Laggy mouse problems
April 18, 2009 9:07 PM   Subscribe

My wireless mouse movement has been really choppy and erratic lately.

I have a Logitech MX Revolution wireless USB mouse with my Dell Inspiron 9400 Laptop.

As I said above, the movement with the mouse has been laggy and erratic.

The touchpad on my laptop works fine without any lag. I also have the Logitech diNovo Edge keyboard, which has a trackpad that also works fine without lag. It's a really confusing problem and seems to have just started randomly.

I have the latest Logitech drivers, and I've tried older ones.

I'm running XP Media Centre Edition, with 2 GB of RAM and Nvidia 7900 GS video card.

I'm running an external monitor through DVI.

The video card has been replaced since this problem started occurring, but when it came back from Dell, the problem didn't change. Other than this nothing has been changed with this setup since the problem has been occurring.

Googling this has pointed me in the direction of a Windows re-install, but I wanted to know if there are any other things I should try before I do this.
posted by WilliamWallace to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
Best answer: How long have you had that mouse? My thought would be that the battery is starting to fail. (Lithium batteries do that.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:11 PM on April 18, 2009

Sounds obvious but have to check: have you made sure the optic hole at the bottom is clear? When mine becomes erratic it's usually a stray cat hair messing with the beam.
posted by Billegible at 9:12 PM on April 18, 2009

Best answer: Both folks above have good thoughts. Two other issues come to mind:

1. Distance of mouse from the receiver. Wireless mice can react exactly as you describe if the receiver is either too far or something is blocking reception (or transmission from the mouse, as Bellegible says).

2. A problem with the receiver or transceiver. They can fail and can cause these types of issues.

FWIW, reinstalling Windows seems a very large hammer with which to hit this particular nail. It would be much more productive to test the receiver and mouse on another PC. And, no, you don't need to install _all_ the drivers and software to test the mouse. Left to its own devices, Windows will treat any mouse like ... a mouse, whether it's wireless or not. The drivers and software are there to enable any unusual features. So, go plug that wireless receiver in some other system and start testing! :-)
posted by tcv at 9:33 PM on April 18, 2009

Best answer: Sounds like the battery is dying. My wireless mouse acts the same way.
posted by wongcorgi at 9:37 PM on April 18, 2009

Response by poster: I forgot to mention that I've been able to reproduce this issue on another computer, an HP laptop running Vista.

I've had the mouse about 2.5 years.

The optic hole is clear. I had to double-check though.

It's seems like it's quite possible for the battery to be failing, it doesn't seem to be holding a charge nearly as well anymore, which is to be expected I suppose.

It's also possible that it may be a transceiver/receiver issue.

Sounds like the bottom line is that it's time for a new mouse...
posted by WilliamWallace at 10:14 PM on April 18, 2009

Lithium batteries are good for about 3 years from date of manufacture. So yeah, it's probably about that time.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:45 PM on April 18, 2009

Are you using a wireless-N router? I have the same mouse and when I made the switch to 802.11n, I started having interference issues. I cleared it up pretty well by changing my wireless network's wireless channel, although it goes on the fritz whenever I'm pushing a lot of data over the network (copying big files to and fro, etc.).
posted by sinfony at 5:32 AM on April 19, 2009

Seconding sinfony: I have the same mouse and have the same problems when the wifi network is busy, and it started when I added a .11n device.
posted by ook at 7:10 AM on April 19, 2009

I, too, have this mouse, and have interference problems exactly when there's a lot of wi-fi activity. In my case, though, the offending router is only .11g, not .11n.
posted by em at 9:01 AM on April 19, 2009

Battery - I've been using wireless mice since.... IR versions in the early 90's and if it is getting choppy, then it is generally battery-related.
posted by jkaczor at 7:38 AM on April 20, 2009

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