Monday, July 30, 2012

Tech Support from the Trenches: Computer Beeping on Startup

For this particular problem, I'm going to cut right to the chase, because DAMN, that beeping is annoying, isn't it?

Symptoms of this problem:

- You are using a LSI MegaRAID 9260-4i card (confirmed) or potentially -8i (unconfirmed)
- On startup, computer makes LOUD beeping noise - 1 second beeps, continuously, starting midway through the boot process
- Computer DOES boot into OS (still beeping)
- In Windows, you cannot see your RAID array, either in Windows Explorer or in Disk Manager

Other things that may, but probably don't, matter:
- OS: Windows 7x64
- Lenovo S20 Workstation
- RAID array configured as RAID 0

What's (probably) going on: 
For whatever reason, the RAID controller card could not see one or more of the disks in your RAID array for some period of time - it could be cables got jostled (were you just poking around in the tower?), or that the firmware is not up to date (according to LSI tech support - I have not tested this myself). Because of this, the unseen drives were declared "unconfigured bad." You need to fix this in the controller BIOS. If you do this properly, no data will be lost (and ain't that a fine thing?).


Unfortunately, you will have to endure the beeping while you complete the below. It will stop after you import the "foreign" configuration.

1. Power up and press Ctrl+H to enter the RAID controller BIOS.

2. Select your RAID array from the start screen menu. For you lucky people with more than one RAID array, make sure you know which one you're selecting (although it will be obvious later if you haven't selected the right one). Press Start.

Sorry - no screen caps at the BIOS level. 

3. On the homepage, you should see that one or more drives are marked in black and declared "FOREIGN" and "unconfigured bad". There should also be corresponding "missing" drives marked in red.

4. Click on "Drives" on the left-hand side.

5. Select a drive marked as bad (Select in top window and click Properties>Go). There are radio buttons on the bottom of the screen where you can change the status from "unconfigured bad" to "unconfigured good".

6. Go back to the home screen. If you've done everything right, you should see the drives you edited at the bottom in blue. The problem drives will still appear as missing - that's fine.

7. Click on Scan Devices. You should see a screen offering to import foreign configurations. In the drop-down, select "All configurations" and hit "Preview".

Holy glare, Batman.
8. Check the configuration it shows you to make sure it matches your original RAID configuration. (IMPORTANT: If the configuration is NOT exactly your original config, do not import it. There is a high probability that doing so will erase all your data.) On the other hand, if it does match exactly (and there's no reason it shouldn't), no data will be lost, which is pretty nifty when you think about the way RAID arrays work. 

9. If everything matches, click "Import". (Beeping should stop at this point.)

10. Exit the controller BIOS and restart your computer.

Did this work for you? If it did, help some other folks out and leave a comment with your system specs, anything you did differently, etc. The internet will thank you.

Contents of this post courtesy of time spent at TechnoFrolics, which is a very cool company and you should go check them out.


  1. You can mute that alarm by clicking on speaker icon in Megaraid Webios.

  2. Hi! My OS did not load after doing this. Am I just missing something?