Desktop shorted?

By Bruff
May 1, 2008
  1. My 7 year old was trying to play Lego Star Wars on my computer last night. He told me he couldn't get the game controller plugged into the front USB. I was making dinner at the time so I told him to do something else if he couldn't get it working and I'd check on it later. So a bit later I go and try to see what the problem is. My oldest son has his Ipod plugged into the keyboard USB but it isn't charging. I try to plug it into a front slot an nothing. I shut down the computer and then it decides it won't start...

    The light keeps flashing on the power button as well as the light is flashing on the back ethernet port (which I don't use, it's set up for wireless) there is also a green light on what looks to be the motherboard that is on inside the case. I haven't taken it apart yet.

    I ask my son again what the problem was and he says that he couldn't
    get it plugged in to the front USB. He kept trying but it wouldn't go in.

    And it made some "snapping" sounds....

    I took a much closer look at the USB front port and it is rather crunched up. It's pretty obvious he was trying to force it in the wrong way. I'm afraid he crossed some contacts or something and shorted something out. He's only 7 and I really am trying hard to not kill him. But of course I should have helped him in the first place but he's done it OK before so I though it would be fine...

    Anyone have any idea how truly screwed I may be?
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Be aware that some words you use can have legal consequences
    If anything were to happen to that 7yo, guess who's No.1 suspect now.

    Regarding the damaged front USB connector.

    Inside your computer, the front USB connector plugs into the Motherboard.
    It is usually a black block connector, with one corner pin not used.
    Whilst the computer is off. Unplug the Front USB Connector from the Motherboard (you should see the letters USB on the Motherboard near this connector as well.

    Unplug the USB. And try turning on again.


    Refer to your Motherboard or computer manual, for:
    Side cover removal
    Connector locations
    AntiStatic and power precautions
  3. Bruff

    Bruff TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    Thanks for the reply. I'll give it a shot. And i won't really kill him...honest. He's a pretty sensitive boy and he knows i was ticked off good. I didn't even yell at him but knowing I was mad he was almost on the verge of tears already. i knew if i let loose he'd turn into a bit of a wreck for a little bit.
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Bruff don't "let loose"
    It's a computer, who cares if the whole thing blows up. The 7yo is a tad more important!
    Accidents happen. For a 7yo, guess what, it's an accident.
    If anything it's your fault, for not sitting right next to him at the time.

    Here's my recommendation:
    Apologize to the boy. Accidents happen, it's not his fault. And he's still way more important than a computer.

    Who knows, doing this may save your life one day !
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