Double argh

Now it’s the recording computer that is freaking out. Just sits there and beeps like crazy, won’t boot. Don’t buy from Dell, incidentally. Why did I do that, anyway? argh.

The dreaded beeps. Poop.

Now it boots up and gets all the way there, and within a minute it turns off and beeps. What the frick does that mean?

My advice is, never buy a Dell.

Actually Dell are usually very good. Been around them a long time and seen them in use by large corporates and govt departments. Anyway, that doesn’t help you.

Is it still under warranty?

The bios beeps usually mean something. It’s trying to tell you what’s broken. Have a listen. You will most likely hear a phrase of long and short beeps. Then we just need to google the beep codes depending on the model.

It’ll be RAM or graphics card or something like that at a guess. If you feel brave, crack the case and try re-seating the RAM and graphics card (if it’s not an onboard graphics). Make sure you ground yourself first (use an anti-static strap if you have one), disconnect all power, and then just remove the card/ram and put it back in.

Ahh, just read that it partially boots now.

Go into the Bios and look for the setting that reboots the computer on errors.
That’ll cause it to blue-screen rather than reboot.
There are often clues on the blue-screen.

But try reseating the ram and any plug in cards as my previous post.
Most of the time that sorts it.

Quote: (Mark A @ Jun. 10 2011, 3:27 PM)

Actually Dell are usually very good.
Been around them a long time and seen them in use by large corporates and govt departments.
Anyway, that doesn't help you.

Yup... all I use both at home and work. In to them fellers for millions at this point.

Sounds like a bad mobo, power supply, or the like. Just call them. They have parts. What's the service tag? I can pull your machine with the service tag.

FWIW, what you are running into is what are known as POST errors. They actually tell you what the problem is rather than leaving you guessing.

I hope you never get a flat tire. You'll be cursing Toyota or whoever for years.

In other news, I am VERY crabby today.

For what it’s worth, Tom. Not so long ago, my daw was crashing every five min’s. A tech-friend said to re-seat any cards, as Mark says which improved the situation but what really did the trick was to clean the fan and heatsink. I hate it when that happens. Doh!

Well, the anti-Dell judgment is partly a result of the poor help I received when purchasing the computer. :p

Thanks for the info, friends, I might get a moment to check it out this weekend. Anyway, if it were a car problem I’d be in much better shape to fix it. Cars make much more sense to me. :)

I dunno Tom, I’ve had a lot of bad experiences with Dell also, at work mainly. At home I have three Acers which never give me any issues. More importantly, n-Track has never crashed on my Acer. Luck of the draw maybe!

Luck of the DAW!

My biggest problem was when I was ordering it, the person was entirely wrong about certain features, which really messed me up. I know, I know, I should learn and figure it out for myself. :)

Everything is breaking and falling apart lately. :disagree:

Sounds like a power issue. Does you laptop run on a battery? If so try booting with just the battery and see if it boots and works, if so then it’s just the power cable. Those little black box attached to the power cable can sometimes fail resulting in a power failure. Just my 2 cents.


This is not the laptop, but a regular tower. Ugh.

I was sort of thinking of recording all the stuff for the 50/90 challenge to my 4 track reel to reel anyway. Perhaps this is a sign. :laugh:

A couple of years ago Dell made 2 models of desktops that had real problems with heat. (Right around the time they bought Alienware) They only had 2 fans, 1 for the CPU, 1 in the power supply. All other cooling was passive. It didn’t take much to over-heat these. Plenty-o-bitchin on their forums at the time. Everything from adding a harddrive to mounting the unit in one of those desks where you open a door and the unit is inside created havoc. And with the wonderful Dell proprietary architecture and connectors finding a spot to add a fan was impossible. I know I had one, which got returned within the 30 day time frame.

Some motherboards have heat sensors on them that disallow boot or go into a shutdown mode if they get too hot, or sense a fan fault.

I would start as Mark suggested and check to make sure everything is seated, that any all fans are working, clean the vents on the case, and if you feel comfortable clean off the MOBO and components. Then try booting up with the case open just to see what happens.


Excellent advice, friends. Hopefully today I will get a chance to look at it. But with new working schedules for Mary and me both, time to play has become unhappily very rare. :disagree:

It has three fans.

Did all of the above, still 33 beeps, pause, 3 beeps, pause, 3 beeps, pause…etc…

What’s the model number Tom? We can look that beep sequence up.

I’ll check.

It actually beeps 4 times, then a pause, then 4 more beeps, then a pause, and so on.

Details from the original purchase, more than you want, I am sure, Mark:


Item Number Quantity Item Description
224-3890 1 Inspiron 518 Intel Core2 Duo processor E7400 (3MB L2 Cache 2.80GHz 1066FSB)
311-8883 1 4GB DDR2 SDRAM,800MHZ- 4X1GB,DIM,M
330-0914 1 Dell USB Entry Keyboard
330-0916 1 Dell USB Optical Mouse
320-7479 1 Dell 19 inch S1909WXF Widescreen Flat Panel Monitor
320-7078 1 AMD Radeon HD3450 256MB PCI-Express x16 RV620
341-7013 1 500GB Serial ATA II Hard Drive(7200RPM)
341-5517 1 Dell 19-in-1 Media Card Reader
420-8820 1 Dell Resource DVD with Application Backup
420-6436 1 Vista, PC-Restore, Dim/Insp
420-8873 1 Dell Dock Consumer
420-8874 1 Dell Video Chat
420-9105 1 eBay Web Access Icon
420-9130 1 Microsoft Windows Vista SP1 Home Premium 64-Bit Edition English
463-2282 1 Dell Owners Manual installed on your system,click on icon after system set-up to access
421-0323 1 Windows Live Search,Multiple User Interface
310-5678 1 Mouse included with Keyboard purchase
313-3137 1 No modem requested for Dell Dimension
313-6549 1 16X DVD+/-RW DRIVE,BLK,DIM,M
313-6354 1 Media Direct 4.0
420-8152 1 Roxio Creator 10.2 Dell Edition
313-7049 1 Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
313-2198 1 No Speaker Requested
410-1160 1 McAfee Security 9.0, 30-day Subscription, for Dell Inspiron / Dimension
420-8085 1 Microsoft Works 9.0, English
960-3249 1 Banctec Service Agreement
989-2110 1 Type 3- Third Party At Home Service, 24x7 Technical Support, Initial Year
983-3680 1 Warranty Support,Initial Year
991-1587 1 Dell Hardware Warranty PlusOnsite Service, Initial Year
990-8029 1 1 Year Limited Warranty and Next Business Day,Desktop
988-7347 1 No Warranty beyond 1 year
988-0099 1 To activate your online backupaccount, go to Start, Programs, DataSafe Online
330-0172 1 S and P Drop-in-Box Marcom forDHS Desktops
310-8626 1 You have chosen a Windows Vista Premium System
420-9352 1 Dell, Software, Wild Tangent Inc Games
420-9800 1 Dell Remote Access free basic to access your PCs from outside your home
993-1919 1 Dell Remote Access, free basic service - access your PCs and files from outside your home

It’s been my experience “post” beeps have to do with some piece of hardware not functioning. May I suggest the following, Reset the BIOS. This will be a jumper with 3 pins sometimes 4. The jumper will be on pins 1 and 2 pins with the third pin empty. Simply move the jumper to the empty pin so pins 2 and 3 make the contact or you can just short those 2 pins with screw driver. Check your manual for “resetting the BIOS”. You have to hold it for a couple of seconds, this will cause the system to default the bios to it’s original settings (I’m sure you knew that already). If this doesn’t work, remove the memory, all of it and see if the beep process is the same. If it’s the same it most likely will be a failed memory stick or sticks.

Of course there could be other things going on like a bad power supply or failed hard disk or some component on the board itself has gone south.

What type of BIOS is that system? It’s important because different BIOS have different codes. Here’s a link to error codes on boot up from different BIOS makers. If I had to muster a guess as to the type of BIOS you have, I would say it’s an “AWARD BIOS”. This might help you.