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


QUESTION: Hi Saleem,

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.  Im considering getting a diagnostic 'post card' though Im not sure it would tell me anything more than what the beep codes are trying to say.


ANSWER: Dear Eric,

You are correct as this combination of beep codes are strange. I would suggest to remove all the external devices like printer n just connect your monitor and check. if no joy then further more lets disconnect all the internal devices like optical and hard disk drives.... So you will be just having ram n cpu on mainboard n keyboard n mouse n monitor connected. Check in this environment if still no go then it would b mainboard issue and you will have to get it checked.

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

QUESTION: Hey Saleem,

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!

Dear Eric,

Operating Systems do reserve some amount of memory for hardware functioning and its expected. However if you wish to consume the rest then i think you can do it thru msconfig window. Type msconfig in Run and one of the tab has an option to make those changes.

PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM

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