My computer doesn't like my mouse!
December 21, 2006 2:06 PM   Subscribe

Recently (and I know its obnoxious to not be able to pin it down to a single event), I've been having an issue where my Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer USB (It's optical) will freeze up for a few seconds and then start working. It seems that my XP machine thinks it is being disconnected, as I heard the sound cue for hardware being removed, and then 5 seconds later the re-connection sound. The thing is, I've had this issue before, and I believe it was resolved with a registry hack, or uninstalling a bit of software, I just can't for the life of me remember which.

It seems to happen more frequently when I have a bunch of apps open, though not exclusively (it also happens right in the middle of FPS games *grumble).

The only other helpful information i can gather is, when going to the Mouse control panel, i get a popup that says "Some mouse settings might not work until you connect a Microsoft mouse to a USB port on your computer or set up a Microsoft mouse that uses Bluetooth technology." which seems to me like XP doesn't know which mouse this is, even though i've specified in the "connected device" the specific mouse that i have.

I have tried removing the device from the device manager and letting it redetect.

Could it be something due to the number of USB devices i have attached (two external drives, the mouse, a printer, a webcam and sometimes an ipod)? My machine has 6 USB ports, so I didn't think it was that...

Please help before this drives me completely insane (not a long drive, i know)
posted by softlord to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
Best answer: I've had two Intellimouse Explorer USB mice. Both failed with an intermittent wire break right where the USB cable goes into the mouse. Try wiggling the cable at the mouse when this happens.
posted by Mitheral at 2:21 PM on December 21, 2006

Response by poster: Hmm... did you end up getting a different mouse? if so, which one.
posted by softlord at 2:46 PM on December 21, 2006

I think I have the same mouse at home. When I had problems with it I replaced the batteries in the mouse itself and that seemed to fix the freezing problem.
posted by hogweed at 3:18 PM on December 21, 2006

I have experienced this same problem with my Intellimouse Explorer USB. I've also experienced some other weirdness with it -- I use it with an Intel Mac Pro, and it disconnects/reconnects under Windows, as you describe, while in Mac OS X it will occasionally switch to a slower tracking speed. I thought it was just a weird software glitch, but your post (and the above replies) makes me think it's actually a problem within the mouse itself, and that I should replace it with something more stable.
posted by mosk at 4:36 PM on December 21, 2006

Batteries in the mouse is the answer I've seen most often.
posted by jmhodges at 6:36 PM on December 21, 2006

You might try getting a gaming mouse since you play games. Logitech all the way. The MX1000 is laser and infinitely better than any Microsoft mouse. Their other wireless are pretty kickass too.
posted by jesirose at 7:02 PM on December 21, 2006

The Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer USB is a corded mouse and doesn't have batteries.

I love my logitech G7 wireless. Has two rechargable replaceable batteries that are really light, flawless laser, and good feel. I'm not a gamer though so YFPSingMV. It is a bit smaller than the explorer. I've also got a MX cordless rechargable that is about the same size as the explorer however I find it too heavy for long term use. Both have side scrollers and multi buttons.
posted by Mitheral at 7:50 PM on December 21, 2006

Best answer: I had this exact problem. ,As Mitheral said, it is a fracture in the wires where it enters the mouse itself. If you're fairly handy with a soldering iron or have a friend who is, you may be able to fix it. I fixed it once, it happened again and I tore the wire out in a rage (thereby forcing me to buy the wireless mouse I really wanted anyway).

The problem was absolutely the wires because wiggling the wires made the disconnect / reconnect sound every time. At the time I was playing a lot of Unreal Tournament, and I kept having the mouse drop out. It was terribly frustrating.

I bought a Logitech MX laser mouse. It was expensive, but it's wonderful. It docks in the recharging cradle which is also the wireless receiver, and it's never failed me yet (except when I forget to put it in the charger every few weeks or so).
posted by tomble at 10:35 PM on December 21, 2006

Yeah, I had the same problem with a Microsoft mouse, and I ended up just junking it and getting a Logitech--haven't looked back since.
posted by deansfurniture5 at 11:27 PM on December 21, 2006

Microsoft will almost certainly replace it for free, as this is a known defect in this model. I'm not sure what the warranty is, but I seem to recall getting one replaced out of warranty.
posted by kindall at 11:35 PM on December 21, 2006

Just a shot in the dark, but if there's nothing wrong with the connection or your wiring, you should know that the mouse cabling is not shielded at all.

Does your mouse cord run by or near a subwoofer/speaker mixture? Is your PC case open to the world? Do you have my problem -- which is that I got a brand new Blackberry 8700g, and every time I get an email, my mouse and keyboard become "disconnected"?

All of those issues can be solved by just repositioning where the cable goes in relation to all of those other objects giving off interference.
posted by thanotopsis at 1:58 AM on December 22, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks everyone, it sounds like its time for an early xmas present for myself!
posted by softlord at 8:50 AM on December 22, 2006

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