The family surprised me with a new system for Christmas, including that Intel Q8400 I’ve wanted (4 true cores for parallel programming work, of course). The combo included a Gigabyte EP45-UD3P motherboard whose bells and whistles impressed this Asus fan.
But after putting it together and starting it up, I found that the USB keyboard and mouse were dead. I really didn’t want to RMA this thing, so I experimented. I could get the BIOS startup keys (F12, Del, etc.) to work, although sluggishly. I could bring up the setup screen, but couldn’t do anything in it.
Fortunately, I had an old dusty PS/2 keyboard and mouse that I could plug into those ports, and they worked great. Once into BIOS setup, I found the settings for USB keyboard and mouse, and they were disabled. By enabling them and restarting, I was able to switch back to my USB devices.
So if all you have is a USB keyboard, you’re stuck: you can’t use your keyboard to enable the keyboard! A little googling after all this indicates this is just how it is with many Gigabyte mobos.
Moral of the story: hang onto that old PS/2 keyboard or adapter plug; you never know when you might need it.