Solved! Laptop powers off if HDMI cable unplugged

Sep 2, 2020
I posted this yesterday but accidentally deleted it when trying to edit it. Anyway, I have a laptop (an Acer Spin) with a power problem I can't understand, much less fix. My daughter mistakenly plugged a usb charge cable into the HDMI port. It went to a black backlit screen and wouldn't power down. Figuring the HDMI was confused, I thought I would try plugging the HDMI to our TV in, hoping it would detect it as a second monitor and maybe getting it thinking straight again. Well, I plugged in the HDMI cable to my DVD player by mistake. However, the laptop was then able to restart and its monitor turned on and let me log in. I thought it was fixed so I unplugged the cable, but the laptop instantly powered off. I then tried to connect the HDMI cable for the TV to the laptop as originally intended, but the laptop then wouldn't even turn on. No lights, no beep, no fan, nothing. Only when I connect the HDMI to the DVD does the laptop power on, and it will do so whether the DVD's power is on or off as long as its power cord is plugged into the wall outlet.

Visually, the HDMI port looks fine, as does the round power port next to it. I took it to Best Buy and when the tech connected his spare monitor to it but couldn't fire it up, he said the motherboard was probably fried. I'm not as knowledgeable but had hoped that if the computer can at least start normally when that HDMI cable was attached, that at least the motherboard wasn't toast.

Does anyone have any idea of what possibly might be going on? Is something shorting, is there a physical problem with the port that I can't see, or did the computer just get confused on what's driving its display and it needs to have some system or bios settings corrected? In short (pardon the pun), is this thing salvagable at the point?
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