View Full Version : Computer beeps four times

michael y
24-12-2003, 02:25 PM
A couple of days ago, while I was on the computer I accidently bumped the desk, the computer froze. I couldn't ctrl alt delete it to restart so I pressed the power button on the computer to turn it off.

It turned off but then when I tried to turn it back on it wouldn't startup. It just made four beeps and the monitor would not turn on (monitor was in standby mode, it would not display anything).

After re-pluging everything outside on the dining room table, I tried to turn it back on but it still made the four beeps. I left it for a while and gave it another try, it worked. Everything loaded up and I got into windows.

I decided to move the computer back to my room. After moving it to my room it still worked. On Sunday my little cousin came over and bumped onto the computer desk. Once again the computer froze, it would not restart or anything, so I shutted it down improperly (using above method) When I tried to turn it on, it made that four beeps again, and would not startup.

Today I tried it out on my dining room table, and it worked. So now I'm very curious to find out what the four beeps is supposed to mean, and whats wrong with my computer, will it continue to do this to me?? Is there a fix for it??

I got a hp pavilion 8802. Added in a gf2 mx400 and a asus cdrw 48x24x52, windows xp, sp1

Thx alot

Michael Y

24-12-2003, 03:32 PM
The beeps can mean different things depending on the brand of bios that is installed on your motherboard.

Most likely though going by what you have posted you have most likely knocked your video card or ram loose.

Would just pay to check that they are all seated ok.

You will see the model of bios when your computer posts -- if your video cards hasn't come loose.

24-12-2003, 04:34 PM
it happened to me as well on my windows 95. i think its bios scolding you for an improper shutdown. just press reset again and it'll be all good

Graham L
24-12-2003, 04:58 PM
The bios doesn't care how the computer was shut down. It cares about hardware problems.

It's most likely boards or ram sticks jolted loose, though it normally takes a pretty good jolt to do that. ;-) (And fairly uncommon to fix itself).

It is a Bad Idea to give any computer bad shocks ... the disk drive is the part which might get fatal problems. You already know that ... make sure your cousins know it too.:D

If you can get the name of the BIOS at bootup, enter that name and "beeps" (e.g. "AMI beeps") to google.

michael y
24-12-2003, 05:20 PM
I dont know what bios I have. How do i find out what bios I have? During boot up the computer displays a black screen, but it does not show all the details of the computer, it only says "vga bios .....(some numbers, cant remember them) and then it says something about the graphics card, I cant remember the exact words but it says geforce 2 or some like that. After the black screen it displays the hp screen and then the windows xp boot up screen, then it starts up into windows.

thx alot

Michael Y

24-12-2003, 05:22 PM
The bios doesn't care how you shut the PC down as long as you aren't trying to flash it. As stated above depending on the bios those four beeps do mean something. The bump loosened something.

24-12-2003, 05:41 PM
Here is what the beep codes mean if you have an American Megatrends Bios :-

4-7, 9-11 Fatal error indicating a serious problem with the system.
Consult your system manufacturer.
Before declaring the motherboard beyond all hope, eliminate
the possibility of interference by a malfunctioning add-in
card. Remove all expansion cards cards except the video
If the beep codes are generated even when all other
expansion cards are absent, the motherboard has a
serious problem. Consult your system manufacturer.
If the beep codes are not generated when all other
expansion cards are absent, one of the add-in cards is
causing the malfunction. Insert the cards back into the
system one at a time until the problem happens again.
This will reveal the malfunctioning add-in card.

Like the others have said try reseating your add in cards (ie Video and sound cards).

Hope this helps.


Murray P
24-12-2003, 06:12 PM
You need the numbers after the BIOS name, eg, Award **** AMI***** Pheonix**** and revision if applicable/possible. If you can't get on the net post the name and numbers here. If the vga **** are the only version numbers there post those

Cheers Murray P

Murray P
24-12-2003, 06:19 PM
> If you can't get on the net post
> the name and numbers here.

> Cheers Murray P

Umm duh!, obviously you can get on the net :8} post them here anyway.

Cheers Murray P

24-12-2003, 10:11 PM
One possiability is the keyboard, when "bumping the computer" the connector could have dislogged itself and re-connected.

When this happens some PCs will emit a series of beeps.

If you have a fancy "multimedia" keyboard the driver for the extra bits can get very unhappy about the keyboard disapairing.
Also if your keyboard is a USB/PS2 type the autodetect feature of the keyboard can cause a "short circut" condition on the +5V rail and cause the PC to hang.

Next time it happens, check the keyboard connector, TOTALY power the PC down ( yank the power plug ) wait a while and power up again.

May murphy smile upon you <grin>

michael y
27-12-2003, 03:58 PM
Hi guys,
I checked out the ram and the graphics card, and all seems to be fine. Nothing loose. But I did notice that the power supply had quite a bit of dust build up on the metal parts, should I clean it? If so how?

Is there anyway to pause the bootup screen so that I can copy down all the information?? I have copied down this much:
NVIDIA 3.11.01(theres more but I couldn't copy it down fast enough)

Thx alot

Michael Y

27-12-2003, 04:18 PM
Your keyboard will have a Pause/Break key, hit that when you want the screen to pause. Enter key lets it carry on from there.

Susan B
27-12-2003, 05:24 PM
> But I did notice that the power supply had quite a bit of dust build up on the metal parts, should I clean it? If so how?

It is beneficial to clean out any dust inside your PSU and computer though it may not help with this problem. The dust can be blasted out with a can of compressed air. Might pay to put your computer outside on a nice sturdy table to do the job though, because it does make a heck of a dusty mess! Stand downwind as well..... ;-)

27-12-2003, 07:27 PM
Michael, can you confirm that it's four short beeps?

If that is the case it is probably a AMI BIOS and it is telling you of a system timer problem.

27-12-2003, 08:09 PM
HP machine - next time try their site first - specifically here (http://us-support2.external.hp.com/emse/bin/doc.pl/emse/bin/doc.pl/distrib_redir=1+1072511571|*?rn=25&source=7000&searchcategory=ALL&from=forums&hpl=1&todo=search&origin=0&wpa=forums1.itrc.hp.com%3A80&searchcriteria=allwords&esc=us.support.itrc.hp.com&searchtext=bios+4+beeps&chkServStor=on&presort=rank)

Men are four:
He who knows not and knows not he knows not, he is a fool -- shun him;
He who knows not and knows he knows not, he is simple -- teach him;
He who knows and knows not he knows, he is asleep -- wake him;
He who knows and knows he knows, he is wise -- follow him!
- Lady Burton (wife of Sir Richard Francis Burton), given as an Arabian proverb

27-12-2003, 09:33 PM
Hi Michael,
I'm not an expert in any way and I had the same problem a little while ago, the problem turned out to be the mother board not fitted in the chassis straight after an upgrade, it had different length screws fitted and this caused one of the cards to not fit in its slot correctly, (I think it was the video card) also the screen would stay black on occasions when the PC was turned on. As one of the replies said check that your cards are plugged in properly. Best of luck.