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Unfortunately usb replacement on laptops can be very expensive if they are physically damaged. As inexpensive as laptops are getting these days it just does not make sense to put to much money in them unless you have a very expensive laptop. As for your problem with the usb ports if they are not physically damaged you can reload your drivers. This is the best option to try to make them work again. You need to go the manufacturer website and download the drivers for your usb ports on the make and model laptop you have and install them. If you do not know how to find them please reply back to me with the make and model laptop along with the operating system you use and I will be glad to send you the link and you can install the drivers. If you have at least one usb port working you can always buy a usb hub.
go to the Averatec support driver page and download new drivers for the USB. Sometimes these are listed as "chipset" drivers, which is a set drivers bundled into one. below is a link to where you can download files
does your usb mem stick have any light indicators? if yes , whenever you put you usb stick, does it light? if it lights are USB ports is still ok, You just have to reformat or partition you USB stick.
(you can also try other devices like usb mouse or any usb devices that lights up when you connect it)
if there are no lights if you plug, or no indication that a power goes to your stick, its possible that your usb your are busted. if this is the case, if your laptop has a PCMIA slot, you can find a pcmia USB card, if you dont have. your only option is replace the motherboard.
A couple of things you can try:
1. In your Device Manager, un-install all USB instances then reboot. Win XP will auto detect and auto install back the USB drivers;
2. On reboot, again in your Device Manager, all instances of USB Root HUB, right click, click on Properties, Power Management tab, un-check "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power."
3. Download, install and use to format flash drives the HP Drive Key Boot Utility (cp006049.exe) available at http://h18023.www1.hp.com/support/files/server/us/download/23839.html
If for some reason none of the above will for you, you may need to install an external/powered multi-port USB 2.0 Hub.
Hope this be of some idea/help. Post back how things turned up or should you need additional information.
Good luck and kind regards.
The Mp3 player may need a powered USB2 supply and not a peripheral powered supply.
The only reason your other usb ports may not work is that the controllers need re-installing or they are not enabled; see this post:-