I was working with the VCR today when, after a reboot, all the USB ports went dead. After much consternation (and a little bit of cussing), I was able to determine a solution.
Fortunately, I already had TeamViewer installed, so jacking in remotely was a snap. Without any kind of remote access, this process would be nigh impossible since the entirety of input devices are USB.
- Navigate to Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Device Manager (listed under Devices and Printers).
- The last item in the tree should be Universal Serial Bus Controllers.
- Expand the USB Controller branch to expose the list of USB devices connected to the computer.
- Right-click and uninstall each of the listings, thus removing it from the system. One or more of the controller drivers was likely corrupted and removing all of them will ensure a clean installation.
- Reboot and allow Windows 7 to recognise and reinstall all the connected USB devices. Everything should work like new again!
More information on this problem as well as other solutions can be found here.