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Old 03-02-2018, 11:17 AM   #1
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My brother has a Lenovo desktop running Windows 10. Everything seemed to be running OK, and he wanted to copy some photos from his Caterpillar Android phone to the computer. He plugged it in using a USB cable, and the keyboard stopped working.

Trying to sort this out, none of his USB ports are working, top, front, back - nothing. I have found several similar incidents on the Internet forums, but have not found anyone who could fix it with software. Apparently the hardware on the motherboard needs repair.

We decided we would get him a new iMac computer, and transfer his old data. The files are on the computer drive (Drive c:), and also on a File History external drive.

Several options that might help - when he turns on the computer, he needs to get to the login screen so he can input his password - but with neither keyboard or mouse, he can't get to the screen to enter a password - and even if he could, he has no way to type in the password.

I thought maybe we could use a ps/2 keyboard and mouse, as others have done that, but his Lenovo doesn't have the round connectors to plug anything into.

I've been thinking that we could somehow "break into" the computer using the Ethernet port, which should be easy since we have the login-name and password, but I have no idea how to go about this.


The current plan is to get an external drive, formatted in ExFat format, so it works on Windows and Mac, and pay someone to copy over his user partition on the Lenovo drive, then connect that drive to the iMac, and copy the folder to the iMac. After this, we would re-format the external drive to OSX Extended, Journaled, and use it for a Time Machine backup drive on the iMac.


I find it hard to accept that there is NO way to gain access to the Windows desktop other than the USB connectors (which no longer work). Every way I've thought of comes up blank - not possible.

Just for the record, I can't get the computer into Safe Mode, as with no keyboard and mouse, I have no way to do that - or maybe there is some trick I don't yet know.

He has already purchased the iMac. Does anyone here have a suggestion on how we can gain access to his user area in drive C ?

(If some computer thug can break into a person's Windows computer, not knowing a user name or password, there must be some kind of tech tool that we could use, since we already have his user name and password.... but without getting the computer to pay attention to what we're doing, and respond, we're stuck! )

Thanks in advance for any help. Nobody I have yet asked has any idea how to do it, and they're as amazed as I am that killing the USB as he apparently did, will turn his computer into a brick.....
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Old 03-03-2018, 01:53 AM   #2
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The Keyboard still works in the Bios.
Restart the computer and press F1 or F2 at bootup continually to enter Setup (Bios). Go to Integrated Peripherals. Look for Legacy USB. If it is disabled, using the Arrow and Enter key Enable it.
If this fails then shut down the computer, unplug the power, open the side of the case and remove the coin sized CMOS battery. Restart the computer without the battery in. It will complain and tell you to press F1 to continue. Shut down computer and replace Battery. Restart. You will need to reset the Time and Data in the Bios as that would have set it back to Default.
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:57 AM   #3
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Thanks, but we tried the first part of what you said. Since the keyboard isn't working, pressing a function key had no effect.
  • I was wondering if there was a way to "break in" using the Ethernet connection.
  • I was wondering if there was a way to add old-style keyboard with the round connector.
  • I was wondering if I could add a card that would provide USB.

I don't know enough to do the first of these, and I don't think it's possible to do the others.

I suspect that something is damaged on the motherboard, and the only way they might be able to get it going again, is send the thing off to Lenovo. (Current plan is to somehow get the user data off the hard drive, and move it to the iMac. I'm pretty sure I can do that, but I haven't given up yet on fixing the Lenovo. Maybe they sell some kind of DVD with testing utilities on it, which can check the computer automatically???)
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Old 03-03-2018, 10:51 AM   #4
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Even if there was a DVD with testing utilities on it, you would need to press the keyboard or mouse to access it.
Right after you start the computer, on the Lenovo Splash screen, press the F1 or F2 Function keys to enter Setup (Bios)
If that does not work, then Reset the Bios as outlined in Quote #2. Where you remove the CMOS battery (see attached)
If you just want to access the data, then you can pull the HDD out of the computer and attach it to a working computer using a USB-SATA adapter, Dock or Enclosure.
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Old 03-03-2018, 02:07 PM   #5
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Thanks again, they are having a shop transfer the "user" part of the drive onto the iMac (or onto an external drive).

I'm way to stubborn to give up on anything, and I find it very hard to accept that a USB error like this can pretty much kill a whole PC.

If it really is a hardware issue, as others have found on their computers, then there is no fix other than repairing the motherboard (assuming that is where the USB control components are).

All he did is plug in an Android phone. He may have clicked on something on the next screen, I'm not sure, but I can't accept that this would kill his computer.


As to removing the battery and re-setting the BIOS, how would that in any way correct what is broken with the USB ports? It's easy enough to do, but when he turns the computer back on, he won't be able to press the F1 key to tell it to continue.


I think that someone who is a lot more experienced at this than I am, could use a device that would connect to the Ethernet port, and "break in", which should be easy as we have the user name and password.


You seem very good at this - if I took it apart, is there "something" on the Motherboard that we could replace with a new "something" from Lenovo, or should I just accept that the thing is permanently dead, unless we send the Motherboard off for repair. (...which would probably cost more than a 4 or 5 year old consumer Desktop PC is worth anyway).
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Old 03-03-2018, 02:53 PM   #6
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I just had a customers computer that had the same problem you did last night. Keyboard and Mouse worked when starting the computer and was able to access the Bios screen, but was not able to use the keyboard in the Bios or in Windows.
I solved it by Resetting the Bios to defaults by Removing the CMOS battery. When the computer started I was able to access the Bios and use the keyboard there again. However, the keyboard and mouse still didn't work in Windows and I ended up having to reinstall Windows once the keyboard worked in the Bios.
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Old 03-03-2018, 06:18 PM   #7
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So you're suggesting remove the battery on the motherboard, which will reset the BIOS. At that point the keyboard will be working, but not when Windows 10 tries to start.

That brings things back to the same point though - to get into Windows 10 Safe Mode, so things can be repaired, he will need to type in his password, and then be able to use the keyboard and mouse.

You have gotten further than any other reports I have read. From what you say, apparently it is a software issue, not hardware.

Once the keyboard and mouse worked with the BIOS, how did you re-install Windows without damaging your customer's files, without having the use of keyboard/mouse??
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Old 03-03-2018, 07:35 PM   #8
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No, I am not saying that!!
That was that computer I worked on last night, not yours. The computer I worked on last night was a special case.
What I am saying is that by removing the battery, it will Reset the Bios back to Defaults. At that point it should work. This has worked on many computers. This takes about 5 minutes. All the time we have spent talking about it, you could have fixed it by now.
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Old 03-04-2018, 05:57 AM   #9
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Thanks; I mis-understood.

The last sentence you wrote - not quite, as the computer is two and a half hours away from me, not to mention I can't travel for another few weeks, and the computer is now at a shop where someone is transferring the user data to an iMac.

Guaranteed that when I get back up there, I will try what you wrote. I'll leave feedback here as whether or not it worked.


Just to be sure I understand you, I think you're suggesting that by re-setting the BIOS, the USB problem might be fixed?
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Old 03-04-2018, 06:02 AM   #10
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Is this what you are thinking?

http:https://smallbusiness.chron.com/turn-usb-port-bios-53618.html//
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Old 03-04-2018, 07:02 AM   #11
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Reset CMOS as has been described. If this doesn't reset the USB controller, and none of the ports still don't work, we could be looking at a fried USB controller. No software utility can fix that, and attempting to find and replace the dead component(s) on the motherboard is not practical to me, considering the sheer number and varying sizes and complexity of components! It could be as "simple" as replacing a single micro fuse, if you can locate it first, or as complex as replacing the north bridge! A faulty usb cable can short-circuit a series of tiny components on the board, not severly enough to kill the board completely, but enough to render ALL onboard USB ports dead.

You can install a PCI or PCIe to USB or PCI to PS/2 or PCI to both PS/2 and USB expansion card if you can find one that doesn't require dedicated drivers. PCIe to USB 3.x cards will often require installation of drivers before it works, so those will not help you much. Older PCI to USB 2.0 or PCI to PS/2 are most likely to use a generic driver included in Windows, hence no need to drivers installation, but this I cannot guarantee.

Using a LAN connection to access the data on the drive will STILL require setup in the OS, regardless of the operating system, and this would still need user input via at least a keyboard, so that's kind of a fantasy, unless Windows or some other third party software such as TeamViewer had already been configured for unattended remote connection.
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Old 03-04-2018, 07:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stancestans View Post
.....A faulty usb cable can short-circuit a series of tiny components on the board, not severly enough to kill the board completely, but enough to render ALL onboard USB ports dead......

What you just wrote sounds like a very plausible explanation. He has copied from the phone in the past, and I find it difficult to accept that Caterpillar's Android phones are defective that way. I have no idea where the USB cable came from, and I know from my own past experiences that some are not so good. If the cable went bad, then everything else follows.

Either the shop that is transferring his data from the Windows drive to the Mac can try these ideas now, or I can do it when I'm able to travel again and go back to see him - probably in a month or so.

If what you describe is what happened, he will most likely dump the computer. It's not worth all that work to fix, not to mention I doubt if anyone near him would know how to do the testing.

Last question - is there any simple way to test a USB cable? The safe thing would be to put it in the trash, but it would be nice to verify what's wrong. (I guess I should pay a lot more attention to which USB cables I use myself - never really thought about what you've described.)
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Old 03-04-2018, 08:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeMyers View Post
Last question - is there any simple way to test a USB cable? The safe thing would be to put it in the trash, but it would be nice to verify what's wrong. (I guess I should pay a lot more attention to which USB cables I use myself - never really thought about what you've described.)
I too have had nasty experiences with usb cables, and I avoid buying them online. I prefer walk-in stores or over the counter and demand it be tested using their own test devices before it touches mine, and as soon as a cable starts to show unreliability or bulges and breakpoints, I get a replacement ASAP. I learned the hard way when a bad cable, straight out of the box, killed a week-old smartphone and the PC's front panel usb port it was connected to! I don't know of any test equipment, but now that you've mentioned it, perhaps someone has already thought about creating such a device, like the one I absent-mindedly use to test network cables, like this one here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...charger-tester. That page was just a quick Google search away and I can't vouch for whatever is written on it, but it isn't difficult to imagine the existence of such a device. Bad cables are a very real problem, especially with so many unbranded and counterfeits in the market!
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Old 03-04-2018, 10:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
the computer is now at a shop where someone is transferring the user data to an iMac.
You did not need to bring it to a shop to do this, as stated, all you needed was to remove the HDD from the computer and hook it up to an iMac with a USB-SATA adapter, Dock or Enclosure. .
While the troubled comptuer is in the shop, you should ask them to Reset the Bios (ie) remove the CMOS battery.
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Old 03-04-2018, 10:52 AM   #15
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Hey, I agree with you, but I'm not there, it's not my computer, I have no control over what is happening, and my relative doesn't know anything about computers. Yes, I suggested they ask the shop to try this out, but now that they already have bought the iMac, they just want to get their new iMac back. There's a lot more to the story.... Anything is easy to someone who already knows how to do it, but my relative knows nothing beyond what he has to do for email, documents, or photos. I suspect the shop isn't really into "fixing" things.


On the one hand, I want to help. I also want to understand what might have happened. As I wrote in my original post "Thanks in advance for any help. Nobody I have yet asked has any idea how to do it, and they're as amazed as I am that killing the USB as he apparently did, will turn his computer into a brick....."

You guys have given me two reasonable scenarios, a problem with the cable, and a problem with the BIOS settings because of the USB cable. I very much appreciate that.
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Old 03-04-2018, 11:03 AM   #16
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Your relative doesn't have to Know anything about computers, but the shop is only going to do what you ask them to do, Your relative has to ask them to try and fix the computer that is in their shop, or they won't do it. If they are a computer shop that isn't really into "Fixing" things, then they shouldn't be in business.
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Old 03-04-2018, 12:09 PM   #17
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He won't ask them to do this, even though it's such a simple thing to check. He is worried that if he asks them to do anything right now, it will delay getting his iMac back, which he needs to do for personal reasons no later than Tuesday - or he won't be able to get it back for two weeks.

To me, if they tried that simple thing, and if it worked, there would be no need to do anything with the iMac. Problem solved. He could return the iMac. Anyway, I understand you, and I agree.

About the shop - I'm frustrated by so many places that used to "know", and nowadays they just "sell". I used to go into a camera shop and talk to people who knew photography. Now all they deal with is instant-stuff, press the button and here's your photo. Ditto for many things in life. The real computer shops I used to go to are all gone. Now I guess I could bring something to a "Best Buy", and watch them make a mess of it the way they did to this Lenovo when all my brother wanted was a second video output for two monitors.

I've got a Lenovo laptop (love it). I took it to the Lenovo factory service center in Miami, and they told me they can't work on it. So, it's going back to Lenovo for a few repairs. I assume they'll know enough to fix it correctly.... but even then I have doubts. Long story. Sorry for getting off topic. And thanks for all the advice!!!!
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Old 03-04-2018, 07:01 PM   #18
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Once his data is backed up to the iMac, he can get that back, then he just needs to leave the troubled computer there until they fix it.
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Old 03-05-2018, 05:41 AM   #19
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I have a better idea. I intend to ask him to put it in a closet, and not touch it. I'm recovering from surgery, and his wife will be too, as of this week. As soon as they are ready, I want to visit, and one of the things I'll do is either try out your ideas there, and see if I can bring it back to life.

My plan is to disconnect the hard drive, which should cause it to boot into the BIOS. First question, does the keyboard work then? Next, remove the battery and replace, as you suggested. Check again for keyboard working... Then, look for something in the BIOS regarding USB and make sure it is "on" (as per the article I posted a link to). After that, re-connect the hard drive, and see if it boots.

If the guys at the shop didn't mess up the drive, it should at least boot to the same point it used to. If the keyboard is working, I'll be able to log on. Presumably the mouse would also be working. At that point he can use it, put it in storage, give it away, or throw it out. Up to him. I will come back to this forum, and leave a final report.
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Old 03-05-2018, 03:08 PM   #20
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