Dear Computer Lady,
I was bragging to my son (in his 50’s) about being on your news list and how much I enjoyed it, and what a great help you are to so many people.
He responded that he couldn’t sign up because his computer is down. He says he turns it on and it just beeps and will not boot up.
Can you advise him on what he could try to get it going.
Would appreciate any help you can give.
Ellen from Michigan
This sounds like a hardware problem. The exact nature of the problem can usually be determined by the type of beeps.
If the beeps are long and continuous, it would indicate a RAM problem and can sometimes be fixed by opening up the computer, taking out the RAM sticks and re-inserting them. This is referred to as reseating the RAM.
You would need to make sure you take anti-static precautions before putting your hands inside your computer (to protect the computer, not your hands) and obviously you would need to know what a stick of RAM looks like.
If the beeps are in a one long and three short beep pattern, this usually indicates a video problem, which would be harder/more costly to fix.
If your son is not comfortable doing this, find a local computer shop like mine and have them diagnose and fix the computer.
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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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