If you go to
> Control Panel and double-click on the Mouse icon, it will open a Properties Window with various tabs. Click the Pointers tab and under Customize, you will see the defaults and explanation. The hourglass usually means something is busy or working in the background and you may need to wait until its finished before being able to do something else. Such action can be attributed to a variety of things such as unresponsive program, software consuming a lot of resources, lack of sufficient memory, etc and sometimes malware.
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What exactly is she doing when this occurs?
What programs are running?
What are the computer specifications?
What OS (Win 2K, XPsp1, XPsp2, Vista) are you using?