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Old 07-16-2003, 03:07 AM   #1
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Default Help! Mouse not recognised sometimes (long)

Hi everyone and thanks in advance for any help or advice you can offer.

I've got a piece of junk computer (built on an old 133Mhz Acer chassis) that has developed some really really irritating problems. Before you say "buy a real computer", money is tight and I'm trying to make every dime count, okay? No flames please.

Here's the history: last week I had a power drop (my fault - hit the wrong button on the surge strip; I meant to pull power to my soldering station on the same strip at the end of a late night soldering session) and from the next day onward it's been giving me trouble. Coincidence?

At first it claimed there's more memory than is on the board and would lock up. Then I'd power down. Then power back up - memory check comes in okay, Windows 95 starts up okay - but there's no "pointer installed" (i.e. the mouse isn't recognised). CTRL/ALT/DEL and reboot. When it comes up, "hooray!" there's my mouse.

Now, I dug around in Windows System status using the keyboard and I found a "code 24" error (no mouse installed) during the 'no mouse' periods. Further, it looks like it's having trouble finding the ports. Even when I get it working, there's only one port open - the others are 'crossed out'.

Four nights ago I cleaned out the machine cursorily and it seemed to cure things completely. It started acting up again yesterday.

Tonight I took the whole thing down and cleaned the living heck out of it. Frankly there weren't dust bunnies in there. There were dust dinosaurs (both in age and size....). Put it back together, and - no "excessive memory" but the 'no mouse' problem persists.

Okay. Loose connection? Dust causing intermittent shorts? Electrolytic cap on the board that's failing during power up and self healing after voltage has been applied for a while? Where do I go from here? If it's a SMT cap (and if I can find which one is bad) I can replace it. If it's a VLSI chip like a device adaptor I think I'm out of luck since I doubt I can locate a replacement chip for something this old.

HELP!! Please, no flames. I feel like an idiot posting this when the obvious solution is 'build a new computer', but maybe there's a way for me to fix things without going that far.

Thanks again for any thoughts or help you can offer. It is very much appreciated.

All the best,
Morse
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Old 07-16-2003, 01:26 PM   #2
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I take it you have tried re-installing drivers and all connections are clean? Try with a USB adapter to see if it is the Ps2 port on the board.
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Old 07-16-2003, 04:52 PM   #3
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Hi David and thank you for your reply.

Yes, all the drivers for the mouse, disk drives, etc are good and the connections to them are clean and firmly seated. The problem's getting worse though - this morning it took well over an hour of fiddling about to get the thing working, and just now it took even more work. Many times upon power up it's completely dead - nothing to video, no way even into the BIOS setup routine. Once it's on and working it's fine, which is really puzzling. I thought about the CMOS battery, but (until just now) the clock has been keeping good time. This afternoon for the very first time the clock reset to jan 1, 1995. Either the CMOS is going goofy on me or I've got a bad battery. One other thought that just occurred to me is that some computers use an enormous low voltage cap instead of a battery. Could this be the case here?

Ack! Here I thought that it was fine once it was running, but the screen just did a 'blank and roll' then it was back again. *whimper*

Sorry this is a somewhat disjointed ramble, but it's been a long night and a longer day here. I don't have a USB adaptor so I can't try that. Guess I'll try a new battery and see what happens; if that fails, then it's new motherboard/memory/chip/case&power supply time. At least I think I can salvage my monitor/hard drive/floppys/keyboard/CD ROM.

Any recommendations for a parts supplier? Someone with good prices and reliable service?

Thanks again and all the best,
Morse
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Old 07-16-2003, 04:59 PM   #4
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Hi morse (I take it you watch morse? You comments remind me of colin dexters writing; have you read the books too? I have just finshed dead of jherico and are reading serivce of all the dead at the mo)
Try http://www.scan.co.uk, you mentioned that money is tigh so they have mouses starting at 1.19pounds + VAT, (sorry, don't have a pound sign on my US keyboard).
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Old 07-17-2003, 05:16 AM   #5
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Hello David;

Yes, I'm a long-time fan of the good Inspector. Sadly, I've not had the appropriate mixture of time and money to read Mr Dexter's books. Hopefully that will change soon!

Thank you very much for the URL to that site. Unfortunately I'm on the other side of the pond so I'll have to find something without international shipping charges attached! :-)

As of now my poor old 133 appears to be suffering terribly, with repeated video glitches popping up; additionally the CD ROM is no longer recognised by the operating system. I've not had the heart to turn it off since yesterday morning, for I fear that the next power down will be it's last (failing a miracle). It will probably be a day or two before I can resurrect my ancient 486 for temporary duty.

Thank you again for your help. Your time and effort is very much appreciated.
All the best,
Morse
PS. If you're interested in a chuckle you might take a look at some of my little electronics projects at http://home.earthlink.net/~shidenkai/index.html
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Old 07-17-2003, 01:18 PM   #6
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Hope you can get hold of the books. I have the box set and are working my way through. Morse is quite different from the tv in the books, he also smokes!
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Old 04-09-2005, 11:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: Help! Mouse not recognised sometimes (long)

wow this is old
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