Many new computers now come without PS/2 jacks for keyboard and mouse; USB is the only type supported. But, if you try to do a Repair Install of XP, (or change from a dead PS/2 device to a new USB device) you're stuck in a Microsoft-created conflict:
A. The XP install process is trying to install USB Keyboard and Mouse support ("New device" found), but...
B. The device driver installer requires keyboard and/or mouse input to proceed.
So, the customer is stuck: No Keyboard or Mouse, and no way to install them because a Keyboard or Mouse are required to click on the various buttons on the screen that enable device driver installation.
So far, the only solution I've found is to plug the keyboard and mouse into specific, known USB sockets, get them recognised by the O.S. while it's still operating (albeit with two keyboards and/or mice) then do the repair install, 'cause they're already recognized. (Incidentally, the keyboard and mouse have to be plugged into EXACTLY the same sockets in which they were originally installed; if you move them around, the problem recurs.)
But, if the system has crashed, taking any USB keyboard or mouse with it (or you can't remember which sockets they were originally installed to), you're stuck: You can't use the USB keyboard/mouse to install the required USB keyboard/mouse drivers.
Has anyone figured out a way around this dilemma?
(Incidentally, this has nothing to do--insofar as I've been able to determine--with BIOS configuration; I can, for example, successfully boot from a CD from Acronis (based on Linux), and any PS/2 and/or USB keyboard mice are detected; these seems to be a Microsoft oversight in Windows XP, leaving this dilemma.)