Here's the problem:
Ever since itunes was installed, the USB support went nil and cpu went up to 100% at idle. Process Explorer shows "system" - "properties" - "USBport.sys"(one of them) as sucking cpu. I suspended it. Uninstalling itunes did not change anything back. This occurs even in safe mode. Anyway, I've done a lot of reading and trying different things. including uninstalling USB in device manager and allowing windows to re-configure it, but to no avail. I have since figured that if I reflash the mobo bios with its current version of 3.10, or perhaps upgrade it to 3.14, this may re-establish usb capability and normal cpu usage. I have read here about how good 3.14 is as a stable bios. I think the 3.15, which is current on HP's site, may be unsuitable as I am not upgrading to Vista. I have found a copy of 3.14 now. But I don't have a good flash utility for dos. Would someone please email me an Award utility?
Compaq Presario sr1614x (mobo A8AE-LE)
AMD Athlon 64 3500+ (2.2GHz), socket 939
ATI Radeon Express 200 series (SB400)
Phoenix flash v3.10 (10/14/2005)
Windows XP (home) Sp2
200GB Maxtor SATA
no floppy drive installed but I have one to put in.
Thanks for the help.