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I have a PC that up until a couple days ago was working fine. I moved it from one site to another and now when I plug in the USB mouse or keyboard (the same ones that were working previously) XP brings up the New Hardware Wizard. Going through it, the correct keyboard and mouse are identified, but XP can't find the drivers.

I've tried manually searching for the driver (using the Have Disk option) - the first file it's looking for is in the c:\i386 directory, but that installs a generic HID mouse device; the system then runs the hardware wizard for a new "unknown" device.

The system was SP2, I have installed SP3 in hopes that would help, and I've also downloaded and installed the mouse drivers from Dell's site (there are no specific drivers for the keyboard), with no change.

Before I completely reinstall XP, is there anything else I should try?

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I should add: the keyboard works to get into and within the BIOS setup, so I don't think it's a hardware problem with the system or the keyboard. –  Randy Orrison Jun 2 '10 at 14:07

2 Answers 2

This often happens when the catalog cache is corrupted. Boot into safe mode and delete the %SystemRoot%\System32\catroot2 folder ( do not delete the "catroot" folder! only "catroot2"!).

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This happens when you connect one USB device to a different USB port on your machine. If you want, you can try to plug the keyboard and mouse into their original USB ports which would bypass all of this mess.

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usually when you connect it to a different port a popup comes up and it's recognized. Not a new hardware wizard –  barlop Sep 6 at 14:50
    
supposedly this should be the problem when power isn't sufficient to get the hardware up and run seamlessly with the system, and i've encountered this sometimes, too. –  ProtoAES256 Nov 7 at 6:22

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