Aha!

Pilot fish is helping a friend deal with some problems in the PC he uses for his home business -- and the most pressing one is that the PC starts beeping non-stop as soon as he turns it on.

"We reboot the computer and, sure enough, a steady beep begins to emanate from the built-in speaker on this desktop PC," says fish. "There are no error messages reported by the BIOS or operating system, and it seems to be performing normally other than this constant beeping."

Fish looks up the beep codes on the motherboard manufacturer's website. The site lists power supply issues and bad memory as possible causes for a constant beep code. This computer doesn't seem to be suffering from any of the other effects fish would expect to see if either of those root causes were true, but he decides to shut down and crack the case to investigate.

He unplugs the PS/2 keyboard and the many USB peripherals, then opens the case, reseats the memory and double-checks all the power connections.

The computer was plugged into a UPS, so in case that's somehow the problem, fish bypasses the UPS and plugs the PC directly into the wall.

Then he begins plugging peripherals back in -- and it suddenly occurs to him that the keyboard seems way too modern to be a PS/2 keyboard. He traces the cable from the keyboard back and, sure enough, it's USB.

Sighs fish, "On closer investigation, I realize that my friend has been using an old PS/2 keyboard turned keys-down as a keyboard stand to get his USB keyboard at his desired typing angle. He had just recently cleaned the desk and re-plugged everything, including his 'keyboard stand,' back into the PC. Beeping computer resolved..."

Turn your keyboard right side up and send Sharky your story. Email your true tale of IT life to me at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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