Can't restart PC, error code before POST (suspected overheating)

By Blekk
Sep 9, 2007
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  1. Hi,

    My computer has been like this since I installed my graphics card (x1800GTO PCI-E), but I have ignored the situation since taking components out one by one and still getting the error beeps. Also, the computer starts up properly after about 15-20 minutes of leaving it anyway.

    The error code is: 1 long beep and 3 short beeps, and on consulting a website, it seems that for an American Megatrends BIOS, this means that:

    Yet this cannot be the problem as the memory is seated properly, I am sure of that, and after 20 minutes the system starts up fine.

    Another website says that 1 long beep and 3 short ones means this:

    With no further description I believe that this might be right, and coupled with another website's description of "extended memory failure", this could be the GPU's memory failing (overeating I suspect). As it seems the error is based on time (leave the PC for 15-20 minutes and it starts up fine), this leads me to believe that it is a overheating/cooling error, with either the GPU memory or something else.

    As the PC is happy to run for 8+ hours everyday with no lock-ups or other errors, yet cannot restart due to this error, I can't see that there is anything significantly wrong with any of the components (or they wouldn't work at all right?).

    This has stumped me for so long, Any ideas anyone?

    Thanks for your time.
  2. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

    I'm wondering if it may be your psu causing the problem.
    What make and wattage is it and how many amps on the +12v rail?
  3. Blekk

    Blekk Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 79

    Ah are you thinking that the Power Supply is getting overheated or just "worn out" from the 8 hours of power on, and so then can't give enough power to the graphics card?

    Because the graphics card does have to have more power from the PSU itself.

    Here are the details you asked for:

    Manufacturer: ColorsIT
    Wattage: 500W
    Amps on the +12V Rail: 30A

    Thanks for all the help so far.
  4. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

    Its a possibility. How old is it and do you have a spare to test the thoery with?
  5. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,711

    If the board is giving error beeps on boot, then you have to believe it and the message it is giving. Can you borrow some compatible RAM to test? Also don't forget that the slots can fail too.
  6. Blekk

    Blekk Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 79

    If I haven't got another PSU to test, but I will go to the local computer shop and get one, then say it didn't fit or something and get my money back if it isn't the problem.

    And I see your point AlbertLionheart. I have some old SDRAM that I could put in and see if it still gives the error. But the thing is, one website says it means memory failure in memory modules or extended memory and the other says it means video failure, so could "extended" mean "in other components" e.g. a graphics card.

    Because if it is the graphics card's memory then I am screwed, but it works after 20 minutes of down-time, so I have no idea what's going on, but I will go for the PSU change for now.
  7. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 837

    you probably need a stronger PSU for that video card, does it work with the old video card?
  8. Blekk

    Blekk Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 79

    I haven't tried it with the older graphics card, I think I will just get a new PSU and see how it goes.

    What PSUs do people reccomend? Because I don't know anything about the ampage of the rails etc.

    Thanks again all.
  9. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    bios beeps are indicative of hardware failure. RTFM.
    You probably need a stronger PSU. Google PSU calculator and add 30%
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