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  1. #1
    Bronze Lounger
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    About beep codes

    The MB says it is a M6TBA (cannot find a vendor's name for it in the book). It uses Award Bios and it is a Pionex brand computer. NT4 SP6. I don't use this system often but I don't want to lose what I have. I have made BU copies of my data but have not ever figured out how to make a total bootable BU of the HD even though I probably have the necessary stuff loaded! <img src=/S/doh.gif border=0 alt=doh width=15 height=15> (nero software, CD burner, network card, even have Ghost2001!! but <img src=/S/stupidme.gif border=0 alt=stupidme width=30 height=30> )

    So my problem: When the HD starts from a cold boot, it emits 3 long beeps, long pauses in between the beeps. I can then turn off the system and restart it and it may do the beep process a second time or it may just start up like nothing is the matter with it! Once it is warmed up, I can reboot it no problems. And when it is warmed up, I can also shut it down completely for the 10 second wait and then boot it back up, with no beeping. I have taken a look at the websites with the beep codes and am really not sure what it could be? <img src=/S/confused.gif border=0 alt=confused width=15 height=20> Any suggestions for items that could be the culprit?
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    "Peace begins with a smile. "-- Mother Teresa

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: About beep codes

    Seems to be a Biostar mainboard. The beep codes could mean a lot of things, they are not consistent even from the same BIOS vendor. Check first with BIOStar and see if they have any information.

    Update the BIOS and see if it corrects the problem. Then try removing all hardware except for the video card and one stick of memory and see if the beeps persist. Move the memory to another slot if it still beeps.

    If you go through all those steps and it still acts up, then I would consider a replacement mainboard instead of troubleshooting much further. Even if you determine the source of the beeps, there may be little if anything that you can do about it.

    As for a complete bootable backup, since it is NT I would not bother if there is a replacement mainboard in your future. NT does not like having the mainboard changed. As long as you have your data, a complete backup is redundant and you can always rebuild the operating system - a chance to "clean house" if you will.
    -Mark

  3. #3
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    Re: About beep codes

    Thanks Mark for the reply. I think I would like to make one complete back-up of the system before starting anything with it. I have followed the adventures of Bruce's <post#=344793>post 344793</post#> and am contemplating a purchase of Acronis True Image V7. The only reason I hesitate is that I am a newbie in trying stuff like flashing "BIOS", etc. and getting a back-up image to work ("Boo" to Ghost 2001 and my experience with trying to use it!). So I am wondering if I can use True Image as successfully and as easily as the group indicates this to be! I am surprised to see that it isn't that expensive either if I can accomplish what I want to do with it - make a complete image of my NT Box for safe keeping!! I certainly have wasted enough $$ on software that didn't do as expected!!

    BTW, I haven't shut my system down since getting it to reboot and I won't either until I get that image completed!! <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> Then I will start the investigation of the 'beeps'!! <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15>


    "Peace begins with a smile. "-- Mother Teresa

  4. #4
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    Re: About beep codes

    Make sure all the fans are turning - you might have to wait until the system cools down again and the bearings are sluggish. They should spin freely with a flick of your finger, no vibration, and minimal noise. Some BIOSes alarm on fan failure or on low fan speed. To save money, many manufacturers use cheap sleeve-bearing fans (an argument for home built). Since this board is 3+ years old, I assume the case fans and CPU fans are too.

    I tried to find more about your beeps and 3 long is not listed anywhere - is it just 3? Could it be just a bunch of single longs that seem to come in threes? I found your mobo manual and the beeb codes are not listed there either. Beeb codes are handled through the Award BIOS. I found one reference that reported that Award uses the fewest beeb codes (like 2) and uses the display most of the time. It states the only time you will get any beeps is if the video card fails or for a RAM problem. Since you do have a display, I'm leaning towards RAM.

    I would give the guts a good cleaning. I would pull and reseat the video card and the memory DIMMs. If you happen to have more than one memory stick, you might try running with just one, see if it still occurs, swapping and eliminating as necessary.

    BTW - Shutting down at the powerstrip is not a good thing - but that is mainly due to disk drive corruption (as files are left open or only partially saved) - Windows and most other OSs - mainly those not hardcoded, don't do well when not shutdown properly. Hardware, however is not affected (except very old HDs that need to be "parked"). Turning on the computer at the power switch is not the best way (the monitor should be turned on first so the video card can sync up to it), but it really does not hurt the PC either - assuming it is not flicked on and off like a kid and a light switch.

    In other words - go tell the wife it was not her fault and apologize for blaming her! Then use the PCs age to justify rebuilding your PC with new motherboard, CPU, and memory, and a new HD. You can install your old drive as a second drive - that way you can still access your old data and copy the pertinent stuff to your new drive. It is easier than it sounds and you will have a much better understanding of your PC when done.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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  5. #5
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: About beep codes

    Skitterbug,

    True Image VERSION 7 is very easy to use and more user friendly than Version 6. My only question is, do you have another HD to send your Image TO, or do you just have a CD burner? It's much easier to image to another HD. The only problem I would see with CD's is that you may need to burn a few to make the complete image, depending on how much data you have to send to the image.
    With Ver 7 you can image a complete drive, restore it, clone it to another HD or just restore individual files from an existing image.

    Bob
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  6. #6
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    Re: About beep codes

    That is a good question about how many beeps there actually are. I was thinking just three long beeps with pauses in between but now that I think about it, I was rattled enough that I just hit the shutdown button so I don't know if it would have continued or not!! The next time I booted it, it started up normally and I haven't shut it down since.

    I appreciate all of your ideas [and Mark's and Vikings33 too] and will implement them when I get my "image" made.

    I took Viking33's suggestion about True Image and decided to purchase it. But it seems like I can never just have anything work out easy!! They did not provide the serial number on the invoice!! I kept thinking then that they would include it in the confirmation email but Noooo, it wasn't there either. And True Image won't install without a serial number either. <img src=/S/nope.gif border=0 alt=nope width=15 height=15> So I put in an email request yesterday and only just now received a " we got your email and we are working on it" response!! Oh well.............and all I wanted to do was make a back up before something major really decided to happen. I do have all of my data (that I can think of that I need) copied over onto CDs but I wanted to start with the investigation.

    Continuing saga in Skitterbug's life..................... actually, I am lucky it isn't something worse really! <img src=/S/sigh.gif border=0 alt=sigh width=15 height=15> Oh, yes, I forgot to say that I actually only have one hard drive in this computer but I have it split into two volumns so maybe that will work for the image making? If I ever get it installed, then I may be back with more questions, if I run into something that stumps me some more! Hope you are all patient!! <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15> Thanks for being here!


    "Peace begins with a smile. "-- Mother Teresa

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: About beep codes

    <hr>...I actually only have one hard drive in this computer but I have it split into two volumns... <hr>
    You'll have to pardon me (I hope) for starting a long-winded post here. It seems that I love to talk about backup strategy. To start with I would say that it's NEVER a good idea to backup to a partition on the same PHYSICAL drive. If that drive gets zapped somehow, you're dead in the water. There are many who also claim that it ain't safe to backup to a separate physical drive in the SAME box. Their claim (maybe rightly so) is that something could happen to that box that would render ALL drives unusable. In my case, I use True Image to backup to another machine on my home LAN. The disadvantage to that is that it takes a LONG time for that backup to run. It was pretty similar when I was using Drive Image, before I learned about True Image from Viking. It does work well however, and I just yesterday restored my boot drive from an image on my LAN.

    There is however, what I consider a happy medium that you will see in <!post=this post.,343720>this post.<!/post> If you have an external bay available where you can install one of the referenced "racks," you can then buy extra "trays" and have more than one rotating backup drive that you can physically remove and put in a safe place, safely AWAY from the machine in question. I've done this, successfully, for more than one person. Hard drive prices are low enough that the investment is not that significant in the long run. Two or more drives and trays would allow you to maintain more than one backup for insurance.

    If you want to get into the specifics, post back or feel free to start another thread, if that's appropriate.

  8. #8
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: About beep codes

    Hi Skitterbug,
    Strange, they provide the reg key code in the confirmation email.
    But I think you will find they ( then again, with your luck? ) provide very good tech support and will straighten out the code # for you. <img src=/S/crossfingers.gif border=0 alt=crossfingers width=17 height=16>

    The other partition should work out fine.

    Bob
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  9. #9
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    Re: About beep codes

    I gotta second what Al says about the racks and the disks. I've twin 40g with 8 or so partitions between them, and one 80g (although you could use a smaller drive if you wanted) in a removable drive rack that I image to. Just about the best thing I've ever done. I pull out the rack after I burn the image and store it away from the PC. If something serious happens with the house or the weather, I'm gettin' out with the kids, my wallet, and my drive!

  10. #10
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    Re: About beep codes

    I too second Al...

    ...BUT

    In the meantime, for $0.00, you can backup your .pst (mail) files, all your data files (My Documents and subfolders), Password Safe, etc. to your second partition. Of course, that will only offer protection from "File" corruption and not "Disk" corruption. Adding a second drive to the other IDE controller surprisingly offers quit a bit of backup protection.

    Complete PC destruction happens. Lightning, floods, theft, etc. So an image in a safe deposit box off-site is smart.

    An UPS, instead of (or at least before) a surge protector/power strip, also offers much greater protection for all out destruction from the power line.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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    Heat is the bane of all electronics!

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  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: About beep codes

    Yeah, Skitterbug, of course Bob is right on. Just for curiosity, I went to my email files to check my purchase of True Image. I don't know about you, but my transaction was via DigitalRiver and a lot of the text in the purchase confirmation message was a very light gray in color. Is it possible that you missed seeing the serial number down in and among all that gray text?

  12. #12
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    Re: About beep codes

    Lots of information to digest! And questions to ask!!

    Question #1 - If I want to use an internal 'rack' for a hard drive, this device will need to be attached in the same manner as a CD drive? Currently, I have a HD, Floppy, a zip jazz, Regular CD drive and a R/W drive. Now I know people may think I am crazy but the reason for all of this was simply experimentation!! So I will need to part with one of these to be able to put in a rack? Am I thinking correctly?

    Question #2 - You mentioned backing up your HD over your LAN but it takes some time to do this? I am hardwired networked through a switch (more experimentation with stuff for the fun of it), so for now I could use True Image to backup my HD to my Win XP box? And then I could burn this image to a CD perhaps and have it for posterity?

    Answer to the serial number problem: I have been checking back to my online order from time to time hoping that common sense would be for them to supply the serial number there with the download!! Sure enough, I just checked about 15 minutes ago and that is exactly what they did. I am off to see if it will install my software and after that, the fun begins!!

    Don't worry, I will probably be back with a bushel more questions!! <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15> Thanks to everyone for all the patience and interesting information!! <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>


    "Peace begins with a smile. "-- Mother Teresa

  13. #13
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: About beep codes

    Question #1: The floppy drive doesn't enter into things. If the Zip Jazz drive is connected to one of your FOUR IDE connections, then yes, something would have to go. The second most important point is that you need an external bay so the tray for the hard drive can be removed. If you're not inclined to give up either the Jazz drive or one of the two CDs, then it's a moot point.

    Question #2: If I understood what you said, and you have a 2nd computer on a LAN then yes, you'd be doing what I'm doing and may want to cancel question #1. If you make a backup image on a hard drive, I see little benefit in ALSO copying it to a CD, but that's a matter of preference. You certainly could do so. The real reason I've never considered CDs in my backup equation is that it would take too many CDs to do image backups - "almost" as bad as the old floppy disk backup days. Just be aware of the SLOW speed when imaging to a network drive. I have a total of 10-11 gig on all partitions of this machine and it take 3.5 to 4 hours to image it all - across the home network.

    Good luck and we'll be seein' ya.....

  14. #14
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    Re: About beep codes

    Just for comparison vs a LAN, I have two image files each about 5~6 megs, one for each drive. Each one takes about 12 minutes to write with Norton Ghost. Probably 30 minutes total after reboot and such. Even so, an already established LAN would be much simpler than adding another drive (and less expensive).

  15. #15
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    Re: About beep codes

    <hr>An UPS, instead of (or at least before) a surge protector/power strip, also offers much greater protection for all out destruction from the power line.<hr>
    Amen to that. I lost a motherboard, RAM and network card in one system and also my DSL modem and router. Both stations were promptly protected by Belkin UPS units. Since that time I have been quite happy, having not lost a shred of data to power outages nor thunderstorms. <img src=/S/crossfingers.gif border=0 alt=crossfingers width=17 height=16>
    -Mark

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