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Mouse pointer periodically has a mind of its' own! Aaah

by pfate12 / November 5, 2004 9:03 AM PST

If anyone can help me I will think the world of you!

Well, here it 2001 I purchased a Dell Inspiron 8000, P3, 256RAM, 10gig HD. It worked fine for about a year and then from time to time the mouse pointer would intermittently go nuts. The mouse pointer will usually find its way to the upper-right corner of the screen by itself. When I try to move the pointer back to the center of the screen it initially will move but will return to the upper corner as soon as I let go of the mouse or the touchpad. Sometimes it will move very fast and sometimes it will move slower.
Now, this problem has persisted since its' inception and there seems to be nothing I can do about it.
I have spent many long hours on hold with Dell tech support trying to get someone who would fix my problem. The numerous times that I was able to speak with someone they would run me through all of the various checks to see if they could systematically figure it out. All unsuccessful!
I had a 3 year warranty for onsite parts and labor and used it extensively during this process.
After, going through all of the system checks with tech support like flashing Bios, reinstalling OS, reinstalling drivers for both mouse and touchpad...the problem still wasn't fixed. So, they sent out, the first time, onsite service rep to replace my touchpad. This did not fix the problem. However, since the problem is speratic and doesn't occur at any set time...I was unable to see if the new touchpad was the solution right away. I knew it wasn't when the mouse pointer started moving on its' own again. So I called dell yet again, and then they thought well, maybe it is the keypad/keyboard. So they sent another specialist out to replace my keyboard. The computer seemed fine for a while but the problem came again. After that they decided that it was time for my laptop to be shipped to their service center so they could do a more further diagnostic inquiry. I received the computer back a couple weeks later and assumed the problem was fixed. There was no confirmation letter explaining what they did to fix the problem. I assumed that it was fixed since the machine was sent back to me. Once again the laptop worked fine for a while but yet once again the problem came!
This was all over the past four years. Last year I tried yet again to get Dell to fix my problem with the mouse pointer and I was extremely upset when they told me that they could not do anything for me because my warranty had expired!
So here I am today...stuck with this computer that has been malfunctioning basically since I bought it and they are telling me there is nothing they can do for me. My frustration is extreme!
If anyone can help me figure out what to do to resolve the problem of the mouse pointer I would be so grateful!
Also, if anyone knows what I could do about Dell not ever fixing my computer during warranty and then telling me "tough luck" after my warranty expired, that would be nice too!

Please Help!

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Re: Mouse pointer periodically has a mind of its' own! Aaah
by KenSanramon / November 5, 2004 12:35 PM PST

Some people have had success deleting and then reinstalilng the driver for the touchpad. The manufacturer of many touchpad is synaptics but I don't know which one yours is.

Note that many touchpads end up having the cursor jump when you brush it with your palms when typing and that is why the newer HP/Compaq models have a button that turns the touchpad on and off. Also, you should be able to adjust the sensitivity of the touchpad.

But you say the problem recurred after awhile so I would try to find an updated driver or reintstall the driver either at the Dell wegsite for you model or at the manufacturer website for the touchpad device. Perhaps you could even get someone to help you at the touchpad manufacturer.

Finally, you should have a USB port on your notebook although you may not have USB 2.0 (you may have the slower 1.1) --at any rate you can plug in a nice optical wireless mouse now by Microsoft or Logitech on the $20-$30 range and not have to deal with this touchpad issue hopefully.

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Re: Mouse pointer periodically has a mind of its' own! Aaah
by tammyk / November 23, 2004 8:36 AM PST

I have had the same problem with my Dell Inspiron 8000. I had a Dell technician to my office no less than 8 times; they replaced the touchpad, then the keyboard, and the mother board twice. Now my laptop is out of warranty and it's practically unusable. I would appreciate if anyone has solved this problem if you would let me know what you did.

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Re: Mouse pointer periodically has a mind of its' own! Aaah
by Ryan T / November 23, 2004 11:11 AM PST

My old Compaq Armada 7400 and my newer Dell Inspiron 4000 both had that problem. I believe it's the Track Stick, because my Armada didn't have a touchpad, and my Dell's touchpad is turned off.

Mine goes to the bottom right every once in a while. It's most noticeable when I'm trying to precisely click something in Photoshop and it keeps fighting me.

I have found two solutions.

The first easy one is to plug in the USB mouse that I keep because I don't like track sticks OR touchpads very much. That generally gets the mouse to calm down.

If it occurs more frequently or plugging in the mouse doesn't work, I have had success reinstalling the driver from time to time. It reminds me of an analog joystick. Remember those? From time to time it would start creeping toward one of the corners, causing your F-16 to lose altitude. Wink You could recalibrate those, but with Synaptics pads n' sticks, you can't. So I find that reinstalling the driver does the same thing.

When I don't have a mouse and don't feel like redoing my driver, there is a third option. Give the trackstick a good firm run-around. Push it firmly (but not too intensely) in all directions (usually in a circular motion) a couple of times, and then let it drift to the corner. Wait 30 seconds and pull the cursor out of the corner. That usually works.

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Re: Mouse pointer periodically has a mind of its' own! Aaah
by cookie74 / December 7, 2004 12:14 AM PST

Have you tried disabling the pointing stick in the control panel? I had the same problem with a Dell Latitude which was sorted out this way - this obviously only leaves you the touch pad to use but does seem to resolve the problem.

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Re: Mouse pointer periodically has a mind of its' own! Aaah
by admin-ll / December 8, 2004 12:50 AM PST

I had the same problem a couple of weeks ago with my TOSHIBA Satallite Pro laptop. After I updated my Norton Antivirus and did a full scan, I found two viruses on my machine: download.trojan and backdoor.jupdate. I removed them and everything seems to fine now. Another suggested way is to start your laptop in Safe Mode to see if the mouse is still moving. If it's ok in Safe Mode, it is fixable in your normal Windows. Good luck!

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I hope this helps.
by Chris454 / January 6, 2005 3:19 AM PST
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Having the same problem with a 4000
by N.T.Gray / January 6, 2005 3:49 AM PST

My Inspiron 4000 running WinMe does the same thing. I am assuming that it basically boils down to some kind of design or software/driver flaw. I have found two things that provide some relief.

1) An illegal exit and reboot. Not a legal shutdown; it just comes back up the same way. But if I use ctl-alt-del or hold down the power button to shut the machine down and then get a Scandisk on reboot, the pointer behaves again. For a while.

2) Play with the "eraser" for a while. When the arrow runs to the upper left corner, I can't get it out with the touch pad, but the eraser can bring it out. If I play around with the eraser for a while, the arrow will eventually start to behave itself again.

If anybody finds out what the real root of the problem is here, and how to actually fix it, I would be most grateful. Until then, Captain Kludge will have to hold the fort the best he can.


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This always worked for me . . .
by Ryan T / January 6, 2005 11:24 AM PST

Let it drift to whatever corner it was heading toward, leave it 30 seconds, and then pull it out with the eraser. Pull it out HARD. that usually fixed it.

Then again if you don't use the stick just disable it. It's definately the stick because when you disable it, the problem goes away.

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I think I have your answer
by jbuzek / January 14, 2005 12:52 AM PST

I have a Dell Inspiron 8000 and had the same problem. Here is what I did to fix:
1) Boot the laptop into the BIOS setup (<F2> or <F12> at the Dell boot screen).
2) Change the "Pointing Device" setting to "Serial Mouse" (this setting completely disables the trackpad/pointing stick)
3) ESC to exit and save.
4) Plug in a basic USB Optical Mouse.

NOTE: This fix also disables the PS/2 port. So, cannot use a PS/2 mouse as well.

Hope this helps!

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Q&A for I think I have an answer
by hienle12 / February 23, 2005 4:48 AM PST

Thanks for a solution to this problem that is now plaguing my Dell c610. My concern is I use the mouse port to power a 40G USB hard disk; will your solution disable the mouse port totally so that using the USB hard disk is no longer possible?


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by jim8jim / October 23, 2005 3:58 PM PDT

Thank you!!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!! That is the answer! By going thru the bios to disable the tracking device, my mouse returned to normalcy!!!! No straying! No point here but click there! No blowing up in minesweep because I am in the upper left quadrant and a random cell in the lower left quadrant gets clicked. WHAT a RELIEF!!!! It worked for my Dell Latitude D600:

1) Boot the laptop into the BIOS setup (<F2> or <F12> at the Dell boot screen).
2) Change the "Pointing Device" setting to "Serial Mouse" (this setting completely disables the trackpad/pointing stick)
3) ESC to exit and save.
4) Plug in a basic USB Optical Mouse.

This recommendation worked for me! Thank you!!!!! No more fighting the mouse!!!!

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Mouse pointer periodically has a mind of its' own! Aaah
by Operations / January 15, 2005 3:10 AM PST

Usually the palm assembly and keyboard are replaced at the same time because they can both cause the problem. I have never replaced those parts and then had the problem come back. I have heard that in some cases there is a driver that you can download that sometimes fixes it, but it is usually the palmrest which contains the touchpad or keyboard.
Have you tried using an external keyboard and external mouse to see if it still does it?

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Similar problem with new HP notebook
by rgijzen / January 16, 2005 11:47 PM PST

I am experiencing a similar problem with my new HP dv1040 Pavilion notebook. This notebook has no pointing stick, so that's one pausible cause eliminated.

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Mouse pointer periodically has a mind of its' own! Aaah
by toledo / January 31, 2005 9:14 PM PST

I've had the same problem with every Dell Inspirion 8000 series my company had. I went through almost the identical trouble-shooting with Dell, swapping kepboards (twice) and finally insisting on a replacement model. I know have a Dell Inspiron 8000 for home and it's doing the same thing.

I think there must be thousands of people out there with Dell Inspiron 8000 series notebooks with the same problem. I wonder if notebook computers are covered under the lemon laws like automobiles?

We should look at a class auction or at least put a website together where we can get other users to describe their Inspiron problem (basically the same as ours) and get some national attention to the defect Dell knowing ignored.

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same problem with same model (inspiron 8000)
by frozenmusic / April 6, 2005 5:58 AM PDT

I have the exact same problem and I'm still trying to figure it out. It seems to me that if Dell has your service history on file they should fix the problem, eh? Thier own records should show that they never fixed the problem correctly. I'd raise some hell about it. Let me know if they've solved anything for you. I have no warranty and am stuck (bought it used). From your email it doesn't look like Dell even knows how to fix it!
Let me know how it works out!

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Just a buggy synaptics pad
by Ryan T / April 6, 2005 3:03 PM PDT

I think it's just a flaw of older touchpads (my old i4000 did the same thing but my new i8600 doesn't). Dell switched from Synaptics to Alps. Maybe this is one reason. However, short of replacing your whole palmrest, which contains another touchpad (which might be just as buggy), there's nothing they can do.

If your computer's under warranty, they may do that for you.

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Mouse pointer periodically has a mind of its' own! Aaah
by znjznj / April 6, 2005 7:13 PM PDT

It seems that this is not DELL problem but M$ Windows problem... Disable "Enhance pointer precision" in Pointer Options and problem should go away.

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by MacGuigan / March 1, 2009 4:36 AM PST

That stopped the problem dead in its tracks! I unchecked "Enhance Pointer Precision" in the Pointer Options tab of Mouse Properties (in Control Panel). My pointer was drifting as I hit the "apply" button and it just stopped dead and has continued to not drift ever since.

Thank you!!!!

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I have the same problem too.
by vsathu / April 15, 2005 11:33 PM PDT

Even mine is a 2001 Inspiron. spent 4K on it. had keyboard problem, got it replaced . was ok for sometime. but now the mouse problem ... with no warranty. running out of options...

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Mine too...:(
by April Dawn / May 10, 2005 11:50 PM PDT

I bought my Toshiba Tecra at Future Shop and I have had this problem pretty much for as long as I have had the computer I just sent it back where I was without my laptop for 60 days and they replaced the motherboard and hard drive and to my surprise my damn mouse still has a mind of its own! I am sooooooo mad

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Same problem on 8200 - Updated ALPS Driver
by rtbull / September 14, 2005 1:05 PM PDT

Dell inspiron 8200 and my mouse would drift to upper right or lower left corner. The touchpad stick was the problem so downloaded ALPS Touchpad driver from dell web site - then control panel -> mouse -> and selected to use just the pad & no stick... so far no more problems. (So its not just synaptics but alps drivers as well.)

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I have fixed on mine Dell Inspiron 9100
by vlad4343 / September 19, 2005 8:50 AM PDT

I had exactly the same problem on my laptop. It realy pissed me off. I tried alot of things. The tracking stick was causing it. So I updated the Touch Pad driver from dell website and dissabled stick but left touch pad working. That's great now!!!:) Thanks for your advice!!!

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I Know How To Fix Crazy Pointer Mouse
by KIKI GUNAWAN / October 15, 2005 12:22 AM PDT

Dear Everyone,

It has been along night i am thinking how to fix my crazy pointer mouse that move with it's own mind Sad

Happy Finally God help me...i found my Notebook Service Manual At My Notebook Vendor, after i see it's guide finally i know what to do...

My Notebook have TRACKSTICK & TOUCHPAD and the trouble is come from the TRACKSTICK, so i open my notebook and i plug out it connector to the board we go....the Pointer Mouse Has No It's Own Mind is disapear forever...

That's All ... Thankyou very much God, You had opened my mind Happy

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Problem solved.
by admin-ll / April 24, 2006 2:46 PM PDT

If you are more techical than a common user, you should know how to take apart of your keyboard pad from your laptop. Use a bottle of DUSTER to blow away all dirt from where you can see underneath the keyboard pad, unplug every connector and reconnect them firmly, put back your keyboard pad and give it a try again. You will see the difference.

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Bad pointer
by Davevoy / September 24, 2008 5:40 AM PDT

I just had the same problem. What I did was to restart the computer
in which I have a Dell 8200... cont-alt f2 go the page that shows the mouse and change the mouse from touch pad to serial and plug in your external and it worked well it did for me

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The BIOS solution worked like a charm!
by scotian902 / May 12, 2009 3:37 AM PDT

My mouse pointer would retreat to a far corner and could not be coaxed out. I have a Dell Inspiron 8200 with XP. I read the solution given below using the BIOS (F2) method and going to the page (I forget which it was exactly, but I think perhaps 3 or 4) where it says Pointing Device and changing it to Serial Mouse. Problem solved - and my mouse no longer hides in the corners! Thank you for solving my problem!

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Issue with danicing mouse fixed.
by apanicker / November 18, 2011 9:25 PM PST

This thread helped fixed the issue on my Toshiba Tecra M9, I went to the BIOS setting and "Disabled" the internal pointing device on the second page, saved the setting and restarted my laptop.

I thought it was a malware issue.

What a pain it was..

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