I was told the USB ports on my Toshiba L455 laptop no longer work, and, in fact, one was disabled by the repair service. But the two remaining ports, still work, although the message that Windows does not recognize them appears some time after a device is plugged in and working just fine.
The work I do requires I be able to use an ergonomically correct keyboard. It would be helpful to also plug in a flash drive occasionally, and a mouse, but these are not as crucial as the keyboard on an ongoing basis.
Am I putting my system at risk in any way by using 1 or 2 functioning, but not recognized, USB ports?
Got the answer! Though the functioning USB ports are delicate from some previous damage, and I have to be careful not to turn this into permanent damage to the ports, I can use them without jeopardizing the overall system. As some other people have noted in other posts, this ability may go in and out, and might go out altogether. But I can use them without hurting my computer until I can install Bluetooth at a later date.