Posted 14 November 2006 - 12:13 PM
I have a Microsoft Trackball Optical mouse. It's several years old, but I can't find another mouse with this many features and a thumb ball, so I'm desperately trying to keep it. I'm so desperate that when the left button started to wear out I opened it up, got the part number for the button, ordered a few samples from Omron, and installed a new button. Being an electrical engineer and circuit board designer does have it's perks, lol, free samples AND I know how to use a soldering iron.
OK, so I got that problem fixed, on both the mouse I use at work and the one at home, because they both went out at the same time (even though the one at work gets considerably more use). Around the same time that the buttons started getting flaky I started having another problem. It must have been caused by a Windows update (running XP pro at work, and XP home at home) because I didn't change anything else. It happened at home first, and then at work. Everything would be working fine, and then all of a sudden my mouse movement would slow down, and no amount of banging on the mouse itself helped, it wasn't a hardware issue. I tried going into the mouse settings and speeding it up, and I can adjust the speed, but it never quite gets to where it's supposed to be. In fact, after the mouse has slowed down, if I go into the settings and set the pointer speed to the lowest setting, it becomes almost imperceptibly slow. Apparently the computer had decided my mouse was going to move at about 1/3 the speed I wanted it to, and the only thing I could do to fix it was to reboot.
So, at home I updated the driver, from 4.1 which is what came with the mouse when I bought it, to 5.5 which is the latest version. This particular mouse uses a piece of Microsoft software called Intellipoint to help you define different functions for the buttons, even having different functions in different applications, which is why I love it. Well, to update the driver you just download the latest version of Intellipoint and it updates the driver at the same time. At home this was not a problem, and it seemed to fix things.
At work is a different story. Updating the driver doesn't help, and it causes the scroll wheel and some of my button assignments to not work in OrCAD....that is the program I use to do circuit board layout. It is the most important program I use. The customizable buttons in OrCAD are the whole reason I want to keep using this mouse, but the latest driver screws them all up. The custom assignments and wheel seem to work everywhere else, except this most important program. Plus it doesn't solve my slowing down problem, the mouse will still suddenly slow down for no reason.
So I went back to the old driver so that at least my button assignments work, but now I have to reboot my computer several times a day so that I don't end up getting a cramp in my hand from having to roll the ball three times as much, and it's negatively affecting my productivity.
Does anyone have any ideas? I don't remember when exactly it started to be a problem, so I have no idea what Windows updates might have caused this problem. I think it was probably around July or August of this year. I can't find any info at Microsoft's website, and it would cost me $35 to ask them....the mouse only cost $30. But I really want to keep this mouse, because the only thing I've been able to find with this much versatility is $90-110 and has a center ball, instead of the ball being under the thumb.
I will be eternally grateful to anyone who can help me fix this!