I have HP Pavilion 6DV laptop running Windows Vista, Home Edition. When I
try to turn it on, I get a single beep and then a long beep and the machine
will only turn off when I remove the battery pack. Fortunately, I have
everything backed up. Yea! I do this monthly. And I’m wondering if this is
terminal or just a keyboard glitch with a sticking key. This has been suggested
by a work colleague but not being competent, I’m reluctant to start dismantling
the laptop. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
In this excerpt from
Answercast #68, I look at a computer which is delivering mysterious beep
codes when trying to boot.
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No, I don’t think it’s a sticky key. You would be seeing something else
going on either on the screen or you’d be able to turn it off with the power
button or something.
This does sound like a hardware problem of some sort. Unfortunately, it’s
not the case where I really think it’s something where you can be successful
going in and opening up the laptop to try and sort it out.
And it’s true for me as well. I’m not saying “you” as an individual. I’m
saying that laptops typically require some level of technical expertise that
is beyond most of us, to be honest.
So, the beep codes are interesting.
I will point you at one site called ComputerHope.com/beep.htm.
They have a listing of common beep codes.
Very often the beep codes that you have in a situation like this will
actually provide a little bit of information to the technician who’s diagnosing
The good news is that there is a list like that.
The bad news is that I can’t find the beep codes that you’ve reported on
But the concept is the same. My guess is that your one-short followed by
one-long is the HP’s BIOS trying to tell you something about what it thinks is
wrong with the computer.
It is apparently unable to display anything, which is why it has to resort
to beep codes to try and get you the information. You might try and research
from the HP support site to see if they have any information about the beep
codes on their machines; and what the specific patterns of beeps might
It is possible that understanding the beep code would at least give you a
clue as to what either to replace or expect a technician to replace when the
machine truly gets diagnosed.
But ultimately, yes, when you’re getting beep codes, it is indicative of a
hardware problem. It’s typically, not necessarily terminal.
It just means that there’s a piece of hardware that ain’t working and the
computer is at least broken enough that it can’t throw up anything on the
screen for you. It needs to communicate with you via beeps.
How easy that is to fix, or even whether it is fixable, there’s no
way to tell without actually taking a look at the machine. That’s why I
recommend you take the machine to a technician for a diagnosis.