PC wont pass POST. Confusing beep codes


I build my custom PC about 1.5 years ago. A strange symptom occurred very occasionally: the pc didn't get past POST. This was very rare and I was quite sure the reason was my old secondary HDD (because it made weird sounds during the post). For the past few weeks the situation has gone much worse so I decided to remove the HDD and possibly replace it. Turns out the HDD was not the cause, so some other component must be faulty. Now the situation is so bad I can hardly ever get past POST, but when I do, everything works perfectly normal.

I salvaged a chassis speaker to better test what is causing the problem, but I have trouble interpreting the beep codes. According to the manual ASRock uses AMI BIOS, but the manual does not provide beep codes. Fortunately I found the beep codes for AMI via google. The beep code I get when my PC won't clear post is 3 short beeps then another 3 short beeps. The pause between the sets is very small and hardly noticeable, so I would bet it means 6 short beeps. If I start the PC with only CPU attached I get 3 longer beeps, which should be the beep code for memory problem. If I attach the RAM too, I get the same 6 beeps. 6 beeps should mean that the keyboard controller is faulty and I should probably replace the motherboard.

So my questions are:
1) What do you think is the faulty component here?
2) How would you interpret the 6 beeps? Why are they shorter than the 3 beeps that I get without memory and why is there a little pause in the middle?
3) Is there any more tests I can make to make sure what component I need to replace? I went through the troubleshooting thread found here. I can't get my hands on any test components, but I did try with an older PSU, resulting in the same 6 beeps. I also tried resetting the CMOS via battery.

My components:

Motherboard: ASRock B85M Pro4
RAM: 8 gb Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1600 (dual)
CPU: i5-4460
GFX: Gigabyte GTX 960
PSU: 520 W Seasonic bronze S12II

Any help would be appreciated!
Reply to juupo
21 answers Last reply
More about wont pass post confusing beep codes
  1. Hi, Not sure about the exact meaning, but I think that it's hardware failure.
    What CPU cooler using?
    Reply to alexoiu
  2. You can actually find out what the beeps mean. Look for your motherboard manual or find a copy online and inside there will be a page that will tell you what all of the different kind of beep codes mean for your specific motherboard.
    Reply to hazzyboy3
  3. Thank you for your replies! I am using the stock cooler which comes with the boxed CPU.

    I did find a list where the meaning of beep codes is shown, but i have trouble interpreting the beeps. Should I look under 3 beeps or 6 beeps?

    I also find two kind of reference tables for AMI beep codes. The standard one and one from ASRock website, which doesn't have 6 beeps at all...

    Reply to juupo
  4. If starting the board with no RAMs, what beeps getting?
    Reply to alexoiu
  5. Without RAMs I get 3 long beeps different in length than the 6 short beeps which I get with RAM.
    Reply to juupo
  6. Then CPU and board do work. Try removing the graphics card, storage drives, and testing.
    Reply to alexoiu
  7. I tried removing the graphics card, drives and all non-essential, but I still get the same. Actually I get the same 6 beep code with every build except without RAM.

    How can you verify that CPU or motherboard are not faulty?
    Reply to juupo
  8. Try clearing the CMOS (unplug the power cord and remove the CMOS battry for a minute).
    Reply to alexoiu
  9. Done that as well...
    Reply to juupo
  10. I'd RMA the board, if under warranty, although not 100% sure. Try testing also different power supply, if possible.
    Reply to alexoiu
  11. I'll RMA the motherboard then. I'll post again, when I get the replacement.
    Reply to juupo
  12. ok.
    Reply to alexoiu
  13. juupo said:
    I'll RMA the motherboard then. I'll post again, when I get the replacement.

    So did you RMA the board and get it replaced? Did that resolve everything? I had been following this thread as I am in a similar situation but no one has answered my post yet. My computer seems to work and be communicating its problem. But I find different AMI bios code beep meanings on different websites. My board, too, changes its beep when I go to the step to add a RAM stick.

    Anyway, should either of you two gentlemen want to restart this thread, I'm listening. Alexiou, if you're still monitoring, you might find my post with title: Need Motherboard Expert and with tags motherboard bios beep codes ASRock AMI.

    Reply to erikbrown
  14. Could you post a link to it?
    Reply to alexoiu
  15. Probably the board. I'd wait for the replacement.
    Reply to alexoiu
  16. alexoiu said:
    Probably the board. I'd wait for the replacement.

    Thank you very much for taking the time to answer. My feelings exactly at this point, but I have a couple more things I'm going to try. I will probably update that post with my current additions for the way the board is handling power at each stage, but I will definitely post some type of resolution. Would you please go to that post and put your answer there? I will select it as "Best Answer" unless some genius crawls out of the woodwork in the next, oh, let's give it 7 days. Anyway, thanks again. I'll respond again when you answer on my post.

    Reply to erikbrown
  17. No problem.
    I'd rather not post there. More chances for you to get other opinions in an unanswered post. You already know mine...
    Reply to alexoiu
  18. alexoiu said:
    No problem.
    I'd rather not post there. More chances for you to get other opinions in an unanswered post. You already know mine...

    I understand, thanks. I thought of that of course. That's why I built in the time frame of waiting, to see if any Genies would appear. Your response is the perfect "don't waste any more time on it, I don't know what it means either, it's got to be board-level" so it won't run off any potential posters there. But do as you see best, I greatly appreciate the help. I know they don't manufacture this board anymore, and the price goes up around $11 every 2-3 weeks on Newegg, it's now at $141, and I started looking at it when it was $105.50. Next best choice is an "open box" item, ASRock Z97 Killer at $124.99 new and $106.50 Open Box. So I keep watching those, because I missed the opportunity on an Open Box ASRock Z97X Killer at $82.50, and an ASRock Z97 Extreme6. Both prices dropped, and I wasn't thinking about Open Box being just one available. When the price drops and you think it's good, don't just sit there thinking about it with an Open Box item. You better buy it,there's only that one. If you're watching it, someone else is too.

    Thanks again for the computer advice,and for listening to me ramble about the motherboard. I've never had to RMA one before,this should be interesting, I'm very persistent.

    I'll post some version of this on the other thread if you don't post something there. I wish you would, I'd like you to be involved in the final outcome. Hey, you might learn something.

    Reply to erikbrown
  19. Wow. You're listed #1 on the Motherboard list. Congratulations. I'm talking to a celebrity.


    I tell you what, I'm not going to post any more on that thread either. Either someone answers or they don't. I don't think there's any site rule just posting some information here that you can read. If in my further tests you read something you might have an idea about, let me know. Or if you want to try anything at all. I'm going to continue testing the power cycle, because it's interesting. It will let you turn it on after putting the CMOS battery back in, then it runs for the 8 seconds and turns off. And the RJ light is off. But if I press the power switch again, it comes on. Again for 8 seconds and shuts off. But this time the RJ port is lit. Confusing, right? So since the RJ light is lit, I try the case switch. No luck. I remove the wires from the power header and use the screwdriver tip jump, no results, dead board. But yet that light is on. Don't know if this has any relevance or not. My next steps will be to add either the video card or the SSD, one or the other or both. Just try different scenarios the board might respond to.

    Again, thanks for your help.

    Reply to erikbrown
  20. Thank you. Just a poster. I'll follow the other thread too. You've already got two answers, I think.
    Reply to alexoiu
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