This is a long shot! Open "device manager" go down to "universal serial bus controllers" click on "+" sign then go to "usb root hub" and double click it. When the window opens click on the "power management tab" if the box "allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" is checked, uncheck it. Make sure you look at all usb root hubs.
(Solved) - USB mouse not working(39 posts)
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For Live Linux the easy way on USB stick:
Download Slax zip for USB from http://www.slax.org/download.php
Read here http://www.slax.org/documentation.php how to unzip it to your USB stick and then run the bootinst.bat file in the /slax/boot/ directory to make it bootable.
That's it. Stick will only have about 254 meg used.