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Asus M3A: 1 long, 4 short beeps, cant find solution to no POST

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August 6, 2010 9:49:10 PM

I had the machine open and i had an unused fan sitting on the bottom of the case and i thought i had bumped it into something and thats why it didnt boot. But now i'm at a loss as to why it wont boot. I cannot find any beep codes in the manual and a google doesnt show 1 long/4 short for AMI bios, which is what i presume i have.

machine was built with the new m/b , cpu/fan, memory, powersupply about 3-4 years ago. hard drives/dvd drives are older as is the sound card

here's what i have tried and what the circumstances are

1. i noticed the CPU fan doesnt kick on for 3-5 seconds, is this normal?

2. When i take out all the ram, it beeps 3 times and wont stop. Does this mean the M/B is still good or isn't it a meaningful test?

3. putting just one stick of RAM in any particular slot doesnt make a difference, i still have the 1/4 beeping.

4. it says no signal on the monitor

5. taking out the video card and the sound card has no effect, still have the 1/4 beep, there are no other cards installed

6. changing the cmos battery didnt work

7. i used my power supply tester on the 3-4 year old antec neo 430 and all lights were green but there was no -5V light on, is this a problem?

8. unplugging the keyboard didnt help

9, i disconnected and connected the quick connect 'tiny wires' on the bottom of the m/b (powerswitch etc etc)

10 even if the hard drive crashed, shouldnt i get to a POST screen?

11. after the computer does the 1/4 beep the hard drive light remains solid red.

i'm at a loss, any help is appreciated.! Thanks
August 6, 2010 10:45:08 PM

Hi there,

Its beeping which is a good thing, it means that the bios is definately doing something.

Ive never come accross a board that whose cpu fan comes on after 5 seconds.

Your power supply is fine, the -5 does not come on most PSU's I have tested anyway(100+). I seen a video on youtube of a guy complaining his power supply tester was not working because his -5V was not on(lol)


Thers probably nothing wrong with your ram and yes the PC should give a post even if the hard drive is not connected.

The people who talk about changing the cmos battery are idiots(its never the battery)
But by doing this the useful thing that happens is you reset the cmos, this can be done by cmos jumper on the board

Have you tried reseating the CPU?

Have you got an board VGA, if youve got one try, it If not try another card(if you have one lying around)

Try a single stick of ram in the second slot nearest the CPU

Is the gurantee still valid? it sounds like an RMA
a c 103 V Motherboard
August 7, 2010 1:05:09 AM

Take a look at these BIOS beep codes and their associated explanations.
Related resources
August 7, 2010 1:00:06 PM

I will try the above suggestions today. however, from your descriptions it appears it's video or motherboard because from what i've read 4 beeps is bad,but i'm not even sure that explanation applies to the bios i have since i dont know what i have. If that's true, i guess ill order both just to be safe.

unfortunately the only video card i think i have around is one i believe was bad and replaced it before ....thats when i got a new m/b, video, cpu to ensure success. but ill check

just to summarize: if i unplug everything except the CPU , no hard drive attached, i should get POST on screen. since i dont, it must be the video card or the m/b. I'll swap around the ram to ever possible slot but i find it hard to believe 2 sticks to bad at the same time.


also the comment about the fan coming on late, is that normal or not, i wasnt clear. it is every time that it's 3-5 seconds after i press the on button.

edit: does the fact that the 3 beeps with no RAM disappear when i put in the RAM mean the ram is OK?

edit: i looked up my invoice, got it mar08 so i think it has a 3 year warranty. newegg says they dont carry it anymore so i wonder what asus would send me, or do they repair boards?
August 9, 2010 9:21:34 PM

You can plug everthing apart from

The CPU+Fan
The Ram(you need atleast one stick)
Video Card(before buying another card just borrow and try that)
Motherboard Power (20 or 20+4) and your CPU 4 pin

Clear the bios, and start it by shorting the power pins with a flat screwdriver, if the baord is in the case just connect the Power +- switch.

Very unlikely to be the ram or cpu, probably the card, if not the card its defo the baord. RMA to Newegg
August 20, 2010 12:27:00 PM

FYI well i think it was the board so i'm going to try to RMA it. I got a new m4a77 meanwhile and am very happy with it.

vid card works so it definitely wasnt that. amazing that i couldnt find the definitive beep code anywhere for 4 short beeps though
a c 156 V Motherboard
August 20, 2010 6:49:15 PM

luckydriver said:

1. i noticed the CPU fan doesnt kick on for 3-5 seconds, is this normal?

6. changing the cmos battery didnt work

10 even if the hard drive crashed, shouldnt i get to a POST screen?

#1. That's not too unusual. I have seen that happen before.

#6. It's never the battery. That's on everybody's troubleshooting list because it sometimes clears the CMOS. And it's something simple to do that, who knows, might work someday.

#10. You do not need drives, keyboard, mouse, or monitor to successfully pass the POST (the single short beep). Of course, you will need a monitor to see any messages.
!