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BIOS Beep Codes

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My computer is a Dell Dimension 9100 and the problem is that on switching the PC on it makes 6 long, drawn out beeping sounds but then after that nothing seems to happen. The screen is blank and the PC doesn't even seem to be on at all. Please help.Kate Dubensky

Beeping Bios

The beeping that you are hearing from your computer at start up is coming from the BIOS - the Basic Input/Output System - when it attempts to POST - Power On Self Test - to launch its basic functions and boot up. The beeps indicate that there is a problem, as I'm sure you've realized. One beep during POST is normal, as long as the boot continues.

Dell Beep Codes

The number of beeps signify different meanings for different makes of BIOS chips. There seems to be on ongoing debate among users about whether the 6 beeps you are getting indicate a DRAM problem or a CMOS reset, so we can briefly touch on both possibilities.

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Reseat the CMOS Battery

The CMOS battery is the computer's internal power source that allows the computer to retain the time and other set functions even when it isn't getting any other power supply. CMOS batteries do run out of steam, so yours might need to be replaces, but more often than not, removing it and reseating it is enough to jump start your system. The battery you are looking for is round and thin, here's how to find it.

  1. Turn your PC off, if it isn't already, and unplug it from the wall.
  2. Lie the computer down and open the computer casing and take caution to discharge any static electricity before touching anything
  3. Find the small round battery and gently remove it without forcing anything - if you have trouble locating it, use your computer's user guide for your model instructions
  4. Now you can take the battery to the shop and purchase a new one of the same model number, or try to reseat the battery
  5. Make sure the battery is firmly inserted, with the positive + side showing - or as instructed in the manual
  6. Close the computer and try it again.

Check the Chips and Cards

The other possibility is the DRAM situation. In this case, there might be something wrong with the system board, or too much dust accumulated in the computer. To deal with it, open the computer and check the boards and the contacts. If there is a lot of dust, you can use canned air to gently clean it. Vacuums are not the way to go as the electric power can seriously mess with your system. Check the cards are all properly inserted and try to boot.

Try Tech Support

If nothing is working, you might want to try a remote technician. We recommend the services available here - a specialist will help you troubleshoot the issue step by step to help figure out a diagnosis, and a solution. Good luck!

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