Thanks for the reply, Tommy.
“It is slightly possible maybe you have USB3.0 which might not work during setup?”
Yes, I think this is what’s happening, but of course Windows 2000 doesn’t work with USB 3.0, or so I’ve heard. Still the system sticks with these (non-functional) USB drivers before I direct it back to the generic drivers in c:\winnt\inf\oem10.inf. Until then, there is no USB function regardless of the brand of mouse, keyboard, USB Flash Drive, external harddrive etc., and there are yellow exclamation marks by the USB Controllers in Device Manager, even though they are correctly recognized there as of the “Intel 7 Series/C216” Chipset Family.
“Can you use native USB support from the BIOS?”
Yes, my USB mouse does work in the BIOS environment. I can say that legacy USB support is enabled in the BIOS, but I now notice that USB3.0 support is also enabled in the BIOS. I also see other adjacent settings that may be relevant: XHCI Hand-off (which is Enabled), EHCI Hand-off (which is Disabled), and also a “Port 60/64 Emulation” setting (which is Enabled). Perhaps before my next test installation, I should set the USB3.0 support to “Disabled,” to try to convince the system to drop down to those generic USB drivers. I will also look into the terms “XHCI” and “EHCI” as I’m not familiar with them, and they’re obviously relevant to this area.
Right off the bat you’ve given me a good place to start, because, to me, those settings all sound potentially related to my problem. I appreciate these good ideas, Tommy, actually very good ideas for how little information you had to work with…
This is a computer I built from scratch, using an Intel Z77 motherboard (the Biostar TZ77MXE) and an Intel i7-2700K Sandy Bridge processor. I chose the Biostar in part because it was the only Z77 board with any Windows 2000 drivers (audio and LAN), so that at least I would have a running start on this thing. I’ve been unable to make the Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics work yet, so for now I’ve installed an X600 video card (for which W2K drivers are available). This left the chipset drivers. The Biostar chipset driver does not claim to work with Windows 2000, and it did not work with Windows 2000 for me. Then I found the Intel Chipset Device Software (INF Update Utility) dated 11/06/2012 on the Intel website download center, and purporting to work with Windows 2000. Once installed, Device Manager correctly listed “Intel 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family” under IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers, and from there I was able to de-list the remaining unknown devices, so that Device Manager indicates no problem devices now.
So the build, as such, is fine, but the installation procedure is hampered by this USB problem, and I appreciate your considering it.
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I have just read your post, tomasz86; thank you as well for your advice. The perfection of the installation process is really one of my goals, unrealistic as it may seem, so I need to continue along those lines, and your suggestions are most welcome here.