HP BEEP CODES or Keyboard LED BLINK Error messages.                            

This really IS BIOS P.O.S.T ERRORS , as it discovered bad things (serious too)  , mostly hardware errors discovered or missing hardware (aka: chips)
POST means , power on self tests. 
Flashing means, Flash programing (burning)the SPI BIOS:

How to do the standard HP ReSets,  and more.

How to use a P.O.S.T card and see all BIOS check points.( and all errors)

There are vast blink codes  possible due to the codes changing every few years, from 1984 to now.
There is great confusing on codes, for that reason and 2 more.
  1. Phoenix™ merged with Award™ and error codes get mixed  up and very complex for this fact.
  2. Most top makers of PC now order custom BIOS modified to their needs and sure error codes. (always  get codes  from you actual PC maker) HPs' new BIOS 2015 and newer is here.
AMI is the other maker of BIOS.
It would be wise for all PC owners to enter BIOS setup (power on hit ESC) and see what is there (name of maker and version #) Mine today shows.  HP BIOS, SETUP VERSION; F.06
There are beep sounded codes.
or CAP's Lock LED blink codes.
Or if you have a PCI POST card, we can see the binary errors too. (complex and I will not cover this)
Lean that the BIOS can lie to you, even if all BIOS software(firmware) is 100% perfect, in all ways.
This is because of 3 reasons, (1: its brick stupid , 2: power is bad, 3: memory errors confuse it)
This PC like all PC's have a Von Neumann Archetecture., and if any of  these 3 buses fail?, for any reason !, BIOS will LIE. (Think about that carefully)  if the poor thing can't computer, why expect truth?
Code #2 is saying the BIOS ROM code checksum fails or BIOS  corruption errors

Top causes are as follows (fate rules this mostly but not #1)
#1: (if you have not done this, skip to #2 now)
The number one cause of BIOS ROM corruption is customers flashing there own BIOS using the wrong BIOS, and wrecking it. (flashing is serious business and RISKY) I'll not try to show all 10 ways to do it wrong.
This is caused by thinking wrong, the BIOS is failing, so replace BIOS 10 times and BIOS still fails,  do we see  a pattern here?
Always flash BIOS from a HP BOOT USB stick , on the  newest PC's this is FREEDOS. (most other ways are  pathway to hell)
(failures are: wrong BINARY file used , not matched to the PC you have,  by model , P/N and serial number, not asking HP for the EXACT files to uses)
In most  cases leave the BIOS ALONE: (means don't flash it and win) Gee it ran ok for 5 or 10 years, why would it be bad today, anwser IT'S NOT BAD)

#2: Bad RAM. (wrong RAM (DDR) (try 1 stick at a time in bank 0,  known good ram, ask Kingston (they are  #1)
#3 PSU is bad (has illegal voltages or the main board regulators are bad.)
#4: Some module of any kind plugged into the main board (MOBO) that is shorted causing ALL THE ABOVE. (on a laptop?  get the big battery out now, it can short too) (remove all those things to see if error clears)
#5 Water, coffee , cola spilled in the keyboard and landing on any chips there . (or rain or far worse ocean spray , say on  boat tip to watch the Whales)
#5 Overheating , CPU, or?
#6: The BIOS will go nuts if the tiny coin cell is bad,   over 2.9vdc is good, below NOT!
#7 On top cause is owners buying memory off Fleabay , used, and is bad or was never designed to work in you PC, many sellers there are clueless boobs, (like junk yard dog crazy) avoid this pain, run. (the older the PC the harder this gets)
Learn that the MMC has to like your memory sticks or all bets are off (mmc= memory managment controller) like seen in the old i3, chips, that hate high density RAM sticks. (facts) (and lots more limits !)

In most cases, BIOS
never self corrupts, ever, in fact the CMOS EEPROM cells in The BIOS FLASH ROM have a data retention up to 20 years to 100 years!
The real problem now 2017 is the inane , 8 BIOS updates needed to make the new UEFI BIOS work right  and the new silly rule that you can NOT REGRESS it back to what it was. DANG!ME. ( a UEFI arbitrary rule)
Even more inane was removing the SPI EEPROM memory jumper plug/pins called Flash disable. (gee that jumper was 100% BIOS protection from any VIRUS ON PLANET EARTH, wow HP you removed it)
If  super compelled to flash (burn the ROM) BIOS SPI chip , use the HP Support Assistant.(click down load now and install it)

The long story now,  tests and steps to take.
Make sure the Laptop  main battery is good before flashing it, , if not sure take it out now. (so it can not overload the system power buses)
In all cases,  it may be best to put in a new COIN CELL battery then do the long reset here , reset the system    The DT coin  battery change out looks like these ( LP coin)

( Read this HP page)
If at any time I can not cure the blink codes.  (and ever flash it ever, unless at total wits end)
I strip the MOBO down:
In most cases the CPU is OK. (means not overheating too)  (no bent pins sure, or dead fan or heat sink fell off or the thermal compound there is not like dried glue and cracked)
Obviously we start from easy to harder. (case splitting last)
I will do a list, from mine, as an example:  (LT is laptop only)
  1. Main battery pulled,  they can short and cause havoc. (LT only , Laptop )
  2. Make dang sure the power pack is the correct wattage, mine  100watts min, 19vdc. (Laptop only) (RTM read the manual?)
  3. On the desktop (DT) make real sure the PSU is ok. we use a volt meter here. (a whopping $20 tool)
  4. All USB devices removed from PC external ports.
  5. Open all LT case hatches, can be 4 or more there, on the bottom. (see things that unplug there, sure)
  6. Remove all small modules seen under hatches. (not DDR YET) like WIFI and modem and others. (minor options)
  7. Remove the HDD, and DVD drive now , if fitted, (on DT pull its cables (DT case side off, sure)
  8. If  Desktop DT, remove the PCI video card and see if that pesky blink code goes away. My HP 8540w LT has video card too, I pull it too (and is very hard task heat pipe off)
  9. On my PCs I have 4 banks of memory I have them fully populated, I now remove them all and retest each in bank 00 slot. One by One. (if one is bad, you will find it now)  My LT has 2 under the keyboard so KBD must be pulled.
  10.  Even see there is a blinks code now for all memory missing, this can help diagnose it. Oops code 2 or 5 still stuck? 
  11. If a LT ?,I must split the cases per the HP service manual, to reach remove the card reader and these other modules.
Once sure all those are pulled and the blink errors still happen, It is time to flash the BIOS with the guidance of HP to get the correct files, if not you only make it worse. Use the HP support Assistant.
The problem  here is many times with BIOS burn  sick made by you, the BIOS can not boot a USB stick to reflash itself, (chicken and egg deal) oops a daisy... That is no fun...
"Last chance garage" way is next:
The DAY1 BIOS, is located on your HDD , HP_tools folders. and uses the
(power on +winkey+B ) way seen here.
If all tests show the same error,  after doing everything, my guess is the MOBO is bad.

If the F9 key is working, and you can boot to the HP Reflash USB stick this is the best way of all to flash BIOS. (mine uses FREEDOS, HP used Freedos with W10 PCs to flash , on the usb stick)

Other fixes, to try?:
If the PC is not dead, and you want to test memory fully ,beyond the BIOS toy grade, memery test. Use a Linux boot DVD or STICK. (booted to usb mem stick)
If the boot F9 key works and you can boot to a USB stick try this.
Run extensive RAM (DDR) tests now,  the more rigorous the better (BIOS RAM tests are toy grade)
We use Linux boot DVD to run deep memory tests, with complex patterns... (wise this) ever seen a DVD called KNOPPIX 7 +?  all you need is there, to run disk and ram tests.


Code 5 blinks, "system board" do the strip down tests above, see me here, it nearly naked?
This means anything  plugged in the MOBO can be bad.  (most times this is water damage (drinks spilled) a $1 cup of coffee can wreck a $1000 PC LT easy.
BTW Mouser.com sells cans of flux remover, chem. use that to clean the mobo, and let it dry for 12 hr, or put it in the hot attic for 1hr. (poor mans bake oven) 120F is  good bake temp, btw.
Hp.com  many have blink codes for BIOS, blink  errors, it is best to ask them directly, (after a new COIN cell is installed if you see the word Corruption )
One error that I very accurate is HDD will not boot. , (do HDD test first then do the F11 recovery , fix startup files now.)
or memory card bad.
Or PC is overheated. (it may tell you the actual part that did overheat)
And PS crowbar errors? , this means a device on the MOBO is shorted.  ( the word crowbar means a power supply bus is shorted or ,means a REGULATOR chip discovered and cured overvoltage hard failure.)

Flash last, most dead MOBO were bricked by owner thinking flash first,  the forums are cock-a-block full of this folly, stop it please.!

Other PC's with older BIOS:
HP has this page on BLINK codes et cetera , covering  newer PC's. Before and after 2010.

The old codes are the most hard to dredge up.... See old Phoenix V4 book here. page 39(pdf page)
On super old PC , BIOS V4 one beep means I'M OK. "One short beep before boot" this means booting NOW.

Even overheat codes from users not cleaning there PC's of lint , tops the all time #1 cause of  failures.  CPU overheat codes ! All PC like cars, need service, and cleaning or will fail.

The Phoenix BIOS ,seen in the above links, has the most codes of all. 50 codes or more !  SHOCKING NO? But may only beep 10 ways. 
Some newer but not NEW BIOS has like 4 or 5 beep codes,  No ram, bad Ram, missing VGA card, CPU bad , CPU overheated.

AMI BIOS had 8 codes.
Award 6 BIOS does a long beep and then sends messages to the screen.

Most PC 10 years or newer all do BLINK codes now.
Remember to see if codes (beep/blinks) are short or long, and do know they loop,  for example 2 blinks long delay, repeat, endlessly is code 2.
Amazing, HP has a page just for this too.

The beep codes became, and moved to the NUM/CAPS lock keys LED lamps Blinking codes.  (silence is golden?)

Common errors:
  • BIOS ROM checksum  (or the time-o-day clock fails) the COIL CELL BATTERY IS DEAD,  after 5 years, they do that. (1-2-2-3 beeps)
  • Even a stuck keyboard key can cause errors here.  (remove the keyboard, did the error clear?)
  • Also bad RAM, or using the wrong RAM chips here ,will cause this, or all RAM missing. (try each DDR stick only 1 by 1? then switch )
  • CPU overheat, fan dead or slow (never cleaning fan and heat sink fins of lent?, is a sure fire way to get this error, or the CPU heat sink fell off (desktop),  {and other ways, thermal compound failures}
  • VGA (graphic GPU) card errors, or bad. (try another is only solution here)
  • Hard drive fails to boot errors. (hard drive bad, cable fell off, and more) (run F11 recovery , method and startup files repairs)
  • If you remove something   the error  can change , changes to something else,  like missing Keyboard or missing a factory VGA card or RAM missing. Keep in mind there may be 2 or more errors.
  • There are many more,  possible,  only the book on your exact PC and BIOS covers what is possible and and possible cures.
More? sure...

I do not have COMPAQ blink codes or beeps, for system this old , Google is your only possible way to find facts on these very old laptops.  15 years old? (scrap it)

Here is my HP8540W Laptop video, with many parts missing,  even with NO CPU the power control chip can still tell you (strange blinking) that it is missing. This is the final strip down, one thing at a time to see what codes I get.
This finds the cause of  blink code more easy, when the code ends at say mem stick 2 removed or ANY other module even wifi or modem card, or anything.

MP4 9-Second video demo, no CPU

OGG 9-Second demo , no CPU (Firefox likes this)

HP's new 2015+ blink codes here, nice that it does Desk and LAP tops in one. NEW UEFI rules.

Advanced techniques: Post codes:
I have what are  called POST cards (I have many)  my favorite is my  LCD card, with cable. (1.5)inch screen added to my PC Desktop Asus m5a99x-evo, PCI slot. (and m5a78,  linux box.)
This PC is AMI  BIOS and uses these codes.          Or here.          see also, ASUS Q-codes. (if  code freezes it means that job failed, that BIOS module failed there, be it a chip bad or missing or DRAM all missing or bad)
The above document gives you a clue just how complex BIOS is, and  it runs in a serial process to start, then passes control to the BOOTED operating system last.
(last message shown on the LCD is Int19, this is boot to media interrupt bios subroutines)Just as Linux runs first.
During level 1 boot,  (BIOS runs only) then level 2 happens  the media boot of choice be that the factory installed HDD and op. sys or a usb booted memory or CD/DVD rom boot.
During level one ROM boot, errors can happen. 
Note to how the first document above tells you the higher fail codes are vendor specific,  in this case ASUS, or HP.  (code 61 to 70h and E1 to E8 and EC to EE. and up.
In all cases errors will or can be platform dependant.  (for sure at HP)
My P.O.S.T card can see BIOS progressing so called "check point",  I have  video of my M5a78  booting in to linux. (LAMP)  at the end below.
Some High end GAMING MOBO have  built in POST display, (LED bank)
Code 30/40 are waking from sleep.(newer mobo's do this) is also releated to fastsboot option too.
  • AA Q-Code: PC booted from complete shutdown with no assist, boost or cache
  • 40 Q-Code: Pc was booted / boosted via a Windows controlled method (Usually from deep sleep, restart, Hibernation etc)

If I pull my whole Memory  bank (DDR3) I get error #3F and beep code Dah,dit,dit. ( Morse code "D" for DRAM BAD?)
Keep in mind some PCs loaded BIOS to RAM first,  the executed from there first. (and some mobo use DRAM bank , and steals memory for the onboard GPU chip) so if RAM is gone, then you might get
video ram failure, or shadow ram failures. (and confuses  anyone.)  If the ram fails it can or will cause corrupted BIOS shadow RAM machine code.
Keep in mind only your mobo maker knows all codes,  so ask them if HP , them, if ASUS, them. easy no?
First pick  (click to zoom)Basic choice, (1st time words are in Chinese ! eek)

First pick English. 
line 3 will be new words in Chinese, for word the English, (eek 2) as seen here)(down arrow 2 times and hit enter)
See Linux boot below.  int19 , is the jump vector to the  boot drive.

See the above card rattle through all BIOS check points then boot to lamp Linux. Below.

My live boot Video: (MP4 POST CARD device 1)   MKV    and  OGG.   and MP4 (one will work ! cross fingers.?)

Here is another POST card of  different type. (there are also USB POST cards and PORT 80 cards and others mostly useless today)

What the H3LL is beeping?, this ! it is called a Piezoelectric sonic beeper,  Replacing the COIN cell is a  GOOD 1st  MOVE !  The COIN can die at 5 years. (5-7 is average) 10 is upper end of the bath tub curve.
If the coin cell goes dead, BIOS goes NUTS.( and the time clock to called RTC)

Last and not the least is to do a full reset,
Power off, unplug PSU or power packs (DT or LT)
If Laptop, the big battery main must come out or unplug it now.
Now push the power button to discharge all caps.   count to 10 seconds, then...
Wait time,  5min to  1hour your call there, try to imagine electrons, draining off capacitors large.., now, they are!
Ok go back to normal with no laptap battery (main) Always do tests on failed laptops with this removed, they love to fail, even after only 2 years. Some short and overload the POWER BUS structures.
or repeat all the above with the COIN cell PULLED  ( new coin cell is not a bad idea,  a $3 fix if over 5 years old)
That is what I call a DEEP reset.
Put all that back now.

I then go to BIOS screens, and push "reset BIOS to factory defaults" It does just what it says. (no more) "this is resetting Settings, or configurations settings into the BIOS CMOS NVRAM BANK.
The Super double dog reset, is all the above and re-Install windows, F11 way or from HP media. (and cross those fingers...)  Power on, hammer F11,  if the HDD was not slammed it works.

The CMOS EEPROM floating gate, holds a charge (called data retention) for 100 year now, (and sane room temperatures, not in outer space at 100C)
The this time lag of 100 years is the super high qulity of the insulation under that gate using some kind of  pure Silicon Oxide, the makers of these chips go to great ends to control this quality factor, and do test for it and do reject whole lots of parts based even for this being wrong.  (ISO9000 stuff)
So try not to think , the chip just sits there and forgets its bits. I'm sorry It does not do that, and if it did your  mobo is now useless. 
One secret chip maker, maker has internal chip test features that allow the quality engineer to check float gate cell charges,  after  stress test as high temperature, they can do this before and after the stress test (heat) and see the drop if any.
This allows them to know just how good gate insulation really is. (hint : it must be perfect, or the product is CRAP)
How many times you can program the chip is a whole other matter, some are 100,000 times, or more. (even a million today)

CMOS NVRam works like this.

version 2.  6-4-2017