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.