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Mouse & Keyboard dead with USB connection

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I took my PC PS2 keyboard and mouse to connect together to my laptop with a single USB 'inserter' which works perfectly every time. The laptop recognised the connection immediately and I can also use the pad as well.

Going back to my PC I used the same arrangement, instead of struggling awkwardly at the back, and plugged into a USB port at the front where I ususally plug in my printer, which works from there OK.

When the PC is booted up, the mouse light and Num Lock and Caps light all flash as ususal but otherwise are completely dead. I then unhook that and replace the mouse and keyboard in their proper PS2 ports in the back but again they are dead. The only thing I can do then is reboot using the button on the front of my tower and then all is OK when restarted.

What can explain this anomaly and how would I get the mouse and keyboard working from that front USB port?

Grateful for any advice.
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Front USB ports are usually on the same cable from the motherboard as media card readers, etc. There may be an issue with the amount of power the USB controller can provide at one time. If the keyboard and mouse are not very power efficient the boot load may be causing an overload on the controller. Try plugging the kbd and mouse into the USB splitter after the computer is running. If that doesn't work I would invest in another set. It's not worth frying the USB controller or motherboard.
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by the way the reason that they wouldn't work after plugging them into the ps/2 port until you rebooted is that ps/2 is not hot swap and you should not plug a ps/2 device in while the computer is on... ( yes usb is hot swap. )
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