cursor lags noticeably

Discussion in 'Dell' started by bullseye, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. bullseye

    bullseye Guest

    This happened for the second time in about a month. I had to reboot to
    regain control of my cursor. It would wander seemingly at random and
    required the most refined mouse movements to direct it on the screen. I
    recall I had IE 6, Firefox 1.5.1, and AOL AIM launched when this
    happened today.

    How do I begin to even troubleshoot this (and then to finding a solution)?
    bullseye, Mar 29, 2006
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  2. why don't you start by telling us the model computer you are talking about
    and the os?
    Christopher Muto, Mar 29, 2006
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  3. bullseye

    Colin Wilson Guest

    How do I begin to even troubleshoot this (and then to finding a solution)?

    Two common possibilities - spyware / trojans can cause this, as can a
    cheap optical mouse with a strong lightsource nearby (!)
    Colin Wilson, Mar 29, 2006
  4. bullseye

    journey Guest

    Is it a laptop with a pointer button? I think some Latitudes still
    have this?

    journey, Mar 30, 2006
  5. bullseye

    bullseye Guest


    Dell Dimension 4100, 1 gig PIII, 512 meg ram, 80 gig hard drive, Windows
    2000 Pro Sp4
    bullseye, Mar 30, 2006
  6. bullseye

    Jay B Guest

    sounds like spyware to me.
    can you post a log of what processes are running currently?
    Jay B, Mar 30, 2006
  7. bullseye

    Keka Guest

    u havent mentioned the model... but assuming that it's a desktop...
    along with running something like spybot... also try uninstalling the
    mouse driver and then restarting the pc.
    Keka, Mar 30, 2006
  8. bullseye

    bullseye Guest

    How do I do that?
    bullseye, Mar 30, 2006
  9. point your browser to and run their free malware
    it can take a while but you can continue to use your computer for other
    things while it is doing so.
    Christopher Muto, Mar 30, 2006
  10. bullseye

    bullseye Guest


    Doing so right now and shall report the findings.

    thank you
    bullseye, Mar 30, 2006
  11. bullseye

    bullseye Guest

    "HouseCall did not find any potential threats on your computer."
    bullseye, Mar 30, 2006
  12. bullseye

    bullseye Guest

    I just finished scanning using TrendMicro and came clean.
    The mouse is a Microsoft Intellimouse 1.2A PS/2 (mechanical) with the
    scroll wheel.
    bullseye, Mar 30, 2006
  13. that is excellent.
    so what could be the cause? assuming that the system is not entirely frozen
    (for instance when this happens can you make the start menu appear using the
    cntrl+esc key combination) then something is keeping the system so busy or
    there is some software or hardware conflict with the mouse.
    these sorts of random things are very difficult to pinpoint but here is a
    list of things to consider...
    could be some application making the system too busy to respond, has
    anything new been installed lately?
    could be a defective hard disk that is having trouble seeking data from the
    drive (causing odd and random delays), have you run hard disk diagnostics
    (available for download form the drive manufacture or
    could be a bad connection between the mouse and the computer, try removing
    it and plugging it back in when the system is off.
    could be a usb conflict if it is a usb type mouse (add any new usb devices
    could be something as silly as a animated mouse pointer that simply is buggy
    and freezes over time, these seemingly harmless things can cause all sorts
    of problems.
    why not first try to a visit to and install all
    updates (critical, drives, optional) until there are no more updates to be
    had, and then delete the mouse from
    devices and then delete the mouse... when you restart it should be added
    back. if that doesn't help then why not just buy a cheap $5 mouse to see if
    that solves the problem...
    Christopher Muto, Mar 30, 2006
  14. bullseye

    bullseye Guest

    thank you for the extended reply.

    1. I keep my PC updated every month with Windowsupdate.
    2. The mouse is mechanical.
    3. The rest of the system is not frozen (but this is hard to determine
    with an improperly functioning cursor).
    4. I scandisk and defrag once a week so I doubt I have hard disk
    problems (and the hard disk was last replaced 2 or 3 years ago).
    5. I will try deleting the mouse and rebooting later.
    6. May also look for a replacement mouse(feels like a wild goose chase).

    thanks again
    bullseye, Mar 30, 2006
  15. bullseye

    S.Lewis Guest

    Apologies if I came in late:

    You have tried disabling any anti-virus, firewall, or spyware programs
    temporarily to see if that may be a cause?

    S.Lewis, Mar 30, 2006
  16. bullseye

    Notan Guest

    Also, you might try disabling your Startup programs.

    Notan, Mar 30, 2006
  17. bullseye

    bullseye Guest

    I haven't added any of the three items recently. ZoneAlarm, McAfee, and
    the Microsoft Antispyware have been running for a long time (years).

    Wouldn't logic dictate that to suspect one of these, they must've been
    installed new or recently?

    (I will keep watch on McAfee's update cycle, now that you mention it; I
    have Virusscan 10 and it updates about every 48 hours or so.) But even
    then, how do I pinpoint the problem?
    bullseye, Mar 30, 2006
  18. bullseye

    S.Lewis Guest


    Fair question. If the activity is new and those software apps have been
    around the entire time, it's unlikely they're causing it. However, AV
    engines do get updated and replaced along with the DAT files periodically,
    as well as the same for ZA (I think) and postively for MS anti-spyware
    (which can no longer be downloaded and has been superceded by Windows

    I'd still right-click on each of those items in your system tray and
    temporarily disable them to see if that has any positive effect on the
    symptom. Further, your idea about the mouse may be dead-on.

    You have to eliminate as many variables as possible, and you *will* find the
    culprit, I'm sure.

    S.Lewis, Mar 30, 2006
  19. bullseye

    Jay B Guest

    download hijackthis from
    and run it and post the hijack log file.
    i'm sure i will point out stuff that your online scan didnt find.
    probably you are running too much bloat software.
    you already mentioned some big offenders.
    i hate mcafee, and the current zonealarm has also been reported sluggish
    (even on this newsgroup). perhaps the update process has brought down
    the new versions of this apps and that could be part of the problem.

    post the log and we'll go from there.
    Jay B, Mar 31, 2006
  20. bullseye

    bullseye Guest

    I uninstalled and re-installed the mouse (the re-install occurs

    Searching for a replacement (the least expensive option appears to be a
    3-pack for $25). I believe my USB is version 1 and I already use both
    USB ports so I shall stick with the mechanical PS/2 (if I find one).

    Thank you all for keeping up. I will update either in here or in a new
    bullseye, Mar 31, 2006
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