MSI Motherboard Beeps on Boot
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
What do you think about this "amazing" feature from MSI?
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.