What's with this Doorbell in my computer?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

This strange thing is happening again today - can anyone here tell me why?

Every once in a while - with no pattern as to when - my computer starts up with a sound like a doorbell: a series of 4 musical tones. Sometimes the 4 beats repeat 3 or 4 times, sometimes only once.

I can't see a connection to what's on the screen - I've been doing research this morning so have been all over the place trying to learn more about a variety of cities in Nebraska. Sometimes it happens when I'm on one of those pages, sometimes when I'm looking at email, or reading an Active Rain post.

This happened before, a few weeks ago. When it stopped, I forgot all about it.

Now I'm really curious. What IS this?

Should I be worried?


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Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Hi Marte..... Do you have new friends that show up when those bells ring???   I have those days too....

Jul 22, 2012 05:30 AM #1
Barbara Hensley
RE/MAX Properties - Rockwall, TX
Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas

Marte - wow, I have not heard this before, but I have found myself almost going to the door when a sound on TV sounded like my door bell. 

Jul 22, 2012 05:36 AM #2
Erv Fleishman
Realty Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Luxury Prop Specialist Realty Associates

1 Beep

A single beep from an AMI based BIOS means there has been a memory refresh timer error. The solution is often to replace the RAM in the computer.


Two beeps means there has been a parity error in base memory. This is an issue with the first 64KB block of memory in your RAM. The solution is usually to replace the memory.

3 Beeps

Three beeps means there has been a base memory read/write test error. Replacing the RAM usually solves this AMI beep code.

4 Beeps

Four beeps means that the motherboard timer is not working properly. A hardware failure with an expansion card or the motherboard itself could be the cause of this beep code.

5 Beeps

Five beeps means there has been a processor error. A damaged expansion card, the CPU, or the motherboard could be prompting this AMI beep code.

6 Beeps

Six beeps means that there has been an 8042 Gate A20 test error. This beep code is usually caused by an expansion card that has failed or the motherboard that is no longer working.

7 Beeps

Seven beeps indicates a general exception error. This AMI beep code could be caused by an expansion card problem, a motherboard hardware issue, or a damaged CPU. Replacing the faulty hardware usually fixes the cause of this beep code.

8 Beeps

Eight beeps means that there has been an error with the display memory. This beep code is usually caused by a faulty video card. Replacing the video card usually clears this up.
Jul 22, 2012 05:38 AM #3
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


Oh wow, I never knew any of that until I read Erv's comment. Sounds like it's time for a full backup!

Jul 22, 2012 05:45 AM #4
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Barbara - Nope, no one shows up.

Barbara - If we had a doorbell, I might have done that.

Erv - Thank you. Now, if I only knew what you meant by what you said. I am SO non-techie - it's all like a foreign langauge.

Richard - Yes, I dropped Carbonite after I tried to install the backup onto this new computer and it didn't work. (Not even after an hour wiht their tech support person.)  Now I need to go buy an external hard drive to back up on my own.

Jul 22, 2012 06:03 AM #5
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

My Toshiba laptop has an ECO mode that has a bell when I am in it for different functions...that's why I don't use it in ECO

Jul 22, 2012 06:19 AM #6
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Not sure what it is...but I had a few times where FB was in the background and someone was "beeping" me for chat. I didn't recognize that's what it was until later.

Jul 22, 2012 06:27 AM #7
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Wallace - I don't even know what ECO is or means. Could I get there by accident?

Debbie - It wasn't Facebook - I haven't gone there in many days.

Jul 22, 2012 08:15 AM #8
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