One of the USB ports on my desktop computer stopped working after I plugged in the USB device and removed it without removing it. I’ve done this a million times, but it looks like my luck is finally over. The port looked ok in device manager because there were no error or warning icons.
So after reading a bit on the internet, I came across an article from Microsoft telling me that I should go ahead and remove the USB host controllers under the USB Serial Controllers section of Device Manager. After that, you just need to restart your computer and Windows will find the hardware again and install it. Not certainly in that way. I’ve done this before and it usually works fine, but this time I was out of luck again and instead of getting one dead USB port working again, all of my USB ports were dead!
What was really funny was that the connected USB mouse and keyboard worked fine in BIOS and they worked even when I loaded another operating system on my dual boot system, but as soon as Windows 7 started up it killed all power. USB devices.
Now every help article I read that said to click on this or uninstall this driver or load XYZ was completely useless because I didn’t have an input device to click on anything! After about an hour, I started to get nervous that I would actually have to reinstall the OS, but luckily the last solution I tried finally worked. The dead USB port is still dead, but that’s another post for another day. In this article, I will walk you through the various steps you can take to try to regain access to your system if you do not currently have access to your mouse or keyboard.
First method – try the PS2 ports
The first article I read while looking for this issue mentioned connecting a PS2 keyboard and mouse and then gaining access. I already thought about this, but my computer is newer and therefore only has USB ports! If you’re fortunate enough to still have PS2 ports, you just have to find older keyboard and mouse to use to gain access. If you’re like me and you only have USB ports, read on!
The second method – check the BIOS
The next step is to check the BIOS and see if the USB is disabled in any way. You can rest assured that it is not disabled if you can still use your USB device in the pre-boot environment. If it only dies when Windows boots up, it is probably enabled.
Be very careful not to change the settings to USB Disabled! If you do this, you won’t even be able to use the USB keyboard in BIOS and you will indeed have problems. The only way to enable USB keyboard after disabling USB in BIOS is to use PS2 mouse or remove CMOS battery from motherboard! If you don’t want to disassemble your computer, definitely don’t unplug USB unless you have PS2 ports. If USB is enabled, which is likely to be, go to the next method.
The third method – system restore
This method finally worked for me. I was really lucky because I just installed the program the day before and Windows automatically created a restore point for me. Hopefully you haven’t turned off System Restore on your system, because otherwise you’ll have to take more drastic measures to get your keyboard and mouse working again.
To do this, you need to press the F8 key right before Windows boots. As soon as you see the logo of the computer manufacturer, you should start holding F8. If you have a dual boot or multi-disk system where you need to choose which disk you want to boot from, select that OS or disk from the list, and the moment you hit Enter, press and hold the F8 key. This will take you to the Windows 7 Advanced Boot Options dialog box.
You are going to go ahead and select “Repair your computer”. I also tried to enter Safe Mode, but the keyboard and mouse still refused to work, so it was a dead end. You will now see a list of system recovery options.
Click on System Restore and you will see a familiar dialog box where you can select a restore point. Obviously, you want to select the one that was created before your problem started. By default, it will choose one for you, but you can choose another if you like.
Once restored, everything will be fine and you can access your keyboard and mouse again. If you did not have a restore point created, then you are largely out of luck. Unfortunately, at this point, I haven’t been able to find any other guaranteed solutions other than PS2 ports and system recovery. I have listed a few extreme greetings.
Fourth method – CMOS battery
This probably won’t help because the problem is with Windows, but you can try. Fortunately, removing the CMOS chip isn’t all that bad. You just need to open the case and find a small round battery on the motherboard, which is usually clearly visible.
Method 5 – Repair Windows 7 installation
If you don’t have a restore point, the last option is to perform a repair install. This will replace the original mouse and keyboard drivers and you should be working again. A restore installation will simply reinstall Windows, but your data will not be deleted.
The process is quite long and will take some time, but it is better than having to reinstall Windows. SevenForums has a great guide that walks you through the process and explains all caveats, etc.
Method 6 – Windows 8 Update
If you’re using Windows 8, you might be in better luck. You can try updating your computer, this is a new option in Windows 8. Read my previous post on how to update in Windows 8. To do this, you first need to enter the Windows 8 System Restore Settings Dialog.
You can also read the installation guide for Windows 8 recovery created by EightForums, the same site as SevenForums, only for Windows 8. Again, you won’t lose any data, but you should have a working mouse and keyboard again.
Hope you can access your computer using one of the methods above! If not, please leave a comment here about what you tried, where you got stuck, etc. and we’ll try to help. Enjoy!