USB ports have power -- but aren't working

My USB ports suddenly stopped working two days ago. They still seem to give power, but my computer, running Vista, won't recognize or acknowledge any of them. The most it will do is offer an error message claiming that something within the device or driver has malfunctioned.

As my mouse plugs into a USB port, this makes interacting with the system rather difficult, but I've figured out enough of how to use the keyboard, which isn't USB-connected, that I've been able to navigate through some basic troubleshooting, none of which has helped.

I pulled up the BIOS at startup and made sure the USB ports were enabled (I'm not sure what USB legacy means, but that was enabled, too). I tried running in Safe Mode. I tried system restoring to last week. I also, today, tried running the repair on Windows Vista, reinstalling -- I think -- the OS from the hard drive.

Any thoughts or suggestions on what to do next? Could all six of my USB ports (four in back, two in front) have somehow blown?
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  1. I have the exact same issue except I'm using Windows XP SP3. There is power going to all USB peripherals, but none of them are detected. I've tried reinstalling drivers. I really don't want to have to format because I just did that!
  2. The power going to USBs is essentially direct from PSU, you can disable USBs in BIOS and they will still have power.

    Also all six (or however many) port connect to the same controller so if one were to die it's very likely that they'll all die.

    The best way to find out whether it's a software issue or a hardware issue would be to boot a Live Linux CD and see if the mouse/USBs work in that.
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