I have the same problem. My notebook is ASUS N53SV with Intel® HM65 Express Chipset. I wonder if intel or asus would give a solution for this problem. I've searched alot since I purchased and installed Windows 8 pro on my notebook but I couldn't find any solution.
Well my notebook is a n53sv with latest bios rev and installed windows 8 a while ago. I can't remember my usb were working or not but I definitely installed the chipset driver as always. After I noticed my USB 3.0 port was working fine I realised my USB 2.0 ports were dead. I recently installed the latest inf file for my chipset and I experienced the same problem as mentioned by TS. I uninstalled the new driver and went back to driver version 6.2.9200.16518. That seems to work atm, not sure what happens after a reboot.
USB 2.0 support has been naively provided by the operating system itself since Microsoft* Windows* XP Service Pack 2 and later operating systems, in which no additional drives has to be provided for that interface to work, as the drivers are inbox drivers that come with the operating system itself.
In this case, Microsoft* Windows* 8 is not the exception, so these drivers are developed and provided directly by Microsoft*. Therefore, if you have issues using such mature hardware interface, you should check directly with Microsoft* for support on this.