Alexander: Wild mouse makes screen cursor erratic

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 27, 2011 - 4:32 PM

Q I'm having an intermittent problem with my computer mouse while using Windows XP. Periodically it will get very erratic. The slightest movement can cause the cursor to jump from one side of the screen to the other. I tried another mouse and reinstalled the mouse driver software, but the problem comes back. What should I do?

DAVID ABLETT, Modesto, Calif.

Q My cursor bounces all over my screen. Suddenly I'm typing somewhere on a previous line. Any suggestions?

PHYLLIS Minieri, Syracuse, N.Y.

A The most common reason for mouse (and thus cursor) misbehavior is that the sensitivity level is set too high. In Windows XP, go to Control Panel, then click on "Display." Click the "Settings" tab, then the "Advanced" button, then the "Troubleshoot" tab. Under "Hardware acceleration" you'll see a slider ranging from "none" to "full." The default position is full, so slide the indicator one notch to the left and click "OK." On the "Settings" menu, click "OK."

Other things you can try: Make sure the mouse is clean on the bottom. Download new drivers from the website of the mouse's manufacturer. If it's a wired mouse, wiggle the wire where it attaches to the mouse and where it attaches to the computer; if that makes the cursor jump on your screen, it's time for a new mouse. If it's a wireless mouse, replace the batteries. Also make sure the wireless mouse and its USB receiver are near each other to prevent outside electrical interference.

Q When I use a Hewlett-Packard 952C Deskjet printer with Windows 7 Professional (64-bit), I keep getting a message that my print driver needs to be installed. When I restart the PC, everything's fine for a few days, then it occurs again. What's going on?

RIC Canepa, Plymouth

A HP's offering a new installer program for your printer and your version of Windows, dated Sept. 21. Download it at tinyurl.com/3j4g65z and see if that solves the problem.

Q When I try to install the fax option of my Epson WorkForce 500 All-in-One Printer on my Hewlett-Packard PC, I keep getting a message to insert the Windows XP Home Editon disk. But XP was pre-installed on my PC; I don't have the disk. Do you have any ideas?

DON STANLEY, Cutler Bay, Fla.

A You're being asked for the XP disk because it contains the drivers for various printers. Since you don't have the disk, you can download the Windows XP drivers for that particular Epson printer at tinyurl.com/68m22kv.

E-mail tech questions to steve.j.alexander @gmail.com, or write to Tech Q&A, 425 Portland Av. S., Minneapolis, MN 55488. Include name, city and telephone number.

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