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Solutions: How to detect the cause of mouse problems

Every so often when I boot up my PC, my mouse is dead. My keyboard works fine. When I restart the machine, the mouse is alive again. What could cause this? I am using Windows XP on an eMachine with the original mouse.

It could be a flaky USB port. Try switching the mouse to another USB input. Of course, the mouse itself may be defective, although that's unlikely to be the problem. That would be easy enough to test by temporarily using a different mouse if available.

I have an annoying problem with my computer that no one seems to have the answer for. When I boot, everything opens okay, but it keeps on making the whirring and clicking sounds that a computer makes as it's being fired up. The noises don't stop. I then reboot the computer and the second time the computer opens up, the whirring and clicking goes on till it is open and then the noise stops. Any suggestions so I don't have to repeatedly start it up a second time?

Here's what I would do. First, if you have a DVD/CD loaded, take out the disc. Next, to rule out hardware issues, check the system log through Event Viewer, something almost always overlooked by PC users: Click Start, Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Computer Management and then click on Event Viewer. (Your path to Event Viewer may be different based on your version of Windows.) Check the System log and look for any disc-related entries that have the Warning (yellow exclamation) or Error (red X) symbols. If that checks out okay, check which program or process is using the disc at the time of the problem. Open Task Manager (click Start, Run, type TASKMGR and click OK). From in Task Manager, click View, Select Columns and make sure I/O Reads and I/O Writes are selected. You can then sort the Task Manager display by disc usage by clicking on the column header. This should tell you which program or process is causing your issue, a good place to start.

Send questions to or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: How to detect the cause of mouse problems 08/03/08 [Last modified: Thursday, August 7, 2008 2:11pm]
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