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Yesterday my laptop was running okay. I started it up, restarted it again to refresh it from hibernation, then ran Windows Update (just security updates).

After it restarted following the updates it got to the Windows Boot Manager screen (dual-boot) but the machine was beeping rapidly, then went into a restart loop, doing the same thing over and over again until I turned it off holding the power button.

The day before I was having a problem with drag and drop and some menus. Drag and drop didn't work and menus didn't show up or kept disappearing, and it seemed to be fixed after logging out and logging back in, but kept reoccurring every so often.

Because of this, I thought the escape key might be stuck or there might be something underneath it, so I cleaned out the keyboard but no change.

I checked sites on the internet and I don't think its a BIOS beep code because the beeps that come out aren't intelligible like a slow "beep, beep, beep", but a fast constant stream of "beepbeepbeepbeepbeep" like an alarm. All the beeps are the same tone.

The laptop is a Dell Inspiron 1545 from 2009. There is no battery in it, it just runs off the charger only. Any ideas on what could be the issue? Could it be related to the charger? Something more serious?

Process:

  1. Fans spin at power on. Dell logo shows up and blue progress bar completes
  2. Constant stream of beeps start (with no error message)
  3. Computer gets to Windows Boot manager at the same time
  4. Computer restarts and repeats the process
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Here's my professional opinion, especially since I've had a bit of experience with this model. The issue is likely hardware, I'd bet money on it. I've only experienced 3 things that cause incessant beeping like you mention.

~ Stuck Keyboard Key > Beeping comes from repetitive/too many key strokes. Usually this means stalling at startup but I wouldn't discount a reboot.

~ Bad MOBO > I've never had video AND had a beep code. So I don't think this is your situation.

~ Missing/Loose RAM > This also typically results in no video, but incessant beeping. Also not why I think your experiencing.

I would double check that each key operates correctly by booting to a live OS. There's hundreds of free options out there. You can further attempt to diagnose the keyboard by simply disconnecting the keyboard ribbon (on this models it's just a few screws and push tabs) and seeing if the beeping stops and/or using an external keyboard.

  • Thanks for your response. I won't be able to create a live CD/USB tonight as I only have access to a tablet right now, but at least we know it's not likely to be related to the RAM/motherboard because there was video output on the screen. What do you think about it being related to the charger? Could the charger have gone bad? I will update here when I'm able to test a live OS. Thank you. – user1092719 May 17 '15 at 20:43
  • Not likely. The charger is an all or nothing deal. Seeing as how you don't have a battery in it, then I don't see it having any other source of power. If there was an issue with the power cord then it would be because its not a DELL certified adapter (which is an actual thing). But That would only result in 1 beep, a message that your not using a DELL adapter and your computer would still boot but your battery may/may not charge correctly. – BiTinerary May 17 '15 at 21:02
  • Haven't been able to get a live OS CD/USB but I have been able to get it onto the F12 boot device menu, and get into the BIOS settings. I put in my Windows 7 retail DVD and used F12 to boot. It got past "Windows is loading files", and the "Starting Windows" animation. It showed the blue wallpaper and mouse cursor, and for half a second the first setup window, then that seemed to close and the computer just restarted. To me this further suggests a stuck key, probably escape. Do you know for sure if escape or any keys will exit out of the setup on the first screen? – user1092719 May 18 '15 at 18:17
  • No I don't know for sure. If you can't make any Live OS CD or USB than I suggest disconnecting the internal Keyboard (less than 10 minutes and almost any regular screw driver) and seeing what the reaction is from there. Also your computer could also be overheating, which would explain the shutdown after a few seconds/minutes of use. That doesn't explain the beeping or windows automatically closing though. Does the system seem to shutdown more quickly after several back to back restarts? – BiTinerary May 18 '15 at 18:28
  • It doesn't seem to shutdown any more quickly. And for instance, when I had it on the BIOS screen, I was there for 2 mins before shutting off manually. When I tried the DVD, it was loading for 4 mins, then once it got to a stage where input would be accepted, the window closed, the wallpaper stayed and I was able to move the mouse for a second until reboot. Then Windows from the HD just beeps as soon as it gets to boot manager and restarts. So I wouldn't think it's something serious like overheating, the beeping/restarts seem to happen when input is wanted. BTW no beeping on menu/BIOS/DVD. – user1092719 May 18 '15 at 18:43

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