We're pretty sure we need a new main board, for our Windows XP machine, because none of the USB ports can recognize USB drives. (Even after a clean reinstall of Windows XP.)
However it can boot from a bootable USB drive! We can't explain that. We're about to buy a new main board, but wondering if anyone has seen that problem before. Any comments would be appreciated.
THis may sound stupid, but have you tried turning off your computer at the wall for a few minutes?
I had a similar problem, when my computer started saying 'usb device malfunction' or something like that, and after some research and other failed attempts I found others who had simply turned off their computer for a bit and when it was powered up again it worked fine!
Worked for me - see what happens
Oh,and as for the booting from USB still, I found that only the drives I removed and tried to replace were ther ones that didnt work.
Yes, we had the machine unplugged, for more than a day, but still has the problem. It also runs very slow.
Resetting the BIOS sounds like a good thing to try - will try that, and follow up how that works.
I tried resetting the BIOS to defaults - that made no difference. Tried installing windows on a new hard drive - the install froze 3/4 of the way and would not complete. Pretty sure now it needs a new main board. It is a curiosity though the way it can still boot from a USB drive. This machine is new enough to make the investment worth it.
About chipset drivers, whenever I've done a new install of Windows XP, it seems flash drives always work right away, even before adding the chipset drivers, as if windows has some built in generic USB support. If I could get Windows installed I would try that though. Thanks very much for the comments.
To follow up, we were finally able to get Windows XP installed, after rebooting and restarting several times. But the USB ports still don't work. When a flash drive is plugged in, it flashes once, but nothing happens and it is not recognized. We're planning on buying a new (or used) main board, eventually, and will follow up on how that works.