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Can broken USB ports cause the system drive to go bad?


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#1
dkwelch

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I have a Lenovo ThinkPad, purchased 11/09. A month/month and a half ago, two of my USB ports broke within about two weeks of each other. I use my USB ports routinely but far from excessively. The first one broke when I accidentally tried to plug something in backwards and (inexplicably) got no resistance. I have no idea how the second one broke. I came down to the kitchen one morning to find a piece of the USB port sitting next to the computer. I had a functioning third USB port and couldn't take the time then to get the broken ports fixed. Several weeks later (11 days ago), I went to turn on my computer (which had otherwise been functioning perfectly) and got only the black start-up screen (which says ThinkPad, Intel, etc.). The computer would never boot up, and all I could do from this point was a hard shut down. Lenovo tech support had us try several things (I recall a static discharge being one thing), but when nothing worked, he said it sounded like we needed a new system board. We sent off the computer, and sure enough, we need a new system board. I don't dispute that. Here's the problem I have... Lenovo is telling me that the USB ports breaking is what led to the system board going bad. They have flat out refused to provide any further explanation, and I'm having a hard time understanding how USB ports physically breaking weeks prior has anything to do with a system board going bad. I have learned (not from Lenovo) that my USB ports are connected to the system board, so if you need new USB ports, you have to get a new system board, but this is a different question. Lenovo is saying that the system board replacement doesn't fall under the warranty because the problem originated with the USB ports (which aren't covered). So... Can broken USB ports cause the system drive to go bad?
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#2
DaffyKantReed

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Lenovo is saying that the system board replacement doesn't fall under the warranty because the problem originated with the USB ports (which aren't covered). So... Can broken USB ports cause the system drive to go bad?



Damaged USB ports can do a great deal of damage, as you've seen.

It seems to me the mainboard should be covered under warranty, as should the USB ports themselves. If the damage was an accident on your part, then no, it would not be covered.
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#3
dkwelch

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I should have asked this question more explicitly in my original post... HOW does a broken USB port cause a system board to go bad? I just don't see the connection.
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#4
deggitt

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hi, look carefully inside the two broken sockets. do you see the four contacts floating with no support. they are possibly bent and/or touching each other or the socket casing. as the two outer contacts carry power and the inner carry data if they touch this could be the cause. perhaps some one by accident plugged a device in the wrong way without realising the socket was already broken?.
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#5
dkwelch

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I don't have the computer (Lenovo does), but yes, the support in the two USB ports is missing. One I pulled out by plugging in something backwards, as you suggested. The other just fell out (which makes me wonder about the physical integrity of the support in the first one). But what I'm really wondering is whether or not this is responsible for the system board (not drive, as I erroneously put in my subject) going bad. And if so, HOW?
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#6
deggitt

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hi, one way to destroy mobo. components is to short out a power line on the board ie: +power contact # 1 on the usb socket. this could take out the usb controller and/or the 5v supply components. not knowing the state of the broken port contacts it is hard to know.


Pin Name Cable color Description
1 VCC Red +5 VDC
2 D- White Data -
3 D+ Green Data +
4 GND Black Ground
Pin x of mini-USB connector may be not connected, connected to GND or used as attachment identification at some portable devices.
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