Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a Toshiba laptop with 3 USB ports. The ports stopped working, independently, over time. Now I can't use a mouse with the laptop so basically it's a non functional computer for me.

I don't know if this is hardware failure or software/driver failure. It's running Windows 7 and no updates were installed recently.

Which tools can I use to troubleshoot this issue? How do I know if it's a hardware problem? By visual inspection I don't see any damage in the ports. Only a mouse was used in the ports.

share|improve this question
Its a laptop...It has to have an input device built into it. – Ramhound Feb 20 '13 at 20:02
I like to use a real mouse only. Those built in ones are only good for short sessions. – Tony_Henrich Feb 21 '13 at 18:32
I understand that. Beyond repairing the problem yourself not sure what answer your looking for. – Ramhound Feb 21 '13 at 19:56

I do not know if this is hardware failure or software/driver failure.

That is easy to solve. Boot another OS. If the problems go away it is a software problem.

There are quite a lot of free LiveCD's on the net. Just about any of them would do.

Which tools can I use to troubleshoot this issue?

I would start by looking at the log files in windows. You can use windows without a mouse. It is just a little uncomfortable since most programs tend to assume mouse users, but it is possible. (E.g. use CtrlESC to open the start menu, then Cursor up to to get to the search/run menu and type eventv. That will show the even viewer in the list of found programs. Start it with Return.

Alternatively, if you have configured remote desktop then you can just boot the laptop and RDP to it, using a different computer (and its keyboard and mouse).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.