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Troubleshooting BIOS Beep Codes - Phoenix BIOS
Phoenix uses by far the most complicated sets of beep codes. In fact, Phoenix uses so
many codes that especially in their newer BIOSes, every BIOS power-on self-test (POST)
function has a beep code associated with it. This means that the Phoenix BIOS gives you
the most details about where in the boot process the failure occurred, but it also makes
figuring out the codes more complicated.
Some notes about the Phoenix BIOS and how I have implemented troubleshooting its beep
- There are two general families of Phoenix BIOSes. The newer family corresponds to
version 4.x (any version number starting with "4") and is generally found in
systems made in 1994 and later. The older family corresponds to any version numbers before
4.x made before 1994.
- The Phoenix BIOS uses groups of beeps; there may be 2 beeps, followed by 1 beep, and
then 3 beeps; this is represented as 2-1-3. The older Phoenix BIOS uses three groups of
beeps, while the newer one uses four (for example, 2-1-3-1).
- The newer Phoenix BIOS has over 100 beep codes; the older one "only" about 40
or so. Many of these correspond to internal test conditions within the BIOS which, if they
fail, will cause a beep code to be generated at that position. To prevent this
troubleshooting section from growing out of control, I have put many of the beep code
description sections together into groupings. Each individual beep code is listed, but
errors that are similar or have a similar cause share the same explanation, diagnosis, and
recommendation sections. I have to do this for time and space reasons; in reality many of
these errors don't have much you can do about them other than to diagnose the motherboard as probably failed or
misconfigured. Try to remember to use the index links and not scroll the contents
frame in this area.
- When the Phoenix BIOS fails with a fatal error, in addition to the beep code it may
write a two-digit code to the screen. This is the POST code, which is written to I/O
address 80h for use by a POST debugging card
and represents the position in the power-on test where the problem was detected. I have
included the two digit codes that correspond to each beep code, below.
Please select the BIOS family corresponding to that used on your machine, from the
index on the left.
Next: Older BIOS
Family (Phoenix BIOS Plus, PhoenixBIOS 1.x)
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