to commonly asked questions.

3 beeps equal bad ram.

Hi Scotty – computer will not turn on.  It has a black screen and beeps 3 consecutive times, over and over.
What I've read regarding it, it is the RAM?   Something I can do?


You are correct about the ram.  There are many ways to go about solving the issue and there are a few possibilities.  The most likely culprit is the ram.  (thus the 3 beeps).  At the bottom of the computer there is a panel that you can remove with a phillips screw driver.  This will reveal the two slots where the new ram is installed.  There are two plastic tabs you can pull downward to remove the ram.  Then reseat the ram by pushing it back up.  If one of the chips is bad, you can discover this by leaving only one in and restarting the machine.  However this is where the actual slots themselves must also be considered.  If it's not the ram but instead the actual slots, then the ram may work in one slot but not the other.  This means you must go through a process of elimination until you come up with a reliable combination where you get the 3 beeps error consistently.  

ram chip 1 in slot 1
ram chip 1 in slot 2
ram chip 2 in slot 1
ram chip 2 in slot 2

By methodically going through this process, you can usually identify which is the problem.  I'm guessing since, in your case, you just added ram recently, it's most likely a bad piece of ram.  However, is usually very reliable ram.  But it's not unheard of.  The good news is, once you've determined which piece of ram is the problem, you can leave the other one in and allow the computer to run while you have the bad piece  replaced by  

Now for the bad news.  If the ram beeping error is inconsistent then it will take a very long time to find a reliable combination of what ram in what slot that may actually cause the problem.  Ram is made up of sectors and it's common for bad ram to work normally until the bad sector is eventually needed by a particular piece of software.  In other words, it could take some time.  
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