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Dell Dimension 5150 - no USB keyboard or mouse

Danny Child
Danny Child asked
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hi,
a friend has a dell desktop - dimension 5150 - which had a wireless Dell keyboard and mouse as supplied.  They have stopped working after he unplugged them by accident.  Just not seen on reboot when reconnected.

Fitting a wired kbd and mouse does not help, as the options to install drivers for them need to be clicked onscreen, and this can't be done.... grrr.  There are no ps/2 ports on this pc.  I've also tried the keyboard in mouse in different front and rear usb ports.  

using F8 to Safe Mode works for a second, then it reboots.  Last Known Good just shows the same fault.  

Keyboard is fine in BIOS.  I've looked and there are no Legacy USB options there, only ones to turn USB OFF completely, which seems the opposite way to go.

I've also tried a Repair install, but my CDs don't give that option, but all I have to hand are for XP Pro, or XP Home Upgrade, and the user just has plain vanilla XP Home.  Neither of mine show that R option.  

He's had issues with USB devices in the past with them being seen intermittently.  I've got a Bart's PE disk too - can I use that to force XP to reload the factory USB drivers in some way?  Wired keyboard and mouse are just fine to use on the Bart install.

I'll try another different model of keyboard and mouse, but the ones I have are a Dell branded usb keyboard, and a Compaq (relabelled) Logitech, so they're not exactly exotic.  They both just need a button clicking on the screen to get them working.  PC is on a home internet connection, no domain... So, remote access is tricky...

The only other option I can think of is to wipe the whole hard disk and start again, but that's a bit brutal.
Anyone got anything cleverer to try?  
Cheers, Danny

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
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Danny ChildIT Manager

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Commented:
Leew, thanks for the thoughts.

I'm thinking that some form of remote desktop is necessary too.  Yes, the user has XP Home.

Just been looking at the free trial of LogMeIn Rescue -
https://secure.logmeinrescue.com/HelpDesk/Home.aspx
so I can Push a remote access client to his PC across the internet.  Not sure if it's going to work, as the PC doesn't seem to be finishing its boot process - ie, if I momentarily press the power button, this should initiate a controlled shutdown.  But, it isn't, we have to hold it in to force the power off.  So, I'm wondering if it is hanging at the end of the boot cycle.

Dameware is a good idea, I can use this on another pc on his WiFi network, and go from there.  

If Last Known Good fails, then wouldn't forcing an older version of the registry also fail?  Essentially the same thing, yes?  Of course, there's the 001 and 002 versions to try.  

I've also downloaded knoppix, which I've not used before - does that have any different/better tools?
Danny ChildIT Manager

Author

Commented:
The only other thing I wondered was if it was possible to either prevent hardware detection, or prevent checking for signed drivers, as it is this process that is generating the messages on the screen that need clicking on before it will finish booting.  
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Danny ChildIT Manager

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Commented:
Thanks phototropic, I've got one of those at work, I'll borrow it tomorrow.  It had crossed my mind to try it but I'd dismissed it as just complicating the USB scenario yet more...

Any flavours of USB kit that seemed to work particularly well for you?  cheers, Danny

Well, I had one a couple of weeks ago:
Brand new usb mouse - nothing;
Regular (much used) PS2 mouse via an adapter - only moves horizontally;
Ancient Compaq USB mouse (the kind that originally plugged into a port on the keyboard) - Bingo!!!
No logic to it whatsoever...
Google is full of forum posts from people with all sorts of ideas about this problem, but I've not found anything which makes total sense.

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=Dell+Dimension+no+PS2+&btnG=Google+Search&meta=&aq=f&oq=

Danny ChildIT Manager

Author

Commented:
right, I've dug out the ps/2 to USB adaptor, and rounded up a selection of mice, going back to a plain 2 button ps/2 and some other genuine MS USB ones (do they sign their own drivers???) and will give it a spin...  will try Dameware too if needs be.  
Glad I'm not alone in this!

Once it gets working, I was planning on updating the mobo drivers from Dell, and doing a full Delete of the USB ports in Dev Mgr, and let it redetect them again.  Oh, and install LogMeIn free....!  Anything else worth doing?
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Danny ChildIT Manager

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ok, update:
my random selection of USB and PS/2 mice all showed the same issue - they want the HID device confirmation dialog boxes clicking before they'll continue.  Meanwhile, the LEDs on the mice don't even light, and CapsLock/NumLock/Windows key etc show no response on keyboards.  However, any/all of them are fine on the BartPE disk, so not a hardware issue.  Tried about 6 different mice, on a range of ports.  

Safe Mode pauses for about 5 seconds on the Login screen, then reboots.  Debug Mode shows the same normal fault.  

The suggestion for the USB card is a good one, I'll have to give that a spin.  Not sure how I'll shoehorn it into the compact case, but hey...  and just need to get lucky that it installs its own drivers without asking for any input.

As it's a Dell, the user doesn't have a full Win XP Home disk, only the factory reload ones.  I thought I had one, but it turns out to be an XP Home **upgrade** disk.  Grrrrr.  I don't use it much, can't think why!

Dameware - the user has a laptop running Windows 7 on the same wireless LAN - Dameware gives error 10061 on trying to connect back to the IP of the iffy machine.  He doesn't know the password for his wireless LAN, so I can't add a less bleeding-edge OS to try.  My version of dameware is pretty old too - 5 years?  Don't think it's changed much though.
Danny ChildIT Manager

Author

Commented:
to clarify, it's a 5150c model
Spec/manual:
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim5150C/en/sm/index.htm
 - with only PCI Express slots - NO PCI

fricking heck....
Danny ChildIT Manager

Author

Commented:
but there are Belkin PCI Express cards to run USB - one is ordered now - 2 days to get it delivered.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000JBXMP0/ref=ord_cart_shr?%5Fencoding=UTF8&m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE

Will see if I can get a pukka XP Home disk to try too.  
Good luck with that - I hope it works out.
Incidentally, that Belkin card is available over the counter at Maplins for a lot less:

http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=221506

Danny ChildIT Manager

Author

Commented:
shame I didn't think of Maplins, as we have a trade account there too.  Failing this, I think I'll try an upgrade of the Home install to Pro.  

I checked out the Dameware issue, and it seems like it is probably firewall related, but most of the fixes need unfettered access to both the Source and Target pcs.
Danny ChildIT Manager

Author

Commented:
going to try the pci USB card and XP pro update tomorrow - sorry for delay..... Danny
Danny ChildIT Manager

Author

Commented:
The pci-express card for usb wouldn't install without having some buttons clicked, so no joy... Knoppix booted, and saw the external usb disk, but wouldn't write to it - scary linux errors on mount points. Now dragged it all back to mine to fit his hdd as a slave to complete the backup. Then, all I can see to do is reload Pro over the top of Home, and see what survives...
Danny ChildIT Manager

Author

Commented:
Copied all the data off the disk, and a couple of viruses were found.  AVG appears to have killed them though.  Had to use XXCOPY to copy everything off - 75gb...

Removed a bunch of dross from the Startup folder on the slave disk, and that helped.  Also disabled some other startup items by renaming a folder that they were trying to run from.  This just stopped some dialog boxes at startup that were getting in the way.  

Then, added a batch file to the Startup folder containing:
sfc /scannow
pause

Moved the disk back to the original pc, and rebooted with my XP Home Upgrade disk in the drive (not booting from the CD though).  SFC ran nicely, as far as I could tell, but before it had finished, the screensaver had kicked in.  Waited for all the hard disk activity to cease (it was thrashing away), and then powered off.  The SFC has at least fixed some other issues, as now the system will power down nicely after a single push of the power button, but STILL no usb input devices.  It's happy enough with other USB devices - it booted from an external USB DVD drive quite happily for the Knoppix test above.  

Have now found a reg patch to apply to disable the screensaver, so will put another batch file in the Startup folder to install this:
REGEDIT /s "c:\ScrSaveDisable.reg"
where
ScrSaveDisable.reg contains:
  Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
 
  [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop]
  "ScreenSaveActive"="0"

 - but now to be honest, I think it's time for working on the upgrade to XP Pro.  I'll have to do this via Booting from the XP CD of course...
Danny ChildIT Manager

Author

Commented:
Safe Mode is stil bad - it stops on the Login screen for 5 secs (where of course I can't click on either the User or Administrator's name to continue), and then reboots.  
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Danny ChildIT Manager

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Punky, that's a *fantastic* idea.  StarTech do one, a bit cheaper than Gefen.com - is it worth paying more?  Only good for 100m, but still needs no software

The last idea I had was to move the hard disk to a different pc, with ps/2 ports, and see if XP could cope with all the HAL changes.  Then, do the upgrade from Home to Pro there, and then move it back again.... I haven't been able to figure out how to do an upgrade from Home to Pro without having a working Mouse/Kbd inside Windows already.  Booting from the XP Pro cd doesn't give Upgrade options.  
Danny ChildIT Manager

Author

Commented:
Dang.  No response from the PS/2 to Ethernet adaptor.  How does it work with only one end of the adaptor fitted (ie the female end, for the mouse/kbd), while you can't use the other end (male, where you'd normally plug back into the PC's ps/2 ports).  

But, also bought an XP Home OEM sp3 CD to try too ... running a Repair after booting from that, now...

Commented:
Here is more:
 

KS2.JPG

Commented:
At first, I did not know how to fix the issue with USB KB and Mouse on my Dell/HP like you have .... I saw this kinda KB / Mouse that used on machines I have ... I tried and it works !!!
I had another Dell with no PS2 in the workshop this week. I used a new USB mouse - nothing.  I used an ancient Microsoft optical USB mouse - no problem.
I really think the way forward is to experiment with hardware...

 
Danny ChildIT Manager

Author

Commented:
As it turned out, I couldn't get Punky's solution to work. The model I bought had essentially a ps/2 splitter at each end of an ethernet cable:

mouse-->]_____<ethernet>_____[mouse connector--->PC ps/2 mouse port
kbd------>]                                      [kbd connector------->PC ps/2 kbd port

and I got no response when I used the ps/2 mouse and keyboard, plugged into the splitter, plugged into the ethernet, plugged into the NIC port on the PC (skipping the 2nd mouse/kbd connector, as the pc has no ps/2 ports, of course).  I haven't quite figured out how input traffic from a keyboard and mouse could be recognised by a nic port as keystrokes/mouse movement, but I am quite stupid.

In the end, I had to use the XP Home CD to Repair Install it, then reinstall sp3, and the mobo drivers.  It works now!  but hideously slow to boot - a proper 5 minutes.  The hard disk is still stuck on ATA mode (but it's a SATA drive) , but whenever I flick it back in the BIOS to ACPI, it fails to boot.  I had it on ATA mode so that I could skip the "F6 to load Drivers" part of the CD boot process.  I think it may need more/different HDD drivers... but that's another question.  
Danny ChildIT Manager

Author

Commented:
will keep hunting for phototropic's magic mouse in my graveyard... but time to lay this one to rest...
Danny ChildIT Manager

Author

Commented:
Cheers for all your help, I'm humbled that some big names from round here stuck with me through this.  Much appreciated.  

Commented:
The cable in picture is console cable !!!! sorry for forgot mention this infor.
Danny ChildIT Manager

Author

Commented:
When you say console cable, what do you mean - one for a KVM switch?  Sorry, still confused...

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