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Mouse Problems


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Founding Member
Jul 30, 1997
Leawood, Kansas USA
Happily, not the rodent variety this time. (I named my cute little intruder. Shouldn't have because I had to dispatch him later and that hurt.)

I use a laptop in the workshop during the day. At night, I'm wont to take the computer from there to do other things. If I unplug the power source and the mouse I use during the day, it goes to battery power but I can't use the mousepad. The pointer goes all wonky and won't work. Then I must power off "illegally" by pushing the main OFF switch. After reboot, I'm fine with the mousepad, but can't then replug the regular mouse.

Why does this happen? Dell can't give me much of an answer or I haven't come upon the right tech yet.
You have to power up with the mouse attached for the mouse to work. If you want to be able to "hotswap" your mouse get a USB mouse not a serial or ps2 mouse.

Shut down before you unplug the mouse. then reboot with the plug dettached and the touch pad should work. reboot when you want to use your mouse (or get a USB mouse!)
Also, if it is a USB mouse, there is a possibility that the port itself switches to a low power mode when running off of the batteries. That will affect some mouses.

There is also a known 3 vs 4 byte driver issue. What kind of mouse do you have?

PS: I do this for a living :)
Thanx for the quick help. I have a USB connection on the mousecord but must use a converter for the back of the computer because it has a round mouse port. It's not exactly a huge problem, but can I solve it by buying a new mouse or downloading a new driver? If the computer has the round mouseport, doesn't sound like a new fellow with a USB would be any different?

Oh, and the problem occurs even when plugged in to the power source. If I jiggle the converter and interrput the connection, I must reboot.
I think Steven is on the right track, with the power mode suggestion.

Then I must power off "illegally" by pushing the main OFF switch.
One suggestion: You should be able to hit ALT-F4 on the keyboard, which will eventually get you to the SHUTDOWN screen. This will avoid the need for powering it down abruptly, and possibly damaging your files.

Originally posted by MerpsMom:
Then I must power off "illegally" by pushing the main OFF switch.
Unless the computer is freezing up, you should be able to press Ctrl + Alt + Del and then use the arrow keys to select "Shut Down", press Enter and it will shut down properly.
David, I never would have thought of that. When I demoused and I tried the Alt F4 option, I found that I have the computer set on stand-by, so I couldn't get it off of that choice because I had no mouse to move to the shutdown. I'll next try the C A D and arrows.

Hi :) Just FYI I am a computer tech. by trade and have extensive experience with Dell equipment. Also have two industry certifications and I have seen this problem happen a lot before =)

#1) 99% of the time USB / PS/2 adapters require a reboot when you plug them in.
Actually pluging anything into a PS2 port while the computer is on has a good chance of damaging the port or the controller for the port. Same goes for removing it. There is actually a decent amount of current (computer wise) going across that port and that can cause major problems.

#2) There is a know problem between the microsoft windows track pad point driver and some external mouses - mainly those on PS2 adapters.
This is the 4 byte / 3 byte problem. The track pad uses a 3 byte packet. A lot of the USB mouses use a 4 byte packet. This can cause frequent lock ups.

Send me the model number of your laptop, the brand and model of your mouse and we can get this fixed quickly :)

Also, attention all framers :)!!!!!!
This is not a real self promotion because I am not making any money, but if you have any computer problems these posts can not fix, my website is www.computerservices.bz (contact form there) or you can send me an email. Fellow framers dont get charged :)
How cool............! Hope dopies such as I don't drive you to distraction.
When you re-dock your mouse (reconnect to Notebook)…… try pressing FN (the key with the blue letters) and F8 together this should pull in your mouse…and most other extras peripherals that you may attach to your Notebook…...such as extra monitors, projectors etc. etc. at least this is working me I’m running XP Professional on a Latitude X300 with a dock station……though it worked with my Inspiron 2650 (no dock station) when I connected extra peripherals to it……… the 2650 has XP Home….and I know it also works on Jeans Notebook which is running on Windows 98…….Jean gave me that tip and as most of you know that means it is coming from the horses mouth…

I hope this works……. it’s worth a try…

BTW…….. Dell call them Notebooks not laptops…think of McDonalds and spilt hot coffee……. :rolleyes:
I shuffle my <strike>laptop</strike> notebook between home and shop, which has actually simplified my life.

One thing I've discovered that can drive XP to distraction is to put the computer on stand-by, un-plug a lot of peripherals, and then take it OUT of standby. It will run and perform just fine, but it will not shut down or go into stand-by again without killing the power switch.

So now I do a complete shut-down before I move the machine.

MerpsMom, I don't know if this is related to your issue, except to demonstrate that even XP isn't bullet-proof.

BTW, MM, ieSpell wanted to change your name to Epson. Or maybe it was Epsom.