BIOS Error Beeps/Messages/Codes

Definitions and Solutions for BIOS Error Beeps and Messages/Codes

This information and much more can be found in the BIOS Companion Book.
AMI BIOS Award BIOS Apricot Compaq General HP Vectra IBM AT Olivetti Phoenix Sirius


Audio Beep Errors:

Number of BeepsDescription of ProblemSolution
1 beepDRAM refresh failure Try re-seating the memory first. If the error still occurs, replace the memory with known good chips.
2 beepsParity Circuit Failure
3 beepsBase 64K RAM failure
4 beepsSystem Timer Failure Send System Board in for Repair
5 beepsProcessor Failure
6 beepsKeyboard Controller / Gate A20 Failure Try re-seating the keyboard controller chip. If the error still occurs, replace the keyboard chip. If the error persists, check parts of the system relating to the keyboard, e.g. try another keyboard, check to see if the system has a keyboard fuse.
7 beepsVirtual Mode Exception Error Send System Board in for Repair
8 beepsDisplay Memory Read/Write Failure Indicates a memory error on the video adapter. Try re-seating the video card. If it still beeps, try replacing the video card or the memory on the video card.
9 beepsROM BIOS Checksum Failure Indicates faulty BIOS chip(s). It is not likely that this error can be corrected by re-seating the chips. Consult the motherboard supplier or an AMI product distributor for replacement part(s).
10 beepsCMOS Shutdown Register Read/Write Error Send System Board in for Repair
1 long 2 shortVideo failure Reseat the video board - replace if board is determined to be faulty.
1 long 3 shortVideo failure
1 longPOST passed. No Errors

Error Messages/Codes

Error MessageProblemSolution
CH-2 Timer Error Non fatal. Could be caused by a peripheral.
INTR #1 Error Interrupt Channel 1 has failed the POST test Check system boards for IRQs 0-7.
INTR #2 Error Interrupt Channel 2 has failed the POST test Check system boards for IRQs 8-15.
CMOS Battery State Low Replace battery.
CMOS Checksum Failure A checksum is generated when CMOS values are saved for error checking on subsequent startups. This error message will appear if the checksum is different from one boot-up to the next. Run the setup program again to correct the problem.
CMOS Memory Size Mismatch Usually caused when you add or remove memory from your system but could be caused by memory that has failed. Run setup.
CMOS System Optons Not Set CMOS values are either corrupt or do not exist. Run Setup.
Display Switch Not Proper Many motherboards have a jumper setting that allows you to specify whether you have a color or monochrome monitor. Correct the switch position.
Keyboard is locked ... Unlock it Unlock the keyboard.
Keyboard Error There is a problem with the keyboard Make sure your keyboard BIOS is compatible, that the keyboard is plugged in completely, and that no keys are stuck. Or, change the BIOS keyboard setting to "Not Installed" to skip the test.
K/B Interface Error There is a problem with the keyboard connector on the motherboard.
FDD Controller Failure The BIOS cannot communicate with the floppy drive controller. The floppy may be disabled, also check that the cable is not loose.
HDD Controller Failure As above, but for hard disks.
C: Drive Error The system cannot get a response from drive C. The hard disk type is most likely set incorrectly, or the disk may not be formatted or connected properly.
D: Drive Error Same as above except for drive D. Same as above.
C: Drive Failure The drive was detected but failed. More serious than error.
D: Drive Failure Same as above.
CMOS Time and Date Not Set Run Setup
Cache Memory Bad, do Not Enable Cache! Cache may indeed be bad, if so replace. May simply need re-seating.
8042 Gate-A20 Error! The Gate-A20 portion of the keyboard controller has failed. Replace the keyboard chip (8042)
Address Line Short There is a problem with the memory address decoding circuitry. Try rebooting, (turn the system off and then on 10 seconds later). The problem may correct itself.
DMA #1 Error There is an error in the first DMA channel on the motherboard Could be caused by a peripheral device.
DMA Error There is an error within the DMA controller on the motherboard.
No ROM Basic. There is nothing to boot from. (i.e.- the system cannot find an operating system). Be certain that a bootable disk is defined in the system setup.
Diskette Boot Failure The diskette in the specified boot-up drive is corrupt.
Invalid Boot Diskette Same as above, but the disk is readable.
On Board Parity Error There is a parity error with memory on the motherboard at address XXXX (hex). (On Board specifies that the memory is not on an expansion board, but rather is located on the motherboard physically). Possibly correctable with software from the motherboard manufacturer. (also do a Virus Check - some viruses cause parity errors).
Off Board Parity Error There is a parity error with memory installed in an expansion slot at address XXXX (hex) Same as above.
Parity Error There is a parity error with memory somewhere in the system. Same as above.
Memory Parity Error at XXXX Memory has failed. If it cannot be determined, it is displayed as XXXX, if not, as ???? Same as above.
I/O Card Parity Error at XXXX Same as above. Same as above.
DMA Bus Time-out A device has driven the bus signal for more than 7.8 microseconds. Troubleshoot all system boards. (remove them and try to isolate the failure)
Memory mismatch, run Setup Disable Memory Relocation if possible.
EISA CMOS Checksum Failure The checksom for EISA CMOS is bad, or the battery is bad.
EISA CMOS Inoperational A read/write failure occured in extended CMOS RAM. The battery may be bad.
Expansion Board not ready at Slot X AMI BIOS cannot find the expansion board in X slot. Verify that the board is in the correct slot and is seated properly.
Fail-Safe Timer NMI Inoperational Devices that depend on the fail-safe NMI timer are not operating correctly.
ID information mismatch for Slot X The ID of the EISA expansion board in slot X does not match the ID in CMOS RAM.
Invalid Configuration Information for Slot X The configuration information for EISA board X is not correct. Run the ECU.
Software Port NMI Inoperational The software port NMI is not working.
BUS Timeout NMI at Slot X There was a bus timeout NMI at Slot X.
(E)nable (D)isable Expansion Board? Type E to enable the board that had an NMI or D to disable it.
Expansion Board disabled at Slot X The expansion board NMI was generated from slot X.
Fail-Safe Timer NMI A fail-safe timer NMI has been generated.
Software Port NMI A software port NMI has been generated.

Award BIOS ISA/EISA v4.5x

Audio Beep Errors

Number of BeepsDescription of Problem Solution
1 long, 2 shortVideo error Reseat the video card - replacement may be necessary if it is faulty.

Error Messages/Codes

Check battery and replace it if necessary.

Error MessageProblemSolution
CMOS BATTERY HAS FAILED CMOS battery is no longer functional. Replace battery.
CMOS CHECKSUM ERROR Checksum of CMOS is incorrect. This can indicate that CMOS has become corrupt. This error may have been caused by a weak battery.
DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER No boot device was found. This could mean that either a boot drive was not detected or the drive does not contain proper system boot files. Insert a system disk into Drive A: and press Enter. If you assumed the system would boot from the hard drive make sure the controller is inserted correctly and all cables are properly attached. Also be sure the disk is formatted as a boot device. Then reboot the system.
DISKETTE DRIVES OR TYPES MISMATCH ERROR - RUN SETUP Type of diskette drive installed in the system is different from the CMOS definition. Run Setup and enter the drive type correctly.
DISPLAY SWITCH IS SET INCORRECTLY Many motherboards have a jumper or switch that allows you to specify whether you have a monochrome or color video board. Check the jumper or switch and correct it's position.
DISPLAY TYPE HAS CHANGED SINCE LAST BOOT Since you last shut the system down, the display had been changed. Run Setup and reconfigure display if possible.
EISA Configuration Checksum Error The EISA non-volatile RAM checksum is incorrect or cannot correctly read the EISA slot. Run the EISA Configuration Utility. Either the EISA non-volatile memory has become corrupt or the slot has been configured incorrectly. Also make sure the card is installed firmly in the slot. When this error appears, the system will boot in ISA mode, which allows you to run the EISA Configuration Utility.
EISA Configuration is Not Complete The slot configuration information stored in the EISA non-volatile memory is incomplete. When this error appears, the system will boot in ISA mode, which allows you to run the EISA Configuration Utility. Run the EISA Configuration Utility.
ERROR ENCOUNTERED INITIALIZING HARD DRIVE The hard drive cannot be initialized. Be sure the adaptor/controller is installed correctly and that all cables are correctly and firmly attached. Also make sure the correct hard drive type is selected in Setup.
ERROR INITIALIZING HARD DRIVE CONTROLLER Cannot initiallize the controller card. Make sure the card is correctly and firmly seated in the system board. Be sure the correct hard drive type is selected in Setup. Also check to see if any jumpers need to be set on the hard drive.
FLOPPY DISK CNTRLR ERROR OR NO CNTRLR PRESENT Cannot find or initialize the floppy drive controller. Make certain the controller is installed correctly and firmly. If there are no floppy drives installed, be sure the Diskette Drive selection in Setup is set to NONE.
Invalid EISA Configuration The non-volatile memory containing EISA configuration information was programmed incorrectly or has become corrupt. Re-run EISA Configuration Utility to correctly program the memory. When this error occurs, the system will boot in ISA mode which allows you to run the EISA Configuration Utility.
KEYBOARD ERROR OR NO KEYBOARD PRESENT Cannot initialize the keyboard. Make sure the keyboard is attached correctly and that no keys are stuck or are being pressed during the boot. If you are purposely configuring the system without the keyboard, set the error halt condition in Setup to HALT ON ALL, BUT KEYBOARD. This will cause the BIOS to ignore the missing keyboard and continue the boot.
Memory Address Error at XXXX Indicates a memory address error at XXXX location. Use the location along with the memory map for your system to find and replace the bad memory chips.
Memory parity Error at XXXX Indicates a memory parity error at XXXX location. Same as Above.
MEMORY SIZE HAS CHANGED SINCE LAST BOOT Memory has been added or removed since the last boot. In EISA mode, use the EISA Configuration Utility to reconfigure the memory configuration. In ISA mode, enter Setup and enter the new memory size in the memory fields if possible.
Memory Verify Error at XXXX Indicates an error verifying a value already written to memory. Use the location along with your system's memory map to locate the bad chip(s).
OFFENDING ADDRESS NOT FOUND This message is used in conjunction with the I/O CHANNEL CHECK and RAM PARITY ERROR messages when the segment that has caused the problem cannot be isolated. -
OFFENDING SEGMENT: Same as above. -
PRESS A KEY TO REBOOT This message is displayed at the bottom of the screen when an error occurs that requires you to reboot. Press any key to reboot the system.
PRESS F1 TO DISABLE NMI, F2 TO REBOOT When BIOS detects a Non-maskable Interrupt condition during boot, this will allow you to disable the NMI and continue to boot, or you can reboot the system with the NMI enabled. -
RAM PARITY ERROR - CHECKING FOR SEGMENT Indicates a parity error in Random Access Memory. -
Should Be Empty But EISA Board Found A valid board ID was found in a slot that was configured as having no board ID. Run the EISA Configuration Utility.
Should Have EISA Board But Not Found The board installed is not responding to the ID request, or no board ID has been found in the indicated slot. Run the EISA Configuration Utility.
Slot Not Empty A slot designated as empty by the EISA Configuration Utility actually contains a board. Run the EISA Configuration Utility.
SYSTEM HALTED, (CTRL-ALT-DEL) TO REBOOT ... Indicates the present boot attempt has been aborted and the system must be rebooted. Press and hold down the CTRL and ALT keys and press the DEL key simultaneously.
Wrong Board in Slot The board ID does not match the ID stored in the EISA non-volatile memory. Run the EISA Configuration Utility.