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Trebuchet
2012-Aug-26, 05:13 PM
Computer mice, that is!

Here's the goofy story. I'm sure there's a perfectly logical explanation, I just don't know what it is.

The desktop computer I'm currently typing on has a Microsoft wireless mouse/keyboard combo. Some months ago -- perhaps as long as a year -- I started having some difficulty with the mouse. At first, it was just button clicks that didn't work the first time. Then they didn't work the first two or three times. Then cursor movement started getting flaky. Eventually a morning came when the cursor was just frozen in place.

I pulled out an old USB corded mouse and plugged it in. Since I was still using the wireless keyboard, which shared the receiver with the mouse (and which worked just fine), I now had two mice connected. I started using the corded mouse (despite frustration with my inability to get the buttons to switch; I mouse left handed) and all was at least semi-well. After a few minutes I accidentally bumped the wireless mouse, which was still sitting on the desk. The cursor moved. The buttons worked as well. Apparently I had shamed the wireless mouse into getting back to worse by plugging in the other one.

Since then I've been using the wireless mouse but have left the other one plugged in. Periodically the old symptoms start to reappear. I then grab the other mouse, move it around, click a thing or two, and the wireless one comes back to life. That's just happened in the last few minutes, inspiring this post.

So what's going on? Hardware? Software? Shame? The keyboard, by the way, has continued to work perfectly all along.

Trebuchet
2012-Aug-26, 06:08 PM
It's not just the switches. Cursor movement and the scroll wheel are also affected. But using the wired mouse for a couple of minutes consistently clears it right up. At the time I posted, it was still a bit flaky and I posted with the wired mouse. Now the wireless one is just fine.

By the way, replacing the battery when it's acting up does no good at all.

Moose
2012-Aug-26, 07:52 PM
Interesting. No hypothesis yet, but I'll let you know if I think of something.

Moose
2012-Aug-26, 08:08 PM
Actually, here's a question: Unplug the receiver. Does it alter the boot time significantly? (>20 seconds)

Trebuchet
2012-Aug-26, 09:20 PM
I'll try that next reboot. Although I'm not sure I'd notice the difference, this is an old computer and takes quite a while to start up anyhow. You're thinking of some driver issue?

One other bit of info: When it's acting up, running the mouse software shows both battery and wireless signal good. This mouse does, however, have a history of popping up "Wireless mouse signal is poor" messages when it isn't.

Moose
2012-Aug-26, 10:03 PM
I'll try that next reboot. Although I'm not sure I'd notice the difference, this is an old computer and takes quite a while to start up anyhow. You're thinking of some driver issue?

Yes, but I also want to eliminate the receiver itself as the culprit. I had a logitech wireless receiver for a joystick go bad. The joystick wasn't working, but I never bothered to go unplug the receiver. Come to discover, the next time I reinstalled XP about six months later (and was paying attention to the boot sequence), that the receiver itself was causing several minutes of timeout on the initial USB detection. Unplugging it instantly solved that problem.

So yeah. Time it one way, then time it the other. If it's significantly different, your receiver is going bad.

That said, when you plug it back in after the test, plug it into a different USB slot. After you've done so, and if it's still working okay, you can probably unplug your wired mouse. I betcha it'll keep working fine. If so, I'll explain my candidate theory.

Solfe
2012-Aug-26, 10:35 PM
I wonder if you don't have some sort of interference or something. Does this happen at certain times of day or night?

Trebuchet
2012-Aug-26, 11:37 PM
I wonder if you don't have some sort of interference or something. Does this happen at certain times of day or night?

Doesn't seem to. And note that it shares the receiver with the keyboard, which has had no problems.

orionjim
2012-Aug-27, 01:03 AM
I would guess a driver problem with the wireless Microsoft mouse/keyboard. The wired mouse is finishing up the job that the wireless isn’t doing. I picture it like you move the mouse and it raises a common flag saying I got a mouse move event. The flag is up but the wireless mouse driver isn’t seeing it, but the wired mouse sees it and tells the system to read the mouse event and the wireless mouse goes and reads it. (That of course is a great over simplification of things).

Solfe
2012-Aug-27, 02:03 AM
Doesn't seem to. And note that it shares the receiver with the keyboard, which has had no problems.

Hum. My wife just complained about her mouse at work acting oddly. It turns out it was on a high gloss marble counter and the changing light made the cursor wander a bit.

If the keyboard is on the same channel as the mouse and it is fine, then I guess that interference is not too likely at all. OrionJim's driver update/replacement is more likely cause and solution.

DonM435
2012-Aug-29, 03:39 AM
Mickey Mouse always wore pants. It was Disney's ducks that were shameless.

Jens
2012-Aug-29, 03:53 AM
I don't think it's shame, but rather anxiety. The optical one probably saw the other one and was afraid you were going to throw it away.

DoggerDan
2012-Aug-29, 04:34 AM
Computer mice, that is!

Here's the goofy story. I'm sure there's a perfectly logical explanation, I just don't know what it is.

The desktop computer I'm currently typing on has a Microsoft wireless mouse/keyboard combo.

I think the diagnosis is self-evident!

Seriously, I had a Microsoft keyboard years ago, and quickly traded it in for one by Logitech. I've stuck with Logitech products ever since. My current Logitech keyboard/mouse combo is wireless, much more ergonomic than anything by Microsoft, and cost around $60.

Even more seriously, it could be a microfracture in somewhere in the circuit board of the mouse.

LookingSkyward
2012-Aug-29, 01:51 PM
It wasn't shame, it was just lonely... that's why adding another mouse helped.

Trebuchet
2012-Aug-29, 03:40 PM
It wasn't shame, it was just lonely... that's why adding another mouse helped.

Best suggestion so far!
I'll try the rebooting idea sometime today.

Trebuchet
2012-Aug-30, 06:25 PM
Actually, here's a question: Unplug the receiver. Does it alter the boot time significantly? (>20 seconds)

Ok, I've just tried a couple of re-boots, from cold shutdown.
With both mice connected as before:
Time to logon screen, 45 sec.
Time to event 1, McAfee Banner: 2:16
Time to event 2, Comcast asking for ActiveX to run: 7:14

With the wireless one unplugged:
Time to logon screen: 35 sec.
Time to event 1: Missed it, but less than 2:00
Time to event 2: Nine minutes!

All of which makes no sense at all.

I've now plugged in the receiver to a different USB port (actually switched the two mice) and it's working except my buttons aren't left-handed as they should be. The wireless mouse software doesn't seem to recognize it's there, either. I shall now shut down (again) and go make some lunch before re-booting in the current configuration.

Trebuchet
2012-Aug-30, 06:43 PM
And after one more start-up:
Log-on screen: About 40 sec, distracted looking at the lights on the mouse receiver! Keyboard comes on first by about 5-10 sec.
Event 1: About 2:15
Event 2: About 8:00

Wireless mouse is now working perfectly.

Moose
2012-Aug-30, 07:09 PM
Okay. Receiver's probably fine. Mouse is probably fine. Somehow your drivers got messed up. Who knows; it's Windows, right? And that's why plugging in the other mouse appeared to fix things. Plugging it in forced a reinstall of the mouse drivers, and the receiver started using those instead. Switching ports also forced windows to reinstall the drivers. You should be fine now.

Trebuchet
2012-Aug-30, 08:57 PM
We shall see! Off to the other location in a couple of minutes so I won't know until Sunday.

Trebuchet
2012-Sep-18, 04:12 PM
Dang, it's doing it again. It was good for a couple of weeks (although use was intermittent as we're not here all the time) but yesterday it started missing clicks again. We'll see if it gets progressively worse once more.

TJMac
2012-Sep-23, 05:57 PM
Could you threaten it with a cat? :rimshot:

TJ

Trebuchet
2012-Sep-23, 07:57 PM
Could you threaten it with a cat? :rimshot:

TJ

We have those on the desk all the time. The mice aren't worried.

One thing I noticed the other day was that the problem got worse after the computer had been on several days with Chrome running. The computer itself was also getting slow. Could be a Chrome memory leak issue.