|The simple gender adapters - they have no circuitry inside them - only work with a "combo" mouse - a mouse that has been wired up for and is intended to be used with both types of ports. |
It will NOT work with a PS/2 only mouse, or with a Serial only mouse.
If you DO have a "combo" mouse, the internal connections of PS/2 to serial gender adapters varies - they are NOT universal.
One that works with one brand or model of mouse won't necessarily work with another brand or model. There are at least three ways they can be connected internally if not more.
I have two identical OLD Microsoft "combo" PS/2 /serial mice (it says, "Serial and PS/2 Compatible." on therm ) that only work with one type of gender adapter (two of them that look different) in a serial port, and I have other "combo" PS/2 /serial mice mice that work with other adapters but not with the ones that work with the Microsoft mice.
The gender adapters can be serial male to PS/2 male, or serial female to PS/2 female.
I have two or more even older Microsoft "combo" mice - serial (female, standard) connector on the cord - that I have never found a gender adapter that works with them in a PS/2 port..
"When I plugged my keyboard into it, the num lock, caps lock, etc. lights lit up, indicating that the connector's working. "
When the gender adapter was plugged into the serial port, you plugged a PS/2 connector for a keyboard into it ?
I have never come across a gender adapter that allows you to use a PS/2 keyboard with a serial port - the keyboard would have to be a "combo" keyboard - if not all the keyboard keys work your reasoning is invalid - that only proves the serial port has power, which it probably always has while the computer is running, whether it is disabled in the bios or not.
The IRQ and I/O port the serial port needs for the mouse must be available in Windows or Dos - e.g. a dial-up modem often uses those that are nornally used for legacy Com 2 in older operating systems.