PC beeps while starting up

When your computer beeps and you don’t know what it means, it can be a little stressful. If you hear a beep code while your computer starts, don’t worry. It could just mean that your computer’s error codes are trying to tell you something.
The most common beep codes are:

  • 1 short – Memory problem
  • 1 long – Video card problem
  • 3 short – CPU problem
  • 4 short – Motherboard or power supply problem
  • 5 short – System timer problem or CMOS battery failure.


There are a few things you can do to try and figure out what the problem is. Check your system’s manual for error code meanings. If you don’t have your manual handy, you can search online for your make and model of computer +beep codes. Once you know what the code means, you can start troubleshooting the issue.

If you’re not comfortable working on your computer yourself, take it to a professional to get it checked out. In some cases, as with a failed CMOS battery, a simple fix will solve the problem. Other times, it might be something more serious that will require repairs or even replacement parts.