A "universal computer key"

My friend Paul built me a computer. Unnoticed by me, he put a lock in the side which I only discovered when I was trying to put in a better graphics card. Can I just go buy another key, or must I call him? We’ve fallen out of touch (he has…issues) and I’d like to eliminate other options first. The keyhole is round. I got the “universal key” thing from a tech at Best buy, he made it sound like something I could just buy somewhere.

I’m having reading comprehension issues.

You got what “universal key” thing?

He made what sound like something you could just buy somewhere?



The “tech” at Best Buy told him he ought to be able to pick up a “universal key” at some vague “somewhere.”

Which is bullshit, of course. Me, I’d just drill it out. It’s not worth paying a locksmith for–why he felt it necessary to install a lock on your computer is a mystery to me, though. But, you did say he has issues…

I got the name/concept “universal key” from a guy at Best Buy. He said that they didn’t have one, so couldn’t open my lock. From that I assumed that it was something that I could buy in a store for my own use.

We used to have Zillions of these lying around - they came with every computer we’d buy.
Do you have an office? If so, ask people to look through their desk drawers.

Or, drill it out.

I think this is what you’re looking for.

You may also want to check your BIOS settings to see if the case alarm is on. I’ve never set it so I don’t know if it does anything more than beep, but finding out after the fact may be a bit inconvenient (poison darts?).

Can you upload a picture of the lock? There are many different types/brands available, so it’s hard to tell what may work.

But the OP says he got “the ‘universal key’ thing” from that tech.

That’s why I am confused. He says he got the universal key from the tech, then says the tech told him he can find “it” somewhere else. What is “it?” The universal key? But why would the tech tell him where he can find the universal key if he just sold him one? So if “it” isn’t the universal key, what is it?


Ah, okay, I get it now. You got the idea of a “universal key” from the guy at Best Buy. I thought you were saying you got the key itself from him.

That’s different. Never mind.


The “universal key thing” isn’t the key itself, it’s the song-and-dance routine about the key.


Last time I saw a lock like that on a computer, it wasn’t physically preventing the case from opening - it was a switch that either disabled the keyboard and mouse, or determined whether or not the computer could be powered up - the keyhole looked like this:

The keys for these types of lock all look quite similar, but they’re not the same - in the one depicted, the serrations on the end of the tube are cut to specific depths. On other, cheaper types, there is more than one lug and they are offset from each other at different angles for different locks - so one key won’t necessarily fit another lock.

But… you’re sure the lock is physically preventing the case from being opened?


I think thats what you mean… I just started another thread about these locks a bit earlier… ha!

That’s what the Geek Squad guy told me. Paul ALSO put a lock on the front of the computer where the power button is located. Thankfully I’ve never accidentally locked it.

And Frylock, why couldn’t you understand what I was saying? It made perfect sense to me :D. Until I wrote it.

HEY, that’s my … alright it’s pop not soda.

CMC +fnord!
You could have pointed him to the cheap one at least!

ETA You might be able to pick it with the right pen (scroll down).

Can you post a link to or picture of the case?