My computer beeps and the Num lock and Caps lock key are flashing (SOLVED)

After my computer is switched on for a short while, the Num and Caps lock keys start flashing and there are beeps coming from the keyboard,
I shut the computer down for a while and restarted and the same happened again.
Do I have a serious problem and can I sort it.
I also noticed recently that my battery power stays around 79%, last night I left it charging all night and the light on the front indicated it was full charged so I switched off at the wall. When I started this evening the power showed 78% ??
I only use the computer at home, either upstairs or down, would I be better removing the battery ??

Don Watson

Flashing keyboard lights indicate a kernel panic

You could certainly try removing the battery.

Have you recently had a kernel update ? … have you tried booting an earlier kernel ? … do you know how ?

Hi Mark,
I removed the battery this morning and started my Linux machine.
After logging on I went to Software Updater and downloaded updates.
After I signed again the machine downloaded a big update and I had to shut down and restart the machine.
After a couple of minutes the beeps and flashing lights started again. :cry:

I don’t know if I had a recent kernel update, but I think this mornings update may have done that. (the problem appeared before that)
… I have not tried booting to an earlier kernel.
… I don’t know how :-[ (on earlier machines I dual booted and when I chose Linux it showed an option of the earlier kernels to boot to)

Turn on the PC and as soon as the manufacturer logo screen disappears hit and hold the Shift key

you should eventually be shown the GRUB menu

use the down arrow to move to “Previous versions” and hit enter

then pick a kernel a few ago … and NOT a line that ends with “(recovery mode)”

then hit enter to boot that chosen kernel.

Hi Mark,
I carried out the above advice and the Grub menu comes up almost immediately.
When I choose ‘Advanced options’ I get a list of options going back to Version 32 something.
The top one Version 49 is highlighted so I chose Version 48 and pressed ‘Enter’
The machine has started and I have signed in and imported some images from the SD card in the camera.
After 7 minutes the beeps etc. have started again. :cry:
Will I try going down the list until I hit a stable version (ie one that doesn’t beep etc.) ?

Hi Mark,
I have worked down the list to 3.13.0-32 generic and the beeps etc. are still there after 5 minutes or so ?

It’s strange it runs for a while before the problem starts

If you’re not already doing so run with the power adaptor connected ? it maybe the battery is flat even though it’s reporting 79% charged

it may also be overheating does it feel hotter than normal ? can you hear the fan running ?

or it could be a hardware issue and I’m not really qualified to advise you on this but I would advise if you have anything important on the laptop to get it off now while you can because you might be facing a corrupt or failing hard drive ?

Once you’ve secured any important data you could try running a live session to see if the same problems occurs it may help tell us something

Hopefully Mark or someone smarter than me can advise you better regarding the actual problem

Good luck


As Emegra said, it could be a kernel panic due to hardware fault.
You could start with installing linux-crashdump then making the kernel dump memory to disk.
Read this topic and see if you can make use of it.

Sorry guys,
I have just spent a long time on a reply to you both and have lost it all due to the way I use this blxxdy Windross system
I am off to cool down

Thanks for the help chaps :slight_smile:
@ Emerga, I removed the battery this morning. The machine doesn’t seem hotter than normal and I’m not sure if I felt or heard the fan running.
@ SeZo, I have had a look at at that topic but don’t understand very much about what is going on. I have installed linux-crashdump, but I don’t know where to put the USE KDUMP=1 command. There is a USE KDUMP=0 in the file, do I change that to =1 ?
Sorry again chaps, I have done all this on the spare computer I have and will need to start up the offending machine to sort it out.
I am feeling a bit out at the moment so will try later.
Thanks again guys

Things to check

Cut the OS out of the equation … if you boot the PC and just leave it at the BIOS or GRUB menu screen … does it still crash after a while ?

You could try running a memory test from the GRUB menu

You might even want to try disconnecting the HDD and booting from a LiveCD/LiveUSB and seeing if it crashes.

From here on I’m afraid it’s a process of elimination…

Thanks Mark,
I will see what happens today.
I believe it is a hardware problem as I can’t feel any hot air from the vent. I think the fan has given up. I don’t feel any excessive heat from the computer as it is not on long before the problem starts and I shut down.
Novatech were unhelpful as they can’t deal with problem computers unless they are running Windows, this in spite of them supplying a bare bone computer that ‘you can install your prefered OS on’. This the main reason for buying Novatech ?

take care
Don W
I tried your first suggestion and booted to the BIOS screen. After 7 minutes the problem started again. So I suspect the problem is a hardware one, probably the fan has given up :cry:

Hi Mark,
I tried your suggestion of booting to BIOS and the problem occurred again.
So the OS does not affect it, I think
I then took the plate off the bottom of the computer, blew the fan out and replaced the plate.
I then booted to the Grub menu and ran a memory test (it took about 20 minutes) and it was ok.
I have left the machine running and now have put this reply on.
It is ok at the moment but I wlll boot the computer when I get back later and see how it performs.

take care
Don W

Great news (I’ll keep my fingers crossed) :slight_smile: