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the beep that stops it all

something's beeping and not sure what it is

     
12:46 pm on Jul 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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So I have a beep, I've had it for a while. It would happen once in a while during heavy load and things would stop for a second and thn carry on.

The main time it would happen was when I was gaming which is more than likely the heaviest load, made me think it was graphics.

Now the beep is happening most of the time, no matter how little or much I am doing. I have had the side off, head in the box, and still can't really hear what is actually beeping.

any thoughts or ideas on where to start?

12:59 pm on July 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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You can start by knowing your BIOS beep sound frequency and the meaning behind it. Here is a list of BIOS Error Beep Codes [pchell.com]
1:23 pm on July 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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the POST is fine, good link though, POSTs with no problems. It seems to be throughput or heavy load that causes it, though now I can open an email and have it happen.
1:24 pm on July 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Maybe you have a temp sensor in your box that has an audible warning?
1:37 pm on July 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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now that I was actually wondering about, heat

didn't know temp sensors had an audible warning, I will have to look at that

1:42 pm on July 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Most temp sensors come with software or a hardware panel that displays the temp readings - open your box and see what you've got...
1:48 pm on July 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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now that I was actually wondering about, heat

If that is the case, in almost all cases I have faced, I find the CPU fan not working. You might want to check the fans too.

1:50 pm on July 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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actually another symptom I just remembered thinking of that

I have cpu monitor on my keyborad that actually stopped working a few months ago but when it would beep the usage would go to 100%, then dip down to 0, then back to whatever it was at when everything starts going again

checked the fans a few times recently, seem to be working but I could always switch them

3:48 pm on July 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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just got on the right machine, since it's difficult to work on and I had it running backups this morning

fans seem fine

temps
cpu 59
mb 29

checked for max temps and things for my cpu and this really shouldn't be an issue.

Though the beeping is frequent now it has been doing it for a long time, during winter it is very cold in this room, maybe 10 - 15 degrees celsius

1:28 pm on July 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Any luck with the PC?
1:31 pm on July 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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not really

my backups seem to keep dying, which is never encouraging so something is obviously not right, I am doing them manually

fans are working properly, heat is high but nothing abnormal

not really sure what to look at next actually, the only new hardware is a stick of ram, though that was months ago and the issue started rarely before that

4:03 pm on July 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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A few years ago, I worked at a nuclear power station. The guy who sat at the cubicle across from me had a computer that would beep every now and again. It was largely ignored as an annoyance.

Then other people's computers started beeping...

It turned out to be a virus. It came in on a diskette from the vendor who had sold the power company the PCs. They "helpfully" sent somebody out to install a driver update for the video display cards.

My neighbor had been the guinea-pig for the new release. The beep didn't get connected to the driver soon enough, and the vendor came back and went from PC to PC installing the update - and the virus.

This was back from when viruses were "for fun", not for creating havoc or botnets. The worst thing that virus did was beep.

5:05 pm on July 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Some Seagate hard disks have audible error codes - check it out, it may be your HDD telling you it's in trouble.
1:06 am on July 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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could very well be, hence the backing up, but no matter how hard I try I can't tell where the beep originates. My huge melon doesn't really fit inside the box.

I'll run a few other things to see if I can figure it out

the complete halt of processing after the beep makes me worried but, whatever, things break, I just wish I knew what it was and I would swap it easily enough.

1:10 am on July 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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> My huge melon doesn't really fit inside the box.

Borrow a flexible straw from the kid, plug the other ear, and try again...

Jim

6:38 am on July 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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A quick check of Google suggests that if you have an optical mouse it might be to blame. I found a forum where someone's computer would beep under heavy load. Especially when playing games. Sadly there was no suggested cure. But knowing where the problem might be can often make it easier to find and fix the problem yourself. HTH. Best of luck to you.

BTW, is the beep coming from the PC speaker or via your sound card? That might be another clue as to where the problem is.

4:35 pm on July 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Bios overtemp alarms are usually a dee-dah sound like an 80's UK police car. I tell you, it's no fun when they go off at 4am.

Temps can be a problem as time goes on as fans get clogged up with dust, inlet holes clogged up with dust and thermal paste dries up.

Just skimmed your thread. Does the PC stop totally when it beeps?

This could be happening if your bios is set to overtemp alarm and instant shutdown at the same level. e.g. alarm 70' and shutdown 70'

Could be faulty ram. Run memtest burn in type software.

If you want to identify if it is the speaker or not then just unplug the speaker. Your PC will either have a jumper type connector on the mobo, or it could have it's own onboard piezo type device. Put a but of tape over the hole for that one.

Obviously, silencing the speaker won't sort the problem but it will help you prove that the beeping is not a diagnostic part of the PC.

Could be something unrelated such as a flat battery in a smoke alarm!

2:43 pm on July 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Could be something unrelated such as a flat battery in a smoke alarm!

They only go flat at 3am in the morning!

2:45 pm on July 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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not ignoring this, all great stuff

just finding time to get off the laptop and not having to take care of the kid and spend some quality time on the computer in the office (the problem one) is difficult

7:48 pm on July 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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ram seems to be fine (have had some issues with it in the past)

changed around a bunch and all seems exactly the same

I do have another hard drive, might try swapping that and getting it up to see if that changes anything

1:40 am on July 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

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blew it out today, really wasn't dusty much at all, has been much worse in every place I have lived before this

figured I had a bunch of ram and 1 more slot so I threw a 512 at it

everything is better, not fixed, it beeped a couple times more but everything is working again

strange, could just be the cleaning though it really had very little, unless it was just in the wrong place

3 slots for ram on the mb, a1, a2 and b1

I have had 1 GB in a1 and a2 since before this problem, though it seemed (loose) that when I was swapping ram having 1GB in a1 and nothing else was much better than a2 and nothing

now with a1 1GB, a2 1GB and b1 512 it is alright

odd

9:46 am on July 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Glad you got it fixed, now let's hope it doesn't come back again. You might not yet have attended to the root of the problem.
10:14 am on July 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Just out of interest, do you have parity ram installed? This can often be identified by a ninth chip on the memory board.

I have never heard of a bios beeping in response to parity errors, but it could fit your symptoms.

Kaled.

1:01 pm on July 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

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>> parity ram

not sure actually, I wouldn't think so but I'll look later on

>> not yet have attended to the root of the problem

I'm pretty sure that it will come back at some point

1:13 pm on Aug 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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it might sound like a dumb question, but anyway: Does your machine have a pc speaker?
1:20 pm on Aug 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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yep
1:22 am on Aug 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

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at the moment I am installing on a spare hard drive I had, we'll see if that stops it.

my gut says the drive, who knows

12:42 pm on Aug 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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all is well so far, 2 days and no beep
12:59 pm on Sept 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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end of the saga hopefully

the drive I put in also failed

I bought a new one and it seems to be fine for over a week