can't access gui part way through dist-upgrade
I am doing a dist-upgrade from 8.04LTS to 8.09. I use usb KVM switch, and I keep my eye on it so that I can respond to the usual configuration file prompts that pop up. For a while everything went fine, but suddenly I find that I can't use the keyboard to log in and check the progress (the mouse is completely unresponsive). Here's the kicker though: the computer is fine. I can use 'Ctrl-Alt F1' through F7, and the computer responds appropriately; it just doesn't do anything when the login screen is up.
I checked the /var/log/dist-upgrade/term.log, and if I understand it correctly, whether or not to keep /etc/mysql/my.conf is currently up for question. Is there any way to take back control of the computer without interrupting the upgrade? Not knowing very much about the install process, it seems like the GUI stopped polling for input.
Any help is appreciated. I tried googeling, but this problem seems pretty unique.
[after several minutes on the phone with tech support]
"does the outlet have power?"
"well, there's a power outage right now"