AMIBIOS Beep Code Troubleshooting

Fixes for specific AMI beep code errors

AMIBIOS is a kind of BIOS manufactured by American Megatrends. Many popular motherboard manufacturers have integrated AMI's AMIBIOS into their systems.

Other motherboard manufacturers have created custom BIOS software based on the AMIBIOS system. The beep codes from an AMIBIOS-based BIOS may be exactly the same as the true AMIBIOS beep codes below or they may vary slightly. Reference your motherboard's manual for specific instructions.

Illustration of a person reading "Interpreting AMIBIOS Beep Codes" while their computer beeps at them
Lifewire / Theresa Chiechi

AMIBIOS beep codes are usually short, sound in quick succession, and usually sound immediately after powering on the computer.

The beeping occurs because your computer can not boot far enough to show anything on the screen, meaning that some very standard troubleshooting won't be possible.

1 Short Beep

A single short beep from an AMI-based BIOS means there has been a memory refresh timer error.

If you could boot a bit further, you might run one of the best free memory test programs, but since you can't, you'll need to start by replacing the memory (RAM).

If replacing the RAM doesn't work, you should try replacing the motherboard.

2 Short Beeps

Two short beeps mean there has been a parity error in base memory. This problem affects the first 64 KB block of memory in your RAM.

Like all RAM problems, this isn't something you'll be able to fix yourself or get repaired. Replacing the RAM modules that cause the problem is almost always the fix.

3 Short Beeps

Three short beeps means there has been a base memory read/write test error in the first 64 KB block of memory.

Replacing the RAM usually solves this AMI beep code.

4 Short Beeps

Four short beeps mean that the motherboard timer is not working properly but it could also mean that there's a problem with the RAM module that's in the lowest (usually marked 0) slot.

Usually, a hardware failure with an expansion card or a problem with the motherboard itself could trigger this beep code.

Start by reseating the desktop memory module and then replacing it if that doesn't work. Next, assuming those ideas have failed, reseat any expansion cards and then replace any that seem to be the culprit.

Replace the motherboard as the last option.

5 Short Beeps

Five short beeps mean there has been a processor error. A damaged expansion card, the CPU, or the motherboard could be prompting this AMI beep code.

Start by reseating the CPU. If that doesn't work, try reseating any expansion cards. Chances are, however, the CPU needs replaced.

6 Short Beeps

Six short beeps mean that there has been an 8042 Gate A20 test error.

This beep code is usually caused by an expansion card that has failed or a motherboard that is no longer working.

You might also be dealing with a certain kind of keyboard glitch if you hear 6 short beeps. When troubleshooting A20 errors, you may need to reseat or replace any expansion cards.

Lastly, you might be dealing with a failure severe enough that you'll need to replace your motherboard.

7 Short Beeps

Seven short beeps indicates a general exception error. This AMI beep code could be caused by an expansion card problem, a motherboard hardware issue, or a damaged CPU.

Replacing whatever faulty hardware is causing the problem is usually the fix for this beep code.

8 Short Beeps

Eight short beeps mean that there has been an error with the display memory.

This beep code is usually caused by a faulty video card. Replacing the video card usually clears this up but verify it's sitting properly in its expansion slot before buying a replacement. Sometimes this AMI beep code arises from just a loose card.

9 Short Beeps

Nine short beeps mean that there has been an AMIBIOS ROM checksum error.

Literally, this would indicate an issue with the BIOS chip on the motherboard. However, since replacing a BIOS chip is sometimes impossible, this AMI BIOS issue is usually corrected by replacing the motherboard.

Before you go that far, try clearing CMOS first. If you're lucky, that'll take care of the problem for free.

10 Short Beeps

Ten short beeps mean that there has been a CMOS shutdown register read/write error. This beep code is usually caused by a hardware failure with the AMI BIOS chip.

A motherboard replacement will usually solve this problem, although it could be caused by a damaged expansion card in rare situations.

Before you go replacing things, start by clearing CMOS and reseating all the expansion cards.

11 Short Beeps

Eleven short beeps means that the cache memory test has failed.

Some piece of essential failing hardware is usually to blame for this AMI BIOS beep code. Often times it's the motherboard.

1 Long Beep + 2 Short Beeps

One long beep and two short beeps is usually an indication of a failure within the memory that's part of the video card.

Replacing the video card is almost always the route to go here, but try removing and reinstalling it first, just in case the only problem is that it has wiggled a bit loose.

1 Long Beep + 3 Short Beeps

If you hear one long beep followed by three short ones, this is due to a failure above the 64 KB mark in the computer's system memory.

There's little practicality in this test versus some of the earlier tests because the solution is the same—replace the RAM.

1 Long Beep + 8 Short Beeps

One long beep followed by eight short beeps means that the video adapter test has failed.

Try reseating the video card and making sure any auxiliary power it needs is connected to the power supply.

If that doesn't work, you'll need to replace the video card.

Alternating Siren

Finally, if you hear an alternating siren-type noise at any time during your computer use, at boot, or afterward, you are dealing with either a voltage level problem or a processor fan that's running too low.

This is a clear indication that you should turn off your computer and inspect both the CPU fan and, if possible, the CPU voltage settings in BIOS/UEFI.

Not Using an AMI BIOS (AMIBIOS) or Not Sure?

If you're not using an AMI-based BIOS then the troubleshooting guides above won't help. To see troubleshooting information for other types of BIOS systems or to figure out what kind of BIOS you have, learn how to troubleshoot beep codes.

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