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XP boots but mouse and keyboard (both usb) are disabled, what to do?

I'm working on a friend's Dell XP machine and I can use the keyboard when selecting safe mode, regular booting, etc.  So at that point the keyboard at least is recognized and the drivers are loaded and working.  However, when I continue with the boot using the last successful configuration, windows does indeed boot all the way...but at that point neither the mouse or keyboard work (safe mode dies by the way).  What to do???
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David L. Hansen
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David L. Hansen
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Robert_ACiCommented:
Ideally, if you have a PS2 mouse and keyboard try to use that. I've noticed a lot of time that using USB devices while trying to repair machines, always ends up in some sort of conflict. XP doesn't give you full access to the hardware install utility due to safe mode only loading a base set of drives. While the USB set IS in there, it sometimes load and sometimes doesn't. So plug in a PS2 if you can and go from there.

As far as the safe mode crashing, perhaps it's malware/adware/virus. In the worst case scenario, us an XP disk and try to do a repair install to freshly install all of the system drivers.
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Christopher MartinezCommented:
Do you have a dell restore disk? Or a dell restore partition?
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David L. HansenProgrammer AnalystAuthor Commented:
It's a friends machine and I have no Dell disks.  I do have an XP disk though and I'll try and do the repair with it.  Also, the machine has no PS2 ports at all.
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Robert_ACiCommented:
With no PS2 I would recommend just trying to plug in the keyboard and booting off the XP CD and navigating with the tab/space keys. Keep in mind if you don't see an option to (R)epair the machine, don't continue as the only other option would be to hit ESC to install a fresh copy. If necessary pull the drive and pop it in another machine or external hard drive device to pull the data and back everything up and then proceed with a fresh install. It all depends on what you have for tools where you are.
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David L. HansenProgrammer AnalystAuthor Commented:
I've got it in another machine right now.  It is a SATA drive however and the bios never recognized it.  But booting off the xp disk did allow me to go into repair mode...doing that right now.  It seems to be working...the dos prompt is there with the message "Type EXIT to quit the Recovery Console and restart the computer." just above the prompt.  I'm just waiting and crossing my fingers.
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Robert_ACiCommented:
I think you hit R for recovery console. You need to actually hit ENTER to set up windows and on one of the proceeding screens you will have the options to (R) repair or ESC for a fresh copy. I'd cancel what you're doing now and reboot off the CD and then hit enter to install and look for the repair option. If it isn't there, I can help you actually do some recovery console repairs. Let me know.
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David L. HansenProgrammer AnalystAuthor Commented:
Rebooting...Windows Setup is running (it went strait into that on it's own as before)....drivers look like they are being loaded.....Ok, now I've got the Setup screen; I can: setup XP fresh (press Enter), repair (press R), or quit setup (press F3).
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David L. HansenProgrammer AnalystAuthor Commented:
BTW, the bios (I went in there earlier) makes no mention of SATA anything, only IDE.  I wonder if windows can even read the drive???
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Robert_ACiCommented:
What model is the Dell?
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David L. HansenProgrammer AnalystAuthor Commented:
Model DCSLF.

Currently the drive is on a home built machine though.
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Robert_ACiCommented:
Yeah that might pose a problem but if there is a SATA port that you've linked the drive into, then it should be fine. Perhaps there aren't SATA drivers installed on the home built box? Maybe download a chipset driver for the mother board if it is in fact connected to a SATA port.
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David L. HansenProgrammer AnalystAuthor Commented:
It is most definately connected to a SATA port on the motherboard.  The chipset is just old.   I've never flashed a bios though.
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Robert_ACiCommented:
Depending on which bios it is and what motherboard, it's a fairly simple process. The problem is that you can't get into Windows to do a Windows side flash. You need to get the box up and running before yo flash. Ideally, just installing the chipset drivers *should* give you SATA connectivity.
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David L. HansenProgrammer AnalystAuthor Commented:
ok.  I've removed the SATA drive and am now booting off the original.  I've opened up the bios.  It is a Phoenix - AwardBIOS.
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Robert_ACiCommented:
Go to your motherboard support site and see what they have for BIOS upgrades. You can easily see what version you have by looking at the POST screen and it will say. Hit the support site and see what they have to offer. Hopefully you can get a WINFlash to do it inside of Windows.
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David L. HansenProgrammer AnalystAuthor Commented:
Well, that made it so the drive was recognized.  However, the system says the drive is either full, damaged, or unformatted.  It must be dying (dust on the platters...who knows) because now I can't even get it to boot in the original machine at all.  It goes nowhere.  My friend says he'll just take it to a data recovery shop.  
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Robert_ACiCommented:
Well if you can get it to recognize in another box then you can actually try to do some basic data recovery with it. OnTrack, Acronis and others are great for the "home user" to try to pull data off a bad drive.

Either way, if I was helpful at all, please reward the efforts. I can help you further until you are satisfied also. :) Best of luck with it.
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Robert_ACiCommented:
Also, you may be able to do a simple partition recovery. It sounds as if that was damaged in some process. Sometimes it's a pretty basic fix and there are tons of tools for it. I like Acronis Disk Director Suite. I only use this since Norton Partition Magic doesn't work well anymore and hasn't (IMO) for many years since they acquired it.
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David L. HansenProgrammer AnalystAuthor Commented:
Great!  Let's do that.  Acronis Recovery Expert on download.com seems like the right pick, but there are a lot to choose from under Acronis.  Which one?
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Robert_ACiCommented:
Disk Director Suite if it's there. Also, google open source gui partition tools.
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David L. HansenProgrammer AnalystAuthor Commented:
Sorry Robert for the long wait to get the points.  You really gave great assistance.  I've drug my feet because I didn't want to choose a post that, although helpful, didn't solve the issue completely.  I just don't want to confuse others.  You sure deserve the points though...so here they are.

Thanks once more.
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Robert_ACiCommented:
Thank you very much. If there is anything else I can help you with, please don't hesitate to ask. Have a good one!

Regards,

Robert
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