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

This document pertains to HP and Compaq notebook computers.
If your computer makes one or two short beeps while starting, and Windows still opens, the computer is indicating normal BIOS startup was successful. If your computer does not start, a more serious hardware issue is likely occurring. Listen for beeps and look at the LEDs (light emitting diodes) near the Num Lock and Caps Lock keys, the battery, and the AC adapter to determine troubleshooting steps.
This support document contains information that can help you learn more about the issue and how to resolve the problem.
Figure : Example of blinking LED condition (your computer might look different)
Notebook computer with lid open and showing animated lights blinking on and off.
First steps when a notebook LED or beep code occurs
An LED or beep code usually means a basic function is unable to start. A basic function might include 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: Performing a hard reset or forced reset on a notebook computer
Before you begin, turn the computer over and look for a battery compartment door. If there is no battery compartment, use the steps in the sealed or non-removable battery section.
Step 2: Removing dust from the cooling areas in a notebook
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 startup codes, it is important to remove any dust that might have accumulated.
While wearing eye protection, use canned air to blow out vents, preferably outdoors. It is not necessary to open the notebook to clean out the dust with the canned, compressed air.
Figure : Blowing dust from air vents
Air cleaner nozzle over side vent
After cleaning the air vents, restart the computer.
If the computer starts normally, you are done. Otherwise, proceed to the next step.
Step 3: Writing down the LED or beep code
Use the following steps to write down the LED blink or beep patterns.
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the computer.
  2. Your computer's power socket has an LED. Look at the light next to the power socket and note its condition: off, blinking, or constantly on.
  3. Look at the indicator lights near the Caps Lock and Num Lock keys and note their condition. If the lights blink, count the number of times they blink between pauses.
  4. On a piece of paper, write down what you have noted to remember the LED blinking or beep patterns. Then proceed to the next section.
Notebook battery power LED blinks
The battery power LED indicates the condition of the power supply. When starting the computer, or when the computer is in operation, use the chart to identify the power condition.
The battery power LED is generally a lightning bolt icon. (If the notebook does not have the lightning bolt battery power LED, consult the product manual.)
Battery Power LED
Component Tested
Error Condition
Battery power LED off, and Caps Lock/Num Lock off
Battery or AC adapter
AC adapter not connected or failure
Battery low charge or failure
Battery power LED blinking
Battery
Insufficient charge on the battery
Refer to one of the following sections for more information about the battery power status:
LEDs near Caps Lock and Number Lock keys blink when starting the notebook
The notebook diagnostic utilities use the LEDs near the Num Lock and Caps Lock keys to blink a series of error codes ("blink codes"). At the end of the series the blinking stops. Until the error is resolved, the pattern of blinks will occur any time an attempt is made to start the computer.
The LED lights near the Caps Lock and Num Lock keys will blink if an error is detected during the startup process. The LEDs will blink a number of times in a sequence and then stop. The number of blinks in the sequence indicates what component caused an error when it was being tested during start up.
  note:
Newer computers have enhanced blink codes that indicate specific error conditions. They are two-part blink sequences with different color lights if the computer is equipped with multiple colored lights. If there is only one color light, the two blinks in the sequence will be one color.
If the LEDs stop blinking and the computer does not start, you can press the Power button again to repeat the tests. After you count the number of blinks, use the chart to identify the error condition, and then see the corresponding section for that error condition below for troubleshooting steps.
  note:
Knowing the number of blinks is helpful when you contact an HP support agent for technical help.
Reseating memory modules in a notebook
If a memory module is loose or is not making good contact with the memory slot, the computer can fail to start. To reseat the memory module, take the memory module out of the memory slot, and then put it back into the slot to make a better connection so the computer can recognize the memory.
The memory module compartment on most notebooks is located on the bottom of the case, however, on some models, the memory compartment is under the keyboard. See your User Guide or Service and Maintenance Guide for the exact location of memory modules on your notebook.
Use the following steps to remove and reseat the memory modules:
  note:
Removing and reseating memory modules requires the use of tools to partially disassemble the computer. If you do not feel comfortable doing this work yourself, take the computer to an HP authorized service provider for technical service.
  1. Turn off the computer, and then disconnect the power cord.
      caution:
    Electrostatic discharge (ESD) can damage electronic components. Before beginning any procedure, touch a grounded metal object to be sure that you are discharged of static electricity.
  2. Remove the cover to access the memory.
    Figure : Removing the cover
    Removing the  cover
      Figure : Memory module cover (your cover might be different)
      Image of memory module cover detached from the computer and showing retaining screw locations and direction of removal
    1. Retention screws (2)
    2. Direction to remove compartment cover
      note:
    Your computer might look different than the computer in the graphic.
      note:
    Some computers might not have a cover that provides access to the memory. Have the computer serviced if you cannot access the memory.
  3. Remove all of the memory modules in the computer.
    Figure : Removing the RAM
    Pulling out the RAM
  4. Reinsert all memory modules.
      Figure : Notch alignment and memory module insertion
      Image of reseating the memory module by aligning the notched edge on the module with the tab in the slot, pressing the module firmly into the slot, and pivoting the top edge of the module downward until it snaps into place
    1. Notch alignment
    2. Direction to insert the module
    3. Direction to seat module
  5. Replace the cover, battery, and power cord.
  6. Turn on the computer.
  7. Perform any tests to verify that the computer can start up and run in the Windows operating system.
    If the computer fails to boot to the Windows desktop after the memory is reseated and the battery is installed, contact HP for support.
Contacting HP Customer Support
If you cannot find a troubleshooting solution, contact HP Customer Support for further assistance or to have the computer serviced.

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