Solved: Reinstalling drivers without mouse...

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r_kage

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Background: After installing a new dvd writer in my laptop, I began getting errors on the USB port ("One of the USB devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned,and Windows does not recognize it...") Now my keyboard did sustain a minor spill in the past (thanks to small kids) and a small amount got onto the motherboard and possibly when I took my computer apart, I disturbed this by blasting air inside, who knows, but the usb ports are still recognized and would supply power until that message popped up. I tried all workaround fixes I could find, and still the usb ports do not work (if I plug one thing in, multiple 'unknown devices" appear in the device manager).

I tried reinstalling windows (without a reformat) and that did not solve my problem, and the installation failed somehow and I was unable to reinstall the network drivers because of error messages, nor was I able to delete some of the ones that showed drivers but were not working properly.

So, as a last ditch effort, I decided to format my hard drive and reinstall windows. Now, not only can I not use the usb ports, my touchpad is no longer working properly. I can move the cursor around, but the buttons are not working. I have tried to navigate using the keyboard functions (alt and windows keys) but my computer isn't always opening the windows/menus I want or getting to where I want to go.

I do not care about the touchpad or usb ports if I am able to get to the point that I can buy an express card for the slot on my laptop, but I'm having great difficulty loading drivers, and so far have only installed dell's notebook software.

My computer:
Dell Vostro 2510
XP service pack 3
Pentium Core 2 duo
3gb Ram

Can drivers be successfully installed at command line? Or is there a way to access some workaround in windows (similar to onscreen keyboard, but for the mouse) or something? Thanks!!
 

r_kage

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More info: I just ran some diagnostics from the Dell driver cd. The touchpad fails, stating that two keys are indicated as being depressed. The USB selection passes all tests. I plugged a mouse into it and reran the tests, and still passed all tests. This non-optical usb mouse is not recognized at all by windows when plugged in, however, and the optical usb wireless mouse is the one that shows as unknown device. If I leave it in, the "found new hardware" window keeps popping up, followed by the "usb not recognized' error, and several instances of "unknown device" will appear in the device manager.
 
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If keys are locked in the closed position, many things are not going to work right until that is fixed.

You'll need to find out why those keys are pressed, possibly the way the machine was screwed back together.
 

r_kage

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True, that may be faulty. I did take the touchpad/palmrest off yesterday after seeing it wasn't working properly and didn't see anything connected wrong or out of place, so thought maybe it was a device driver issue, since I had so many problems following the soft reinstallation. I don't recall seeing it show up in the device manager, but then again, even the device manager is so hard to get at right now. Is there a way to disable it? If I find a way to disable it, would that resolve other conflicts? See, and if I saw an obvious problem with it, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a new touchpad/palmrest off ebay being as how they aren't that expensive, but if it's a driver issue that won't help, and well, worse case scenario, it's a nonworkaround motherboard issue.
 

r_kage

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OK, I removed the touchpad/palmrest, then removed the buttons to the touchpad that come up as stuck, but I didn't see anything wrong and reassembled it. I put it back together, and then a "found new hardware" message pertaining to the usb ports that have nothing in them, and the unknown device and same usb error. I took the computer back apart and unplugged the usb cable from the motherboard, powered it back up and this did not resolve the touchpad issue. I then brought my computer back into the living room to put it on the charger and now it doesn't boot. Soooooo....... I guess I'll resort to washing the motherboard? Maybe it's a motherboard issue? *sigh*
 

DoubleHelix

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The laptop sustained physical damage with the spill, and taking it apart and putting it back together can also lead to problems. At this point I'd say it has significant hardware damage. You could try searching for an exact model replacement motherboard on eBay, but I wouldn't spend more than $50 on it.
 

r_kage

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Thanks Elvandil and DoubleHelix for your responses. My motherboard sells for $180-$190 on ebay. The thing is, the spill happened over a year ago, and it only covers a dime sized area, so I suppose at this point, attempting to wash it couldn't hurt. If I can get this thing to load again, maybe I can use a mouse on the serial port or something, so long as I don't have to load drivers.

I DID figure out how to load drivers without the mouse and touchpad, however, and that was the major purpose of this thread. I found an extensive list of shortcut keys on microsoft's site here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/301583

The first time I searched, I only came across lists with the most popular shortcuts, but I needed some of the special ones to navigate tabs and numerous options. I did NOT figure out how to open the tree in the device manager, but doesn't really matter much to me at this point.

Thanks again!!
 
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I hope you get it all figured out. There are too many possibilities right now, and disassembling it can have unforeseen results. I've been there, and I know how hard it is to get one back together properly, so the experts who have experience with a particular model are the best people to work on one unless you are willing to sacrifice the machine in the effort to fix it. Things are packed together and may have dual purposes which makes working on them all the more difficult.

Good luck. If you discover something that may help others, please come back and share it.
 

DoubleHelix

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Motherboards aren't like dirty pots and pans that just need a soakin' if something sticks or gets baked on. The liquid had a year to work it's corrosive magic which is probably why the problem is continuing to get progressively worse. The damage is done, and any kind of "washing" isn't going to fix it.

Definitely do not spend $180 on a motherboard. You can buy a much newer laptop with a warranty for $400-$500.
 

r_kage

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Oct 6, 2008
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DoubleHelix--I agree, and I use precaution--ground myself the best I can, use aerosol air spray, don't touch more than necessary, work on uncoated wood table, etc. This was not something I took lightly, but I have general confidence in my abilities with guidance of the experts here and didn't feel I had too much to lose. All my data was already backed up. Sending my computer for repair I don't think is any cheap matter, and given my husband may upgrade his laptop very soon, and his is practically identical to mine, I figured I'd try all I can and if nothing else let this be a learning experience.
 

r_kage

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Oct 6, 2008
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UPDATE:

I reinstalled all the drivers on my computer that the dell disk claimed I needed plus the touchpad, which dell's driver disk did not identify. ONCE I INSTALLED THE DRIVERS FOR THE TOUCHPAD, IT IS NOW OPERATIONAL! The usb ports still do not work, though that's where the spill occurred, but I can use my computer and that's the important thing!

Without a working mouse, I relied on the following shortcuts most of all:

ALT-F4:
closes out active window, including popup bubbles that appear at startup in the lower right hand corner (such as the usb error or not having automatic updates activated).

TAB, ARROWS, ENTER: If you don't have an active window, Alt-F4 brings up the "Turn off/Restart" box, and I'd just tab or use arrows to get to the Cancel button and hit enter.

With all windows closed, Windows Button + E opens My Computer, and using arrows, I could move down to the CD-ROM drive, use the right arrow to open folders, and then when I have the folder I need, tab over and use arrows to highlight the file I want to open. Then hit enter to install, etc.

I couldn't just open or autoplay Dell's Driver CD because unfortunately, the shortcut keys were not working in its program to navigate past the intro page, and I also have no idea if shortcuts would have worked on subsequent pages, but I guess not.

THANKS EVERYONE! I wouldn't have proceeded without stopping here first and seeing what you all had to say!
 
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