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Motherboard Beeping

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by daneasaur, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. daneasaur

    daneasaur Private E-2

    When my physical memory reaches about 70% my motherboard starts to make a continuous beeping sound. This has never happened before, but after taking my PC to a fix-it place, it happened within the first 30 minutes of getting it home.
    After reading this http://www.computerhope.com/beep.htm it seems I may have a RAM problem, but how can I know for sure?

    The computer fit-it person said that the computer had a power surge, but I'm not sure if this is even possible since the computer being connected to a surge protector.

    Any help would be much appreciated, as always.
  2. shnerdly

    shnerdly MajorGeek

    A surge protector only protects from major power spikes like lightening. It's possible the voltage in your house is too low or very "dirty", containing a lot of noise that can cause all kinds of weird problems with electronics.

    An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) may help if the problem isn't too bad. If it is very bad, a Power Conditioner would be required.

    It's also possible you just have a bad stick of RAM. To test the RAM, download the iso file for nearly any Linux Live CD and burn it. I use Knoppix. On boot, you have an option to run memtest. Run it for several hours so it completes at least 3 complete cycles. It's not perfect but it will give you a good idea as to the condition of the RAM.
  3. plodr

    plodr Major Geek Super Extraordinaire

    It might be a video problem.

    Why did you take your computer to be fixed? It might help us to know what the previous problem was.
    Also what version of windows are you running and is this a desktop or laptop?
  4. westom

    westom Guest

    I am assuming you are discussing beeping during the boot process. IOW when the BIOS is first learning about hardware on your motherboard and testing memory.

    Beep codes are unique to each BIOS and motherboard manufacturer. Without facts (such as manufacturer and model number), then no one who understands this can post. Record, note, describe, count, etc the beep code. How many long beeps. How many short beeps. How much space between beeps. Those are numbers. Repairing always means numbers – which that repair tech apparently did not provide.

    Ignore nonsense about AC power. An incandescent bulb dimmed at 50% intensity means ideal perfect AC voltage to all computers. Best AC power cleaner is required to be inside the supply. Either a computer's power system provided clean and stable DC voltages. Or it turns off the machine. Any other problems traceable to bad power means knowing from multimeter numbers. Only better computer techs even know how to use the meter.

    You have no reason to do any of that until a beep code is first learned.

    Most computer techs have no idea how electricity works. Will blame the 'usual suspects' – ie a power surge. If he knew you had a power surge, then he defined a part on motherboard or peripheral that was damaged. And defined both an incoming wire and outgoing wire that the surge used to pass through that part. We who actually traced out and identified surge damage always did that.

    You have zero reasons (in your post) to believe a surge existed. You have plenty of reasons to believe the BIOS has identified a defect. And is reporting what part is defective in beep codes.
  5. shnerdly

    shnerdly MajorGeek

    I do my best not to be rude or offensive when I post but I will always defend my posts as relevant based on the available information.

    I took the original post to mean the computer was booting and at some irregular point starting to beep, not a sequence but a continuous beep if you read the original post. That is a good indication of a power problem or a heat problem. The machine was just in for service so heat should be eliminated if the tech was competent enough to blow the machine out.

    You think power supplies are all that is needed for power conditioning??? There are HUGE differences just between power supply manufacturers. I see Bestec power supplies blow mainboards with regularity in eMachines and HP computers. I see bad capacitors on mainboards running cheep power supplies. I have NEVER seen a bad cap on a board running a good power supply such as Antec.

    If you were to try to run a computer on a circuit that only gives you 50% brightness on a light bulb, you won't make it past post. The PS can handle some variations in power but not that extreme. Noise on the power line also needs to be considered. It can cause all kind of odd problems with electronics. Ask someone that works on the computers attached to CNC machines in a machine shop. They use power conditioners to keep the computer stable which in turn keeps the CNC machines stable.
  6. westom

    westom Guest

    A fundamental difference between my post and yours. Facts based in numeric specs, decades of design experience, and knowing what actually happens in computer hardware. Apparently I know a power controller exists. And what it does. You were required to know what you did not. So you got emotional.

    Fact: all computer power supplies must work normally (even start up a computer) when incandescent bulbs are at 40% intensity. Even Intel ATX specs require what you did not known. Any discussion of power supply problems is expected to come from basic electrical knowledge and experience – with numbers. All computers must work normally even when light bulbs dim to 50% intensity. When bulbs dim well below 40% intensity, then a computer's power controller powers it off. Did you even know about the power controller and its many protection functions? One safety lockout function is reset when AC power cord is temporarily disconnected from the wall. No beeps can occur when what safety feature is triggered.

    A CPU cannot execute a single BIOS instruction until after the power controller authorizes it. Why did the computer beep? Because the power controller saw stable and sufficient power. Then permitted CPU to execute; then permitted beeps to happen.

    Another reason why AC ‘noise’ is only folklore. No matter how clean that AC power, electricity is converted to a 'dirtiest' form inside every power supply. Then converted to perfectly stable DC. AC mains voltage is increased to well above 300. Then converted to radio frequency power. A power supply creates greater noise internally to create cleanest and stable DC voltages. AC mains noise is often energy also converted to power by a supply into stable DC electricity. Just another reason why noise (and low voltage) is irrelevant to everything posted by the OP.

    What also should have been known: UPS in battery backup mode typically outputs more 'noise' than anything from AC mains. Power so 'dirty' as to potentially be harmful to small motors and power strip protectors. And perfectly ideal power to every computer. Why? Because ‘dirty’ power from AC mains and even ‘dirtier’ power from a UPS is made irrelavent inside every power supply. Rude is to post without knowing even these most basic concepts.

    For the OP - ignore posts that create confusion based in popular myths and hearsay. Your beep codes are probably reporting a failed part. Report those codes and the motherboard / BIOS manufacturer to have a useful answer. First a power controller confirms that power is sufficient and stable. Later the BIOS executes: examimes hardware. If BIOS finds problems with hardware, then BIOS sounds a beep code describing that failure.

    Problems detected on AC mains means the power controller will not even permit a BIOS to execute or beeps to sound. Power controller said power is sufficient. Then BIOS executed. Apparently found some other problem defined by that beep code.
  7. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

    Gentlemen, let's keep this thread on topic as the OP is looking for answers to his beep codes. :major
  8. satrow

    satrow Major Geek Extraordinaire

    I think a recap of the OP is needed :)
    I'll start at the bottom: surge protectors are disposable, once they've soaked up a big hit, they'll no longer work so well if at all during subsequent spikes. UPS's are so much better.

    Unless the tech guy showed you a part (always used to be the modem that cooked by the power spike grounding via the 'phone line) or gave you a running demo to 'prove' the surge damage, he was really saying: "I think there's some hardware problem".

    BUT: dirty power (low current from outside the case or poor regulation inside the computer PSU) can cause continuous noise.

    The continuous noise you describe, does it happen while you are in Windows? If so, it's probably like shnerdly said in his second post:- excessive heat or bad power supply.

    If the noise occurs before Windows starts (70% of memory tested by the BIOS?), then it maybe BIOS testing-related, in which case, the URL you linked with the beep codes is useful.

    No point in getting any more technical until we know exactly when the noise occurs.
  9. daneasaur

    daneasaur Private E-2

    Okay, sorry for not posting much information at first.

    I firstly took my computer to get fixed because it would not start Windows, the computer would turn on but the BIOS would not show on the screen, and Windows would not start.
    I am running Windows 7 Home Premium, and am using a desktop computer, which I basically built up by myself.

    The beeping occurs once I am already in Windows and only happens while the RAM is over 70% (or it sure seems that way).
    My motherboard "System Model" is M61PME-S2 (from dxdiag) I'm pretty sure it is a Gigabyte motherboard.
    The beep is a continuous beep with no pauses/breaks, and will not stop until the RAM is below ~70%
  10. satrow

    satrow Major Geek Extraordinaire

    Are you sure it's the RAM that's hitting 70%+, not the CPU%?

    If it's the CPU% then it ties in well with the overheating scenario; once it goes over a certain temperature (set in the BIOS), the BIOS sounds a warning and, if the CPU temps continue to rise then CPU 'throttling' will occur to reduce heat and stop the CPU from cooking. The noise does not stop until the temp. is back in the normal range.

    I'd open the PC and check for fluff/dust build up, a little agitation with a small paint/make up brush can work wonders for cooling :)

    If this is a new build, check that the installation of the CPU cooler is sound and that you used a very small amount of paste on the processor. Too much is bad, it's only supposed to fill any imperfections in the metalwork to make a good heat-transfer/bond.
  11. daneasaur

    daneasaur Private E-2

    Looking again it's not when the RAM reaches 70%, but it's also not when the CPU reaches a certain % either, it's happening on and off now every few minutes for about 2-6 seconds each time. (Now as I'm typing this it's gone constant and won't stop)

    I've had overheating problems before with this computer but I've never heard this beeping. I bought a new heatsink to stop the CPU overheating before and it worked perfectly.

    How can I check my CPU temperature without going into BIOS?
  12. satrow

    satrow Major Geek Extraordinaire

    You can try CPU-Z, it's reasonably accurate with the majority of motherboard types.
  13. westom

    westom Guest

    A Gigabyte GA-M61PME-S2 motherboard. An AMD based CPU using an Award BIOS.

    Continuous beeps are from an internal speaker (not from the sound card). And not long repeating beeps.

    First, reset the CMOS to default by shorting two pins adjacent to the battery for two seconds. This is necessary to set all other 'sound generators' to a default disabled condition.

    Only reason for a constant sound (after a CMOS reset) is when CPU temperature exceeds 60 degree C. Since this is an AMD processor, over temperature can occur quickly if your heatsink installation is somehow compromised. (And a reason for demanding the degree C per watt specification number when buying any heatsink.)

    A remote possibility is a defective AMD temperature sensor.

    As a test, you can set the alarm temperature to higher settings (70, 80, or 90 degrees) to see how behavior changes. But no CPU should be that warm when just starting. In fact, it should not get that hot even when operated in a 100 degree F room.
  14. daneasaur

    daneasaur Private E-2

    Okay, I think it may be because it was so hot the other day (it's summer here)
    Thank you for your responses.
  15. westom

    westom Guest

    As I noted, your computer calls 38 degrees C an ideal temperature. If your machine fails at that temperature, then you probably have a hardware problem.

    For example, noted was an important parameter - degrees C per watt. From that, the max temperature of the CPU, and its power consumption, you determine what temperature it must work at. Then determine if a hardware problem (or CPU defect) exists.
  16. Major Attitude

    Major Attitude Co-Owner MajorGeeks.Com Staff Member

    From looking at all your posts you feel the need to come here and educate my members about electricity. I literally lose IQ points reading your threads. Maybe you should go find an electronics forum somewhere because your detailed explanations about electricity are literally more annoying than spam. 7 friggin paragraphs to NOT answer a question. Find another forum as I am banning your account just so I don't have to read this crap.


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