CPU go beep

You’ve just received a computer from a remote office via next-day air delivery, and the PC appears to be in perfect shape. However, when starting the computer it beeps a few times and shows a black screen. You check the manual and find that the beep code refers to a problem with the CPU. Which of these would be the best next step?

A) Confirm that the CPU is receiving enough power by checking the power supply voltage setting

B) Boot with the Windows installation CD and run the memory check

C) Swap out the CPU and try starting the computer again

D) Make sure the CPU is seated securely

E) The computer would prefer an upgrade to first class next time

The answer: D) Make sure the CPU is seated securely

It’s not uncommon for parts to come loose during shipping, especially when the parts are designed to be removed. I’ve spent many hours dismantling freshly-shipped computers to reseat all of the connections and adapter cards. Since it’s an easy process to accomplish, it’s almost always your best first step.

Want to know more? Watch “Troubleshooting Processors.”

Troubleshooting processors can be a challenge, since there are no wires, no moving parts, and no obvious multimeter access. In this video, you’ll learn how to use some nifty software tools to help stress test CPUs, check for overheating, and gather specific processor details.