6 Beeps on Startup - No Video Display - General Hardware - Desktop - Dell Community

6 Beeps on Startup - No Video Display


Desktop computer Forums (Audio, General Hardware, Video)

6 Beeps on Startup - No Video Display

  • PC working fine yesterday, today it won't turn on.
    All i get is 6 beeps on startup and no screen display.
    On the back panel, the A and B lights are orange and C and D green.
    This indicates RAM failure, however, reseating both RAM chips hasn't done anything.
    Have tested the monitor, it works 100%.
    Dimension 8400
    Anyone have any ideas?
  • Try one ram chip, then the other, individually.  try different slots.
  • Tried that mate
    Have 4 slots and 2 chips.
    No dice.
  • Try removing the CMOS battery for 15 minutes, replace it with a new one, and try again.
    Failing cmos batteries in Dell's can cause strange things to happen.
    Does not look good..
    http://motherboardrepair.com/   look at the images section to the left, do you have bad Caps on the mobo?
  • I have also had this problem twice on a Dimension 3100 ... the computer won't start up properly after working fine for months. 6 beeps on startup but no video. It mysteriously cleared up the first time just as I was calling Dell. Of course, it was still under warranty at that point!
    It happened again during the holidays, just when kids wanted to play some new games. It worked after I opened the case & looked for loose connections, even though I didn't find any. This IS a frustrating gremlin!
  • Jdzuegel, is there a pattern to the beeps ?  If so, the system maybe trying to tell you an error code.  Also do the diagnostic lights give an error code which could further help pin point the problem ?    Click here  <ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell> for an explanation of the beep and diagnostic light error codes from your model's on-line Service Manual.

    Message Edited by Majestic on 01-08-200706:06 AM

  • I have a Dimension 8400 with the same problem. I also tried reseating the RAM. No help. I am hoping that another example of the same problem might give someone an idea.
    I think it may be the BIOS. I was trying to troubleshoot a USB problem and several people suggested updating the BIOS. I downloaded the update but the computer locked on the "Windows Shutting Down" screen. I had to power off and now it won't boot.
    I checked with my kids and this particular lock-up had occurred before so maybe it was the interruption of the download that hosed it. Like the original BIOS was disabled/deleted and the new version didn't complete the installation procedcure?
    I also get 6 beeps - 4 and then 2. I can't find this in the beep code listing that was given in this thread. Is there a different code for 8400's? I don't know that it would do much good though, because I don't know what to do about most of the code explanations anyway.
    Any help will be appreciated.
  • I can't reproduce the problem now, since the computer is booting up fine. I can't say that I am not glad that the computer is working now, but it's a little unsettling not knowing why I received the beep codes & why/how it disappeared.
  • Jdzuegel, intermittent problems can be hard to find as you have found out.  The best I can recommend is if this happens again take note of any beep pattern and check the diagnostic lights.  Those two items may give you a clue as to the source. 
  • Jbeatty6, your problem is a little different than what has been mentioned in this message thread.  In your situation the system is hanging after a BIOS update which is not uncommon for the 8400 model.  The cure for most of the people that experience the problem is to do a "hard" reset of the NVRAM which I have explained below.  More than likely the reason why the system hanged during the reboot phase of the BIOS update was due to a Windows application running in the background or a USB device attached to the system.
    With the machine unplugged from the wall remove the battery from the motherboard.  Then with the machine still unplugged press the On button for 30 seconds to dissipate any remaining electrical charge on the motherboard.  Then re-install the battery, plug the machine back into the wall and see if it will boot normally.   You can click here <ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell> for additional information on how to remove the battery from your model's on-line Service Manual if need be.
  • Majestic,
    Thank you for your advice about the battery. My computer is up and running again. Now I can go back to troubleshooting my USB problems. Judging from the number of posts you have I'll probably see you in those threads.
    Thanks again.
  • Jeff, you're very welcome.  Glad to hear the system is back up and running again.
    What specific problems are you having with the USB? 
  • Majestic,
    None of my USB ports talk to any devices. I have tried plugging in known good devices to each of the ports but no luck.
    I do get an alert saying "One of the USB devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned and Windows does not recognize it." The location given is USB Root Hub, Unused Port, Unknown Device. This location does not show up in the Device Manager and it says each port is okay and the drivers are good. Since this affects all of the ports I suspect some global cause and not the ports themselves. Also, I did successfully download and install BIOS A09. Then I checked the ports with a SanDisk USB but the computer still doesn't see it.
    UPDATE - I am not getting the USB malfunction msg anymore (at least not on restarts in the last two hours - don't know why not but I'll take it).
    UPDATE 2 - When I was in Setup fixing the floppy settings, I toggled the USB setting from ON to OFF to ON but no change. It still doesn't recognize USB devices plugged into the ports.
    P.S. After I got my computer back up, I got a message at startup that says "Diskette Drive 0 Seek Failure" and I have to press F1 to continue. Then it seems to work fine. I checked My Computer and there is a 3 1/2" Floppy icon even though I don't have that drive. When I select it nothing comes up. This should that be Drive 0 if I had one right? How can I tell the computer that the drive isn't there? UPDATE - I have restarted my computer several times in the last two hours and the startup msg has changed to "Floppy Diskette Seek Failure" press F1 to continue.
    UPDATE 2 - I checked after the startup msg changed and the icon for the floppy was still on My Computer screen. I right clicked it and opened properties and disabled it. The icon went away. I will restart to see if the msg goes away.
    UPDATE 3 - The msg was still there. I went into Setup and changed the Floppy Settings from the factory default of INTERNAL to OFF. Now the msg no longer comes up. BIOS A09 must have included the factory default and is not smart enough to see that I don't have a floppy drive.
    This would be a nice thing for anyone to know who is updating BIOS. Is there somewhere to post info like this other than buried in these threads?

    Message Edited by jbeatty6 on 01-10-200711:54 AM

    Message Edited by jbeatty6 on 01-10-200712:29 PM

  • Jeff, as you found out when the battery was removed from the motherboard it cleared the NVRAM information and defaulted all your BIOS options back to their recommended factory settings.  This defaulting will turn On the floppy disk controller even though there isn't any floppy drive in the system. Thus the boot up error message.  Since folks are moving away from having floppy drives installed on their systems, hopefully Dell will realize this and change the default to No on their newer systems.  
    As for the USB port problem,  have you tried uninstalling the USB in Windows Device Manager?  When the system is rebooted after the uninstall Windows will redetect the USB and reinstall the drivers for them.  Hopefully this will resolve the problem.
  • Majestic,
    I tried uninstalling the USB in the Device Manager. Everything seemed to go okay but there is no change. The computer still does not see my SanDisk. (I checked the SanDisk on our laptop this morning and it was recognized and worked fine.)
    Then twice I used Device Manager and selected Scan For Hardware Changes on each USB (with the SanDisk plugged into a different USB jack each time - once on the front panel and once in the back). None of the USBs found anything.
    UPDATE - I had posted "8400 USB Ports Not Working" on the General Hardware board. Several people suggested downloading the Chipset Driver and the Desktop System Software. I downloaded both to files, installed the Chipset Driver and let it reboot then installed the DSS and let it reboot. I see no change at all. I tried both the SanDisk and an HP printer on several USB ports.

    Message Edited by jbeatty6 on 01-11-200710:28 AM

    Message Edited by jbeatty6 on 01-11-200710:29 AM