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Understanding Beep Codes on a Dell Desktop Personal Computer

Summary: This article takes you through the beep codes for the Dell Inspiron, Vostro, OptiPlex, and XPS computers.

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Article Content


Symptoms

Cause

Introduction to Beep Codes

 

Dell has a long tradition of building diagnostic indicators into our computers. These indicators can be useful in helping to diagnose and resolve any issues that your personal computer might experience while starting up. I have given a guide to the various codes for each family of desktop below.

If the display cannot show any errors that your computer might emit a series of beeps during start-up.

  1. 3 means 3-3-3-3...That is 3 beeps and 3 beeps and ...: Endless looping until user presses the power button to shut down the computer.

  2. The delay between each beep is 300 milliseconds. The delay between each set of beeps is 3 sec, and the beep sound lasts 300 milliseconds.

  3. After each beep and each set of beeps, the BIOS should detect if the user presses the power button, if so, BIOS will jump out from looping and perform the normal shutdown process and power computer.

Note: If your computer also has diagnostic indicator LEDs, you will want to go to the support site to get the appropriate guide for your model.
 
Note: If your computer is giving a code that is not listed on this guide, then contact your local support to investigate this unknown code further.

If your computer is giving a listed code, then, use the fault descriptions below to narrow your possible No Post troubleshooting. The No Post guide below will be useful in troubleshooting your issue further.

Alternatively you can Contact Us here.


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Resolution

Dell Desktop Systems

 

 

Inspiron Desktops

Beep/LED Codes.

Power LED Blinking/Beep Code
LED/Beep Code Fault Description Faults Suggested Action
1 Motherboard: BIOS ROM Failure Motherboard, covers BIOS corruption or ROM error. Run the Dell Diagnostics.
2 Memory No Memory (RAM) detected Troubleshoot the Memory.
3 Motherboard: Chipset
  • Chipset Error (North and South bridge error
  • Time-Of-Day Clock test failure
  • Gate A20 failure
  • Super I/O chip failure
  • Keyboard controller failure
Run the Dell Diagnostics.
4 Memory Memory (RAM) Failure Troubleshoot the Memory.
5 Real-Time Clock Power Failure CMOS battery failure Try reseating the CMOS Battery and run the Dell Diagnostics if that does not resolve the issue.
6 Video BIOS Video card/chip failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
7 Central Processing Unit (CPU) Central Processing Unit (CPU) Failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.

 

Power LED Status Power State
Off Power is off, or the computer is in an S4 (hibernate) or S5 power state. 
LED is blank.
Solid White The computer is in power-on state.
Solid Amber The system board cannot start initialization. There may be an issue with the system board, memory, processor, or the power supply.
Blinking Amber The system board cannot start initialization or in an S3 power state. There is a power problem, a device may be malfunctioning or incorrectly installed.

XPS Desktops

Repetitive Beep Code Error Description Suggested Next Step
1 Possible motherboard failure - BIOS ROM checksum failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
2 No RAM detected
Note: If you installed or replaced the memory module, ensure that the memory module is seated properly.
Troubleshoot the Memory.
3 Possible motherboard failure - Chipset error Run the Dell Diagnostics.
4 RAM read/write failure. Troubleshoot the Memory.
5 Real Time Clock (RTC) power fail Try reseating the CMOS Battery and run the Dell Diagnostics if that does not resolve the issue.
6 Real-Time Clock failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
7 Video card or chip failure. Run the Dell Diagnostics.
8 Processor failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.

Vostro Desktops

Beep/LED Codes.

Power LED Status (Flashing Amber) Beep Description Failure Coverage Suggested Action
SLN293445_en_US__31363694650935.blink_amber 1 BIOS ROM checksum in progress or failure. BIOS Chip System board failure, covers BIOS corruption or ROM error. Run the Dell Diagnostics.
SLN293445_en_US__31363694650935.blink_amber 2 No RAM Detected No memory detected Troubleshoot the Memory.
SLN293445_en_US__31363694650935.blink_amber 3
  • Chipset Error (North and South Bridge Chipset, DMA/IMR/Timer Error for Intel platform); Chipset Error
  • Time-Of-Day Clock test failure.
  • Gate A20 failure
  • Super I/O chip failure.
  • Keyboard controller test failure.
System board Failure
(Power LED Blinking Amber)
Run the Dell Diagnostics.
SLN293445_en_US__31363694650935.blink_amber 4 RAM Read/Write failure Memory failure Troubleshoot the Memory.
SLN293445_en_US__31363694650935.blink_amber 5 RTC Power Fail COMS battery failure Try reseating the CMOS Battery and run the Dell Diagnostics if that does not resolve the issue.
SLN293445_en_US__31363694650935.blink_amber 6 Video BIOS Test Failure Video card failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
SLN293445_en_US__31363694650935.blink_amber 7 CPU Failure CPU Run the Dell Diagnostics.

OptiPlex Desktops

Diagnostic Beep Codes
Code Cause Suggested Resolution
1-1-2 Microprocessor register failure Contact Technical Support
1-1-3 NVRAM Run the Dell Diagnostics.
1-1-4 ROM BIOS checksum failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
1-2-1 Programmable interval timer Run the Dell Diagnostics.
1-2-2 DMA initialization failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
1-2-3 DMA page register read/write failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
1-3-1 through 2-4-4 DIMMs not being properly identified or used Troubleshoot the memory modules and the memory slots.
3-1-1 Secondary DMA register failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
3-1-2 Primary DMA register failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
3-1-3 Primary interrupt mask register failure Contact Technical Support
3-1-4 Secondary interrupt mask register failure Contact Technical Support
3-2-2 Interrupt vector loading failure Contact Technical Support
3-2-4 Keyboard Controller test failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
3-3-1 NVRAM power loss Run the Dell Diagnostics.
3-3-2 NVRAM configuration Run the Dell Diagnostics.
3-3-4 Video Memory Test failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
3-4-1 Screen initialization failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
3-4-2 Screen retrace failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
3-4-3 Search for video ROM failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
4-2-1 No time tick Contact Technical Support
4-2-2 Shutdown failure Contact Technical Support
4-2-3 Gate A20 failure Contact Technical Support
4-2-4 Unexpected interrupt in protected mode Contact Technical Support
4-3-1 Memory failure above address 0FFFFh Run the Dell Diagnostics.
4-3-3 Timer-chip counter 2 failure. Contact Technical Support
4-3-4 Time-of-day clock stopped Contact Technical Support
4-4-1 Serial or parallel port test failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
4-4-2 Failure to decompress code to shadowed memory Run the Dell Diagnostics.
4-4-3 Math co-processor test failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
4-4-4 Cache test failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
 
Note: Starting from the D4 generation of OptiPlex models onwards (that is 7010/9010/9010 AIO), the beep codes will be eliminated, replaced by a single memory error pattern. Now only no memory failure conditions generate the beep code, the beep pattern is 1-3-2 (1 beep, then 3 beeps, then 2 beeps). This beep code tells you that the computer encountered a memory problem. The new beep codes emit only memory failure symptoms. Occasionally, reseating the memory modules may fix the beep code errors.

Precision Workstations

Beep Code Description Suggested Resolution
1-1-2 CPU register test in progress Contact Technical Support
1-1-3 CMOS read/write test in progress or failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
1-1-4 BIOS ROM checksum in progress or failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
1-2-1 Timer Test in progress or failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
1-2-2 DMA initialization in progress or failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
1-2-3 DMA page register read/write test in progress or failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
1-3-1 RAM refresh verification in progress or failure Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
1-3-2 1st 64K RAM test in progress or failure Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
1-3-3 1st 64K RAM chip or data line failure (multi bit) Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
1-3-4 1st 64K RAM odd/even logic failure Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
1-4-1 1st 64K RAM address line failure Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
1-4-2 1st 64K RAM parity test in progress or failure Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
1-4-3 Fail-safe timer test in progress Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
1-4-4 Software NMI port test in progress Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
2-1-1 1st 64K RAM chip or data line failure - bit 0 Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
2-1-2 1st 64K RAM chip or data line failure - bit 1 Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
2-1-3 1st 64K RAM chip or data line failure - bit 2 Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
2-1-4 1st 64K RAM chip or data line failure - bit 3 Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
2-2-1 1st 64K RAM chip or data line failure - bit 4 Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
2-2-2 1st 64K RAM chip or data line failure - bit 5 Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
2-2-3 1st 64K RAM chip or data line failure - bit 6 Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
2-2-4 1st 64K RAM chip or data line failure - bit 7 Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
2-3-1 1st 64K RAM chip or data line failure - bit 8 Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
2-3-2 1st 64K RAM chip or data line failure - bit 9 Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
2-3-3 1st 64K RAM chip or data line failure - bit A Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
2-3-4 1st 64K RAM chip or data line failure - bit B Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
2-4-1 1st 64K RAM chip or data line failure - bit C Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
2-4-2 1st 64K RAM chip or data line failure - bit D Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
2-4-3 1st 64K RAM chip or data line failure - bit E Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
2-4-4 1st 64K RAM chip or data line failure - bit F Troubleshoot the memory and memory slots.
3-1-1 Secondary DMA register test in progress or failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
3-1-2 Primary DMA register test in progress or failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
3-1-3 Primary IMR test in progress or failure Contact Technical Support
3-1-4 Secondary IMR test in progress or failure Contact Technical Support
3-2-2 Interrupt vector loading in progress Contact Technical Support
3-2-4 Keyboard controller test in progress or failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
3-3-1 CMOS power fail and checksum test in progress Run the Dell Diagnostics.
3-3-2 CMOS Config info validation in progress Run the Dell Diagnostics.
3-3-3 RTC/Keyboard controller not found Run the Dell Diagnostics.
3-3-4 Screen memory test in progress or failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
3-4-1 Screen initialization test in progress or failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
3-4-2 Screen retrace tests in progress or failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
3-4-3 Search for video ROM in progress Run the Dell Diagnostics.
4-2-1 Timer tick interrupt test in progress or failure Contact Technical Support
4-2-2 Shutdown test in progress or failure Contact Technical Support
4-2-3 Gate A20 failure Contact Technical Support
4-2-4 Unexpected interrupt in Protected Mode Contact Technical Support
4-3-1 RAM test in progress or failure above address 0FFFFh Run the Dell Diagnostics.
4-3-2 No memory in Bank 0 Run the Dell Diagnostics.
4-3-3 Interval Timer Channel 2 test in progress or failure Contact Technical Support
4-3-4 Time-Of-Day Clock test in progress or failure Contact Technical Support
4-4-1 Super I/O chip failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
4-4-4 Cache test failure Run the Dell Diagnostics.
 
Note: More recent models have eliminated the beep codes which where replaced by a single memory error pattern. Now only no memory failure conditions generate the beep code, the beep pattern is 1-3-2 (1 beep, then 3 beeps, then 2 beeps). This beep code tells you that the computer encountered a memory problem. The new beep codes emit only memory failure symptoms. Occasionally, reseating the memory modules may fix the beep code errors.


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If you require further assistance, please contact Technical Support.

 

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Additional Information

Article Properties


Affected Product

Desktops & All-in-Ones, Fixed Workstations

Last Published Date

20 Aug 2021

Version

9

Article Type

Solution

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