Computing Staff
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PC Won’t Boot Up, One Long Beep?

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When I switch my computer on, it immediately starts beeping and the screen remains blank. The beep is one long beep (maybe 4 secs), and loops over and over. I scoured various forums and whatnot, and the only thing I came up with is that it may be a memory error?
This would make sense, as I left my computer to download torrents which probably took up all the space on my C drive (stupid I know.) So the first time I switched it back on, windows would load for about a second and then go to the ‘user select’ screen. When I tried to log in the same thing would happen over and over. So I ried to load windows in safe mode but no love, so after much frustrations I turned it off. Now the above problem is happening. What would be my best course of action?
Any help would be most appreciated.. bearing in mind I’m not exactly a whiz at computers.
Kind regards!


1 Answer

  1. luckyman

    What is the make and model of your brand name computer, or if you have a generic desktop computer, what is the make and model of the mboard ?

    Was the computer ever working fine previously with the ram you had in it originally ?

    If it was, when did you first have this problem ?
    – after you changed the ram ?
    – after you were fiddling with the ram ?
    – after you had moved the computer from one place to another ?

    – after a power failure event, and/or a power spike or surge, or a lightning storm ?

    Some mboards develop this problem – electrolytic capacitors were installed on them that were not properly made, and they fail eventually – the mboard manufacturer didn’t know they were improperly made at the time the mboard was made.

    Open up your case and examine the mboard to see if you have bad capacitors, and/or other findable signs of mboard damage .

    What to look for, mboard symptoms, example pictures:
    Home page that site
    – what the problem is caused by
    – he says there are STILL bad capacitors on more recent mboards.

    Pictures of blown capacitors, other components, power supplies, fried Athlon cpus, etc.:…

    If you see no evidence of bad capacitors or mboard damage…..

    There’s usually NOTHING WRONG with the ram that worked fine previously when installed in the same mboard !

    It is extremely rare for ram that worked fine previously in the same mboard to go “BAD”, and it’s almost impossible for more than one ram module to go “BAD”at the same time, unless it has been damaged by an external event or by something you did.

    Changing which ram you have installed is something many people do when they can’t figure out what is wrong with their computer, but …..
    Not all ram that you may think is compatible with your mboard will work properly with it

    To rule out “BAD” ram or incompatible ram, try the no ram test

    Make sure you have a speaker or speakers or the equivalent connected to the mboard so you can hear mboard beeps (see your mboard manual if you need to).
    Remove the AC power to the case/power supply.
    Remove all the ram.
    Restore AC power.
    Try to boot.
    If nothing else is wrong, you will get no video but you will hear a pattern of beeps that indicate no ram is installed, or a ram problem.
    E.g. for an Award bios or a bios based on one, that’s often a beep of about a half second, silence for a half second, a beep of about a half second, silence for a half second, continuously.

    If the error beep or beep pattern is exactly the same, it’s a lot more likely the ram has a poor connection it it’s slot(s) than there’s anything wrong with it, if it’s compatible with using it in your mboard.
    See response 1.
    And -tell us what the part numbers are on the ram modules.

    NOTE that if you have EVER installed any ram module backwards in a ram slot and then attempted to boot the computer, both the ram module and the ram slot’s circuits the backwards module was in are fried instantly when you attempt to boot the computer. You will probably have noticed a strong burnt plastic sort of smell and maybe have seen a small puff of smoke. Both the ram module that was backwards and the ram slot it was in will never work again. One or more contacts on the module and in the ram slot will be physically damaged or be missing (it was vaporized or it got so hot it fell off the module) and the ram slot or the module may have black carbon deposits on it and evidence that plastic has been melted in some places.
    Your mboard will NOT boot all the way, and you may or may not hear a variety of possible beeps from it.

    You MAY be able to get the mboard to boot again if you install undamaged ram in undamaged ram slots,and clean up the damaged ram slot so there are no black carbon deposits or melted plastic that touches contacts in the slot

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