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Mouse moves erratically, curser moves up or down several lines of text while typing.

  • I am the Certified WPD support tech for Arizona State University and its one to one program for both Tempe and Phoenix campus locations.
    Back in February of this year a student brought me his Latitude D620 laptop explaining to me that the mouse curser was behaving erratically on the desktop and jumping lines of text in any text application. I verified the problem by using the computer myself and I got the same results.
    I had experienced a very similar situation a few years back while answering a service call for another client but was never able to find a resolution to this problem.
    The fact is that this problem in at least most cases is not a hardware problem but instead a software issue that is unique to each customer. The intent of this letter is to point out the best way I have found to fix the issue. What follows is the order that I would use to fix this problem if and when it comes about again. Please take note all the different variables that can play a role in creating this issue which is why it is so hard to find a solution to the problem. The fact is there are many different resolutions depending mainly on the hand movement of the user.

    Problem: Mouse moves erratically across desktop against users hand movement and curser moves up or down several lines of text while typing in a word application using any of Dells portable laptop models. I have now seen it on a Latitude D620, D820, D600 and Inspiron 5100.

    1) Diagnose which problem you are dealing with since there are several causes for this. The best way I found to do this is have the user as well as yourself use and external mouse and keyboard to duplicate the problem. If the problem still exist while doing this than go to Step 2. If the problem is no longer an issue while using the external mouse and keyboard than move to Step 3.
    2)Check for Spy ware and prank software especially those designed to cause the mouse to do things on its own. If you find any of them remove them and try to see if problem is gone and retry step one.
    From here forward just follow what Dell tech support has already documented.
    Journal ID: 0717739BBD
    Article ID: 277971
    Date Published: 2/24/2005
    Last Revised: 6/26/2007

    Please note you may as I did have both spy ware problems as well as control panel issues. Also this document is just a guide to the solution and each customer will have different hand movements and typing habits so you will need to adjust the software to the customer just as I did. Just following this document in most cases will not necessarily solve the issue
    3)Follow this guide which is posted on Dells web site.

    Table of Contents
    Determine which touchpad software is in the system.

    Reinstall the mouse drivers.

    Adjust touchpad sensitivity (Alps)

    Disable the tapping function on the Alps touchpad.

    Adjust the Synaptics touchpad sensitivity.

    Disable tapping function (Synaptics)

    Communicate with other Dell customers


    Dell Solution Network: Knowledge Base Article



    » Determine which touchpad software is in the system.

    Adjustment of the touchpad sensitivity depends on which software application is installed in the system, Alps/Apoint or Synaptics.
    1. Click the Start button, point to Settings, and double-click Control Panel
    2. Double-click the System icon to open the System Properties.
    3. Click the Hardware tab.
    4. Click the Device Manager button.
    5. Double-click Mice and other pointing devices.
    6. Determine which touchpad is listed under this category.
    7. Close Device Manager.
    8. Click OK to close System Properties.
    9. Close Control Panel.


    » Reinstall the mouse drivers.

    To remove the mouse driver, perform the following steps:
    1. Click the Start button and click Control Panel.

    NOTE: For Windows 9x, Windows ME, or Windows 2000, you may have to click Start, highlight Settings, then click Control Panel.
    2.
    3. The Control Panel window appears.
    4. Double-click the System icon.
    5. If present, click the Hardware tab.
    6. Click Device Manager.
    7. Click the plus (+) sign next to the Mice and other pointing devices category.
    8. Right-click the name of the driver you want to uninstall and then left-click Uninstall or Remove.
    To download and reinstall the mouse driver, perform the following steps:
    1. Browse to Support.Dell.Com.

    NOTE: If your system shipped prior to Sept. 2, 2004 or otherwise shipped with the legacy Dell Resource CD media, browse to the Software Reinstall Guide instead.
    2.
    3. Click Drivers and Downloads under the Option 1: Most Popular Selections section.
    The Drivers and Downloads page opens.
    4. Input the Service Tag or Product Type and Product Model.
    5. Click Go.
    The Drivers and Downloads Search Criteria page opens.

    NOTE: Click the appropriate Edit button and select the operating system and language you want using the drop-down menu if the default values are not correct.
    6.
    7. Scroll down the list of available drivers until is visible.
    8. Click the that you want to select.

    NOTE: You may have to specify a installation method or a specific operating system type.
    9.
    10. Click Download Now in the File Name section.
    The File Download - Security Warning window appears.
    11. Click Save.
    Using the Save In: drop-down menu, select My Documents, then click Save.
    12. Click Open when the download completes.
    13. Click Continue.
    The Select the folder where you want to unzip the files to window appears.
    14. Click OK.
    The Folder does not exist. Do you want to create it? window appears.
    15. Click Yes.
    The All files were successfully unzipped window appears.

    NOTE: When the message appears asking to overwrite the folder, click the Yes to All button.
    16.
    17. Click OK and follow the onscreen instructions.

    » Adjust touchpad sensitivity (Alps)

    Touchpad performance is largely based upon human factors, which makes it difficult to quantify problems. Personal or environment factors such as skin type, temperature, and humidity can change the way touchpad performance is perceived.
    People who use multiple touchpads from different vendors on a regular basis are more likely to notice subtle differences in performance.
    Many adjustments are available for the Alps touchpad in the Mouse Properties, located in the Control Panel. These adjustments should be modified to meet each user’s specific needs
    1. Click on the Start button, point to Settings, and double-click on Control Panel
    2. Double-click on the Mouse icon to open the Mouse Properties.
    3. Click on the Touch Pad tab.
    4. Ensure the Tap off when typing box is checked.
    5. Click on the Touch Sensitivity Button.
    6. Adjust the sensitivity towards Low.
    7. Click Apply.
    8. Click Ok.
    9. Click Ok.

    Disable the tapping function on the Alps touchpad.

    Many adjustments are available for the Alps touchpad in the Mouse Properties, located in the Control Panel. However, sometimes disabling the tapping function is the only way to resolve the issue.
    1. Click the Start button, point to Settings, and double-click Control Panel.
    The Control Panel window opens.
    2. Double-click the Mouse icon.
    The Mouse Properties window appears.
    3. Click the Touch Pad tab.
    4. Click to uncheck the Tapping box.
    5. Click Apply.
    6. Click Ok.


    » Adjust the Synaptics touchpad sensitivity.

    Touchpad performance is largely based upon human factors, which makes it difficult to quantify problems. Personal or environment factors such as skin type, temperature, and humidity can change the way touchpad performance is perceived.
    People who use multiple touchpads from different vendors on a regular basis are more likely to notice subtle differences in performance.
    Many adjustments are available for the Synaptics touchpad in the Mouse Properties, located in the Control Panel. These adjustments should be modified to meet each user’s specific needs.
    1. Click the Start button, point to Settings, and double-click Control Panel.
    The Control Panel window opens.
    2. Double-click the Mouse icon.
    The Mouse Properties window opens.
    3. Click the Device Settings tab.
    4. Click the Settings button.
    5. Double-click Sensitivity.
    6. Click Touch Sensitivity.
    7. Adjust the sensitivity towards Heavy Touch.
    8. Click Apply.
    9. Click Ok.
    10. Click Ok.


    » Disable tapping function (Synaptics)

    Many adjustments are available for the Synaptics touchpad in the Mouse Properties, located in the Control Panel. However, sometimes disabling tapping is the only way to resolve the issue.
    1. Click the Start button, point to Settings, and double-click Control Panel.
    2. Double-click on the Mouse icon to open the Mouse Properties.
    3. Click the Device Settings tab.
    4. Click the Settings button.
    5. Click Tapping.
    6. Click to uncheck the Enable Tapping box.
    7. Click Apply.
    8. Click Ok.
    9. Click Ok.

    Final Notes:
    Please keep in mind there is always a slight and I stress very slight chance this problem is caused due to a hardware problem. Save yourself some embarrassment and grief and take the above steps first before ordering any parts. WPD phone support will actually recommend that you do order parts but hopefully once the word gets around they will also be recommending these steps. I replaced just about every replaceable part on this D620. Then sent it to Houston for evaluation and they also replaced just about every FRP possible on the D620. The unit was finally replaced with a brand new D620 and the problem still existed. Unfortunately not many of the support personnel for WPD have knowledge of this support document and I found it by researching the web. I also found that this problem is documented all over the web and most claim it is a Dell problem and most still don’t know how to fix it. I honestly wrote this letter with one intent and that is to get the word out to those who support Dell and it’s customers so they can fix this issue in a timely manor and show this is a configuration issue that needs to be tailored to the customer and has nothing to do with the way their laptop was built.

    Please feel free to send me any comments, questions or suggestions.
  • This is a good topic because I have experienced this issue with a few Dell laptops through the years. I have noticed in two cases that the culprit was actually the keyboard unit usually following a mystery spill. The keyboard is a very easy piece to replace on the Latitude line. The signs and symptoms in those cases were that the mouse would move erratically when typing.
     
    In one case with an older Dell latitude, I put in a static shield under the touchpad and that alleviated the problem. As a quick fix with any of them, go into the BIOS and disable the touchpad or if that is not an option, set it to "Serial". Plug in a USB mouse and you're all set!


    Message Edited by chipjumper on 07-23-2007 08:43 AM
  • you have no idea how  happy this makes me to see.
    even though i have already gone though all of the step's you have mentioned and i still have my problems. it shows that people are becoming aware of this problem. i have an inspiron 6000. it has been replaced 3 times now due to t his problem. the current one i have still does have the problem but it happin's rairly now.
  • i had same problem on a inpiron 6000 as well....the way i fixed it was to get ride of dells os...I.E windows xp media center....I did a total re formatt and installed a copy of windows xp professional....havent had that problem since...mine only froze up after that...taping it a few times always fixed it...i called dell about it...they replace the whole touch pad assembly.which included the whole top of the case...after that no more problems at all...i use the touch pad a lot works fine...also my usb dell optical mouse works fine as well now...seems problem cured...excellent topic though...
  • I have a new Dell Inspiron with Vista and a wireless Kensington mouse. The pointer jumped all over the screen; driving me crazy! Called Dell on Call and made the usual adjustments; to no avail? I was using a mouse pad with the American flag on the scroll surface. On a whim I turned the pad over to the "solid black side" and the mouse control completely changed to normal control. I flipped to mouse adjustment and pushed it to the highest speed. It still worked great. The back side of the mouse pad is a high friction surface so I changed to another pad with a solid green scroll surface. The pointer jumps a little more than on the black color but it is nothing like the original problem. Hope my "fix" helps you!
  • Ok, first time poster. My older logitech wireless mouse used to malfunction a lot like previous posters, but I had a really SIMPLE problem that almost eluded me. I think that Logitech actually helped me with answer. The cursor was not responding as it should, just not accurate and moving weird. Logitech had me clean the inside of the mouse and that fixed it.   whew.   I took off the back plate, then took out the ball. There is a black "bar" that the ball makes roll (sorry, I'm not techie) and it had lots of build up on it, like oils and dirt. It was around the bar and I removed it using a cue tip and alcohol. From then on the mouse cursor was mine again !   I know most of the posts were about technical issues, but some people might be having the problem I had. This problem was known to Logitech as a common problem. I've never heard anyone talk about it,so I wanted to post in case this is a problem others might be having. I'm just glad I had a simple problem, not a worse one.
     
    Hope this simple advice can help some with same issue. Regards, debbie 
  • Hi,
    I have been experiencing a somewhat similar problem.  Whenever I am in a document, if I hit page up or page down, it will page up as if I hit the key numerous times instead of just once.  If I add an "e" to a word, it will add 16 e's.  If I go to delete a letter, it will delete three whole words.  Any idea what could be causing this?  I have changed keyboards and it still does the same thing.
    Any advice will be appreciated.
  • Hi,
    In response to your concern, first of all if you are using a portable, you may need to adjust the sensitivity of your settings or you may want to check on the propeties.
    If its a desktop, there might be something wrong w/ your keyboard already. the connectors inside might have been grounded already. it could be a spyware issue.other option is a complete os reinstallation.if this doesnt work, no other choice but to replace your pointing device..
    Hope this helps..
  • with this issue on the system (laptop)
    i have re-calibrated the mouse... i have lost track of how many times now.
    i have had the entire system replaced.
    when i first got the new system i did not even install anything at first. i just used it as it comes out of the box. (i know not much you can do the way it comes out of the box) but i tried opening programs and that was all. It started to get choppy again just from that. So it is definitely not a spyware issue..(pretty sure dell is not shipping with spyware now)
     
    Its also not an issue with a program i have installed on the system because at that point i had not installed anything on it.
     
    and its also not isolated to 1 particular system because i had it replaced with a new unit.(and it was new had no refurbished tag's on it anywhere) (made them send me a new computer before i sent the old 1 back to make sure i did get a new 1 and not just change the sticker on the box to send it on back)
     
    the only thing i can think of is it could be a problem with the software that changes your hand movements into computer lingo.  (not a corrupt file but that the people that made the software did a "sub par" job)
  • I'm having a similar problem,
  • I'm having a similar problem, but
  • I'm having a similar problem, but it is not with the mouse. For some reason, when I'm attempting to type in any field (in the address bar, in a document like this, or anywhere else, the computer just starts "tabbing" like I'm hitting the tab key.
     
    It does this erratically.
  • You'll notice I can't even type this document fully without it doing it and posting for me. It's very f
  • Ugg. It's very frustrating. It starts happening after I hit the "backspace" keey or the tab key. If I don't hit those keys, it will allow me to type completely what I need to. It is VERY frustrating and my virus scna has not detected any virus or spyware. Any suggestions? Sorry for the multiple posts......
  • to me that sounds like dammage to the keyboard. have you. or anyone else ever spilt anything on it you know of? or maybe some one could of spilt somthing on it with out knowing??
    i was typing away 1 day with my laptop and my dog jumped up going crazy. spilt a glass of water which well onto the keyboard. i flipped it upsidedown right away but obviously the water touched somthing sensative because the sytem shut down. i pulled everything appart i could remove. let it dry over night and put it back together. when i tryed to type it would do strange things some times the "B" button would be like an "x" or an "o"
    and then some times mine would randomly tab also.
    good thing i have the c omplete care warranty or whatever its called. i had them send me a new keyboard within a day and bam i was workin again.
     
    ohh and just an update on my mouse issue from a few post's ago. the problem has since been corrected. i have another post going on about a heat issue i was having with the same laptop. i had it sent in for repairs. they replaced the mother board(aparently with a newer model my computer told me when i started it up), the fan, the usb on the right side, they keyboard, and the mouse its self. i can tell the difference in the mouse. the touch pad has a different feeling to it. almost like when you press your finger against it, it has much better grip.
     
    anyways 2 days now and it hasnt skipped a beat.