USB Legacy support
Vojtech Pavlik <email@example.com>, January 2004
Also known as "USB Keyboard" or "USB Mouse support" in the BIOS Setup is a
feature that allows one to use the USB mouse and keyboard as if they were
their classic PS/2 counterparts. This means one can use an USB keyboard to
type in LILO for example.
It has several drawbacks, though:
1) On some machines, the emulated PS/2 mouse takes over even when no USB
mouse is present and a real PS/2 mouse is present. In that case the extra
features (wheel, extra buttons, touchpad mode) of the real PS/2 mouse may
not be available.
2) If CONFIG_HIGHMEM64G is enabled, the PS/2 mouse emulation can cause
system crashes, because the SMM BIOS is not expecting to be in PAE mode.
The Intel E7505 is a typical machine where this happens.
3) If AMD64 64-bit mode is enabled, again system crashes often happen,
because the SMM BIOS isn't expecting the CPU to be in 64-bit mode. The
BIOS manufacturers only test with Windows, and Windows doesn't do 64-bit
Problem 1) can be solved by loading the USB drivers prior to loading the
PS/2 mouse driver. Since the PS/2 mouse driver is in 2.6 compiled into
the kernel unconditionally, this means the USB drivers need to be
Problem 2) can currently only be solved by either disabling HIGHMEM64G
in the kernel config or USB Legacy support in the BIOS. A BIOS update
could help, but so far no such update exists.
Problem 3) is usually fixed by a BIOS update. Check the board
manufacturers web site. If an update is not available, disable USB
Legacy support in the BIOS. If this alone doesn't help, try also adding
idle=poll on the kernel command line. The BIOS may be entering the SMM
on the HLT instruction as well.