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HP Notebook PCs - Troubleshooting LED Blink Codes or Beep Codes During Startup or Boot

There are many reasons that a computer does not startup or boot into the Windows operating system. If your computer will not start or boot, you will see or hear symptom to indicate the general area of the problem. If you are not sure what the problem is, see Overview of How to Troubleshoot Problems When a Computer Does Not Start Up or Boot Properly .

Startup Symptom: LEDs blink or computer beeps but does not start

Use this document if the notebook does not start, but the LEDs near the keyboard blink several times, or there are a series of beeping sounds, just after the power button is pressed.

The blinking LED lights on newer computers, or the beep tones on older computers, will help support agent determine what hardware component is not responding properly. The exact meaning of each code varies with the model, and the user cannot change any of the blink or beep codes.

DO THIS FIRST - Perform a hard reset

If a PC suddenly fails to boot properly, you should perform a hard reset as the first procedure.

  1. Disconnect all peripheral devices and remove all USB devices and media cards. You want to test the computer not the accessories!

  2. Disconnect the AC power adapter, remove the battery, and then press and hold the power button for at least 15 seconds .

  3. Reconnect the AC power adapter (but do not connect the battery), Press the Power button, Look for glowing LEDs near caps lock and num lock keys, and Listen for sounds of a disk drive and fan turning.

Actions to take after performing hard reset
Blinking LED lights or beep tones on startup indicate specific hardware problems.
For assistance, on a different computer, go to www.hp.com and select Contact HP / Customer Service

Identify the number of blinks or beeps

When there is a start-up problem and you see LED lights on the keyboard blink a few times (between 1 and 8 blinks), or hear a series of beep tones (between 1 and 6 tones), do the following actions. There is very little you can do to resolve blink or beep code messages until you contact an HP Support Agent or authorized HP Service center.

Recognize Blink Codes

With the development of the Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) environment, the HP Pavilion and Compaq Presario notebook computers built in 2009 or later use blinking LEDS to identify hardware component reporting an error during startup. The codes are not valid for other models.

  1. Press the power button to turn on the computer, and look for blinking LED lights on the keyboard.

  2. Count the number of blinks in the sequence (between1 and 8 blinks).

    After the sequence of blinks or beeps, there is a pause for a few seconds, and the sequence is repeated (usually 3 or 4 times). The blink sequence can be repeated by pressing the power button again.

Recognize Beep Tone Codes

On older computer models, the startup hardware diagnostic tests used a series of tones (beeps) to identify the error codes. Blink codes and beep tone codes have a similar purpose but do not indicate the same error conditions. The meaning of the number of tones in a sequence and duration of the individual beep tones is specific to the individual models. There were fewer beep codes on older computers because there were fewer built-in diagnostics.

Get technical assistance

When you see blinking LEDs or hear beep tones, you should contact HP for technical assistance. Report the number of LED blinks, or the number and duration of the beep tones, and the model or product name of your computer. The Support Agent can help you troubleshoot the startup problem.

Table of Sample Blink Codes

The following table illustrates the meaning of blink codes used on some notebooks with EFI environment. The blink or beep codes on your computer may have different meanings. When you contact HP for support, the agent needs to know the model of your computer and may ask you about blinking LEDs or beeping tones to help troubleshoot a startup problem.

Meaning of Sample Blink Codes for some EFI Notebooks
Number of Blinks or Beeps
Location of Blinking LEDs
Component Being Checked
Error Condition
Continuous glow
Battery power LED
Battery
The AC adapter is attached and the battery is charging, but does not yet have sufficient charge to power the notebook.
1
Caps Lock/Num Lock
CPU
CPU not functional
2
Caps Lock/Num Lock
BIOS
BIOS corruption failure
3
Caps Lock/Num Lock
Memory
Module error not functional
4
Caps Lock/Num Lock
Graphics
Graphics controller not functional
5
Caps Lock/Num Lock
System board
General system board failure
6
Caps Lock/Num Lock
BIOS
BIOS authentication failure
Continuous blink
AC power adapter LED
Power adapter
Insufficient power

Common solutions for issues that cause blinking LEDs or beep tones

There are some common actions that an HP support agent may ask you to perform to resolve issues identified by blink codes or beep codes. By performing these actions before you contact the support agent, you may be able to resolve the issue yourself. When the computer can boot into the BIOS, run the memory test to identify other issues.

Check for loose connections and test the memory

Blink codes are often displayed after a user adds memory to the computer but does not seat the module properly. The LEDs may also blink error codes if a hardware component is loose because the computer was dropped or jarred. Some HP Notebook PCs come with one stick of memory but have two memory slots. The problem could be that the stick of memory or one of the memory slots has a bad connection.

The memory module compartment on most notebooks is located on the bottom of the case. The exact position varies by model. However, on some models, the memory compartment is under the keyboard. See your User Guide for the exact location of memory modules on your notebook.
NOTE: Removing and reseating memory modules requires the use of tools and the partial disassembly of the computer. If you do not feel comfortable doing this work yourself, take the computer to an authorized retailer for technical service.

Check for loose memory modules

If a memory module is loose or is not making good contact with the memory slots, the computer does not recognize all of the memory. Reseating the memory module may resolve memory failure errors. To reseat the memory module, take the memory module out of the memory slot and then put it back into the slot to get a better connection so that the computer can recognize the memory.

The memory module compartment on most notebooks is located on the bottom of the case, however, on some models, the memory compartment is under the keyboard. See your User Guide for the exact location of memory modules on your notebook.

Use the following steps to remove and reseat the memory modules:

  • Step 1 - Remove the electrical power

    To remove all power from the computer and prevent accidental damage to the electronic components, do the following:

    1. Turn off the computer by pressing and holding down the Power button for about 30 seconds.

    2. Unplug the AC adaptor from the notebook.

    3. Slide and hold the battery release latch to the unlock position.

    4. Use your finger to lift the battery up and out.

  • Step 2 - Remove the memory module

    1. Remove the memory module cover on the bottom of the notebook.

      1 - Loosen the compartment's retention screws
      2 - Lift up and remove the memory compartment cover
    2. Remove the memory modules from the memory slots.

      1 - Pull the retention clips away from sides of the memory module
      2 - Gently pull the module out of the memory module slot
      CAUTION: To prevent damage to the memory module, grasp the memory module by the side edges. Do not touch the metal contacts.
    3. Reseat the memory module by holding module at a 45-degree angle, and pressing it firmly into the memory slot until it is seated.

      1 - Align the notched edge of the module with the tab in the slot.
      2 - Firmly press the module into the slot.
      3 - Pivot top edge of memory module downward until retention clips snap into place.
    4. After reseating the memory module, replace the cover over the memory compartment before restarting the computer.

      1 - Align the cover tabs
      2 - Tighten the memory compartment cover screws
  • Step 3 - Replace the electrical power

    When troubleshooting problems, use only the AC power to perform the tests. After the problem is resolved, you can turn off the computer and insert the battery into the notebook.

    1. Plus the connection from the AC adapter into the notebook, and then connect the AC adapter to a working power supply.

    2. Perform any tests to verify the computer can startup and run in the Windows operating system.

    3. With the computer turned off, push the battery into the base enclosure until the retention clips click into position.

if the computer fails to boot to the Windows desktop after the memory is reseated and the battery is installed, contact HP for support.

Perform memory self test

If the computer can access part of the memory, it may be possible to access the BIOS Setup Utility display and perform a memory self test to identify other memory issues. If the computer cannot boot to the BIOS Utility, try removing and reseating the memory and the hard drive, and then repeat the following steps to perform the memory self test.

  1. Plug the AC adapter into the computer.

  2. Turn off the computer.

  3. Press the Power button to start the computer and repeatedly press the f10 key to enter the BIOS Setup menu.

  4. In the BIOS Setup Utility, use the Right Arrow or Left Arrow keys to navigate through the menu selection to locate the Diagnostics .

  5. Use the Down Arrow or Up Arrow keys to select Memory Test .

  6. Press Enter , and then Yes to perform memory test.

  7. After test completes, press f10 key to Save and Exit , and then press Enter key to Exit Saving Changes? .

If the test fails, one or more of the memory modules may not be seated properly. Check for and reseat loose memory modules.

What to do when the computer starts into Windows normally

After you have completed the troubleshooting process and your computer has booted normally into the Windows operating system, you should:

  • Run HP Assistant to update HP software and drivers.

  • Run Windows Update to update operating system and software.

  • Run anti-virus program to remove any virus.

For detailed information on this topic, see HP Notebook PCs - Update Your Computer After Troubleshooting a Problem .

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