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Computer making beeps and not starting up

By Zerthelias
Sep 10, 2010
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  1. Hi, I'm fairly new to this forum. Recently my computer started to have trouble starting up. When I press the start button, the computer power button flashes and I get 3 beeps. 1 long and two short. I looked into a thread on this forum. I cannot post the link to the thread because my post could is not greater than 5. It says that I have "Failure in video system- An error was encountered in the video BIOS ROM, or a horizontal retrace failure has been encountered."

    I'm not very experienced in computers but I know enough to get around. So what does this mean? Also I can sometimes get access to the computer. Once in a while, the computer boots up.

    All help is appreciated.
     
  2. Zerthelias

    Zerthelias TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Oh and please tell me if there is any more information I can provide you with.
     
  3. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,167   +37

    What you are experiencing is a BIOS Beep Code and depending on what the issue is will determine the pattern and the length of the beeps.

    Basically it is pointing to where your issue is and it appears your video card is the probable cause of your troubles. Do you have a friend who has some tech knowledge and who can let you borrow another video card to temporarily install in your system?
     
  4. Zerthelias

    Zerthelias TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'll give my graphics card to a friend to try out. Is there anything else I can do?
     
  5. Zerthelias

    Zerthelias TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Also, if the graphics card isn't the problem, then what else can I expect?
     
  6. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Addict Posts: 1,095   +22

    Warning beeps --graphic card prob?

    If you can use the PC normally sometimes, but sometimes you get the 'beeps', 1 long 2 short, that seems to suggest the edge connection of the graphic card to the main board is not making good contact. (but sometimes is).
    You could, 1) Unplug the mains power. Remove the graphic card. Have a close look along both sides of the gold connector, don't touch it with fingers. If you can see any dark areas or anything that isn't shiny gold, give it a go with a pencil eraser. Make sure there are no bits left on there and put it back in PC. Plug it in a few times over. Try it.

    2) If your PC has the blue type of plug for the monitor lead, connecting to your graphic card, can you see another similar socket nearer to the keyboard and mouse sockets?
    If no, you will need to get or borrow another graphic card. If yes then you have a built in graphic chip. Plug your monitor lead in and switch on. It may work properly. Or you may need to go into the BIOS (switch on , press F2) and go to 'onboard devices' then to 'integrated graphics' set it to 'enabled' . Press F11. Pc will reboot and you will have a working PC again. Of course your graphics won't be as good as the Graphic card gives, but you can use it for most things, until you can get a new card. But remember to return the BIOS,to how it was, to disable the on board graphic chip.
     
  7. Zerthelias

    Zerthelias TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I recently took out my graphics card. I look at it and saw that there was a dust bunny on the gold connector. I removed it then tried to connect. I was able to boot about 5 times into the computer but then it started to beep again. Then I opened up my computer again and looked at the graphics card. The fan had a lot of dirt. I removed it and then I was able to successfully boot into the computer. But I didn't experiment fearing that the problem isn't solved.

    Right now I"m going to check if the problem is solved. Further, I will check for the dark areas on my graphics card.
     
  8. Zerthelias

    Zerthelias TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Oh and my graphics card is ATI Radeon 4650.
     
  9. Zerthelias

    Zerthelias TS Rookie Topic Starter

    http://img821.imageshack.us/img821/8206/dsc00003bs.jpg
    http://img94.imageshack.us/img94/7042/dsc00004db.jpg

    I looked at the gold connector or at least what I think is the gold connector and I found something. The tip of one of one of the pencil like gold thing seems to be missing. (sorry for the bad terminology) This happened on both sides of the graphics card. Also I found dust in the place where the gold connector connects to. I removed it and now it seems to be working fine. I've only booted twice though.
     
  10. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,167   +37

    That is the design. No need to worry about it. Dust build-up will cause heat issues which will cause destabilization of a system. Get yourself a can of compressed air and with short bursts remove the dust from your system. DON'T spray with the can upside down.

    Once the dust is removed reinstall your video card and try it out.
     
  11. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Addict Posts: 1,095   +22

    Looked at the pictures you took, the edge connector looks fine, no problem there.
     
     
  12. Zerthelias

    Zerthelias TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have a question. Can my friend damage his computer by putting my graphics card into his computer?
    What is the worst case scenario?
     
  13. Zerthelias

    Zerthelias TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Oh and mike, I do not think I have a built in graphics chip.
     
  14. Zerthelias

    Zerthelias TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Also, it is becoming less likely that that computer will boot. First it used to beep once in a while but now it is almost every time I try to get it to start up.

    EDIT: I've been trying to get it to boot for half an hour with no success.
     
  15. Zerthelias

    Zerthelias TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Could this be another error?
    I mean could this be an error with another part of my computer?
     
  16. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,167   +37

    No, unless the video card slots are of a different kind than what your video card is designed for, it is highly doubtful any damage wil occur.
     
  17. Zerthelias

    Zerthelias TS Rookie Topic Starter

    uhhhh.... I accidentally touched the gold connector. Now there is this mark on it. I feel stupid. Does anyone know how to clean it or did I just screw up my graphics card?
     
  18. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,167   +37

    No. Just take a pencil eraser and gently erase the mark.
     


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