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mgross333
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Mouse and keyboard (both usb) fail on Dell Optiplex PC

I removed the PS2 mouse and PS2 keyboard (into one usb plug thru a PS2 to usb adapter) from the Dell Optiplex G280 Minitower while it was running (Windows XP Pro SP2) . I put the usb plug back in and got a Found New HW Wizard on the screen. (Why ????). Since then the mouse and keyboard fail. When a **different** PS2 mouse with a **different** PS2 to usb converter (that previously worked by itself with **this** Optiplex) is plugged in, same result. I reboot, same result. Try other usb plugs on the back, same result. Try other usb plugs on the front, same result.. Hence the Optiplex must be thrown in the garbage.
 
BIOS, there is no keyboard so I cannot type F2. Task Manager, there is no keyboard to type cntrl alt del. Continue with the found new HW wizard, no the mouse does not work to click the Next button. Oh, BTW we no longer get to the Found New HW wizard because I cannot get past the log in window.
 
Of course on any other PC in the entire world this would not happen because they have the PS2 connectors but not the Optiplex. The only PC in the world with no PS2 connectors. Brilliant, Dell Computer, just brilliant !!!!
 
So I must throw it away. Completely hopeless.
 
Any comments? A solution perhaps.
 
Note: The PC is being brought down by a lite tap on the power button, not by holding the power button in for a long time because the lite tap causes the PC to come down as if I used the Windows Start button.
 
Mike
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Gary Case

8/22/2022 - Mon
SOLUTION
FriarTuk

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Gary Case

The GX280 (I presume it's a GX280, since I can't find any reference to a G280) has an "... Optional PS/2 with secondary serial port adapter .." ==> your's obviously doesn't have that; BUT, it may mean there's a header on the motherboard for PS/2 ports.  (on the other hand, Dell may actually use a different version of the motherboard if you buy the option)

IF there's a header, you could add two of these (I'm surprised they don't make one with two plugs):
http://www.ramelectronics.net/html/ps2-add-on-cable.htm   FriarTuk's suggestion to "buy a pci card with ps/2 ports" would be a good suggestion IF he gave a link to such a card; but I'm not aware of any (I've looked before for someone else with a PS/2-less Dell -> yours isn't the only model that doesn't have them).

If does sound like the USB controller got "fried".   I often "lecture" folks about NOT hot-plugging PS/2 devices (they are NOT designed for it);  but I'd have thought that with a USB adapter it was okay => apparently not !!

I THINK that if you added a new USB controller (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16815166001) that the BIOS would still recognize a USB keyboard, as long as legacy USB support is enabled in the BIOS.   Obviously you can't change it if it's not ==> BUT most BIOS's default to legacy support; so if you reset CMOS it should work.   In fact, resetting CMOS just might resolve this => if the problem isn't a "fried" USB controller but a "hosed" setting caused by yanking the plug.   Certainly wouldn't hurt to try.
mgross333

ASKER
Following advice in thie Dell Community forum in some related posts, I tried every USB plug on the Optiplex and eventually found one of the 8 that worked. And this survives a reboot. It appears the problem only occurs if you remove the usb device and plug it back in while the Optiplex GX280 is running (but I can not be completely sure about this). So my emergency is over but this is completely unaceptable. I think the Optiplex GX280 is junk because of this, abolutely unacceptable for this to be happening with ANY usb device, to say nothing about when the mouse and the keyboard MUST be connected to usb.

FriarTuk, thanks for posting but.....it is apparent from other Dell Forum posts that this is a Optiplex problem, others have had it, and it is NOT solved by getting a real usb mouse or keyboard Other posters already had one) .  It also happens with USB devices other than mouse and keyboard.

Mike
Gary Case

That's an interesting behavior;  I have to believe it's power-related, as the USB drivers themselves should be standard XP drivers.   I suspect that if you used an add-in USB card those ports would work "normally" => but as I noted above I'm not certain they'll support a USB keyboard/mouse at the BIOS boot level (although I'd think they would).
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rwheeler23
Gary Case

Curiosity got the better of me ==> it would appear you CAN add the PS/2 option to your system; so there is apparently a header on your motherboard (as I surmised earlier).   Here's what you need:  http://accessories.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=ca&l=en&s=dhs&cs=CADHS1&sku=310-5496
mgross333

ASKER
FriarTuk,

It now appears there is something to your idea. I fix PCs for a living. My customer never gave me his Optiplex mouse and keyboard which are undoubtedly USB. I found that when I plugged in the PS2 devices thru a combo converter they failed and a small window popped up saying found PS2 to usb adapter. The a Found new HW wizard window appeared. As the mouse failed I could not click NEXT in it. The I decided to plug the usb mouse in and it failed EXCEPT in the usb ports under the ethernet plug (where as mentioned above, it had worked before). I plugged the combo keyboard into the other plug under the ethernet plug. The then I used the usb mouse to click NEXT in the Found new HW wizard and get the whole thing to work. Except I had to go thru the Found new HW wizard about 5 times as it kept appearing for different devices related to the combo. Finally the keyboard worked on the combo but not the combo mouse but the usb mouse still worked. So I now had a working keyboard and mouse.

Only problem is that before when I first attached the combo PS2 keyboard and PS2 mouse thru ps2 to usb adapter, I never had to do any of this stuff, it just worked !!! I swear to you that it did.

So it appears to be a combination of your idea and the posts in the Dell forum as 6 of the 8 usb plugs do not work NOW even with the usb mouse.

Mike
Gary Case

Are the keyboard and mouse working at the BIOS boot level?   If so, go into the BIOS and confirm you have legacy USB support enabled.   If not, you might try resetting CMOS (as I suggested earlier).

... meanwhile, I'd order those PS/2 ports !!  :-)
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FriarTuk

some mfg might only use usb ports 1 & 2 for keybd/mouse bootup purposes, i've had problems before using dummy converters, that's why i mentioned it - also as an alternative & if needed i buy those pci ps/2 cards for myself to use when i have to work on someone else's pc that has this problem
Gary Case

FriarTuk => could you post a link to a pci ps/2 card ??   I've looked for these several times but have not found any.
FriarTuk

guessing to clarify is one that takes a pci slot by using the actual open slot on the back in front of the slot on the mobo, similar to the one i just saw in your link-> http://www.ramelectronics.net/html/ps2-add-on-cable.htm
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FriarTuk

Gary Case

So as I suspected, there are not any PCI PS/2 cards.   I've looked several times and have never found one.   I was hopeful you might know of one (since you said you did), but obviously what you meant was a PS/2 connector for an on-board PS/2 port.
Gary Case

Mike => Did you note my post above showing that you CAN add  PS/2  ports to the GX280 ??

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ASKER CERTIFIED SOLUTION
gruntspeed

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dbrunton

Does it have a COM port?

If it does then an old serial mouse would work.
mgross333

ASKER
Gruntspeed,

I have given you the accepted asnwer and also assigned points to FriarTuk. However, I regret to inform you that the usb mouse does not work in most of the usb plugs on this PC. It does not work in usb plugs it previously worked in. It does not work in 6 of 8 usb plus here. Yet usb sticks and usb wireless adaptors do work in those other usb plugs. I am thankful that it does work in 2 plugs as this customer owes me $400 for various SW (not HW) work I have done on this PC and I would not have got paid if I could not get a usb mouse to work as he undoubtedly has a usb mouse and keyboard.

Mike
Gary Case

Mike - I'm surprised that with all the research I did on this => including even finding you the PS/2 option kit from Dell [which would certainly seem to meet your request for "... A solution perhaps ..." in response to your frustration over the lack of PS/2 ports ("... The only PC in the world with no PS2 connectors. Brilliant, Dell Computer, just brilliant !!!!")]  ... that you didn't give ANY credit for that response.
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fblack61
Gary Case

... by the way, I almost never comment on which answer(s) a questioner chooses to accept;  but this was such a "Wow - Perfect !!" find that I was really surprised you didn't so much as even comment on it; let alone give SOME credit for it.