> I have a Gigabyte GA-K8nsc-939 board with a AMD 3200+ 64 bit chip.
> My computer was off but still connected to an outlet backed up with a
> surge protector when certain electronic equipment was hit with a power
> spike during a lightning storm. My computer works fine. Except for the
> USB ports and floppy drive. The on-board NIC, hard drives, operating
> system (Vista Business), and memory, all operate normally. So far, I
> cleared the BIOS, re-installed the chipset drivers, deleted the USB
> drivers and let them reload. It seems the USB drivers re-install even
> though the ports don't work. I also have a 64 in 1 memory card reader,
> connected via a IDE onboard controller that is not detected any more
> also. I tried to do a repair of Vista Business, but the reinstall
> option is not available in this version of Vista. My thinking is to
> order a new board and rebuild the system. Also, I have a HP printer
> that got ruined. Any help would be appreciated. The only thing I have
> not tried is to re-install Vista Business again but that would wipe out
> all my programs. I don't know which way to go with my thinking here? Is
> it the motherboard or Vista? I am pulling towards the motherboard. Any
> advice would be appreciated. The only question I don't understand, is
> why would the USB drivers re-load and be seen in the device manager as
> normal if the ports don't work?
Well, there already exists a case with exactly those symptoms. The
ICH5/ICH5R has a problem, where latchup damages part of the chip.
The results are, Device Manager shows the USB ports, all in order
and correct, but each USB port is "deaf". And the reason for it,
is the power source feeding the I/O driver, burns out, leaving
the physical layer of the USB port non-functional.
+5V -----/ /--+ <--- broken power path
v +5V Physical
Logic Block ------------ I/O driver --------- D+ Layer
Works OK --------- D- Of
When the lightning strikes, it can induce a transient on the
physical layer, and damage it. So it is possible the port
may have failed, because of damage to the +5V,D+,D-,GND spot.
It is even possible the +5V path to the port is what failed,
and you might want to check that a mouse lights up when plugged
into the port. The port won't function, if the +5V on the
connector is no longer working. Some of those are fuse protected
(but the fuse is a Polyfuse type, which normally never
needs replacement, and the fuse recovers after it cools off).
If you purchased the exact same motherboard, you should be
able to drop it into place and continue using it. Depending
on what other devices are damaged in your computer.
Anything with wires connected to it, is an antenna for induced
energy. So it could also be that the Ethernet port is blown,
a dialup modem is blown, cable or ADSL modem is damaged and
If the lightning strike is very close, the effect can be
powerful enough to leave physical effects, like burn marks,
charring, chips with lids blown off. But even a weaker
strike, can still leave invisible effects.
I don't know enough about Vista, to know whether there is a
"Repair Install" option. I see mention of a "Repair Your Computer"
option mentioned here, and maybe that is the equivalent of
a WinXP Repair Install. I don't know if that Vista option
is smart enough to handle drivers for a completely different
motherboard installation or not. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/951495/en-us
Another thought that occurs to me, is you could purchase
a USB2 PCI card, and use that to get some USB ports. That
won't necessarily help with editing the contents of the BIOS
using a USB keyboard, but for other USB purposes, it would
give you some working ports, without replacing the motherboard.
I also have a USB based floppy here, that I use occasionally.
Whether that would be good enough for F6 driver installation would
be another unanswered question.
It is funny that the floppy would burn out, because the computer
metal case should have provided a small amount of protection
for it. It isn't really an "exposed antenna", like the external
USB cabling would be. And if the lightning coupled into the
floppy cable, you'd think it would also have blown IDE hard
drives or IDE CDROM drives.