PC morse-code bleeps

  Uncle Den 12:51 26 Apr 2003

Having replaced the PSU and unplugged everything that can be unplugged and plugged them all back in again, my Compaq is still behaving badly.

However, although my hearing couldn't detect it for what it was, a friend heard some audible morse-code-like bleeps when the PC failed to start. They were:

Long - short - long - short (pause) long - short - short.

or . _ . _ _ . .

I understand this is the PC's way of telling me what's wrong with it - can anybody please decipher this code for me?

  Taran 13:01 26 Apr 2003

click here

According to the above site, it's a video card issue.

  Uncle Den 22:59 26 Apr 2003

Thanks very much Taran - I'll try a new video card and let you know if it works. Much obliged. In the meantime, if anyone else wants to chip in, please do.

  Uncle Den 15:22 27 Apr 2003

The bleep code list that Taran so kindly sent me is great but there is one thing I'd like to know about the bleep signals:

What does the first series of bleeps mean (i.e. long-short long-shot) before there is a pause and then the final signal (long-short-short, in my case) that actually tells you what's wrong?

It would seem to me that the bleep signals on the list only concern the final bleeps after the short pause. Is this so?

  researcher 18:43 27 Apr 2003

If you have your m'board book that will tell you what the bleeps ("post" messages) stand for.

If not, check out its serial number and go to the m'board makers web-site.

  Taran 18:59 27 Apr 2003

As researcher says, check out your motherboard and see if it has any obvious signs of identity on it like a model or serial number.

Compaq, like HP and others are famous for using proprietary hardware designed for them, so you may have to take the machine back to an authorised dealer for repair.

The beep codes vary from BIOS type to BIOS type. Phoenix BIOS might have a certain pattern of sounds that could mean one thing while for other BIOS's it may mean something else entirely or be a completely different pattern.

Perhaps if you posted the model of your Compaq one of us could advise more appropriately. Without any other information to go on though, you'll only get an educated guess.



  Taran 19:04 27 Apr 2003

I meant to add that if you've been changing hardware devices on the PC, some BIOS's are locked to a specific device configuration.

Changing the hardware sometimes gives the PC a headache when it boots up expecting to find items A, B and C but instead encounters hardware items X, Y and Z.

Obviously if you've only changed the PSU this should not be the case, but it can and does sometimes happen with some computers.


  Uncle Den 20:14 27 Apr 2003

I have a suspicion that the trouble may have started on or about the time I installed a new Sony (48x24x48x)R/W CD drive.

(In case it matters, I plugged in an extra 128 MB of memory a little while before that.)

My Compaq details are:
Deskpro EP series 6350/4.3 UK
Compaq serial number: 8918CCJ75167

I am extremely grateful to all of you who are trying to help me.

  Taran 21:09 27 Apr 2003

I'm assuming you've tried disconnecting the Sony CD ROM and removing the memory module ?

If you do this and all is well...

Have you also made sure that the CD ROM was recognised properly in the BIOS and that it is correctly set up as either master or slave to correspond with any other optical drives present ?

Finally, could you confirm your operating system please ?

You can search for any updated drivers and similar downloads for your system at this link:

click here

  Taran 21:11 27 Apr 2003

Many Compaq systems require specific memory modules.

Did you buy from Crucial or similar ?

  howard60 22:29 27 Apr 2003

I typed 'beep codes for Compaq presario' into google and the third item on their list was the codes for the pc. That was a video card fault - I replaced the card and no further trouble.

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