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jumpy mouse disease
August 25, 2009 12:47 PM   Subscribe

my logitech mouse is jumping around frantically on os x. it's behaving completely normally one second and then it's off somewhere entirely different the other. lots of details inside.

I purchased a logitech RX720 mouse a while back without realizing it was meant for windows only. being the hackjob that it is logitech's own control center refused to accept it accordingly and the site didn't provide any drivers. not to worry, macs still let you use such mice, they just don't have customizable a right button. alas, I wanted that right button, so I installed steer mouse, which I was assured was much better. fast forward a week of perfect behavior and my mouse is back to jumping around.

here's what I've tried thus far:

- I have changed batteries.
- I have uninstalled steer mouse and just used 10.4.11 to run the mouse.
- I have changed the surface below the mouse (it's an optical mouse. I tried a black mousepad, a yellow folder, a white piece of paper).
- I've tried to look for obvious smudges though I avoided looking into the laser hole for obvious reasons. or am I being overly cautious?

I'm ready to throw this dreck into the can and accept that this mouse (which sadly I can no longer return) needs to be replaced. other mice previously worked well with my mac book pro. I don't know what the issue is.

you are this little logitech mouse last hope. share ideas of suggest a painless death for it because I am ready to go postal on it.
posted by krautland to Computers & Internet (15 answers total)
 
Do you have a cell phone near the mouse? I had this EXACT same problem and found out that it was because my cell phone docking station was too close to the mouse receiver. Removal of the offending phone (it was Cingular which also is audible when receiving data on my speakers) fixed the problem.
posted by arniec at 12:54 PM on August 25, 2009


I'd disconnect the mouse and clean the laser hole (really the "bright red LED hole") with an eyeglass cleaning cloth. The change of it being lint bouncing around the optical sensor would be fairly high.
posted by eschatfische at 12:54 PM on August 25, 2009


I have a t-mobile iphone (germany, sorry at&t sufferers, I feel for ya) but it's not connected. I'll move it to the other room. will also try cleaning.
posted by krautland at 12:57 PM on August 25, 2009


I've noticed this happens every once in a while with my optical mice, too. Older mice tend to do it more often, and I always assumed it was dust. Try blasting some compressed air up the hole.

Also, I don't think it matters that it isn't an OSX mouse. Usually drivers only matter if you want to apply custom uses to the mouse's buttons or more unusual features (ie sideways scrollwheels).
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:58 PM on August 25, 2009


I know you said you changed batteries but just to doublecheck did you definitely use good batteries? Once, I had an entirely flat bunch of AAAs out of a new, unopened pack purchased from a major retailer, with a use-by date a few years away.
posted by 6550 at 1:09 PM on August 25, 2009


Is there a hair (or someother debris) in the optics?
posted by Confess, Fletch at 1:10 PM on August 25, 2009


So it worked well for a couple of weeks after you installed SteerMouse? What happens if you re-install SteerMouse? I believe SteerMouse runs as a kernel extension. It might have gotten unloaded for some reason. The command 'kmodstat' should tell you if it's active.
posted by paulg at 1:12 PM on August 25, 2009


I had this problem with a wireless optical mouse. It would jump around the screen and stutter and stop, and it was generally a real problem because I don't have a steady hand and I work with photo-editing software. I tried to clean it with compressed air, and I tried to use a special foamy mousepad, and none of this fixed it.

A google suggested that the wirelessness might be to blame. I went out and bought a wired laser mouse, and it fixed my problem entirely.
posted by aabbbiee at 2:50 PM on August 25, 2009


Usually the jumping around thing has been a product of the surface I'm using. Some mice are insanely picky. Try some more surfaces, just to test. The inner surface of a cereal box should would be worth a shot. Fabrics work ok too.
posted by chairface at 2:54 PM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is this a laptop Mac?
posted by bz at 4:14 PM on August 25, 2009


(DRAT. Accidentally posted before finishing)

Is this a MacBook? I had a similar problem with a Logitech mouse and, lo and behold, it was a hardware problem with the touchpad and not the mouse at all. Apple fixed it but it had to be sent away.

So, try a different mouse if you can and make sure it's actually THAT mouse.
posted by bz at 4:17 PM on August 25, 2009


... and it was a wired Logitech mouse. Still is, actually.
posted by bz at 4:18 PM on August 25, 2009


I've had great luck with USB Overdrive and a Logitech laser mouse on my Mac.
posted by martens at 4:31 PM on August 25, 2009


My optical wireless mouse from Microsoft does this unpredictable "jump to a corner" thing every once in a while. I did have luck with spraying compressed air in the hole for the light beam.
posted by dhartung at 9:45 PM on August 25, 2009


back a day later and the problem is resolved. aabbblee got me onto the right track by pointing out it might be a wireless problem. the little usb dongle that communicates with the mouse had been attached to my (wired apple) keyboard. the mouse had been jumpy since I moved it there to free up a usb port on the mac to charge my iphone.

it turns out the keyboard not only doesn't have enough juice for the iphone to charge but also is unable to constantly provide the mouse usb dongle thingie with enough power to operate, causing it to cut out. at least that is how I explained this behavior to myself after changing the usb thing back to the usb port on my mac book pro and realizing the mouse wasn't jumping around anymore.

bz had a really good answer as well and I was hopeful it was that particular mouse but I figured this out before even going there. I'll probably get usb overdrive now just so I have a right mouse button doing double clicks again.

thanks for your help, everyone.
posted by krautland at 11:05 AM on August 26, 2009


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