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Arrow keys cause slow Cursor movement in Word 2003

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#1 NorCal_Mike


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Posted 12 October 2009 - 03:47 PM

Affected App: Word 2003 (has current updates)

Just yesterday, when trying to edit a Word doc, I discovered my arrow keys were behaving oddly. I used to be able to hold down L or R arrows and quickly zip thru a line or many lines, but not now. The cursor moves very slowly, one letter at a time, while the hour glass blinks furiously...about 5-6 times per character. I just timed how long it takes to go from left to right margin on one line, and that's 15 seconds! Also, take the mouse and click anywhere in the doc, and the HG fires up right over the insertion point, while rapidly blinking briefly. It does this every time you pick a new spot in the doc and only Word seems to be affected.

(The cursor zooms right along while editing this post here...tho I just noticed that the insertion point cursor does change here while typing - flashing to the hour glass with every key stroke - and don't recall that behavior before.)

I downloaded Malwarebytes last night, did a full scan and found 2 trojans, which I deleted. I regularly use ESET v4 Security Suite full time, and did a complete scan after that, which turned up nothing. I've checked everything from "options" in Word, to Device Manager, and everything else I could think of. Of course, I went to "keyboard" and have that set for fastest repeat...which it does with characters, but not with arrowing left or right. Searched relentless all over the net, using a variety of search strings, and found nothing relevant -- most of it utterly worthless.

System Info:
Sony Vaio laptop
"OS Version" = "Microsoft Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 (build 2600) (5.1.2600)"
"UTC Time" = "2009-09-29 04:43:00"
"Local Time" = "2009-09-28 21:43:00"
"Time Difference" = "(-0800, Pacific Daylight Time)"
"User Language" = "United States"
"System Language ID" = "0409"
"Total Memory" = "2038 MB"
"Available Memory" = "1480 MB"
"Commit Charge Total" = "372 MB"
"Commit Charge Limit" = "3930 MB"
"Commit Charge Peak" = "471 MB"
"System Uptime (DD:HH:MM:SS)" = "00:03:58:30"
"Processor Name" = " Intel® Pentium® M processor 1.73GHz"
"Processor Frequency" = "1729 MHz"
"Windows Path" = "C:\WINDOWS"
"System Path" = "C:\WINDOWS\system32"
"Temp Path" = "C:\WINDOWS\Temp\"
"ProgramFiles Path" = "C:\Program Files"

Any suggestions how to fix this problem, short of reinstalling Office and a pile of updates?

Thanks in advance, Mike

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#2 NorCal_Mike

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 11:08 PM

No one's suggested a solution thus far, so thought I'd add this update:

I found & downloaded a MS "Support Template" that contains several macros, which you run in Word's safe mode (run: winword /a), and then can troubleshoot various suspects that may be causing the problem. (If interested, one of several good links for tools/option settings for Word is: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/820917/).

While running various 'fixes' I discovered something all the more perplexing about this problem. If the mouse pointer is off the word doc page...as in on the toolbar or off to the side, etc...then the cursor works fine with the A&R arrow keys!! It's only if the mouse pointer is on the document page that the arrow keys (when scanning from one end of text line to the other end), slow to a stuttering crawl and the hourglass flickers rapidly.

As I did install Logitech Setpoint for my cordless mouse yesterday, I thought that may be the problem (since the online version is an 'upgrade' from when I bought it, and now it's 'Vista compatible), so I uninstalled it, hoping that could be the source of conflict. No luck; that didn't change anything.

The fact that the arrow keys will function normally...but only if the mouse pointer is completely off the freaking page...makes this all the more weird. Sure wish someone had an idea of what to try next.

Mike :thumbsup:

#3 NorCal_Mike

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 03:00 PM

Luckily, I figured this problem out myself, but not without spending a great deal of time in getting to the bottom of the issue. Perhaps there's a lesson for others here too, and so I'll summarize.

A day before the problem began, I'd decided to try one of these "driver update programs," despite having used several previously only to be disappointed. This program is called Driver Max. To keep it short, while it came up with a sizeable list of drivers that supposedly needed updating, I prudently only did so with a modem (which I never use, but thought it'd give me a feel for their programs operation), and then later updated a display driver for my Sony Vaio. I researched the latter thoroughly before installing the new version, and it was supposed to work with this model, so I installed it.

Everything seemed fine until a day or two later, I discovered the weird problems (described above) when I went to use Word 2003. The list of fixes I tried, all to no avail, is too long to go into. Today I came across a very old post on the net, regarding erratic mouse/hourglass, etc., and they linked it to...the Display Adapter. I decided it was worth seeing if that was the problem, though you wouldn't think the problem would be only with Word...would you?

Into Device Manager, I tried to roll back the driver, but DriverMax clearly hadn't backed it up in full, as stated. Lucky for me, I have all original drivers on an external HD, so had to go that route. This was a major process, but finally succeeded in eliminating the problem with Word, and frankly, my display looks better now too. Needless to say, I cannot recommend DriverMax to anyone, and this is only a fraction of the entire story.

My advice: Back up all your Drivers, and if they're working fine I suggest leaving them alone. Otherwise, do one at a time, downloaded from the manufacturer, and make sure everything's a-ok before proceeding further. Moreover, I've yet to find one of these "highly touted" driver programs that are worth a dime. JMO :thumbsup:

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