Whatever may be the operating system you use, there are a few inbuilt error signals that help you identify the problem if your computer does not boot properly. These are triggered by the electronic circuitry itself and therefore are independent of the operating system. If you switch your computer on, it should produce a single beep to tell you that every piece of hardware is working perfectly.
In case you get more than a single beep, it means that there could be a bit of a problem with your hardware components.
Depending on the kind of beeps and the number of beeps you get on starting your system, you can easily diagnose the problem or at least trace the specific piece of hardware that is creating the problem.
The normal beep which indicates a healthy hardware system is a short one which usually results in a proper startup. If you get a very short beep, it could mean that either your motherboard or your system memory (BIOS) could be the source of the problem. A long beep followed by three short beeps indicates a problem with your graphics card configuration.
It could either mean that it is not plugged into the AGP or PCI slot properly or it could be shorted because of capacitor failure.
A short beep followed by three sequential long beeps could mean that the problem is associated with the RAM or the system memory chips. Two sequential beeps separated by small pauses could be attributed to the CPU while a combination of three beeps, three beeps and four beeps separated by pauses could be a video memory issue or a corrupt memory sharing configuration.
While you do not really have to count the number of beeps in this case, a single long beep followed by 9 short beeps can be attributed to the ROM or the BIOS. Sometimes, the graphics card may not be compatible with the motherboard – this is indicated by three beeps with a pause followed by four beeps and a single short beep at the end. Long constant beeps definitely mean system memory issues.
Finally, if your system continues beeping after the operating system loads, it could be because the processor is overheating due to lack of cooling fans. Remember that the CPU is not the only unit that beeps – it could also be your UPS indicating that there is a power failure.