AwardBIOS Beep Code Troubleshooting

A single short beep is normal, other beeps could mean video card or CPU troubles

AwardBIOS is a kind of BIOS manufactured by Award Software Inc., owned by Phoenix Technologies since 1998. Many popular motherboard manufacturers use this BIOS in their systems.

Other motherboard manufacturers have created custom BIOS software based on the AwardBIOS system. The beep codes from an AwardBIOS-based BIOS may be the same as the original AwardBIOS beep codes (below) or they may vary a little. You can always reference your motherboard's manual to be sure.

Close up of computer motherboard
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AwardBIOS beep codes sound in quick succession and usually immediately after powering on the PC.

1 Short Beep: Normal

A single, short beep is actually an "all systems clear" notification. In other words, this is a beep code you want to hear and that you've probably been hearing each time your computer comes on since the day you purchased it. No troubleshooting necessary!

1 Long Beep, 2 Short Beeps: Video Card

One long beep followed by two short beeps indicates that there has been some kind of error with the video card.

The video card could need to be reseated or a monitor cable plugged in correctly. Replacing the video card is usually the most you'll have to do to fix this one.

1 Long Beep, 3 Short Beeps: Video Card

One long beep followed by three short beeps means that either the video card isn't installed or the memory on the video card is bad. Reseating or replacing the video card will typically fix the cause of this Award beep code.

1 High Pitched Beep, 1 Low Pitched Beep (Repeating): CPU

A repeating high-pitched / low-pitched beep pattern is an indication of some kind of CPU problem. It could be overheating or malfunctioning in some other way.

1 High Pitched Beep (Repeating): CPU

A single, repeating, high-pitched beeping sound means that the CPU is overheating. You'll need to figure out why it's getting too hot before this beep code will go away.

Turn your computer off immediately if you hear this beep code. The longer your CPU is running hot, the higher the chance that you'll permanently damage this expensive part of your system.

All Other Beep Codes

Any other beep code pattern you hear means there has been some kind of memory problem. Replacing your RAM is the most you'll need to do to fix this issue.

Not Using AwardBIOS, or Not Sure?

If you're not using an Award-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, see our How to Troubleshoot Beep Codes guide.

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