My ep121 is just a pretty screensaver now

Discussion in 'EP121 Slate' started by swb, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. swb

    swb Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hello everyone, I have a 64GB Windows 7 64bit home premium asus ep121 tablet. One of my usb drives stopped working, so I disabled (not uninstalled) the drivers for my usb drives, and clicked through the warning. I would just shutdown the computer and restart and the drivers would re-enable themselves, right? Wrong! _Both_ usb drives shut off, and the touchscreen stopped responding and the pen stopped working! I restarted: no change. As soon as windows 7 boots, all input stops immediately except for the buttons on the device itself. I started the computer in safe mode--difficult to do without peripherals--same thing happens. I've tried system restore. I've done the two button reset. I've pressed in the reset between the usb ports. The computer continues to boot up fine--minus input. I can even launch the onscreen keyboard, but the usb drives are stubbornly shut off.

    Most recently, I have been trying the repair disk I had made earlier per directions. I can get into the computer through the repair disk (the computer booting to the repair disk, whose files I've put on a flash drive, so the keyboard and mouse work in there), by navigating out of drive X as it is called, and into C. I can launch only a few kinds of programs in this very restricted environment: the cmd prompt for 32 bit (not the one for 64 bit), regedit, the calculator, and notepad. I opened up regedit as administrator, and found the keys which concern the usb drives. They were set all set to 4--off--I changed them to 0 or 1 and exited and restarted, now booting from C. Nothing had changed, peripherals were still dead, so I went back into regedit (as administrator), and found that the keys had reverted to 4! I've tried to use the cmd prompt (as admin) to change permissions and ownership in hope of making the changes stick--no success. I've run a couple of scripts for changing permissions which I downloaded off another computer and put in the flash drive. Again, nothing. The values can be changed, but revert as soon as I reboot.

    I have the recovery DVDs. But I can't stop thinking it's overkill to reinstall the OS simply because a driver is disabled! I think the first disc is the OS and the second is drivers.

    Questions: Is it possible to load and reinstall drivers using the second disc without having to reinstall the OS?
    Can the buttons on the machine be reprogrammed to move the cursor? (So I can re-enable the drivers that way.)
    Is there some other way to change permissions? (So I can re-enable the usb drivers.)
    Is there some other way to get my drivers working again?

    Any help you can give is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I think this may be a bug in the Windows boot loader. It seems other people have had this problem...but MS support is useless as usual.

    If you can, do a system restore. If not, you can try an OS repair via booting from Windows install image.

    Failing that, well, system wipes on my EP121(s) have almost become therapeutic, I do them so often...haha. :D
     
  3. TheDrake

    TheDrake Pen Pal - Newbie

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    you could try booting with a WinPE pen and then loading the local hive with regedit, I never tried but there might be a way to enable the devices through it.
     
  4. swb

    swb Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for the suggestions so far.
    Marty, neither system restore nor OS repair got me anywhere.
    TheDrake, I'll have to try that. But the way the registry reverts after reboot doesn't have me too hopeful.
    I'll explain a little better how I can get in at all even in the repair environment. I put in the disc (actually I've loaded its contents on a flash drive) and it loads the repair utility. I click through the language dialog box, and get the dialog which has me select which OS to repair. On that same second dialog is a button which says "load drivers." I click that, a browse window launches, and I can navigate wherever I want in drive X (the repair disc) or C, but can _do_ almost nothing, except open a notepad, open cmd prompt in system32 (remember it's a 64bit machine), and launch regedit. And I can start the calculator.
    I wonder if ports and drivers can be enabled through cmd prompt?
    What's on that second recovery disk? I suspect it's drivers, but don't want to unintentionally do a clean install to find out.
    My sd port works. Is there a dongle adapter which allows a ps/2 mouse to be plugged into the sd port?
    Can a batch file be written which automatically executes (re-enabling the usb ports) when I put in the sd card?

    More ideas please!
     
  5. rbv

    rbv Pen Pal - Newbie

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    A couple points:

    • "system32" directory on a 64 bit OS has 64-bit binaries. The 32-bit versions are in SysWOW64, which means "Windows (32-bit) running On Windows 64"
    • When you open regedit inside the repair environment, you'll see the repair OS's own registry. Doesn't matter whether you launch regedit from the repair disk or the main hard disk. This is why the setting changes don't stick, and don't help.
    • If you want to make changes to the registry of Windows installed on the hard disk, you can use "Load Hive" inside regedit and point to the file HardDisk\Windows\System32\config\SYSTEM If you do this you MUST unload the hive again before rebooting or else it will be locked by the repair disk so that Windows on the hard disk can't use its own registry!
    • Inside there, be aware there's multiple copies of the bootup settings, named things like ControlSet1, ControlSet2, CurrentControlSet. You'll want to make changes to CurrentControlSet, but comparing to the others may help you figure out what the correct old settings were.
    • It sounds like you disabled drivers for your USB host adapter, not specifically for USB drives (mass storage devices). So to fix it, you'll have to re-enable the host adapter drivers (called things like UHCI, EHCI, OHCI)
    • Remember to unload the hive properly before rebooting!
    I hope this helps you make more progress in getting your USB back.
     
  6. swb

    swb Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Still working on it...

    Thanks rbv for your suggestions, but there's no CurrentControlSet in the loaded hive (apparently normal). I can't figure out which of the control sets is the one CurrentControlSet's pointing to.

    I've been trying booting a linux distro on a usb, and get to device manager that way--so far no good, though I can access my files that way.

    Now I'm going to boot to an old system image on an external hard drive, and see if that gets me anywhere.

    Does anybody have any other ideas?
     
  7. rbv

    rbv Pen Pal - Newbie

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    This page explains it: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/100010

    Basically the key HKLM\System\Select has a value named Current that indicates which numbered control set is current.
     
  8. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Sometimes a new hard drive and a fresh OS install is the easiest and least time-consuming way to go.

    Who knows how much cruft and other barnacled junk has built up over the years?

    You're probably the driver master of your machine at this point, so getting everything back up and running shouldn't take long.
     
  9. swb

    swb Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks everyone for your suggestions and advice. It's much appreciated! The issue is solved now. I'll post particulars soon.

    Thanks again.
     

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