Diagnosing a beeping computer

Published on February 15th, 2009 at 6:05 am

Last modified on August 14th, 2012 at 12:01 am

You’re powering up a new computer for the first time. Instead of the normal startup process, the system emits a series of beeps. No message appears on the screen, and no other lights are blinking. What is the most reasonable cause of the problem?

A) The computer has a loose connection or a bad component.

B) There’s no operating system on the boot drive of the new computer.

C) The computer has a bad monitor.

D) The motherboard isn’t receiving any voltage from the power supply.

Answer: A) The computer has a loose connection or a bad component.

The troubleshooting process is one of the least technical aspects of the CompTIA A+ exam, and yet it’s one of the most important things a CompTIA A+ certified professional will use throughout their career.

As this question shows, it’s often useful to eliminate the impossible while considering what might be possible. Although this computer’s startup problem hasn’t been solved, we know that it couldn’t possibly be one of the other answers.

Incorrect answers:

B) There’s no operating system on the boot drive of the new computer
If this was our issue, we’d at least see an operating system error on the screen. In this case, we’re not getting any messages on the display.

C) The computer has a bad monitor.
The lack of messages on the screen could point towards a bad monitor, but the beeping noises shouldn’t occur if this was a simple monitor problem.

D) The motherboard isn’t receiving any voltages from the power supply.
Since we’re getting some kind of beeping noise, we know that the motherboard is receiving some amount of power.

Now it’s time to get on the phone with the computer manufacturer and get your new computer exchanged for a working model!

Want to learn more? Watch “The Troubleshooting Process”


One of the most important aspects of the CompTIA A+ certification is the constant focus on resolving almost any technical issue. In this module, you’ll learn the five steps of troubleshooting theory and how each step is an important part of the process towards resolving problems.

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Category: CompTIA A+ Pop Quizzes

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