I have an Acer Aspire M5 481PT-6644 running Windows 8.1. While using a wireless mouse, the mouse became disconnected from my computer (not physically disconnected, but an error message popped up saying the device was not recognized). I pulled out the USB wireless transmitter, plugged it back in, and it re-connected with my computer. Shortly thereafter the mouse became disconnected again (same thing as before with an error message) and now no USB device will connect to my computer. I will get power from the USB port, but it will never recognize devices and nothing shows up when I scan for new devices.
I first tried deleting all of the USB drivers and then restarting the computer, but the problem remained.
I tried using a system restore point, but the USB ports still weren't recognizing devices even after the restore (though I am not 100% the restore point was far enough back since I tried a lot of different things before doing the restore).
I changed the power settings for the USB port so that the power was always on, still nothing (I was always getting power through the ports, it just wasn't recognizing devices).
I went to some computer techs and they had me change the boot order in BIOS and used a USB thumb drive to boot the computer into Ubuntu from the USB drive, but once loaded USB devices wouldn't work in Ubuntu either. Before booting from a USB we just tried plugging in the thumb drive, which had a light built in that showed when the device was being read. When the thumb drive was first plugged in the light would turn on for a second and then turn off, after a few second the light would flash for maybe a second or two and then turn off again and wouldn't light up again (not really sure what that means).
After about two hours of trying things, they told me that it must be a hardware issue, but I am not sure how I could load an operating system from a USB thumb drive if it was a hardware issue.
I am trying to hold off on a system refresh or anything that would wipe programs from the computer since I have several proprietary programs that are difficult to reinstall. Any help is much appreciated.