I have a used Dell without any PS2 ports, only USB ports. I bought new hard drive for it and attempted to install Windows XP, 7, Vista, or whatever else I could install on it.
1st attempt, got keyboard, went into Bios to boot from CD first, restarted, got all Windows installation to load up to the point to where "HIT ENTER" to install Windows. Well guess what, at that point my keyboard light went off and was useless. I rebooted and got message "No keyboard detected" and nothing would light up or work on keyboard. Went to several web sites on my other computer searching for answers, and one site recommended removing the battery from the motherboard. "voila, got error again but this time keyboard would work".
Re-attempted installing Windows again, keyboard blinking away indicating it was working until I once again got to the "HIT ENTER" install message, then the keyboard light went out again. I thought this keyboard was crazy, so I tried it on my other working machine from boot up. It worked just fine on my other machine so it's not the keyboard!
All this was done without the battery on the used machine. Every time since I put the battery back in on the next boot up, it would not detect the keyboard once again. I tried Paragon recovery in which the keyboard and mouse both separate USB identities work just fine, Active boot disk which works wonders, but only off the CD, with working keyboard and all again, and other boot disks I have lying around work fine with keyboard and mouse.
It just seems that every time I get to the "HIT ENTER" to install a brand new Windows, the keyboard dies on me Any suggestions...besides... try another USB, try plugging and unplugging keyboard, try loading drivers NOT, XP installer already done so, try another keyboard, buy another keyboard.... give me something to work with here. Remember PS2 adapters are out of the question... this is a USB only machine for keyboard and mouse. At this point I'm willing to install DOS 6.X to see if it will let me install windows... I have seen hundreds of threads with this same problem with DELL workstations with USB ports only.
Software/Hardware used: Windows Xp, Windows 7, Windows Vista