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HP Desktop PCs - Computer Does Not Start and Emits an LED or Beep Code

This document pertains to HP and Compaq Desktop computers.
If your computer makes one or two short beeps before starting, this is normal and your computer is telling you that BIOS startup was successful. If your computer beeps and does not start, a more serious hardware issue is likely occurring. This support document contains information that can help you learn more about the issue and how to resolve the problem.
What to do when beep codes occur
An LED or beep code usually means a basic function was unable to start. A basic function might be reading memory, displaying video, or being able to send information to a hard drive. The most common problems that cause LED and beep codes are memory and heat-related failures caused by a build-up of dust in critical cooling areas.
Use the following steps when your computer emits an LED code or beep code:
Step 1: Removing dust from cooling areas on your computer
If your computer is new and has never been used before, you may skip this step.
Over time, dust can collect in the cooling vents of your computer. Too much dust can block airflow, causing sensitive components to overheat and fail. Before troubleshooting for startup codes, it is important to remove any dust that might have accumulated.
While wearing eye protection, use canned air or the end of a vacuum cleaner to remove dust from vents, preferably outdoors.
Figure : Vacuuming dust from air vents
End of vacuum cleaner nozzle over side panel vent
Step 2: Performing a power reset if your computer does not start
If your computer does not start, first reset all power to device. Hopefully, the problem is temporary and can be fixed by performing the following steps:
  1. Disconnect all peripheral devices such as printers, USB storage devices and media cards.
  2. Disconnect the power cord from the computer.
  3. Press and hold the power button for at least 15 seconds until the power LED on the power supply is off.
  4. Reconnect the power cord, and press the Power button.
  5. Listen for sounds of drives and fans turning.
  6. If the computer still fails to start and emits beeping sounds, continue to the next section.
Step 3: Writing down the LED condition or beep code for troubleshooting
Use the following steps to write down the error conditions onto a piece of paper.
  1. Press the power button to turn on the computer.
  2. Look at the Power button on your computer's case and note its condition. If the light blinks, count the number of times it blinks between pauses.
  3. Listen to your computer for any loud beeping noises. If your computer makes a beeping noise, note the type and number of beeps between pauses. For example: two long beeps followed by one short beep.
  4. On a piece of paper, write down what you have noted to remember the error when doing the next steps.
 note:
Boot or post codes have changed over time. Earlier computers use a series of beeps. The number and type of beeps depend on the age of the computer as well as the manufacturer of the motherboard and BIOS. With the development of the Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) environment, many HP Pavilion and Compaq Presario computers built in 2011 or later can use blinking LEDS to identify hardware component reporting an error during startup. These codes are not valid for earlier models.
Step 4: Matching the beep code to a suspected hardware component for troubleshooting
Consult the Beep code descriptions section in this support document to try and find the component that is having a problem. You can use this information in the next step when performing the troubleshooting. Or, in the event your computer requires service, you can use this code and information when talking with the service personnel.
Step 5: Isolating and fixing a beep code problem
HP recommends that only someone with experience in working on computer hardware perform these steps. Incorrectly handling sensitive internal components can further damage the computer and can introduce the risk of personal injury.
 warning:
Using the correct environment for working on computers (ESD precautions and tools), use the following steps to isolate and fix the problem:
  1. Turn on the computer.
  2. Check the system fan and power cable:
    1. Hold the power button for five seconds to turn off the computer.
    2. Disconnect the power cord and then disconnect all external cords from the computer.
    3. Remove the side panel to open the computer.
    4. If the system fan was not spinning, make sure the system fan power cable is connected to the correct pins on the motherboard. Replace the fan if it was making excessive noise or was not spinning.
      If you had to plug in or replace the fan, replace the side panel, plug in the power cord and turn on the computer. If the beeps continue, continue to the next step.
  3. Perform each of the following tasks, in order, until the beeping stops:
    Before starting each task, unplug the power cord, and then remove the side panel.
    After completing a task, replace the side panel, connect the power cord, turn on the computer, and then listen for a beep code.
     note:
    If removing or disconnecting a hardware component prevents the beep code, that component is probably causing the problem. However, a failed motherboard might produce beep codes associated with a component other than the motherboard. If specific beep codes continue after replacing the corresponding component with a known good part, the system board might be failing to detect hardware changes and might require a replacement CPU, system board, or both.
    1. Clean internal cooling components that have become clogged with dust.
      If the beeping continues, continue to the next step.
    2. Remove each memory module, replacing the one that was previously removed.
       note:
      For videos with product specific steps on how to remove and replace this part, please see the HP Service Media Library. Search for your computer for the specific steps for that computer.
      • If the computer stops beeping, the memory module might be bad, is the wrong type of memory for the motherboard, or was not fully seated or connected. Reinsert the memory module into the socket to see if a connection was the problem. If problems continue, replace the module.
      • If beeping continues after checking all the memory modules, continue to the next step.
    3. Remove the graphics adapter, if there is one.
       note:
      For videos with product specific steps on how to remove and replace this part, please see the HP Service Media Library. Search for your computer for the specific steps for that computer.
      • If the beep code changes or continues with the same beep pattern after you remove the graphics adapter, the adapter might still be good. Reseat the graphics adapter into its socket and continue to the next step.
      • If the beep code goes away, the graphics adapter might be bad. Reseat the graphics adapter, making sure it is fully locked into the connector on the motherboard. If problems continue, replace the adapter.
    4. Remove each PCI card, replacing the one that was previously removed.
       note:
      For videos with product specific steps on how to remove and replace this part, please see the HP Service Media Library. Search for your computer for the specific steps for that computer.
      • If the beep code goes away, the card might be bad. Reseat the card into its connector on the motherboard. If problems continue, replace the card.
      • If beeping continues after checking all cards, continue to the next step.
    5. Disconnect each hard drive and CD or DVD drive cable (IDE and ATA) from the motherboard socket, and then replace the one that was previously disconnected, until all cables have been checked.
       note:
      For videos with product specific steps on how to remove and replace this part, please see the HP Service Media Library. Search for your computer for the specific steps for that computer.
      • If the beep code goes away, the cable or socket is probably bad. Look for bent pins inside the IDE socket on the motherboard and straighten any bent pins. Reseat the cables into the connectors. If problems continue, the drive itself might be bad and might need replacing.
      • If beeping continues after checking all connections, continue to the next step.
    6. At this point, the problem is probably the motherboard or processor. Make sure any jumpers on the motherboard have not fallen off their pins and into the case. Make sure the jumpers are set correctly. Otherwise, have a qualified service center or HP service the computer.
       note:
      For videos with product specific steps on how to remove and replace this part, please see the HP Service Media Library. Search for your computer for the specific steps for that computer.
Beep and LED code descriptions
Beep code tables are provided in the following sections of this document to help you isolate and understand the issue. This might reduce the time required to solve the problem. Read one of the following sections.
Testing computer memory for troubleshooting
If the computer can access part of the memory, it might be possible to access the BIOS Setup Utility display and perform a memory self-test to identify other memory issues. If the computer cannot boot to the BIOS Utility, try removing and reseating the memory and the hard drive, and then repeat the following steps to perform the memory self-test.
  1. Plug the AC adapter into the computer.
  2. Turn off the computer.
  3. Press the Power button to start the computer and repeatedly press the f10 key to enter the BIOS Setup menu.
  4. In the BIOS Setup Utility, use the Right Arrow or Left Arrow keys to navigate through the menu selection to locate the Diagnostics.
  5. Use the Down Arrow or Up Arrow keys to select Memory Test.
  6. Press Enter, and then Yes to perform memory test.
  7. After test completes, press f10 key to Save and Exit, and then press Enter key to Exit Saving Changes.
If the test fails, one or more of the memory modules might not be seated properly. Check for and reseat loose memory modules.
Finding repair service
Many of the problems associated with LED or beep codes require service or parts replacement. To find an HP authorized service provide, go to www.hp.com/go/support.

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