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How to Tame Your Mouse

Written By: By Stephen Bucaro

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How to Tame Your Mouse

By Stephen Bucaro

Does your mouse work erratically, skip and jump across the
screen, or freeze up? Most problems with the mouse are
caused by dirt or miscalibration.

Clean Your Mouse

Most mouses (mice?) work by use of a rubber ball that
moves three rollers. It is very common for the rubber ball
to pick up dirt and feed it into the internal mechanism of
the mouse. Tame your mouse by giving it a good cleaning.

To clean a mouse, turn it over and remove the cover that
retains the rubber ball. The cover is usually circular
with groves that let you turn the cover in a counter
clockwise direction for removal. Remove the rubber ball
from the housing, wipe it clean, and blow air into the
mouse housing. Inspect the rollers to make sure they are
free of dirt. Then reassemble the mouse.

Jerky mouse movement can also be caused by the mouse pad.
Most plastic laminate covered mouse pads do not provide
enough friction for the mouse to track reliably. Cloth
covered mouse pads perform much better, although they
don’t last as long.

Calibrate Your Mouse

If your mouse still does not behave, check it’s
calibration. Select Start | Settings | Control Panel, and
open the Mouse utility. In the Mouse Properties dialog
box, select the Buttons tab and move the Double-click
speed slider control to set the time between clicks that
you want to be recognized as a double click.

Then select the Motion tab and adjust the Pointer Speed
slider control to your preference. In the Acceleration
section, set the None radio button, then click on the OK
button.

Check The Mouse Driver

On startup, Windows loads a virtual PS2 mouse driver that
is contained (along with other virtual device drivers) in
the file C:Windowssystemvmm32.vxd. If another mouse
driver is located in the folder c:windowssystemvmm32,
Windows will load that one to replace the mouse driver in
vmm32.vxd.

A second mouse driver, or other device driver may be
interfering with the PS2 mouse driver. Use the Device
Manager to troubleshoot errors. To access Device Manager
select Start | Settings | Control Panel, then open the
System utility. Select the Device Manager tab. In the list
of devices, double-click on Mouse. If there is an
exclamation mark (!) or a red X on the mouse icon, this
means the mouse has a problem. A PS2 mouse uses IRQ 12.
Make sure no other device is configured to use IRQ 12,
causing a conflict.

A DOS mode mouse driver may be interfering with the
Windows mouse driver. If the file autoexec.bat exists in
the root directory of the C drive, open the file in Windows
Notepad and look for entries like Device=mouse.sys. If the
file config.sys exists in the root directory of the C
drive, open the file in Windows Notepad and look for
entries like c:dosmouse.com. To disable the statement
type the letters REM (for remark) in front of the line.

If the file System.ini exists in the folder c:windows
folder, open the file in Windows Notepad and look in the
[boot] section for the entry Mouse.drv= If the file
win.ini exists in the folder c:windows folder, open the
file in Windows Notepad and look for entries like load=
and run=. If a line refers to a mouse driver, disable the
statement by typing a semicolon (;) in front of the line.

If you operating system is Windows 98/Me/2000, then you
can use the System Configuration utility and the System
Information utility to study the startup configuration of
your computer. To open the System Configuration Utility,
select Start | Run, and type c:windowssystemmsconfig.
To open the System Information Utility select Start |
Programs | Accessories | System Tools and click on System
Information.

Check The Display Driver

Sometimes a mouse will work erratically because the
display driver is not working properly. The first thing
you can do is disable the graphics drivers hardware
acceleration. Select Start | Settings | Control Panel,
and open the Display utility. In the Display Properties
dialog box, select the Settings tab and click on the
Advanced… button.

In the dialog box which appears, select the Performance
tab and move the hardware acceleration slider control to
None. If this doesn’t solve the problem you might try
updating the display driver. After locating a proper
driver, this is done in the same dialog box on the Adapter
tab by clicking the Change button to open the Update
Device Driver Wizard.

Try a New Mouse

Most problems with the mouse are caused by dirt or
miscalibration. If cleaning the mouse doesn’t solve the
problem, the procedures described above may guide you to
the source of the problem. However, a computer mouse is a
cheaply manufactured mechanical device. As such they don’t
last long. If nothing else works, maybe its time to retire
that old mouse.
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Resource Box:
Copyright(C)2002 Bucaro TecHelp. To learn how to maintain
your computer and use it more effectively to design a Web
site and make money on the Web visit:
http://bucarotechelp.com
To subscribe to Bucaro TecHelp Newsletter Send a blank
email to bucarotechelp-subscribe@topica.com

About the Author

Stephen Bucaro is the webmaster at bucarotechelp.com

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