Skip to comments.Help: All USB Ports Disabled Including Keyboard & Mouse
Posted on 02/02/2008 10:49:39 PM PST by Williams
My only defense is I didn't cause this one. My daughter managed to either uninstall or disable ALL the USB ports on her Dell running Windows XP, so that even the mouse and keyboard won't work.
On restart, the computer is stuck trying to run the found new hardware wizard, but it doesn't matter because I can't do anything w/o mouse or keyboard. There are no PS2 connectors on this computer.
I think I'm mostly looking for an encouraging word, that when I bring this in for repair, a techie will be able to bypass the USB's, connect a keyboard and mouse and turn the USB ports back on.
We have drivers and utilities cd roms that came with the computer but I doubt putting them in the drive will automatically repair the USB ports, I'm sure you have to click through optyions and w/o keyboard and mouse I am powerless to do that.
There is also a recovery cd but I dont want to start the computer from scratch and lose all data over this if that can be avoided.
So I am at your mercy, if any is available.
Are you able to get into the BIOS (typically F1 key) when Windows isn’t started yet? If so, it’s probably a Windows problem.
when it asks for drivers, and then select “I’ll chose the location” and browse to the cd drive.
start the pc in safe mode, and see if the usb ports work.
If it does, right click my computer icon, select “Manage”. In the Computer manager window, select Device Manager. In the right pane scroll down to Universal Serial Bus controllers and see if any have a yellow question mark next to the items. You can then use the Dell cd’s to reinstall or update those drivers. when it asks for drivers, and then select “I’ll chose the location” and browse to the cd drive.
I’ve done a fair deal of pc repairs over the years, never heard of this before. Did she disconnect a USB peripheral without performing the “safely remove hardware” routine? Or did she unplug a USB peripheral while in the middle of the safely remove hardware routine?
Sorry I can’t help out. Man do I feel for you though.
You might try using an adapter and hooking your keyboard up to a serial or parallel port if you have those.
Does it have PS2 ports for a mouse & keyboard? If so, you could borrow peripherals with those plugs long enough to get it going.
Are you sure it didn’t get zapped? I had a computer that took a hit through a phone line and parts failed on it for about year before it finally wouldn’t run any more. First the modem was fried, then the built in network card, then the USB ports, finally the circuit that controlled the CPU clock.
“On restart, the computer is stuck trying to run the found new hardware wizard,”
Unplug all USB hardware from the computer and start it empty, if it start OK then start plugging in the keyboard etc.
This will isolate the problem.
First determine whether this is a Windows problem. (Do the CAPS lock/Num lock/Scroll lock keys on the keyboard light during booting? Can you access the BIOS for the motherboard or select Safe mode as Windows boots? If so, you may be able to boot the computer from CD-ROM and reinstall or change the operating system.
If all else fails, you can dissect the computer and remove the hard drive. Install the hard drive on another computer with a motherboard with PS/2 ports, or replace the motherboard on the original computer with one including PS/2 ports. If that still doesn’t work, then you very likely CAN SAVE DATA on the hard drive and the remaining hardware. You can remove the hard drive from the offending computer and install it as an additional hard drive on another computer that runs the same operating system.
If all fails, take your latest good backup and load it into a new computer.
Va la you are back in business.
She was aware that she needed not to disable the ports for the keyboard and mouse, but whatever went wrong at that point, she went into the device manager and ended up either "disabling" or "uninstalling" ALL the USB ports.
There are no PS2 ports on the computer, I have restarted several times by unplugging, with no good effect.
I will try and see if there is any keyboard functionality during startup, but I doubt it. I will also see if there is any adapter that will allow me to hook up a mouse into a serial port or something, I don't know.
I do appreciate the encouragement, I want to believe that a tech can hook up a mouse or keyboard w/o the usb ports, but that's just my hope. Unfortunately, I can't use any of the options above that require a keyboard or mouse basically thus far I'm limited to turning the computer off and on.
If you think of anything else, please let me know. This was a good one, wasn't it?
First off, the drivers for your USB hub is still in c:\windows\system32\drivers
Second, try to boot from safe mode. If that works,
first try to use the System Restore to get to a point before your daughter unassociated the USB hardware from their software drivers.
Alternatively from inside safe mode, go to device manager and reinstall the USB drivers from c:\windows\system32\drivers, or from the original Dell disk.
Third you can get drastic and do the steps below:
You will need your Dell Windows XP CD, a USB thumbdrive with at least 256MB, and Bart PE software. Information in the link below.
See post #13.
Thanks very much. I also got some advice to try and start up with the BIOS. In tapping the F12 key the keyboard was lit and beeping as I started up, I was then asked which drive I wanted to boot from, including hard, cd rom or BIOS, BUT at that point the keyboard no longer functioned and I couldn’t select an option. The mouse never came on. So the computer continued on and started up normally and I never had any keyboard/mouse functionality.
I tried to get into safe mode tapping F4 or F8 keys that didn’t work so far.
I purchased an expansion board w 2 USB ports on it at Staples they believe that is plug anbd play and if I install it the 2 ports will be operational and I can work from there.
I’d much rather just get going from safe mode or BIOS, so I will continue to try that first.
If you have one of those old timey mouses connecting to a serial (?) port, I’d plug it in then I’d boot it up and check your device manager and see if you don’t get one of those big yellow question marks. If you do you need to reinstall the proper drivers and it will work just fine.
Man needs help ping.
Maybe get a Knoppix disk and try to save the data?
get a MAC
When you’re in the BIOS try disabling all the USB ports and booting Windows. Then restart and re-enable all the USB ports in BIOS and let Windows load again. Windows seeing what it thinks is all new devices might get it to auto-load the keyboard/mouse drivers. Remember that if you only manage to get keyboard you can use Windows through tab, alt-tab, ctrl-tab, arrows and space bar.
Happened to me once. Shut down the PC and then unplug the power cord from the back of the computer. When it is shut down but still plugged in it still maintains some power and won’t reset. Plug it back in and reboot. That should work.
Caveat: Remember not to change the option for recognizing a USB keyboard on boot, otherwise BIOS might not see it.
I've gone into boot mode and safe mode and I believe Bios mode many times. I can use the mouse/keyboard in boot and bios, but none of the options there let me reset or reinstall the usb drivers.
I have turned the usb controller off and on again following restarts but no change. Question - is what my Dell calls "set up" my BIOS? It seems it is, and unfortunately there is no option there to get to device manager or anywhere else.
Starting in safe mode I get to the screen with the icons for administrator or individual user name, but at that point no mouse/keyboard and I am dead in the water.
The diagnostics in boot mode say the 5 usb ports are fine, except one port has an over current reading. I have read that can mean a short, but then how can they work in bios and boot?
Unfortunately, I have no serial port I bought a usb/serial adapter but it can't be used.
Thanks to everyone for trying to help, sorry for all the info, I have a last question.
Can I attach and boot the problem hard drive from this machine and change settings or reinstall drivers? This machine has mouse/keyboard in PS2 ports so even if the hard drive turns off the USB's I should be able to function. Thanks again everyone!
option 1: (assuming you have windows xp SP2)
on a pc with a cd burner and cd burn, download this:
burn the cd,
take cd and pplace it in broken pc,
boot from cd
go to NTFS Tools -> Active NTFS Reader for DOS
you can now view your hard drive. change directory to c:\windows\system32\drivers
you are looking for these files to make sure they are still on the hard drive:
If they are there everything is good.
If not, post back here.
Take your DEll Windows XP SP2 CD and put it in the drive.
reset the pc
when it asks to boot from CD, select yes.
Read the directions from these links VERY carefully. You will be restoring your System registry from the system restore point on your hard drive:
How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting
Yes, you can transfer the physical hard drive to the other machine, you will have to go through the entire new hardware found installation for each device on yoour working pc. It will reinstall the USB drivers though. Make sure you plug in usb keyboard and mouse in the working pc before you boot the broken’s pc’s hard drive in the working pc.
Try to boot from safe mode first.
This will work, but you will have to take additional steps later to uninstall drivers for hardware only in your working pc, when the hard drive is back in the broken and then fixed pc.
Needless to say, you have a wealth of knowledge which I greatly appreciate your sharing. I’m going to try each option.
On option one, the link seems to be to a linux version download, then there is a link to a windows version project, but I’m not sure that download exists yet, can you clarify that one? Thanks again.
ultimatebootcd is a linux based utility program, it’s a user interface that resides completely in the RAM when you use it.
You aren’t installing anything to your hard drive when you use ultimatebootcd, you are simply using your RAM as a temporary drive to perform some system maintenance.
Gotcha, thanks again I will do the download.
Hi, well its been a long and eventful night/morning.
I couldnt get the computer to boot up from the ubcd so I moved on to option 2
I followed the directions and renamed the 5 files im system32\config folder
However, after that I was to switch to the system volume information folder. That was not accessible so I followed the additional instructions linked, which involved copying the five folders from windows\repair into the system32\config folder.
The first 4 worked but when I tried to copy the “system” folder it was not found. The computer will not reboot on exit because the system folder is missing.
I found some blogs online to others who encountered this problem. They were advised to see if there was a System.sav folder and use that as the system folder. I used either that or a system.bak that was in the repair folder and tried using it as my system folder in system32\config.
On restart the computer booted to an older desktop but it also showed some fatal errors and there was no mouse and keyboard again at that point so I ws stuck.
Went back in with the windows xp cd and undid my toying with teh “system” folder so I am back to being in the
middle of the instructions for restoring the registry if I lacked access to the system volume information folder, and in taht process I am told the “system” folder can’t be found to copy from the repair folder (which is true there is no folder “system” in repair.
So I’m missing a system folder and still am unable to restore the usb functionality. can’t boot up at all at this point can still boot from the cd.
Dumb question, shouldn’t the cd have a system folder on it that I can use at this point? Any help is appreciated, including should I hiree somebody to try and sort this out.
It seems the missing system folder is a new problem I created in the process, because the computer did boot up before, albeit w/o any usb ports.
OK... I’m a computer guy and I usually free-load on sites like this, but I feel like I can contribute this time.
I followed the advice about plugging the hard drive into a different computer. You know, this can be more or less difficult depending on the 2 computers’ configurations. There are a lot of tricks just to that procedure alone.
After plugging the hard drive in, YOU HAVE TO FIX THE PROBLEM THAT MADE THE FOUND NEW HARDWARE WIZARD COME UP!!!!!!
The found new hardware wizard should not come up when installing a standard mouse or keyboard. Usually this is caused by a cryptographic problem where the driver signing is all screwed up. Dial-a-fix can repair this problem on XP; if you’re on Vista I don’t know exactly what to tell you but this is a page from Microsoft discussing the general problem: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822798
Here’s dial-a-fix: http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/Dial-a-fix-Download-27328.html
Once you run dial-a-fix and no longer get the Found New Hardware Wizard for every little piece of hardware (try connecting a different mouse or something), you should be able to put the drive back in the computer it came from, and boot it up.
You’re not done yet!! Now you need to clean up the device manager! To make the device manager really show you all the hidden devices, open a command prompt and type:
Then when the device manager opens, go to view > show hidden devices.
Remove anything with a yellow splat, or anything under USB that says Unknown Device.
GOOD LUCK JIM! If you found this page, you probably really needed the help!
I am in the same boat. On board sata controller quit working. Pulled the main board battery,reset CMOS, now my USB mouse and keyboard no longer work.It defaults to “bad floppy drive” which it is too new to have one. Hooked one up powered through another stand alone power supply and it boots to the floppy. Was going to try and re-flash the bios ...BUT I don’t have and keyboard control because the on board controller only supports USB not PS2.Was going to write a batch file to do a standalone install of the bios but it stops to ask questions during the reflash process which I can’t choose because I have no keyboard support. I even installed a PCI USB card which doesn’t work either. Help!
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