About MSI Motherboard Startup Beeping
If your MSI motherboard beeps two, three or more times on boot, but starts up and works normally, don't start panicking just yet. It's true that BIOS beep codes were created to report PC startup errors to the user, but some MSI motherboards have a rather weird feature where they produce the same number of beeps as the USB devices you have connected. For example, four devices - mouse, keyboard, printer and a flash drive - would produce 4 short beeps, besides the "main" turn on signal. Some users claim there's even a slightly different sound for every USB port used.
This has caused me a real headache back when I bought my new PC with a MSI K9A2 Neo motherboard. Since I had an USB keyboard and mouse connected, it would beep two times when I turned on my computer. I looked up the MSI beep codes online and they said two short beeps were a sign of a memory error. I spent an hour or two trying different memory slots, running Memtest, and so on. As it turns out, it was completely unnecessary, because the signals were about the USB device number and nothing else. In the end, I simply unplugged the PC speaker to stop my motherboard beeping during startup every time.
USB Peripherals Beeping or Hardware Failure?
Simple way to test if there's a real problem or just MSI sillyness
I should also note that not all MSI motherboards exhibit this annoying behavior. Your MB, RAM or other hardware could actually be faulty if your motherboard beeps at boot. Thankfully, this is pretty easy to test.
- Disable USB controller in BIOS. This should stop all annoying startup beeps, if that was really the case with your MSI motherboard. Do note that your USB ports won't work until you re-enable the controller. Do not disable it if you don't have a PS/2 keyboard connector (since your USB keyboard will stop working as well).
- Change the number of USB devices connected and see if the number of beeps at boot changes. You can simply disconnect your USB mouse, for example, or connect an extra USB device. If the number of short, quick beeps changes, you probably have nothing to worry about.
I don't know all MSI mainboard models that have this "feature", but confirmed ones are: K9A2, P45, KA780GM and 915P. If your MB does this as well, please share the info in comments below.
How Do I Stop the Beeping?
If you determine that your MSI motherboard is actually telling you the number of USB ports in use and not reporting a real problem, you can do what I did and disconnect your PC speaker to stop the annoying beeps. This might seem somewhat drastic, but it can be reconnected easily if you ever need it again. And I do enjoy the silent booting!
MSI Motherboard USB Beep Poll
Internal PC Speaker
Extra motherboard speaker for POST beep code troubleshooting
If you lost your motherboard speaker after disconnecting it, you can always buy another one. These little "beepers" do come in handy if you're building new computers often and need to diagnose hardware problems. BIOS beep codes for your hardware can be found online.
Did you have a similar experience with your MSI motherboard as I did? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
anonymous on February 28, 2013:
I have an ECS A780GM-A motherboard, which also beeps for the number of USB devices connected. I thought I had a serious problem. I don't see how these beeps are necessary. I guess ECS doesn't think I can count.
veromay on May 18, 2012:
When I contacted MSI, they said not to worry (it was my first PC build so I wanted to assure that everything was ok). Because I was still within the warranty period and wanted to know that I did everything ok, I RMA'd the board with NewEgg. Sure enough - same beeps at startup. Now I am comfortable with everything and the PC has been running perfectly for the past 6 months. I love the MSI but hate the beeps.
anonymous on May 18, 2012:
Not only does mine beep, but if either the printer or the scanner (both Epson) are connected, it will not actually boot....
anonymous on September 14, 2011:
i have MSI P67A-C43 (b3) and pluged in 5 USB devices. on start up 5 short beeps and 1 loud beep all works great but windows 7 wont recognise mouse and need to be repluged than works like charm
anonymous on July 21, 2011:
P67A-GD65 1 long and 3 short beeps even when nothing plugged in. RAM and CPU tested with Mfg Tech support = OK. RMA'd motherboard and will see if new one does the same thing. I suggested to MSI tech support representative that the documentation included with mainboard should note that with MSI boards these beeps can indicate USB connections.
anonymous on January 28, 2011:
This was driving me crazy when I first got the my MSI P45-C51, thanks!
anonymous on January 11, 2011:
yes, this is the same for my MSI 785GTM-E45 motherboard. I just tested it, although it beeped 1 time with no devices, and n more times with n devices. It even gives a small beep while you plug the USB devices into the motherboard
anonymous on January 04, 2011:
AMI Beep Code
Deep Code Description
1 short DRAMS refresh failure
2 short Parity circuit failure
3 short Base 64k RAM failure
4 short System timer failure
5 short Process failure
6 short Keyboard controller Gate A20 error
7 short Virtual mode exception error
8 short Display memory Read/Write test failure
9 short ROM BIOS checksum failure
10 short CMOS shutdown Read/Write error
11 short Cache Memory error
1 long, 3 short Conventional/Extended memory failure
1 long, 8 short Display/Retrace test failed
AWARD Beep Code
Deep Code Description
1 Long, 2 Short A video error has occurred and the BIOS cannot intialize the video screen to display any additional information
Any other beep(s) RAM problem
julieannbrady on December 16, 2010:
Well, I don't know about my motherboard beeping ... but something was really making a lot of noise, like the fan in overdrive, and whirring and whishing sounds!
Bus Stop Toy Shop on November 19, 2010:
What a pointless feature. Sure this page'll save a few people time and stress :)