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!
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
feature plays havoc with the mouse tracking while viewing a remote computer.
So lets run down some symptoms and cures.
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
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
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
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
You will find more
troubleshooting mouse techniques in
Self Computer Repair Unleashed! 2nd Edition
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