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Cursor has Strange "stickykeys-like" behavior


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#1 Selif

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 07:23 PM

I have NEVER seen or heard of anything like this before!

Windows XP Pro SP3, Toshiba Satellite Pro L500 EZ1530

It's new last Spring and I do practice safe hex.

My cursor is showing the oddest behavior I have ever seen and I've been around computers since the TRS-80 Model 1.

If I click on *anything* in my browser (firefox 3.6.12), be it a link, bookmark, menu item, whatever. I then have to click on an empty spot on my desktop or in a different program before I am able to click on anything else, regardless of what it is. It's *almost* like 'stickykeys' or 'mousekeys' or something similar were turned on however I checked and all of those accessibility features are turned off.

It's like the focus moves to a given part of a program when it's clicked on but in order to 'clear' it or release that focus, it's necessary to click on the desktop or within a different program.

I thought it might be the mouse and disconnected it and switched to the touchpad. No joy, the cursor continues to have the same behavior. Someone advised me to try disabling the touchpad in the BIOS but this machine has no such BIOS option and yes, the BIOS is up to date. I've also removed the Synaptics pointing device driver and re-installed it with a copy of the most recent version downloaded from Toshiba. The mouse driver is just a generic plug & play usb mouse, but I did delete the device from the hardware manager and allowed windows to auto detect it after a reboot. All of this had no effect.

Also, I noticed that when I click on an empty spot on the desktop (not always the same place), there is sometimes a small white square that appears a variable distance from the cursor to the lower left.

This is a major P.I.T.A. and is making it bloody difficult to get my work done. Especially since I normally keep a couple of dozen browser tabs open and with this problem that's really difficult in the extreme to manage.

I should point out that this is NOT limited to just my browser. I have found that when I run a Java app such as Blender, I am unable to click on ANY of the buttons in the GUI. Needless to say this renders those programs useless in the worst way. In most programs, I get one click, then have to click the desktop before I'm allowed to click anything else in that program and Java programs have limited, if any, GUI functionality.

Programs like Thunderbird, notepad, explorer.exe and Sony Vegas Pro 8 seem to not be affected at all. Firefox, IE, Daz3d, and most java applications like Blender (2.49b OR 2.55) become either very difficult or even impossible to use.

I did further testing with a Kubuntu 10.10 live cd.

Equally strange though different oddities plague the different OS booted from a CD-ROM. Including things like windows and applications suddenly minimizing or closing with no warning and more.

I have also used system restore to load a restore point from four days before this behavior started. This also had no effect, the problem continues to persist. I've scanned with both my fully updated Avast! and Trend Micro Housecall and nothing was found.

This behavior also occurs whether I log in to my user account, the Administrator account, or boot in safe mode.

Please, if anyone has a clue what's going on I'd sure appreciate it! I've tried everything I can think of at this point and nothing is making any difference.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 07:44 PM

I have no clue...but the first thing I would work to eliminate would be overheating.

Then I would take a careful look at the errors reflected in Event Viewer.

How To Use Event Viewer - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic40108.html

Next, I would take steps to eliminate the idea that malware is causing these symptoms.

Louis

#3 Selif

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 08:43 AM

I spent a large chunk of the other night running Trend Micro's Housecall and all of the other free tools on that page along with another A/V scan with Avast! and came up with absolutely nothing.

Later on one of the forums where I was looking for help I was advised to try disabling the touchpad in the BIOS and try a new mouse. I found that I could not disable the touchpad in the BIOS because it was not an option on any of the BIOS option screens.

While the machine was off I also removed and re-seated the memory chips because of an odd sounding story from somebody who reported similar difficulties.

I rebooted after checking the BIOS with the mouse still disconnected and suddenly the mysterious behavior was gone. The touchpad now performed fine. All symptoms were completely gone. Everything that I had not been able to do was now working properly.

I did a test to confirm that it was, after all, the mouse. I reconnected the mouse and the odd behavior returned. I disconnected it again and the odd behavior continues. For some reason it actually takes rebooting without that particular mouse connected in order for things to work properly.

I have swapped that optical mouse with an older but still working three button ball mouse I had laying around and now I'm going to think of something that is suitably destructive that I can use that old mouse for.

This whole thing hast left me feeling like some entry-level dunce for not figuring out this problem weeks ago. You know, like the day it happened.

Actually in truth, I don't care about that very much. I'm just glad things are working again! I just need to find a cheap optical mouse. This ancient ball mouse works but is a bit finicky (NOT complaining though! at least it WORKS!)

It just goes to show you that sometimes the most difficult problems can have the most deceptively simple solutions.

Edited by Selif, 10 March 2011 - 08:45 AM.


#4 hamluis

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 10:26 AM

Glad you resolved it, happy computing :).

Louis




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