Diagnose Pointing
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Troubleshooting Mouse - mechanical [also known as an analog ] mouse will "skip" will a digital mouse do it also?

Troubleshooting Mouse errors is fairly simplistic.

Troubleshooting techniques:

One thing about a mouse (also known as the pointing device) is it either works or it don't. No sometimes it works, sometimes it don't. There are things that a mouse will do that will cause you some heartburn but that can be corrected with a little tweaking if you know where to do the tweaking or cleaning!

With computers you can also use the smaller condensed "Check list" to accomplish a single repair task.

I would hazard a guess that 93% of mouse errors are from the mouse being dirty. Once the mouse is plugged into the port and the OS recognizes it the default settings normally work for ever. There are times though when you  need to change those settings to accommodate a program. One that I am very used to is the HP/Compaq Remote Lights Out board, the board is used to remotely control a computer (mainly Servers) through a web page. The mouse acceleration feature plays havoc with the mouse tracking while viewing a remote computer.

Troubleshooting Mouse instructions:

So lets run down some symptoms and cures.

Note: These instructions are mainly for the old analog, troubleshooting mouse, that has a track ball in a cavity on the underside of the device body, how ever some will apply to a digital and wireless mouse also.

Symptom: When you move the mouse the pointer goes a little ways and stops, you have to lift the mouse up and then put it back down to continue scrolling.

Cause: The mouse track ball and potentiometers (the little bars or wheels inside the track ball well) are dirty. You can see the build up when you remove the track ball. This is a normal occurrence for cloth mouse pads and Track ball pointing devices.

Fix: Clean the gunk from the bars or wheels, this will be a normal occurrence as long as you use a cloth mouse pad.

Symptom: The mouse is very slow to track from one side of the screen to the other.

Cause: The acceleration factor is to low or disabled

Fix: In the Control Panel, go to the Mouse icon, open it, go to the 'Pointer Options' use the slide bar to set the pointer speed. For those that want the pointer to be very precise when selecting a target click on the box 'Enhance pointer precision.

Symptom: Mouse not present after startup.

Cause: The cable became disconnected or the mouse did not initialize (the hardware was not found at startup) or you mouse may have failed.

Fix: Power down the computer, check the cable from the mouse to the port - PS2 mice use the same connector as the keyboard, check that the mouse and keyboard are in the correct ports.

Note: USB mice, check the mouse cable, if it is chained to more than one device (one device connected to another then that is connected to another, and so on like this: the mouse is connected to the keyboard, the keyboard is connected to the monitor, the monitor is connected to an external USB hub which in turn is connected to the computer.)  Restart the computer, is the mouse back?

No, see if you have another mouse with the same connector (PS2 or USB) and try that in the port. Did the mouse come back? Yes - the original mouse has failed. No - the mouse port or controller on the motherboard has failed. See Troubleshooting Mouse

Symptom: Wireless mouse not functioning.

Cause: The wireless mouse works on a radio frequency. The mouse has a transmitter only. Connected to a port (normally a USB port) is a receiver. So when a wireless mouse doesn't work it will be the fact that the mouse isn't transmitting or the mouse transmissions are not getting to the receiver.

Fix: The first thing to do is replace the battery in the mouse. Did this fix your mouse? Yes -done.

No? Then you are having receiver problems. Try using the mouse from a different position relative to the receiver. Did the mouse work? Yes- there is something blocking the mouse transmissions - you will have to reposition the mouse receiver that is connected to the computer. Suggestion - if it is a USB device the get a USB extension cable and use that to move the receiver to a better position.

You will find more troubleshooting mouse techniques in the Self Computer Repair Unleashed! 2nd Edition Manual Self Computer Repair Unleashed! 2nd Edition E-Book..

Did the mouse work? No - power down the computer disconnect if a USB device plug into a different port, restart the computer. Did the mouse work? Yes - Done! No? The mouse has failed and requires replacement.

Note: Before you replace the mouse try it on a different computer, if it works on a different computer you may need to uninstall the mouse driver from the original computer and reinstall it, it is rare that the drivers become corrupt but it does happen.

Symptom: Mouse is intermittent, or disappears while the computer is running.

Cause: USB or PS/2 loose connector or failing mouse or mouse port.

Fix: With the computer powered down disconnect the mouse from the computer, if it is a USB mouse move the mouse to another port or swap another USB device into that port. Power up the computer, is it fixed?

No: PS/2 mouse, try another mouse. If it still is intermittent then the mouse port on the motherboard has failed. USB mouse, if it is still intermittent the mouse has failed.

Troubleshooting a pointing device is very easy, the pointing device and the keyboard are the most used devices connected to the computer eventually they will wear out because they are mechanical devices. Even the wireless mice will fail.

Last point: Wireless mice and keyboards are becoming common in this wireless age if you are experiencing intermittent connections replace the battery or batteries. When you change them be sure to press the "reset" button on the device or it will not connect to the transmitter/receiver connected to the USB port.



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