PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM/No post, strange beep codes

Advertisement


Question
QUESTION: Hi there,

I've got an MSI p43-c51 motherboard with what I think is AMI bios.  The other day it quit working.  Powers up, but zero display on the monitor.  I tried my video card in a friend's computer and it works fine, so not the card.

Beep code doesnt make much sense to me.  I hear a short single beep, then i hear a very brief High-Low in quick succession, then I hear a quick double short beep. Almost like a longer beep, but with a very brief interruption in the middle.

I've looked at possible beep codes on line and none of them seem to match what I'm hearing.  I know continuous high-low-high-low is related to CPU temperature, but I dont hear this - just a quick, single high-low.  The next sound, the quick double-beep also seems odd.

Can you provide any suggestions of what I can try next?  I already cleared the CMOS and re-seated the RAM, no luck.

Thanks!
Eric

ANSWER: Have you tried with the system pared down to the bare essentials? (CPU and one memory module) And then built up from there until it throws the error?

-bob


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hey Bob,

Thanks for getting back to me.  I borrowed a stick of my friend's RAM and plugged it in, and lo and behold, I got something to display on the monitor.  I then re-installed my own 2 sticks of RAM and this also worked.  I'm totally back up and running.  I find it bizarre that re-seating my own RAM and clearing the CMOS didn't seem to work, though using my friend's ram apparently did the trick.  In any case all appears to be well.

For beeps, I now here a short beep, followed by a rapid high-high-low in quick succession. Not sure what it's trying to tell me.

I'd like to ask another question about RAM.  I have two 2-gig sticks of DDR3 1333 ram, which I think should add up to something around 4 gigs total.  When I check Properties under My Computer, it only shows 3.25 gigs.

In the BIOS, I notice that the default speed of the ram was something like 1066.  I adjusted the FSB ratio to 2:1 (if I remember correctly), so that the ram operates at 1333, which I believe is its maximum speed.  Doing this does not seem to hurt, though I can't tell if it actually helped or not.  That is, Win XP still says I have 3.25 gigs of ram.  Can you provide any insight on this, particularly if what I did was a good idea, and if there's anything else I can do to maximize the capability of my RAM?

My motherboard is capable of overclocking via dip switches though I have not messed with this.  I'm a little reluctant to increase the chances of heat-related damage if I don't feel a big need for more speed, though I can't help but be curious.

Thanks very much!
Eric

Answer
The memory "loss" is Windows: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa366778(v=vs.85).aspx

This is perfectly normal behavior for Windows XP, and there is nothing that can be done to "fix" it. Nothing is broken. Overclocking will not influence this. If the memory seeks to run at 1066 to be 1:1 with the CPU, I would say let it.

Regarding why the system  began working again- tough to say. It could be that you bumped or re-seated something else with the new memory, or any other number of things (without having hands-on and seeing exactly what you did and didn't do, I can't say with any certainty, is basically my point).

-bob

PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Bobbert

Expertise

I have nearly two decades of experience in IT, computer repair, and related fields and will attempt to provide the most solid, brand-agnostic advice when it comes time to purchase a new computer, or upgrade an existing machine. I can answer anything from the seemingly basic to the downright complicated - and will do my best to provide this information in a clear and concise manner.

Experience

I have been an enthusiast of PC's for many years, and can answer questions about the purchase/use of a new computer or the purchase, installation, and use of upgrades for existing computers. There probably isn't a whole lot related to the home computer that I haven't seen over the years.

Education/Credentials
15+ years of experience

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.