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My usb ports will not work cannot get my pc on without keyboard

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June 1, 2011 6:18:26 PM

I have 6 usb ports , have always had trouble using more than two at a time, so then my husband was trying to use printer, he should have just asked me, and now none of the usb ports work, my screen comes on and say keyboard failure, press f1 or f2 ro continue but of course I can't, I still get power from the ports. What can I do without having to lose all stuff? It is a windows xp media dimension dual core. Thank you!!!!
a b à CPUs
June 1, 2011 6:43:40 PM

Also if ALL your USB ports have failed, I would strongly advise you to backup any data that is valuable to you, as it might be the signs of a motherboard failure.
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a b à CPUs
June 1, 2011 8:01:23 PM

Open computer and disconnect HDD. This will prevent any further damage to "Your stuff". Worst case, if you need a new computer you can (1) stick it in new computer, or Better yet (2) get a sata->usb enclouser and stick the HDD in that.

With the HDD disconnected you of course will not be able to complete boot. But as Supermuncher85 indicated you can get an adaptor (probably locally, slightly higer $$) or go to one ot the "USED" stores like Kings daughter, or DVM - probable able to pick up an old PS2 keyboard for about $5. (Option one best)

Also as Supermuncher85 indicated, I'd start looking @ replacing the computer, You could reuse items like the DVD drive, keyboard/mouse. Depending on age you might be able to find a replacement MB, But if 5 yrs old best to bite the bullet and update
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June 1, 2011 8:30:19 PM

Thank you to both of you, The computer does not have a ps2 port just the 6 usb ports. So that takes care of that idea and I ordered two from Amazon, I need to cancel that if I can. so my next step would be to remove the harddrive? It is over 5 years old or close to it.Any other options? I guess I can get a new computer, but I am not sure about how to go about saving the hardrive or transferring any info onto new one, since I can't get this one past keyboard failure. Thank you for all your help.
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a b à CPUs
June 1, 2011 8:48:00 PM

This is the easier part (New computer)
First remove HDD from computer. (Like with your husband, be gentle). Should be a data cable and a power cable. 5 Yrs old, good chance that it is a PATA (new name for IDE) HDD. You will know by the cable, if it is a wide ribbon - It's Pata
If it has a round data cable the HDD is the newer SATA.

(1) Buy an encluser (XXX->USB) which you will stick the HDD in. Then you should be able to plug into a USB port and use like a BIG thumbdrive. Get an enclouser that has a power adaptor as usb port can NOT supply enough power.
For Sata HDD.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
For Pata HDD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Option 2 - Just install in new computer (If IDE new computer MB must have a IDE port), Sata should be no problem. It would then be treated as a storage device. JUST DO NOT try to boot from it (will have incorrect drivers) - It might stick it's tongue out and make a funny face.
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June 1, 2011 8:57:44 PM

Hi again, This may be very obvious, can I do this with my laptop? It has 2gb, dell, is this too small?
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a b à CPUs
June 1, 2011 9:09:06 PM

yes it should plug into laptop.
The 2 gb you refer to is Memory. That has little bearing. what you would be concerned about is the capacity of the HDD in the Laptop vs your old desktop HDD.

Normally Laptops have less storage space than desktops so you may not be able to transfer all YOUR data files. But it would be a good test to verify that you can access the old HDD. You could also do a back-up of all your files from the HDD to DVDs using your Laptop does dvd writer - time consumming and a LOT of DVDs. Don't bother with programs, just save data/files you have created.
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June 1, 2011 9:38:44 PM

Thank you, If I can get what I want off the hardrive and then put it back in the desktop, can I try and run the recovery disc or reformat? without a keyboard I probably can't? I read somewhere that if you run the recovery disc the drivers will be reinstalled for the usb ports.
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a b à CPUs
June 1, 2011 9:47:17 PM

The problem is that normally they require "click here" to continue or click to "start".

Question: How do you normally get into the Bios. Windows has not stated so the drivers are not loaded.
If you can not get into the bios, ie hitting the del key (not sure what key on your system. Try reseting the CMOS. You normally do this (computer OFF) by shorting two pins near the CMOS battery. You indicatted the Computer is 5 Yrs old, Have you ever changed the CMOS battery. If NO, try replacing it.


Added: If you can not get into bios, your recovery disks are not going to help as your problem is MB/Bios related.
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June 1, 2011 11:49:11 PM

Thanks, I will try to change the battery on the cmos battery. I will have to figure out how to do that, can you get a new battery at Staples or is online a better bet. I have put in a few things, burner, ram, etc, but it has been a while.
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a b à CPUs
June 2, 2011 12:13:00 AM

Best bet is probably a radioshack if you have one close by.
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June 9, 2011 9:27:02 AM

Hi Just an update, I had planned on taking out the harddrive and buying the sata enclosure, just haven't had time, but I went and turned on the pc and tried again to use keyboard, no response at first then about 2 minutes later it booted up and is working fine again, only 2 of the 6 usb work but so far so good, strange!! It was probably a week? before I tried it again after posting here. I plan on backing up all my stuff, soon, in case this happens again.
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