Sometimes progress can happen too fast.
Dell must have realised this when they released the Dell Dimension 5150.
It must have seemed to be ultra-modern, and the the way PCs would be like in the future: They eliminated those really ancient PS2 ports for the mouse and keyboard (ie the round green and purple plugs at the back of your PC).
A Dell engineer must have thought: its about time we went fully USB, and stop wasting time on PS2.
Great in theory, but the reality is very different… as I found out when I had to fix one.
When I take a PC back to my office, I usually just take the tower… no keyboard/mouse/monitor… I’ve got plenty, so I minimise the risk of misplacing a customers equipment.
But once I started the Dimension 5150, the usual XP found new hardware wizard would popup. It would find either a new USB keyboard, or a new USB mouse… and it would ask you to click “next” to continue installing the hardware….
Hmmm… how do I click “next” when its the mouse/keyboard that is being detected?
I tried a few different mice, and tried them in all the USB ports… but to no avail.
One solution would be to use a PS2 to USB adapter like this: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/62620 … but I’m not sure it will work… after all, it still plugs into a USB port, so XP still needs to detect the hardware and so we are back to the beginning again…
Another solution is to use remote desktop… but remote desktop seems to be disabled on on this PC…
So what did I do?
I took it back to the customer, plugged the mouse into a USB port, start PC… XP though it was new hardware… shutdown the PC, plug mouse into next USB port, start PC… repeat process until I find which port the mouse was originally plugged into !!!
How crazy is that!
Anyway, the next time I see one of these monsters, I’ll be sure to plug in my own USB mouse (remembering which USB port I used, and making sure the hardware is detected properly), before I take it away!
If the mouse happens to fail, then at least the keyboard can be used to help the new hardware wizard find a new mouse.