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[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting and Repair Guide | The Troubleshooting Expert | Troubleshooting The System Overall | Troubleshooting BIOS Beep Codes ]

Troubleshooting BIOS Beep Codes - Phoenix BIOS

Phoenix uses by far the most complicated sets of beep codes. In fact, Phoenix uses so many codes that especially in their newer BIOSes, every BIOS power-on self-test (POST) function has a beep code associated with it. This means that the Phoenix BIOS gives you the most details about where in the boot process the failure occurred, but it also makes figuring out the codes more complicated.

Some notes about the Phoenix BIOS and how I have implemented troubleshooting its beep codes:

  • There are two general families of Phoenix BIOSes. The newer family corresponds to version 4.x (any version number starting with "4") and is generally found in systems made in 1994 and later. The older family corresponds to any version numbers before 4.x made before 1994.
  • The Phoenix BIOS uses groups of beeps; there may be 2 beeps, followed by 1 beep, and then 3 beeps; this is represented as 2-1-3. The older Phoenix BIOS uses three groups of beeps, while the newer one uses four (for example, 2-1-3-1).
  • The newer Phoenix BIOS has over 100 beep codes; the older one "only" about 40 or so. Many of these correspond to internal test conditions within the BIOS which, if they fail, will cause a beep code to be generated at that position. To prevent this troubleshooting section from growing out of control, I have put many of the beep code description sections together into groupings. Each individual beep code is listed, but errors that are similar or have a similar cause share the same explanation, diagnosis, and recommendation sections. I have to do this for time and space reasons; in reality many of these errors don't have much you can do about them other than to diagnose the motherboard as probably failed or misconfigured. Try to remember to use the index links and not scroll the contents frame in this area.
  • When the Phoenix BIOS fails with a fatal error, in addition to the beep code it may write a two-digit code to the screen. This is the POST code, which is written to I/O address 80h for use by a POST debugging card and represents the position in the power-on test where the problem was detected. I have included the two digit codes that correspond to each beep code, below.

Please select the BIOS family corresponding to that used on your machine, from the index on the left.

Next: Older BIOS Family (Phoenix BIOS Plus, PhoenixBIOS 1.x)


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