Major mystery - very odd mouse behavior

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allochthonous

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May 9, 2007
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I guess this is hardware related. Bear with me. I don't have a lot of "scientific" data here, but please read and tell me if you have any clue as to what may have happened. This is a long story.

I reinstalled Windows XP on a friend's Dell Dimension 3000 last weekend. I started out by wiping the HD using DBAN and then running SeaTools to check the HD for errors. I also ran Windows Memory Diagnostic to check the RAM. Both checked out just fine.

The Windows installation went just fine. I acutally installed three times, as I used the Dell CD (XP SP 2) first and when it did not install drivers for the Intel Extreme 2 graphics, network, or sound, I thought that maybe it was watered down for Dell, so I tried an OEM CD instead. I had installed another 3000 using this OEM CD and for some reason thought I remembered at least basic drivers installing for at least one of these devices (I was wrong). So i installed once again with the Dell CD.

Anyway, I followed my usual routine by installing Windows, installing drivers in the Dell recommended order, installing antivirus (Avast Home), and then going online and using Windows Update to install the 91 + updates (where the heck is Service Pack 3?)

After XP was installed and fully patched, I installed Office 2003 (Dell OEM) and ran Microsoft Update to update Office. I believe I was done with all of this by Sunday evening.

I then spent the next couple of evenings installing some of my favorite freeware apps that I thought she might be able to use along with some "essentials": CCleaner, Faststone Image Viewer, FileRenamer Basic, Recuva, Foxit Reader, Quicktime, Java, SyncToy, TweakUI Powertoy, 7 Zip, Firefox, Gadwin PrintScreen, PC Wizard 2008, Trillian, and LogMeIn (installed but disabled).

Everything installed perfectly and I continued to use the system Monday and Tuesday evening. I left the machine on pretty much all the time. On Wednesday, I ran Prime95 for about 8 hours just to stress it out a bit.

My friend was going to pick up the machine on Wednesday evening. When she came by, we sat down and I showed her the apps that I had installed. I was demonstrating Faststone, which as an interface where the picture takes up most of the screen and you move your mouse to the edges to open up windows with options and tools. However, in my demonstation, when I moved my mouse to the edge, nothing happened. After looking around for a setting that may have been messed up, I decided that I would probably need to uninstall and reinstall the program.

When I returned to the desktop I realized that I was unable to move anything from the desktop into the recycle bin. Nor could I relocate any desktop icons.
I thought that a restart would "shake out the cobwebs." On restarting, at the login screen, I could place the mouse pointer over the icon, and it would change colors like it recognized that the pointer was there, but the pointer did not change into the finger and when I clicked, nothing happened.

I told her that I would need a few more days and would just reinstall Windows again.

This is where I got frustrated and then just started trying a bunch of stuff.
I thought maybe her user profile was messed up somehow, so I created a new one. I could switch between the two and sometimes the problem persisted and sometimes it did not. There did not seem to be a pattern. When i could not click the icon on the Welcome screen, I could hit crtl alt del and go to the old style screen and either log in from there or click Cancel and then things would work OK.

At one point, I booted once into Safe Mode, and things worked fine.

I removed some items from Startup using msconfig, but the problem remained.

Next, I tried rolling back the system through System Restore. I tried every point back to the first one and each time, the problem persisted.

Finally, on a whim, I removed my mouse from the KVM switch (USB connected to PS/2 port) and plugged directly into the machine. I only tried once, but the problem was not present on this boot.

I gave up trying to figure it out and completed the reinstall, again wiping completely, scanning the HD, and following the same procedure as above. I installed most of the same apps on this go round. However, I did NOT use the KVM.

So far, so good. I am a bit afraid that since I never did figure out the exact cause, I am a little nervous. I do not think it was a software issue, as I use these same apps on many other systems. Also, the System Restore did not resolve the issue either.

Could the KVM be the culprit?

Anybody who made it all the way through this post, thank you.

PK
 

leroys1000

Banned
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
6,319
Some KVM's just will not work with some mice.
I have 1 mouse that will not work at all on a KVM,
but works fine when directly connected.
 

allochthonous

Thread Starter
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
54
I have never had any trouble with this one before. I use it almost every day. I have used the same mouse on it for about 4 months.

But I am learning that this was probably the culprit, so I will proceed with caution and make sure all connections are tight before I use it again.

PK
 
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