Dell Precision 380 Beep code 1-3-2 Problems.

I'm working on a Dell Precision 380 workstation and initially, it was getting all sorts of BSOD.  While working my way through solving those BSOD's, the computer suddenly won't restart.  Now it's just giving me beep codes of 1-3-2 - which I looked up and Dell says "Memory Problem."  While that doesn't say much, I went through the process of swapping RAM on the motherboard.  I even tried other memory I took from another Dell Precision 380 that does work.  I even tried brand new RAM purchased at the store.  Nothing worked.  I still get the beep codes.

Even went as far to disconnect pretty much everything in the computer where it was just a plain motherboard, power supply and RAM - still beeps.

Could there be a deeper issue w/this computer?  The DIMM slots on the motherboard have gone bad?  After swapping DIMM slots and different RAM and still get the beep codes - I'm stumped.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

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4 Replies

Re: Dell Precision 380 Beep code 1-3-2 Problems.

Hi steve02a,

I appreciate for the trouble shootings steps tried. Since the system is giving beeps even with the new memory, I suspect the connector on the motherboard is faulty. I recommend motherboard replacement.

You may contact your IT technician or contact Dell spares department to purchase the motherboard.

Thanks and Regards,
DELL-Sujatha K
Dell Social Media and Community Professional
Order Status
Download Drivers

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Re: Dell Precision 380 Beep code 1-3-2 Problems.

I am the IT tech.  And it's interesting too - because at one point right before all this started, I was able to run the Dell Hardware Diagnostics and everything checked out 100% fine.  Then I got the BSOD's, and now the beep codes.  I'll contact Dell to see how much a new motherboard is.


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Re: Dell Precision 380 Beep code 1-3-2 Problems.

Did you try clearing BIOS by unplugging PC, pulling motherboard battery and pressing / holding the power button for ~30 sec, then reinstalling the battery?

It's possible you could have fixed the problem by moving / reseating the RAM modules, but that may not have cleared the error message, which pulling the battery should do.

No promises that'll help but it's easy to test and cheaper than:  $100, $59, $100, or $50-$80 for a used and / or refurbished Precision 380 motherboard.


Forum Member since 2004
I am not a Dell employee

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RE: Dell Precision 380 Beep code 1-3-2 Problems.

Check the motherboard for capacitors that are bulging at the top or are leaking a dark substance.  The Asian markets were flooded with bad capacitors about the time the 380 was built (mid-2000s).  The machines can stay functional for a surprisingly long time after the caps start to drift out of spec, but eventually they'll get unstable and then just refuse to boot.  Only the most basic electronics experience is required to replace the caps.  Replacement caps should have the same mF rating and a voltage rating equal to or higher than the originals.  Polarity is critical.  That's basically all you need to know.