The beep codes are specific to the BIOS, with different BIOS
manufacturers having different beep codes.
Do you know how to access the BIOS on your computer, usually a F1 key or
Three short beeps is most often a base RAM fault, or with some BIOS', a
key board fault. My guess would be toward the former from your description.
One relatively simple troubleshooting step:
If you can't access the BIOS, or know what to do when you get there, my
suggestions would be to remove all the RAM sticks on the motherboard,
see if it will boot properly; if it does, replace one, repeat until the
fault happens again and that would be your bad memory.
If that doesn't offer a solution, and you don't know your way around a
BIOS, then you need some local geek advice at a local computer place.
Can you download or have someone download& burn a "HIRENS BOOT DISK" for you ??
It's easily found in a GOOGLE search, and it is a bootable disk. Once it is
loaded, you have MANY options to diagnose/repair/restore all sorts of hard drive
boot problems. It even gives you the optio to boot into a MINI XP OS that
allows you to backup any/all data to cd/dvd blanks. If you can't get the disk
and are not in a BIG hurry, get in touch and I'll send you one.
I jhust paid $300 to a data recovery shop to get the data off a
flakey $49 drive, and the customer was ecstatic. I warned them it
could cost $1000 - regenerating all the data from scratch would have
cost in the high tens of thousands.
On Thu, 19 Aug 2010 23:03:09 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
I just paid a shop $129 to fix my XP disc. He ended up having to
salvage data, reformat, reload XP, and reload data. I got most of it
back. He told me that several virii and a trojan had gotten through
my vigilance, anti-virus, and anti-malware software. He said "Never,
under any circumstance, use the X to close a popup window for an
unknown or fishy site. Always use Ctrl-F4 or reboot, period."
I was very happy to have paid only $129 for data recovery. He's a
keeper for computer problems.
We're all here because we're not all there.
A few months back my Dad's XP HD went South and eventually required a
data recovery service to the North of $500 to recover 20 years of race
horse records and genealogy data.
Obviously worth it to him.
A back up freak from admining upwards of 20 servers in two locations in
the nineties, and beaucoup digital recording sessions where trying to
rebuild the wheel would literally cost hundreds of thousands, I've now
gone to using Carbonite for my scaled down personal office needs.
When working on kitchen designs lately Carbonite has come in handy quite
a few times when I've overwritten a file I was working on with a newer
design version that didn't quite work. Being able to go back and
retrieve a previous version with the same file name saves a ton of work.
And the data being backed up off site, even if it is on the "cloud",
however long that concept lasts, is comforting for now.
It won't boot at all with no "RAM sticks". At least one (and for some
systems, two) are minimally required for the BIOS to be able to run.
The BIOS will execute for a short time out of the L1 cache while it
configures the DRAM controller(s) and reads the SPD from the DIMMs.
Once the DRAM is configured the BIOS will copy itself from flash to
DRAM and continue executing from DRAM.
If there is no DRAM, the BIOS will beep, and you'll get no video.
I concur with J. Clark, likely the CMOS battery has failed after 6 years
causing the stored BIOS settings to evaporate. The next most likely
will be a bad DIMM followed by the Video subsystem.
What part about the OP's post suggests that, he said he saw the BIOS
splash screen, the Windows splash screen, then a RAID splash screen.
Once the Windows splash screen appears the BIOS is essentially done, it
is failing after the RAID splash screen, or during, hard to tell.
He has to check (or have someone else check), the RAID controller,
either it's BIOS or battery is corrupt, if it is a RAID fault, or there
is a major RAID fault, depending on how all that was initially configured.
Once that is known either good/bad then it becomes a windows issue.
MoBo, system bios, and motherboard are all fine.
The system will be down for 10 days for preventive maintenance.
Many motherboards today have RAID controllers built into the
chipset--they're not necessarily third-party boards--but there is
generally a configuration option in the BIOS setup to turn that feature
on or off. If it's gotten turned off and the machine is configured to
require it in order to boot that would be causing the problem described.
Of course the machine may have a third-party RAID controller instead
or in addition.
It sounds like the RAID controller Windows driver is trying to load and
not finding whatever it expects.
Absolutely, if a RAID driver is attempting to load, Windows was
initially setup to load one. Given the OP said the Mobo was 5 years
old, on board raid is less likely, but still a possibility I had
We need more info from the OP if he is able to provide it.
The system will be down for 10 days for preventive maintenance.
I'd tend to agree that it could well be a whacked out windows issue ...
Windows Update? (just kidding....)
From what I've read of the symptoms I'd be tempted, at this point, to
attempt to recover my data with a bootable disk of some type (maybe burn
a Ubuntu boot disk) see if I can access the files and save them to
another media, reformat, reinstall XP, and see if the problem persists.
Howzabout a clue? Did she load a free app? Install a new component. Move
box from one area to another. Spill chocolate milk in/on it?
If you are familiar with the inner workings of a computer, open it up,
remove all the boards and plug them back in. Same with memory and IDE
cables, both cables at both ends. Try again.
While it doesn't cycle, one of my desktops occasionally gets a "no
hdd" error and freezes. I gotta turn it off, give it a slight kick,
and reboot. Works jes fine! It could be MANY things.
OK, more info:
1. I changed the BIOS battery on the MB, no difference.
2. I can access the CMOS screen; it reads my HDDs and other IDE
devices fine. I can change the boot sequence.
3. I ran a RAM diagnostics tool, RAM appears fine.
4. The MB supports RAID but I never configured it to run. The RAID
screen that appears has always appeared.
5. I was able to boot to the Norton Emergency Disk; it said it
repaired an error in the WinXP registry. The disks and partitions are
all fine. No viruses found.
6. I tried running the repair feature on the WinXP disk, and then the
repair feature listed under the full install. It hangs up a lot, asks
me for the Chipset Drivers (Via), &tc. When the machine reboots, it
keeps returing to the WinXP setup screen, even if there's no WinXP
disk, and after several re-boots with other bootable disks.
7. A couple capacitors have a slight bulge on teh top. I'm leaniong
to a blown MB.
You guys are grat, thanks for the responses.
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