Beep. Beep. Beep.

When you start your computer, you get a black screen and a series of beeps instead of the normal Windows startup screen. Which of these options is the most likely cause of this problem?

A) Hardware issue

B) Operating system not found

C) Video driver mismatch

D) Bad mouse or keyboard

E) The new Firefox “beep-a-lot” addon

The answer: A) Hardware issue

If the POST (Power On Self Test) fails, you’ll get a message before the operating system is even loaded. If the problem is hardware related (especially memory or video), you’ll get a black screen and some beeps. This makes a lot of sense; if your video is broken or your memory is missing, your system won’t be able to display anything or run any programs. At this point, beeping noises is your only option!

Want to know more? Watch “BIOS and CMOS Overview.”

What really happens when you start your computer? In this video, we’ll show you how the BIOS handles the most basic operations of your personal computer and how the CMOS stores all of your important configuration information. We’ll also show you how to use VMware Player or Microsoft Virtual PC to create a test lab on your computer where you can test BIOS changes without modifying your PC settings.