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The ghost in my mouse driver


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#1 isdnip

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 05:59 PM

For the past couple of months, my Toshiba Satellite laptop has had a very strange and annoying problem. It seems to be in the mouse/HID driver subsystem. It is using XP MCE with SP3, current on the updates.

I use this laptop both at home and in the office, and have separate mice in each place. It worked fine for over three years. This past summer, the little home mouse failed, so I bought another one at Staples. It turned out to be horrible (no detent on the wheel), so I bought yet another one, an Agama, at a different store. It works a little better... but somewhere around that time, the system went gaga.

When I use the mouse now, either home or office (so it's not a bad mouse), it sometimes freezes up, typically for around 3 seconds, but not precisely. During that time the Synaptics touchpad still works, not that I ever like to use it. That's annoying. Worse, the mouse often acts as if I had just pressed one of the three buttons. It might be any of them, though the right is most common, so the context menu just pops up now and then, but it also can left-click on a button when I don't want it to, or open the middle-button scroller. One other detail is that when I move and unpack it and come out of standby with the different mouse attached, it takes longer than it used to to find the new mouse. Sometimes around a minute. BTW the office mouse shares a port with a keyboard via a PS/2 adapter, but that has worked fine for years.

The internal keyboard also jumps around a lot. I use it with an external keyboard at work and that usually is okay, but the internal keyboard can't go for more than a few lines of text without jumping a few lines away. Yesterday, for instance, I was typing email text and it jumped into the address field. I have to use control-Z a lot! It doesn't insert characters, but it sure does act as if I were touching the Synaptics pad, even though I'm being careful to maintain my distance.

BTW the Synaptics widget has disappeared from the taskbar, and there's no tab for it in the control panel's mouse section. I seem to have lost all controls for the touchpad. Anybody know where they are? That could be related, of course.

I've used a few malware scanners and they haven't found anything, so I don't think it's malware, though that would be an obvious answer were it the case. I'm thinking it's the HID drivers. The control panel shows one "PS/2" device and one "USB human interface device". But the device manager itself shows two entries (that look the same) for USB Human Interface Device, one for "HID Complaint Device" and one for "USB compliant consumer control device".

Any suggestions? Thanks!

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#2 Eyesee

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 06:20 PM

Hello Isdnip and welcome to the forum!!

What kind of mice are these?
Do they happen to use the Intellipoint drivers?
Does it do the same thing in safe mode?
In the beginning there was the command line.

#3 isdnip

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 07:28 PM

Hi,

The work mouse is Logitech. I've had it for years. The new home mouse is Agama. I never install special drivers; Windows notices them the first time and does something. I wonder if gets confused if it sees too many mice over its lifespan...

#4 isdnip

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 10:31 AM

Some additional information...

I downloaded the latest Synaptics driver from Syntaptics directly, since Toshiba never posted an update for XP. This gave me back the control panel for the touchpad, and the tray display. I adjusted the palm and touch sensitivity in case it was being oversensitive. That did not, however, fix everything. :-( Still a bunch of pauses and ghost-button-presses.

I also tried moving the trusty old Logitech mouse from its usual home, where it shares one rear-panel USB jack with the keyboard, to a side-panel jack normally used at home. Oddly, it worked far worse there, and during those freeze-ups, I could see that the red light on the optical mouse was going out. Moving it from one USB to another caused a "found new hardware" popup. That went away when I moved it back to the port-sharing adapter.

I haven't had a chance to try safe mode. Since the problem is somewhat intermittent, I could get a false negative.

Perhaps the USB drivers are spooged? Is there a way to reinstall them?

#5 Eyesee

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 11:29 AM

Yes there is.

Detach all USB devices. You shuold use your touch pad for this as it will temporarily kill your USB mouse.
Go into device manager and remove everything under USB controllers
Reboot & windows will reinstall the USB drivers
Reconnect the USB devices
In the beginning there was the command line.

#6 isdnip

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 01:44 PM

Good news and bad news. Good news: Thanks, eyesee, your instructions worked. I didn't realize how that would work, and when I deleted USB Hub, it kept trying to reinstall it, but I sped along and got everything deleted, rebooted, and it reinstalled. Bad news: It didn't fix the problems.

Should the device manager show four entries in the HID area? Might deleting all of them (same routine) help?

#7 Gabrial

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 01:45 PM

Does your touchpad exist as part of the entire top piece of your notebook, or is it recessed and a different plate?

There was this compaq I was working with that would get ghost touches (clicks) whenever you would put your hands on the top piece of the case, as it was part of the same moulding.

Poor design.

#8 isdnip

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 03:44 PM

The touchpad is recessed. I think I know what you're talking about, the laptop equivalent of a smooth-top stove. Not this Toshiba. Still, it's a capacitive device, so it might have been responding to the mere proximity of hands above it. It doesn't happen when I'm using the external keyboard. That doesn't explain why the mouse is acting up, though, when I'm using the external keyboard. I am guessing that the two issues are not a coincidence.

Somehow today it managed to convince Firefox that I wanted to open 15 new tabs; Firefox had to good grace to ask me first!




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