Solved Initially rear and now front USB's are dead.

October 23, 2011 at 10:54:10
Specs: Windows XP-Pro w/service pak 3
USB ports not working. I had relocated the fronts to the rear of the case and this was fine - for about 8 months. My local techie suspected that the motherboard was failing. Now I have NO USB ports. The computer will start up fine but when the cursor is sitting in the center of the screen it cannot be moved. Both mouse and keyboard are wireless but it is not a battery issue. I cannot scroll up or down (obviously) and therefore cannot select a repair mode for my Spotmau disc (or any other disc). Is this fixable or is the tower 'toast'?

See More: Initially rear and now front USBs are dead.

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✔ Best Answer
November 4, 2011 at 19:03:59
" Ialso have a soft USB keyboard that is connected to the only other working port."

A flexible corded keyboard ? Which USB ports work ? Just the front ones ?

"I encountered some uncommon issues also with the 19 gig HD "

Tell us about that.

See near the end of response 12 regarding oddball hard drive model characters that should be proper characters. If they're oddball there, they're oddball in Device Manager - Disk drives too.

".....since there is nothing of importance (even worth backing up) in the memory"

The space data is stored on a data storage device - hard drive, floppy disk, CD, DVD, memory card, flash drive - is not memory.


"19 gig HD" "37 gig unit "

You use the hard drive manufacturer's size when you're referring to them.

20 gb, 40 gb.

The hard drive manufacturer specifies the size of the drive as a bogus decimal size, e.g. 1 million bytes per mb. The bios and Windows (any operating system) always sees the size of the drive as it's binary size e.g. 1,048,576 bytes per mb, 1,073,741,824 bytes per gb.

The binary numbering system is based on 2, not 10.
A bit on the hard drive can only be either flagged 0 (off) or 1 (on).
8 bits per byte for most data storage and data transfer, except SATA hard drives transfer data at 10 bits per byte.

40.0000 gb hard drive manufacturer's size = 37.2529 gb binary size

20.00000 gb hard drive manufacturer's size = 18.62645 gb binary size

Hard drive sizes vary a bit from the standard sizes - e.g. yours is probably roughly but not exactly 40 gb.



#1
October 23, 2011 at 14:09:21
Try a PS/2 keyboard and mouse if you have the ports.

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#2
October 23, 2011 at 20:16:02
The wireless devices could be bad, in addition to PS2 version to try, just try also regular USB wired devices, if they work, then it is just the wireless devices that are probably bad, this may have nothing to do with the USB ports at all (unless printer and other USB devices had stopped working also.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#3
October 24, 2011 at 10:20:25
Uh, thanks, guys but I suppose I should have posted more info. When (rear) ports initially failed, I did try PS2 as I had such a keyboard. Since that time, the only (rear) ports that still worked were the printer, monitor and ethernet. My front had two individual USB ports and the ear/mic ports and I re-routed then to the back pretty much for convenience. I only needed one (USB) port for the keyboard/printer combo sending unit. If I had to print something or upload photos from SD card I would plug in each as necessary. This setup worked fine - - - until recently when the complete (USB) failure. Of course the printer will not work any longer and ethernet is useless when all I get is the Desktop (which goes away into screensaver). If I press the main power button the system shuts down as usual in about 20 seconds. (sigh). Up until this latest malady, I had done nothing out of the ordinary. The computer was sleeping and upon awakening I found that I could not move the cursor and there were no lights on wireless sending unit. If I pressed the Caps Lock key the usual light would not go on and I pretty much knew this was not normal. My next step was to try another (USB) keyboard and mouse. Then I tried the PS2 items and still nothing. Upon re-starting I could not get into Bios (by pressing Del upon startup) so pulled the battery and left it out for more than a day. No surprise (to me) it did nothing. Of course the CD/DVD drives operate but they are useless when a disc is inserted if I cannot scroll, point or click. thank-you for your time and ideas.

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Related Solutions

#4
October 24, 2011 at 13:53:38
"My local techie suspected that the motherboard was failing."

He or she is probably right.

You haven't mentioned whether you have checked the power supply output voltages.
Look in your bios Setup for the current voltage readings. If what is supposed to be +5.0v is not within 10% of it's nominal value, your USB ports probably won't work properly. If what is supposed to be +5v is more than 10% higher than that, devices that require +5.0v will be damaged, sooner or later - USB, PS/2 circuitry, floppy drives (they usually fail first), optical drives, hard drives (they usually fail last), cards in mboard slots, etc.
The reading for +12.0v and +3.30v must also be within 10% of it's nominal value.
(Note that if the mboard is defective or damaged, the voltages reported there may NOT be correct. Try the power supply with a known good mboard - check the voltages in it's bios - to confirm whether the voltages are okay or not. However, I've encountered only one defective or damaged mboard that reported incorrect voltages there, of many.)

If your +5v reading is within 10%......

Since all the USB ports last worked properly, has there been a power failure event that happened ?
If yes, it doesn't matter whether the computer was running at the time or not - if it was plugged into live AC power at the time, your USB port circuits / your mboard could have been damaged.
They won't necessarily all fail at the same time
....

Some mboards develop this problem - electrolytic capacitors were installed on them that were not properly made, and they fail eventually - the mboard manufacturer didn't know they were improperly made at the time the mboard was made.

Open up your case and examine the mboard to see if you have bad capacitors, and/or other findable signs of mboard damage .

What to look for, mboard symptoms, example pictures:
http://www.badcaps.net/pages.php?vid=5
Home page that site
- what the problem is caused by
- he says there are STILL bad capacitors on more recent mboards.
http://www.badcaps.net/

Pictures of blown capacitors, other components, power supplies, fried Athlon cpus, etc.:
http://www.halfdone.com/Personal/Jo...
....

Your computer's bios does not need any software on the hard drive in order for a corded USB keyboard to work to get you into the bios Setup. If that doesn't work your USB circuitry and/or your mboard is defective or damaged. However, the setting for Legacy USB devices or USB Keyboard or similar must be enabled, and the USB controllers must be enabled, in the bios Setup in order for that to work. Almost always, the USB controllers are enabled by default. Older bioses may not have Legacy USB devices or USB Keyboard or similar enabled by default - newer bioses usually do have that enabled by default.

A PS/2 keyboard should always be able to get into the bios - there is no setting in the bios to disable that. Of course, usually you must plug it into the proper PS/2 port (usually colored purple).

A simple USB to PS/2 or PS/2 to USB gender adapter (no additional circuitry within it) will NOT work unless the keyboard or mouse is a "combo" keyboard or mouse - meant to be and wired up to be used with both types of ports.
- in many cases, a gender adapter for a keyboard - often colored purple - will NOT work with a "combo" mouse, and a a gender adapter for a mouse - often colored green - will NOT work with a "combo" keyboard, because the necessary connections are not there in the gender adapter.
Rarely, the device will not be recognized by the mboard's bios when you use a gender adapter when those things are right.

More sophisicated USB to PS/2 adapters (additional circuitry within it; usually has two PS/2 connectors, one for a mouse, green colored, one for a keyboard, purple colored) are NOT recognized by some biioses. .


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#5
October 24, 2011 at 21:20:06
I don't recall any power-related issues prior to recent failure. I cannot get into the bios since the only way I am aware of is to 'click' on Delete key immediately after pressing power (on) button.

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#6
October 25, 2011 at 05:18:24
Duh. More information is always helpful.
If all possible keyboard combinations fail, then it is most likely the motherboard.
The only way left to you to test the power supply it to either use a digital volt meter or swap it out with another power supply (new or from a working system).

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#7
October 25, 2011 at 07:13:11
If the USB ports don't work for whatever reason, obviously nothing you plug into them is going to work.

If you had un-intentionally disabled the USB controllers, it's extremely likely you removing the mboard battery (you only have to have it removed for a few seconds) and installing it again would have enabled the USB controllers.

Have you tried a PS/2 mouse (plugged into the green PS/2 port) ?

"I cannot get into the bios since the only way I am aware of is to 'click' on Delete key immediately after pressing power (on) button."

The key you press to get into the bios varies. If you have a generic desktop system it often is Del, but not always. If you have a brand name system it could be several different ones other than Del. Whatever key it is, you often see a line on the screen while booting "Press (the specific key) for Setup" or similar . Do you see that ?
If you don't, tell us the make and model of your brand name system, or if you have a generic desktop system, the make and model of your mboard - it's usually printed on the surface of the mboard in obvious larger characters.
.........

Going by what you're told us so far, if you can get into the bios by pressing the proper key starting very early in the boot sequence. when you're using a PS/2 keyboard plugged into the proper (purple) PS/2 port, then as Fingers has said, the only things that could cause all your problems, assuming there's nothing wrong with the PS/2 keyboard, are the mboard is defective or damaged,or the power supply is failing.
The only sure way of ruling out the power supply as the cause of your problem is to connect your power supply to a working system, or to connect a power supply from a working system or a new power supply to your motherboard
If you can, try temporarily connecting a power supply that is from a working computer to your mboard. If that doesn't help, the only thing left is the mboard is defective or damaged.
Did you examine the mboard to see if it has evidence of failing electrolytic capacitors ? (see response 4)


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#8
October 25, 2011 at 19:17:32
Thanks again. I will see what I can do about the M-board name.
As far as the key to enter bios, it states "press Delete to enter Setup".

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#9
October 30, 2011 at 22:11:32
Yes I am still here but have had little time to fool with 'pesky desky'. One thing I did do was swap connectors to another HD (also with XP) and then when I started it and kept finger on Delete key it successfully went into Bios. I (think) I located the voltages but am unsure if the values indicated were the actual or the desired ones. One was 5.1 and another 12.0 I had to shut it down (two days ago) and haven't done anything since. I will diagnose some more later on Oc.31. I appreciate any and all input.

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#10
October 30, 2011 at 22:46:07
The most important voltages of the power supply are the readings for +3.3 v , +5.0 v , and +12.0 v.. They must be within 10% of the nominal value.

They're listed under Hardware monitor or similar - usually there are fan rpm and temperature readings on the same page as the voltages.
The readings may change slightly while you're looking at them.

"....when I started it and kept finger on Delete key .."

It's usually more reliable to press it repeatedly, very early in the boot sequence.
On really fast computers you may need to start doing that right after the led on the monitor turns the color it is when you have video later.
Some computers won't go into the bios if you hold down the key. .


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#11
November 4, 2011 at 12:30:30
Okay. I started computer with finger tapping on Delete key. It went into Bios okay and I scrolled down to PC Health status entry and opened it. The indicated voltage values are: 3.36, 5.10 and 11.97. Temperatures were of course okay. I should also mention that the C-drive disc is the 40 Mb (indicated but 37 useable) with the XP Pro system. I shouldn't have to point out that, since I am able to scroll down (in Bios), the USB ports would have to be functioning. The wireless keyboard and mouse work at this point in time although there is no indicator light showing on Microsoft sending unit.
I 'saved and exited' bios setup and the computer re-started. It got to the point where Windows logo page should appear but I got the Disc Boot Failure instead. I had previously checked the bios settings (for system boot) and they are currently set at CD Rom, HD - 1 and then CD Rom again. I then inserted a (Spotmau) disc into CD drive and re-started. This time it started better but diverted into the Spotmau page. I could not do anything because the mouse and keyboard were again useless. I removed the (Spotmau) disc and shut the unit down. Then I disconnected the 40 Gb. HD and connected the backup 20 Gb. I pressed the start button and everything went as it should and within 30 seconds the Desktop appeared. I moved the mouse and the pointer is reacting and the keyboard is functioning - still dead rear USB ports.
I am now working on getting the sound driver installed but as it now stands, the (37 Gb) HD does not want to co-operate. Is this common and could there be some malware in it?
I know these are small values (for HD capacities) as far as today's standards but this system has always been very trouble-free and it is not used for mega-downloads, mainly for emailing and some photo works and occassional video viewing. (kid uses it). I am typing this on Toshiba Satellite and there is also a large (2 yr.old) Acer unit laying in wait. I may post another topic about getting sound back into the Laptop but for now it seems the small HD in the
XP system is working alright. But, the original rear USB, PS2 and sound/mic ports are NOT working.
Thanks again to Tubesandwires, Fingers and wizard-fred for excellent advice.

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#12
November 4, 2011 at 16:36:28
"The indicated voltage values are: 3.36, 5.10 and 11.97."

Those voltages are within 10%, so they're okay. However other things can be wrong with the power supply.


"I should also mention that the C-drive disc is the 40 Mb (indicated but 37 useable) with the XP Pro system."

The hard drive manufacturer specifies the size of the drive as a bogus decimal size, e.g. 1 million bytes per mb. The bios and Windows (any operating system) always sees the size of the drive as it's binary size e.g. 1,048,576 bytes per mb, 1,073,741,824 bytes per gb.
40.0000 gb hard drive manufacturer's size = 37.2529 gb binary size

Hard drive sizes vary a bit from the standard sizes - e.g. yours is probably roughly but not exactly 40 gb.

"I shouldn't have to point out that, since I am able to scroll down (in Bios), the USB ports would have to be functioning."

You didn't mention whether you were using a USB or PS/2 keyboard when you said you could get into the bios previously in the last few posts, but if you can with a USB keyboard, then, yes, at least the USB port it's plugged into is working.

"The wireless keyboard and mouse work at this point in time although there is no indicator light showing on Microsoft sending unit."

Did you use a corded USB keyboard or a wireless keyboard to get into the bios ?
In most bioses, no mouse of any kind works in it, although I've seen that it did work in some bioses many years ago.
I haven't used a wireless keyboard, so I don't know if it's normal for the led on the USB transceiver device to be off when you're not in the operating system.
Do they work with the 20gb hard drive Windows installation ?

"It got to the point where Windows logo page should appear but I got the Disc Boot Failure instead."

If you saw Windows graphics just before that, the hard drive is booting but either there is data damage or the hard drive is in the process is failing.

If you didn't see Windows graphics at all, one or more of.....
- the hard drive is NOT booting from the Windows partition for whatever reason
- the boot order settings in the bios are set incorrectly
- you have specfic dfrive paramters specified for a different drive in the bios (older bioses only)

- you have more than one hard drive connected and the bios is trying to boot from one that is not bootable (it won't try to boot from anything else if the first hard drive it detects by default or is set to detect is not bootable.)
When you have more than one hard drive connected, in the bios, there is either
- a list of hard drives - the hard drive you want to boot from must be the first one in the list. They're usually listed by their model numbers.
- or - less commonly for on modern computers - there is more than one hard drive listed in the Boot Order or similar list - the hard drive you want to boot from must be the first one in the list. Usually they're listed generically. )

- there is data damage
- the hard drive is in the process of failing.

"I then inserted a (Spotmau) disc into CD drive and re-started."

This ?
PowerSuite Golden
http://www.spotmau.com/products/pac...

"This time it started better but diverted into the Spotmau page. I could not do anything because the mouse and keyboard were again useless. "

Which mouse and keyboard ? The wireless ones ? There are lots of programs that won't work with wireless ones. There are some older ones that won't work with anything but PS/2 ones or serial mice.

"Then I disconnected the 40 Gb. HD and connected the backup 20 Gb. I pressed the start button and everything went as it should and within 30 seconds the Desktop appeared. I moved the mouse and the pointer is reacting and the keyboard is functioning - still dead rear USB ports."

Which ones work ? The wireless ones ?

If some of the USB ports work, then they were probably working all along, before Windows loaded. Whether they worked in Windows on the possibly defective or data damaged 40 gb drive (you use the hard drive manufacturer's size when you're referring to them) is another matter.
If the rear USB ports don't work for anything USB before Windows loads or after Windows loads from the 20 gb drive, and if you're sure all USB controllers are enabled in the bios, then the only thing left is the circuits for those ports are damaged.
If you have any USB headers on the mboard nothing is presently connected to, try connecting the front USB ports wiring to those, or a USB wiring adapter for a plate (bracket) that has 2 or 4 USB ports on it that installs in a slot space at the back of the case - they may or may not work.

"But, the original rear USB, PS2 and sound/mic ports are NOT working."

The sound ports will usually have no output until the sound adapter drivers are installed, unless they were built into Windows.
(There are some old Mitac mboards that were primarily used in HP and Compaq desktop computers that had no pins on the mboard that worked (they were there) for a case speaker / mboard beeps. You had to connect amplified speakers to the green sound port to hear mboard beeps, and that works whether or not there was a hard drive installed.)

Are you SURE you plugged the mouse into the proper PS/2 port - usually it's green - and the keyboard into the proper PS/2 port - usually it's purple ??

NOTE if you used a gender adapter with a corded USB keyboard to convert it to PS/2 port use, that won't necessarily work - see the info about that in response 4.

The keyboard PS/2 port not working indicates damage - there is never any setting in the bios that can disable the PS/2 keyboard port. You can disable the PS/2 mouse (and the port) in most bioses.
....

My newest computer was new about 3 years ago (custom built by me for someone else but she died June 2010 and I ended up with it because she owed me money for it - her father gave it to me ) , and it has two 500 gb SATA drives, but I have several older computers and many IDE drives, some of which are small capacity. The one that probably has the most hours on it is a 13.66 gb Maxtor (desktop drive) I bought new in late 1999 and it still works fine, although I have not used it full time like I was for about 6 months now.
I have 98SE on it, the Windows partition is ~ 8 gb, and I have never completely filled the Windows partition or the drive with data.
...........

Test your 40 hard drive (you use the hard drive manufacturer's size when you're referring to them) with hard drive manufacturer's diagnostics.

E.g.
Seagate's SeaTools will test (almost) any brand of hard drive.
http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.j...

Do the long test.

The Dos bootable versions of SeaTools can test the hard drive when Windows will not load properly, or even when the drive has no data on it.

It the drive itself passes the test, any data problems on the drive can be fixed one way or another.

NOTE that the bios MUST be seeing the hard drive properly in order for it to be tested properly..

If the bios isn't detecting the drive at all, then neither can the diagnostics

If you see oddball characters instead of the proper model for the drive while booting or in the bios, you probably have a data cable connection problem.

It is common to un-intentionally damage IDE data cables, especially while removing them - the 80 wire ones are more likely to be damaged. What usually happens is the cable is ripped at either edge and the wires there are either damaged or severed, often right at a connector or under it's cable clamp there, where it's hard to see - if a wire is severed but it's ends are touching, the connection is intermittent, rather than being reliable.
Another common thing is for the data cable to be separated from the connector contacts a bit after you have removed a cable - there should be no gap between the data cable and the connector - if there is press the cable against the connector to eliminate the gap.
80 wire data cables are also easily damaged at either edge if the cable is sharply creased at a fold in the cable.

Try another data cable if in doubt.

80 wire data cables must have the proper end connector connected to the mboard IDE header - usually that's blue, but in any case it's the one farther from the middle connector on a 3 connector data cable.


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#13
November 4, 2011 at 18:38:45
It is a 'Microsoft Wireless Receiver 3.1' that connects via USB and utilizes the Wireless Keyboard 3000 and the Wireless Laser Mouse 5000 - D.O.M. Jan.'09. Ialso have a soft USB keyboard that is connected to the only other working port. I encountered some uncommon issues also with the 19 gig HD and since there is nothing of importance (even worth backing up) in the memory I decided to wipe it clean and am now re-installing the XP. It does take awhile for all the setup files to download but will know soon how it is going to behave. I will then look at the 37 gig unit in a day or two as saturday will be very busy. The installation is at the 'Installing Windows' stage (35 minutes to go as indicated) but I have to leave for now. thanks again.

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#14
November 4, 2011 at 19:03:59
✔ Best Answer
" Ialso have a soft USB keyboard that is connected to the only other working port."

A flexible corded keyboard ? Which USB ports work ? Just the front ones ?

"I encountered some uncommon issues also with the 19 gig HD "

Tell us about that.

See near the end of response 12 regarding oddball hard drive model characters that should be proper characters. If they're oddball there, they're oddball in Device Manager - Disk drives too.

".....since there is nothing of importance (even worth backing up) in the memory"

The space data is stored on a data storage device - hard drive, floppy disk, CD, DVD, memory card, flash drive - is not memory.


"19 gig HD" "37 gig unit "

You use the hard drive manufacturer's size when you're referring to them.

20 gb, 40 gb.

The hard drive manufacturer specifies the size of the drive as a bogus decimal size, e.g. 1 million bytes per mb. The bios and Windows (any operating system) always sees the size of the drive as it's binary size e.g. 1,048,576 bytes per mb, 1,073,741,824 bytes per gb.

The binary numbering system is based on 2, not 10.
A bit on the hard drive can only be either flagged 0 (off) or 1 (on).
8 bits per byte for most data storage and data transfer, except SATA hard drives transfer data at 10 bits per byte.

40.0000 gb hard drive manufacturer's size = 37.2529 gb binary size

20.00000 gb hard drive manufacturer's size = 18.62645 gb binary size

Hard drive sizes vary a bit from the standard sizes - e.g. yours is probably roughly but not exactly 40 gb.


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