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Old 10-10-2006, 10:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy My PC gets stuck at the intro screen - could a broken USB port be the culprit?

Hi All,

So a few weeks ago as I was trying to connect my digital camera to its happy li'l usb port, the computer randomly restarted itself. After that the usb port wasn't working, so I tried a different one and that wasn't working either. Then the computer shut itself off, completely randomly, although it was probably still while i was fiddling with the usb ports. When I try to restart it, it now gets stuck at the Gateway intro screen. It'll boot til there, and then it just sits...and sits...

I took a look at the usb ports (3) and indeed, one of them is totally broken. The black card is gone (couldn't find it on the floor - no clue where it went!) and a couple of the prongs are bent.

I haven't done much with the computer recently, but I'm realizing that I'd like to make sure my hard drive is okay, and the easiest way would be for me to diagnose the problem myself and hopefully ease the cost of it getting fixed. I'm actually looking to switch to a mac, and if i can have a working computer with my working hard drive, that'll make the process of them transferring everything much easier.

Any help or thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Could my broken usb port really cause this? Is there anything I can do, or someone else can do for not too much money, to fix it?


The2aces is offline  
Old 10-10-2006, 11:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,349

well since you say the USB port is complete messed up, and the prongs and stuff are all bent... Id say yeah, the USB port probably caused your issue...

some of the USB prongs could have shorted out and caused your computer to Automatically shutdown(witch its sapost to do in such an event). Your HDD should not be damaged at all.. and most likely there is no damage to any of your components.(besides the USB Port of course).

if you can remove the pins from the USB port to stop them from shorting out, that may help.(make shur your comp is unpluged from the wall b4 doing so).

also you HDD is most likely not damaged, but if it cannot boot, there may just be file corruption or something with the Windows installation itself... you can try booting into safemode by pressing F8 Befor windows starts loading. (safemode loads no aftermarket components) so if that works there may just be a driver corruption or something.

...if it gives you a missing file error, that can be corrected with Recovery Console... if it just fails to boot completely, you may try a Repair install with the WIndows CD(not a full install, that would erase your data... just a Repair Intall witch only overrites windows system files).

jolancer is offline  
Old 10-11-2006, 09:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2

Thanks for the help.

I hesitate to remove the prongs from the usb port myself, since I'm really not a computer wiz - is that really a safe thing to do? Obviously I would have everything disconnected and be on a hard wood floor, but should I really just pull them out myself with a pair of pliers?

Anyone have any idea how much getting this looked at might cost?

The issue with starting in safe mode is that my comp won't boot past the Gateway screen. It won't even get to the windows screen where I'd have the ability to press F8 and boot in safe mode.

I'm comforted, however, that you think the problem could indeed be my usb port. I've been keeping my fingers crossed.

Any further thoughts are appreciated.
The2aces is offline  
Old 10-11-2006, 05:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,349

well i was never in such a situation... but i can imagine the USB port is small so it may be hard to remvoe the prongs... Since the port is already broke i assume you will never use it again and dont care if the prongs are permenantly removed.

there shouldnt be any issue in removing them, but there is an issue if the prongs remain there toughing each other and possibly shorting out.

as long as the computer is unpluged you have little to worry about, if you cant clip them off(witch i woudl imagine it would be hard to get a tool in there)... if you have small enough pliers to reach, dont pull them, but twist them back and forth so they become weak enough for you to snap them off easily.

Oh, i mixed up that part b4, i assumed you said windows loading screen, instead of 'Gateway' loading screen.... ok the Gateway screen is probably the Post screen at or befor BIOS. Reset your CMOS and try again.

if your manual doesnt show you how, these are the ways to do it... there also may be instructions for such things on the manufacturesr website, just for your own reference..

all motherboard have a CMOS battery(looks like a ~1" watch battery on your motherboard.) and most moterboards also have a 3pin jumper next to or nearby the Battery.

you need to unplug your computer from the wall outlet, then open the side of the case... locate the battery, and do 1 of these: to reset CMOS:

1) you can just remove the battery for a few seconds and put it back, that would reset it(do note; that if you do it this way, the battery needs to be facing the same way you pulled it out(dont flip it updside down)

2) or use the jumper(Only the CMOS reset jumper has 3pins in a row, so it cant be confused with any other jumpers) and the jumper is Default on pins (1,2). to reset it just remove the jumper and put it on pins (2,3) for a couple seconds and CMOS will then be Reset... then put it back on pins (1,2).

then Plug the comp back in and power up.... A CMOS Checksum error will apear(thats normal and happens just because the Date/time is reset).

....see if you can boot up normally after that.
jolancer is offline  
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