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Microsoft Trackball Mouse Slows Way Down


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#1 Judi_e

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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!

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#2 usasma

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 12:25 PM

I'm a trackball addict myself (I use Logitech tho') - but I'm happy with the default drivers that Windows uses.

I'd suggest that you uninstall the Intellipoint software, reboot, then install the latest version to see if this corrects the problem.

If not, then I'd suggest a bit of "very cautious" registry and hard drive diving to eliminate all traces of the Intellipoint software - then install the most recent version to see if it corrects the problem.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#3 Judi_e

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 12:37 PM

Thanks John, I tried all of that. Microsoft even had a knowledge base article to help remove all traces of old versions of Intellipoint. It wasn't aimed at this particular problem, but I tried it anyway. I thought it had worked last week, because I got through a whole day without any slow downs. So I was going to deal with the decreased functionality in OrCAD, work around it no matter how frustrating that way (no scroll wheel, one of my customized buttons not doing what I assigned it to do). But then the next day it went back to it's misbehaving ways, so the latest version doesn't solve the slowing down problem, and reduces the functionality of the mouse to boot! I went back to the old software, at least all the funtions are there.

I've heard the logitechs are good, but they only have 2 buttons plus the wheel button. This Microsoft mouse has 4 buttons plus the wheel button, and I use every one of them in OrCAD, those extra buttons make a huge difference. I've been considering a Kensington Expert Mouse or Expert Mouse Pro, but they are expensive!!!! Plus I'm so comfortable with this mouse, I really don't want to get rid of it. But if I can't solve this problem I'm going to have to. I can't work like this, having it slow down and then either having to put up with it (making my hand cramp up and I work really slow) or shut down all of the programs I have open (OrCAD Layout and Schematic, various data sheets and application notes both in Acrobat and Firefox, bills of materials....any number of things really), reboot and try to open everything back up again and get some work done before it slows down again.

The only thing I can figure is that Windows did something that changed how it works. It worked flawlessly until the last few months. Then suddenly that button goes out, and it stops responding properly. The button going out I can see, I've had the mouse for several years and it gets a lot of use. But this slowing down thing is really starting to anger me!

#4 Judi_e

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 08:25 AM

Wow, nobody has any idea huh? That is truly a bummer. I was really hoping someone here would know exactly what was wrong.

#5 usasma

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 09:05 PM

Actually, I was upset when a third button/wheel was added to pointing devices many years ago - so I'm not able to cope with all the extra buttons on today's devices!

Desperate times call for desparate measures! :thumbsup:

Try removing the Microsoft drivers and installing the Logitech drivers. The reverse of this solved a problem for a Logitech user a while back - so it may work for you.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#6 Judi_e

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 02:11 PM

I gave this a shot. But, because it's not a Logitech device, the Logitech software defaults to a basic mouse with only 3 buttons including the wheel button. Mine has five, so that would significantly reduce the functionality of my mouse.

I'm considering getting a new mouse, a Logitech that has a total of like 8 buttons (a couple of them are scroll buttons you can use instead of the wheel), but I don't know how versatile the software is. If it's as versatile as the MS stuff I'll give it some serious consideration. I'll at least put it on my list of things I'd like Santa to buy me, lol.

#7 Judi_e

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 01:37 PM

So it's been a couple weeks since I last posted here, and I still haven't found a solution to my problem. I seriously can not figure out what is going wrong. I'll be working and everything is fine, and then suddenly the mouse movement just slows down. I thought for a little bit this morning that I might have figured it out, I thought perhaps something was shutting off the acceleration, but that was not the case.

Doesn't anyone have any ideas? I found one site that might have an answer, but it's a subscription site and I'd have to buy a membership to even see if there is a solution. Does anyone have any ideas as to what I can try, things to look for?

Here's what I know: updating the mouse drivers on my home computer (running XP Home) seems to have solved the problem. It hasn't slowed down at home since I updated the drivers. Updating the mouse drivers on my work computer (running XP Pro) doesn't help, plus the most recent drivers significantly reduce the functionality in my most important software (the scroll wheel won't even work in that program, although it works fine elsewhere). Sometimes it is like this before I even log into the computer (right on the login screen the mouse moves too slow). Sometimes I can go all day without it slowing down. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it.

Is there something I can set up the system monitor to watch for? Please, I'm desperate. After investigating the Logitech mice more, it doesn't look as though they will do what I need them to. I would really hate to give up this mouse, it's perfect for what I need, when it works. Plus it looks like the only mouse I could get that would do everything I need it to do is a Kensington, which costs close to $100. I'm desperate to make this mouse work for me!

#8 usasma

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 04:11 PM

Problems like this take a lot of time and effort to solve. I had one mouse problem with my wife's system that we just learned to live with since the "fix" was to reinstall her Windows.

We'll keep plugging along, but don't expect miracles.

Try monitoring the system activity with a freeware program like Process Explorer (try google). Then keep an eye out for increases that happen when the mouse slows down.

Another option is to install the Logitech software, then uninstall it and try the Microsoft software again. This supposes that there's some common files between the two - and the "refresh by substitution" could fix it (but this is really, really reaching for a cure!)
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#9 TheTerrorist_75

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 05:07 PM

Maybe something here can lead to a solution?
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/895550

Other possibilities are conflicts with ATI or VooDoo display drivers, conflicts with Creative SB Live sound cards and DirectX 8.x. Check to see what the hardware differences are between the two PCs. Also update DirectX.
Microsoft Trackball Optical mouse slows down

Edited by TheTerrorist_75, 08 December 2006 - 05:07 PM.

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#10 Judi_e

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 10:17 AM

I spent a few days trying to figure it out. I posted here and at another forum and there were only a few responses, and nothing helped. I tried the Window system monitor, but wasn't sure what I should be monitoring. Of the things I did monitor, none of them showed any change when it slowed down.

I broke down and bought the Kensington Expert. It has fantastic reviews, and just as much versatility as the Microsoft. It's taking some getting used to, being a fingertip operated ball instead of thumb operated, but I'm getting the hang of it. Thanks to everyone for your attempts at helping me with this problem. I guess it was just time to get a new mouse. Once I get used to the Kensington I think I'll like it just as well.




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