I’ve just built a new PC (geeky specs on request, people. And pictures. I’m not sad enough to post them up here. yet). It’s worked fine since I started going on it. Started to get a bit bogged down now that I’ve installed all my crap back on it, but there you go.
Anyways, I got in from work today and my firewall said it had an update. Needless to say, I said “grab it” and let it do the download. Little blue line…. “please reboot”. Fair enough. Reboot.
Only when the system came back up again I had no mouse pointer. Argh.
Briefly, I have a couple of machines routed through an electronic KVM switch, thus sharing a mouse, keyboard and monitor. The mouse is USB, but shoved through a USB-to-PS/2 adaptor and the keyboard is just plain PS/2.
First thought is that it’s just struggling, so I gave it a minute or so. Nope. Nothing. OK. Reboot. Still nothing. Pants. Obviously, I’m assuming hardware here – after all, a firewall upgrade’s hardly going to shaft the mouse, is it? Oh, and I’m running WindowsXP so I need the mouse to click on the icon.
Somehow, after swapping cables around and stuff, I got a mouse pointer. Hurrah. Wiggle-wiggle. Mouse wiggles. Click on icon. Start to type password… and nothing appears in the box. And the mouse pointer’s died. Still there, just doesn’t move. Ooooookay.
Basically, after much fiddling and plugging of various things directly into various ports and popping USB mice directly into PCs, I discovered this: Once Windows had even *started* to load, as soon as I touched a key on the keyboard the PS/2 ports were locking up. Completely.
If I booted to DOS or into the BIOs… no problem. No problem. Must be a driver issue. I’ll get into Safe Mode and roll back to a recovery position. Only I can’t, as I need the F8 key to get into safe mode and the fraction of a second I’m out of the BIOS area… the PS/2 ports lock.
Can’t use VNC as I’ve disabled the remote access. Besides, to create an XP-accessible client of any of the other machines, I need a network disc that I’d have to create on the PC I can’t get on to. In the meantime, the XP machine is alone on the network.
So… a 90 minute round trip and &163;22 netted me a USB keyboard (erm… and two fans with red LEDs that I accidentally bought as well. Oops). Plug it in, boot it up, no problems. Roll back to last night’s sound card driver installation (which was prior to the firewall update), remove USB stuff, re-insert PS/2 stuff…
So why the hell did the firewall trash my ports? No idea. But it ain’t getting updated again. Four hours and &163;22 gone. Grr.