I loved the assitance you guys gave to Kilf on this board (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=457158)
I started a new thread since my issue is similar, but wasn’t related. If admin determines this should be part of that thread feel free to move it.
So, a while ago my USB ports died. I do not know why, they simply stopped responding to anything. I tried pretty much everything (aside from replacing my MoBo), including a BIOS update (using a friend’s PS2 keyboard).
In the end I found a workaround by using a PCI USB hub. This, however, is not ideal for the reason Kilf found out. I am deathly afraid of something going wrong with my computer where I need to start in safe mode or access the BIOS since my USB ports from the PCI hub don’t become active until I’m inside of Windows. I know that I could just get a PS/2 keyboard for this, however, I’m more concerned that my PCI USB hub as recently started behaving oddly as well. It will lose connections for a brief moment on and off. Sometimes with my old USB keyboard that was wired, it would stop recognizing the keyboard and only when I unplugged power from the external USB hub and reconnected it (I have an external USB hub connected to the PCI card because I can’t easily have things I swap in and out accessible from the back of my machine).
The motherboard I have is an EVGA NVIDIA nForce 750i Intel Board. (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813188026)
The weirdest thing is that the set of Turtle Beach headphones I have use USB for power only, and they still work plugged into any of the Motherboard’s USB ports (although my iPod and iPhone do not, but that is to be expected since I believe there is a handshake that happens when you try to supply USB power from a computer to those devices).