I've done a search in the forums here. Didn't find anything glaringly obvious right away,.. so,..
A friend of mine swapped out the memory on a Dell Inspiron Laptop 1150 without removing the battery first. He plopped in the new memory and booted it up and immediately found he had no USB ports any more.
BIOS setup shows the USB is enabled. Windows Device Mgr shows no conflicts or disabled devices. Plugging in an optical mouse shows no power getting to the red light (the mouse actually does work on my own machine).
Booting the laptop with a Linux rescue disk brings no USB device power either and no mouse activity. So this is not a Windows driver issue.
Those are my observations;
Is this an onboard USB controller that got whacked from not pulling the battery?
Second Question; if that might not be the case,..
Is it possible to reset the system BIOS and force it to see the USB ports? The CMOS battery is soldered on in that model so is there a Mboard jumper that can be pulled to clear the BIOS?