Mouse is frozen sometimes in Windows XP?, Part 2

Dennis Faas's picture

Recall Jack G.'s question from last week:

" Every now and then my mouse is frozen when I boot up Windows XP. Is their anything I can do to fix this problem? "

Since then, I've received a whole whack of suggestions from readers of the Gazette. In fact, I couldn't believe how many people share the same problem as Jack.

Unfortunately, it would appear that there is not a one-set solution to this problem. So, I'll give you the best of the suggestions I received and hopefully it may resolve some of your problems.

Suggestion #1: CTRL + ALT + DEL

The most popular (temporary) solution was to press CTRL + ALT + DEL to bring up task manager. This also (usually) gives back mouse functionality from a frozen mouse. It may also be possible that a program is causing the system to hang, in which case, you can use Task Manager to end a task which is not responding.

As Jack S. writes:

" I don't think it is the mouse that freezes, but the program or site has quit. The ol' three finger salute (CTRL + ALT + DEL) is the only way I have found to escape it. If that doesn't do it, CTRL + ALT + DEL twice should restart. If that doesn't work, Windows has won again and you must punch off: wait and restart your system. "

James C. suggested to use the Windows Key on the keyboard instead of CTRL + ALT + DEL:

" When you can't get the mouse to move, press the 'window' key to open the Start Menu then dismiss the start menu with the Esc key. It's always worked for me, not only on the boot up, but in other applications that freeze or temporarily disable the mouse. "

Suggestion #2: Use a generic mouse driver

*Lots* of people suggested using a generic Windows mouse Driver. In fact, I can relate to the situation because my GeForce MX-400 video card won't work at all unless I use the Microsoft driver that came with Windows XP. I have yet to try v40.72 drivers from Nvidia, but I'm not holding my breath. Anyway, Ted writes:

" Your reader didn't state what type mouse, serial/USB, or if Microsoft or third party. I would start by disabling accessory mouse features then see if the lockups still occur at startup. If that isn't the problem, try using the generic windows mouse driver. You could also create a bootlog.txt file (you can in Win98, I'm not sure about XP) to see if anything shows. "

On the other hand, try using the latest mouse driver offered by your manufacturer, as John M states:

" I run XP pro and experienced mouse freezing some months ago. I use a Logitech trackball and temporarily cured the problem with frequent re-installing. The final solution was to ensure that the very latest driver was installed. I am now trouble free for six months plus. "

Suggestion #3: USB to PS2 adapter

It could also be the USB to PS2 adapter causing the problem. Try the USB port instead, as Mark F. suggests:

" This is a known problem with WinXP and USB mice being used with a USB to PS/2 adapter and plugged into the PS/2 port (it's in MS's KB, but I don't know the article number off hand). The fix is to plug the mouse into the USB port. MS also says that upgrading the motherboard BIOS and reinstalling any intellipoint software may also help. "

And, Keith S. says that it is possible that the mouse driver may be Windows 2000 compatible, and not XP:

" I finally found my mouse problem was being caused by supposedly XP drivers, but were not really working with XP correctly. There are a lot of drivers that are called 'for XP' drivers, but are in reality just Win2000 drivers, which aren't always compatible in XP. "

Two last considerations:

  • The mouse may be dirty;
  • I've had a few people email me and tell me that their virus scanners caused the mouse to stop functioning. Try uninstalling (temporarily) to see if this alleviates the problem. If so, find another virus scanner and replace the one that is causing the problems. Grisoft AVG virus scan is free if you want a viable, free alternative.

Thanks to all who flooded my inbox with great suggestions.

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