PC beeps when power goes on, does not complete Post.

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WWGD
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Hi, I have a Dell Inspiron core i5 PC. It beeps in sequences of 4 bbebeeps at a time shortly after power goes on , won't boot up nor complete Post . It may have to see with ram problem I have been told. Is this correct? Ultimately, what can I do?
 

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  • #2
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Hi, I have a Dell Inspiron core i5 PC. It beeps in sequences of 4 bbebeeps at a time shortly after power goes on , won't boot up nor complete Post . It may have to see with ram problem I have been told. Is this correct? Ultimately, what can I do?
Ram is one possibility, but usually doesn't fail. So if you haven't installed a false bank, it shouldn't be the cause. My first guess would be a battery somewhere to keep the clock running when offline. I once had such a problem and a new battery solved it. Mine has problems with the ventilator, which also beeps before it shuts down.
 
  • #3
rcgldr
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The Dell website should have a manual for your system, which will explain the beep pattern used for each type of error detected. It could be something other than RAM or the battery.
 
  • #4
WWGD
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The Dell website should have a manual for your system, which will explain the beep pattern used for each type of error detected. It could be something other than RAM or the battery.
Thanks, unfortunately I don't have access for a while to another computer. I am using my phone and it is difficult to navigate most sites. I can hopefully get my other old PC working . Thanks.
 
  • #5
Svein
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Dell beep codes
Beep Code Description
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).
 
  • #6
Tom.G
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This is aimed at desktop/tower machines, if you are fighting a laptop probably only 1) and 2) below are possible, and maybe 4).

Try these in the given order:
1) Remove then re-install each RAM memory board

2) To get to the BIOS setup, repeatedly press the F2 key immediately after power-on. From there you may be able to determine which memory board is giving trouble. (If you get here and the BIOS settings look wacky, the CMOS Battery is a prime suspect. {You may need a Dell expert to define 'wacky' though. :wink:})

3) Repeat the remove-reinstall dance with any expansion cards in the machine and see if there is any progress.

4) If you can't get to the BIOS setup, a computer will often function enough for keyboard access to the BIOS with just one memory board installed, usually the one closest to the CPU on the motherboard. If there is more than one memory board, try installing one board in the first slot only and see if you make any progress. If not, try again with a different memory board in the first slot.

Another common failure is the Power Supply, which can give all sorts of weird symptoms. In desktop/tower machines, they start to become a suspect after about 5 years of age. (Takes more than hobbyist equipment to test them. Swapping in a known good one is the best route.)

Tha above are only the first, most common, steps in finding the problem. Beyond these the number of possibilities explodes, which generally means "Find someone with experience you can rope in to help." I see on your profile page you are working towards a PhD, if you attend an instructional institution there are probably tech support facilities of some sort available.

Good Luck, and keep us posted on your progress.

Cheers,
Tom
 
  • #7
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If you're lucky, a RAM bank is a bit loose (caused by exterior vibrations) and you only need to push it back in place.
 
  • #8
WWGD
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Thank you all. False alarm my baby woke up healthy this morning -- at least for now. I suspect Fresh may have been right, since best explanation seems to be previous overheating which stopped after I left the machine of for a while.
 
  • #9
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You might still have an intermittent problem so it might make sense to run mdsched.exe (memory problems can corrupt the hard drive). It will do a memory diagnostic test the next time you start your computer and there will either be a log visible when Windows finish loading or you might have to find it in the Event Viewer.
 
  • #10
WWGD
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You might still have an intermittent problem so it might make sense to run mdsched.exe (memory problems can corrupt the hard drive). It will do a memory diagnostic test the next time you start your computer and there will either be a log visible when Windows finish loading or you might have to find it in the Event Viewer.
Thank you. Unfortunately for me, you were right. I have two PCs with me. Is there any way of generating a dump file (Together with a System information file, which I will create)? EDIT: I guess what I need to do is to go to the task manager to see the process(es) that led to the crash.
 
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  • #11
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If you have memory errors any process can crash at any time and every write to disk could be corrupt. I just retired my work Windows development machine because it started trashing the boot sector of the file system on shutdown (lost two days trouble shooting and setting up a new machine). Last year my iMac development machine wouldn't start until I removed one of the memories (lost one full day to trouble shooting)

I'd try
* Removing half the memory (and if that doesn't work replace it and remove the other half)
* Try running mdsched again
* Look at the Event logs https://www.howtogeek.com/123646/htg-explains-what-the-windows-event-viewer-is-and-how-you-can-use-it/

Unless you are a developer I doubt you the dumps will get you anything useful.
 

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