3 Beeps of Doom – Recovering A Dead Intel Motherboard

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27 Responses

  1. ssj4Gogeta says:

    Your explanation doesn’t make much sense to me. 🙂
    The PCIe GPU may have dedicated RAM, but it needs the CPU to work. CPU needs the system RAM. If you remove the system RAM, the computer won’t boot up at all, regardless of how much dedicated memory there is on the GPU. The BIOS itself is run on the CPU, so it needs RAM as well.

    In general you don’t need to fiddle with the memory timings unless you’re overclocking your RAM, or you want tighter timings for some reason. If you set the timings incorrectly, the system won’t boot, but a simple BIOS reset (removing the battery, leaving it out for some time, and changing a jumper position on the mobo) works just fine, as the manual timing settings are stored in the BIOS. Once it’s reset, the system decides the optimal timings itself.

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Hi SSJ4GoGeta,

      The BIOS chips on PCIe equipment like Display Cards, SCSI adaptors etc. are initialised before the main BIOS of the PC. Also, the BIOS of a PC acts independently of the CPU and installed RAM. That’s what allows it to start up and detect conditions like ‘No RAM installed’. On many mainboards from Intel, the BIOS Reset Jumper is completely missing. Removing the battery and shorting the terminals too does not seem to have any effect – thus making me infer that the BIOS settings are being stored in NVRAM.

      Sometimes in a quest to set right what seems non-optimal, we actually break things that were working just fine before. A computer is no exception. What is shameful is that it is so easy to break a Intel motherboard.


  2. prusswan says:

    I have much to thank you for this timely and highly relevant post! For the past few days I was grappling with a replacement board (DG33FB) sent to me, but one I could never get to work. It turns out that the bios was very old (initial release in fact), and could only detect my cpu after a PCI-E gfx card was added. All along I was trying to work with the integrated graphics which was supposed to reduce the hassle of troubleshooting. How ironic indeed.

  3. ssj4Gogeta says:

    Hmm, prusswan’s reply indicates that adding a discrete graphics card does indeed help. I still don’t fully understand how, though.

    “Also, the BIOS of a PC acts independently of the CPU and installed RAM.”
    That should mean it’ll run even if there’s no CPU or RAM?

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Hi SSJ4GoGeta,

      The BIOS is not just a bit of RAM. It is electronics that can detect the presence/absence of components in the system, perform initialising routines on hardware and pass boot control to other devices in the system that may have BIOS too. RAID cards, Network cards have their own BIOS chips that are capable of performing specific functions to load an OS in the computer’s memory.


  4. ssj4Gogeta says:


    All this time what I thought you meant by the BIOS was the BIOS setup program (my bad). Of course the BIOS itself has to run independently to detect the status of the system components and that’s how you get the beep sounds when memory is not present, etc. 🙂

  5. prusswan says:

    Hi, to further elaborate on what I was facing:

    1. the only signs of life exhibited by the motherboard were the 3 long beeps when no memory modules are present

    2. As I suspected (and later confirmed), the bios is too old to detect the cpu and the other components properly (particularly its own integrated graphics)

    3. When the external graphics card is used, the bios was able to at least detect the cpu partially and allowed me to get into bios where I can see that my E8400 3.0 Ghz is running at 2.0 Ghz and actual version number of the bios being a whopping 0216

    4. Only after the necessary bios update etc, the mobo was able to boot and detect the integrated gfx as per normal, without the presence of the external video card.

    As much as such behavior is probably reasonable from the engineering point of view, the user would be quite helpless if he does not have the equipment on hand to resolve the problem.

  6. ssj4Gogeta says:

    “As I suspected (and later confirmed), the bios is too old to detect the cpu and the other components properly (particularly its own integrated graphics)”

    How can it be too old to detect integrated graphics? Other components that you have may be new for the old BIOS, but the integrated graphics were there since the beginning. It wouldn’t have made it out to consumers if it couldn’t detect the integrated graphics.

  7. prusswan says:

    Based on what I have witnessed, at that version of the bios and with the cpu being used, it is not possible to get into bios using the integrated graphics alone. Of course that could have been a side-effect of the cpu detection, but normally it should not be interfering with the detection/operation of the integrated graphics – this turned out to be a wrong assumption.

  8. deven says:

    i have intel 945gccr. I am facing no display problem. Moreover no beeps heard in normal mode when ram is not installed but while in config mode it gives three long beeps. I tried for bios recovery procedure suggested by intel but nothing help me out.

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Hi Deven,

      Looks like the display chip maybe out of order. Can you insert a graphics card and connect the monitor to it and see if your computer boots successfully?


  9. lokesh babu says:

    I have intel D945gccr. You hv said you faced problems when u fixed 2 x 1gb rams 667 mhz. Infact I too am in the process of fixing the same. Earlier I had 2 x 512mb rams 667mhz. Will I face any problem if I fix 2 x 1gb ram of 667mhz. My processor is P4 631-3.0 ghz, HD 2MD L2 cache. With this config can I also fix a 512 mb / 1gb graphic card. Should I also change my PSU. Pls. advise. Thanks in advance. Bye.

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Lokesh,

      The problem I faced was not because I was trying to plugin additional RAM. It was because I changed the RAM speed/timing values in BIOS to unsupported values.


  10. NItesh Kr. says:

    Dear Rajib, I have intel 945 motherboard with dual core 2.8 CPU, i am facing same problem of 3 beeps while switching-on my pc. I had once replaced 512 MB Ram with 2 GB RAM last yr and pc worked fine. But now, PC is giving 3 beeps and no display is coming on monitor.
    someone told to check frequency of ram, so currently i am using 677 MHz Kingston RAM.

    please help..

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Nitesh,

      I have problems with RAM timing too; to the extent of locking up the PC. While you can play around with RAM frequency to check if it makes any difference, 3-beeps typically indicates BIOS did not detect any RAM.

      Perhaps you need to remove the RAM, clean the slots and reinstall the RAM. If you can source some RAM for testing, you can use that to determine if your RAM has gone bust or not.


  11. Deepak Saini says:

    Thnx for this post it’s help me a lot…and also the 1st comment..u make my day…

  12. Vinay Shukla says:

    Hi Rajib,

    My younger brother did the same mistake and we couldn’t figure out how to solve this issue. The solution you provided worked like a charm like you said you did not have floppy i did not have a disk i did the same using a USB drive. The steps to make a bootable usb disk can be found from various sites and then unzip the content of the zip in to the usb drive. and change to config mode and then restart and you can restore defaults.


    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Vinay,

      The USB Drive (formatted as bootable drive) is an excellent suggestion.
      Following your comment, I re-read the article and frankly I was laughing my head off with the stupid round-about way in which I wrote it.

      For those who did not manage to read that crap:
      “If your computer no longer boots because you tweaked BIOS settings of RAM, try plugging in a Graphics Accelerator Card.”


  13. Sachin Tipnis says:

    Hi Rajib,
    Thanks for information. I have put myself situation. Now I have find graphic card with video bios.
    With best regards,

  14. JIya Uddin Jitu says:

    Hi Rajib brother ” need some help . give me some tips . Intel D945GCPE Motherboard no display now what can i do ? mail me dispay solution

  15. don dee says:

    well, i have a similar problem with my intel motherboard. it is also booting after tweaking with the memory setting.i have applied all the solution read on this site and others and there is no meaningful solution. what i want now is how to revive the INTEL mobo(DG41CN) with 3 beeping sound.

  16. doug muller says:

    seriously i am very hot. i have a similar experience with my intel motherboard and it is still not solved. i tired to change the memory settings a year ago when i was upgrading the memory and ever since i have render the board dead.i last tried resurrect it using the standard procedure given above and it proves futile.i will very grateful if i can be helped.my problem is how to boot and change the memory setting to default. can someone HELP ME PLEASE.

  17. Qaisar says:

    Dear Rajib i have the same problem i check almost 3 types of Graphic Cards no display…no beeps..
    when i remove ram then beeps sounds… but not with ram no display … its very hard to solve.. i write the bios key…

  18. megan says:

    hi,this is somewhat the same situation i am facing now,dg41cn undeclocked the ram speed in bios,the system starts-shuts down-starts again and continues –no video no bios screen nothing,can i buy a video or graphics card and try pls help..my id- [email protected]

  19. megan says:

    i bought gt730 zotac,n tried ,still same on/off cycle no boot post

  20. A says:

    Bhai your blog helped me soo much thankyou and God bless you

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