Windows 8.1 - Cordless USB mouse gone berserk, *really* erratic behavior
February 12, 2017 12:21 AM   Subscribe

OUT OF NOWHERE, the mouse software on my WIN 8.1 machine has gone nuts. Happened yesterday. Sometimes the pointer won't move across the screen when I move the mouse on the mouse-pad, sometimes it moves too fast, sometimes the scroll wheel works but mostly it doesn't, all in all the mouse does pretty much what it wants, when it wants. Really annoying. Help?

So this one came out of nowhere, no updates that I know of, other than beginning to use Thunderbird email client to access a Hotmail account, and Thunderbird *has* updated like three times with security updates. But basically I've been just going along minding my own business.

I stay out of bad neighborhoods -- no porn sites, no free software sites. (Other than the aforementioned Thunderbird, which I intend to uninstall, as it's had a security update just about every day since I've begun using it.) I run Malwarebytes Home Premium as anti-malware, I run the free version of Avira anti-virus software, I run Windows Defender. These all run in real-time. I don't think it's something I picked up out in the wild, or something that has picked me out from the wild.

And it's totally random behavior, it's like it was a totally mellow Labrador Retriever that does exactly the right thing and now it's turned into a mentally ill psycho cat that claws the leather couch and pees on the pillows

I know this is going to seem ridiculous but I swear it's true -- it seems to help when I beat the mouse on my knee or a few sharp raps on the wall, which does help (no kidding) but it doesn't help for long plus my knee hurts. I started with a Microsoft USB wireless mouse, now using a brand new USB Dell wireless mouse -- I always keep a brand new mouse in reserve -- no difference. The Microsoft mouse 6 months old, the Dell mouse is brand new -- it's *not* a hardware thing.

I *almost* uninstalled the Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center software using CCleaner a few minutes ago but what then, can I just insert the bitty USB wort and assume WIN8.1 will find what it needs? Because if it doesn't then I'm totally hosed, no way to interface with this puter at all.

What is going on here? How can I get it back to the good old days of two days back? Even writing this AskMe has been a big pain, any time I try to use the mouse it's a maybe/maybe not sort of thing.

Help?
posted by dancestoblue to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
 
Small add-on here -- I have a bluetooth mouse somewheres around here and can/will dig it out but I'm assuming that once past the bluetooth or USB interface it would still utilize the same mouse software...

And I've restarted the machine a number of times, hoping it would catch some hiccup -- no dice.
posted by dancestoblue at 12:26 AM on February 12, 2017


I'd try uninstalling the Mouse and Keyboard center first. As long as your USB mouse shows up as a USB Human Interface Device (and the vast majority of them do), Windows' built-in drivers will keep things working even without the Mouse and Keyboard Center (which mostly just adds extra customization features).
posted by Aleyn at 12:47 AM on February 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


Welp, that didn't do it -- I created a "Restore" point, deleted Thunderbird and the MS Mouse and Keyboard software using CCleaner, re-started and ... I wouldn't have thought it possible but it's even worse than it was before the deletion. Opening this browser, logging into metafilter, then navigating to this window *completely* annoying.

I did pull the USB wort out of the machine before the restart, going to try it again before giving it up for the night. Gawd, I do *not* want to completely re-install the dang OS......... We shall see.

Thx for your help, Aleyn.
posted by dancestoblue at 1:27 AM on February 12, 2017


I totally shut the machine down. Removed the USB wort. Started the machine, let Windows go through its startup routine. Plugged the USB wort back in and it's much better, though the scroll still isn't working. Tackle that tomorrow. At least I can use the puter again.......
posted by dancestoblue at 1:39 AM on February 12, 2017


Have you physically cleaned the mouse? Dirt on the underneath and around the scroll wheel can cause all sorts of weirdness over time. Apologies if this isn't the problem but you seem to have tried everything else...
posted by altolinguistic at 6:11 AM on February 12, 2017 [3 favorites]


Yeah, sounds like a hair in the path of the laser (assuming it is an optical mouse)
posted by misterbrandt at 7:40 AM on February 12, 2017 [3 favorites]


I know this is going to seem ridiculous but I swear it's true -- it seems to help when I beat the mouse on my knee or a few sharp raps on the wall, which does help (no kidding) but it doesn't help for long plus my knee hurts.

I have this problem and it's always been solved by new batteries. Clean the battery compartment and put in fresh batteries. I know you tried a different mouse but maybe you got unlucky with the 2nd one too.
posted by AFABulous at 9:24 AM on February 12, 2017 [3 favorites]


^^^

Agree. Try spankin' new batteries (good ones), at least to eliminate that possibility.
posted by raider at 9:34 AM on February 12, 2017


Also, maybe get/keep a corded mouse as backup?
posted by raider at 9:37 AM on February 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


I have this problem and it's always been solved by new batteries.
posted by AFABulous at 11:24 AM on February 12

I had brand new, high quality (Maxell) alkaline batteries in both Dell and Microsoft mouse.

~~~~~

Also, maybe get/keep a corded mouse as backup?
posted by raider at 11:37 AM on February 12

I am absolutely going to get a corded mouse as backup, can buy them for five bucks or less at a local used puter parts place.

~~~~~

OK, so this morning I plugged in the Microsoft USB wort and all worx well, including scroll.

Turns out the brand new Dell mouse scroll didn't work -- it's now in the trash, battery saved because it was fresh.

Both mice (mice? mouses?) were sparkling clean, the Dell brand new clean, literally fresh out of the box.

Seems the puter needed that MS software deleted and then a few take down / restart cycles and the machine finally found its way.

Thanx to all who stepped in here; great ideas, as always.

Resolved.

posted by dancestoblue at 10:11 AM on February 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


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