes associated with HP computers.

AMI BIOS Signals

  • 1 short beep: No errors detected, normal boot.
  • 2 short beeps: Parity circuit failure.
  • 3 short beeps: Base 64 K RAM failure (The first 64 KB of RAM are out of order).
  • 4 short beeps: System timer failure.
  • 5 short beeps: Process failure.
  • 6 short beeps: Keyboard controller Gate A20 error.
  • 7 short beeps: Virtual mode exception error (System board issue).
  • 8 short beeps: Display memory Read/Write test failure (VRAM error).
  • 9 short beeps: ROM BIOS checksum failure.
  • 10 short beeps: CMOS shutdown Read/Write error.
  • 11 short beeps: Cache Memory error.
  • 1 long beep, 3 short beeps: Conventional/Extended memory failure (Graphics card is out of order).
  • 1 long beep, 8 short beeps: Display/Retrace test failed.
  • Two-tone siren: Low CPU Fan speed, Voltage Level issue.


  • 1 long beep, 2 short beeps: Indicates a video error has occurred and the BIOS cannot initialize the video screen to display any additional information (Graphics card not found, or VRAM error).
  • 1 long beep, 3 short beeps: Video card not detected (reseat video card) or bad video card (Depending on the BIOS version, this beep code may indicate either a graphics card error or a keyboard error).
  • Endlessly repeated signal: RAM problem.
  • Repeated frequent beeps while the computer is working: Overheating processor (CPU).
  • Repeated beeps, frequent and seldom: Issue with the processor (CPU), possibly damaged.

Dell Signals

  • 1 beep: BIOS ROM corruption or failure.
  • 2 beeps: Memory (RAM) not detected.
  • 3 beeps: Motherboard failure.
  • 4 beeps: Memory (RAM) failure.
  • 5 beeps: CMOS Battery failure.
  • 6 beeps: Video card failure.
  • 7 beeps: Bad processor (CPU).

IBM BIOS Signals

  • None: No Power, Loose Card, or Short (Power supply unit, motherboard, or internal speaker is out of order).
  • 1 short beep: Normal POST, computer is ok (No errors detected).
  • 2 short beeps: POST error, review screen for error code.
  • ...
  • ...
  • ...

These are just a few examples of the beep codes associated with HP, Dell, and IBM computers. If your computer gives a sound signal that is not listed here, consult the motherboard or PC user manual to identify the specific hardware error.

Resetting BIOS to Default Settings

If you are experiencing hardware issues with your HP computer, resetting the BIOS to default settings may help resolve the problem. Here are two methods for resetting the BIOS:

Method 1: Using BIOS Menu

  1. Restart the computer and press the dedicated key that appears on the screen when the computer is booting (usually Delete or F2) to access the BIOS menu.
  2. Use the arrow keys to navigate to a setting with a name like reset to default, load factory defaults, clear bios settings, or load setup defaults.
  3. Press the Enter key to confirm this action.
  4. The BIOS will now use default settings, which may help resolve any hardware issues.

Method 2: Removing the BIOS Battery

  1. Ensure that the computer is powered off.
  2. Locate the round, flat battery on the computer's motherboard.
  3. Carefully remove the battery.
  4. Wait for five minutes before placing the battery back in its original position.
  5. This simple action will reset the BIOS settings to default.

It's important to note that resetting the BIOS should be done with caution, as it can affect the computer's overall functionality. If you are unsure about performing these steps, it is recommended to seek professional assistance.

Understanding the post beep codes associated with Hewlett Packard computers can be invaluable when troubleshooting hardware issues. By interpreting these codes, you can identify specific hardware problems and take the necessary steps to resolve them. Whether it's resetting the BIOS to default settings or seeking professional assistance, addressing these issues promptly can help ensure the smooth operation of your HP computer.

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