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What to do when your PC won't boot

Dealing with a PC that simply beeps

You switch on your PC or laptop, and instead of booting up as normal, it simply emits a series of beeps. Our Helproom Expert explains what this means, and what to do about it.

QUESTION My PC refuses to boot, and emits one slow bleep followed by two fast bleeps. What does this mean? Mike Ilsley

HELPROOM ANSWER The bleeps you hear are a coded message designed to tell you what's preventing your system from completing its Power On Self Test (Post). The codes used vary from one motherboard to the next, so before the meaning can be determined we need to know what model is fitted in your PC.

If you have the motherboard manual to hand, you should find the Post error codes listed inside. Otherwise, determine the make and model of your motherboard and download the manual from the maker's website – you may find this an easier option in any case, since the PDF file containing the manual will be searchable.

One long bleep followed by two short bleeps is usually indicative of a problem with the graphics card. Try removing and re-seating the graphics card, making sure that its power connectors are plugged in firmly. If this doesn't solve your problem, you may need to buy a new graphics card. See all How to articles. Get free tech support in the Helproom Forum.

Visit Windows 7 Advisor for more Windows advice.

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