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Old 02-21-2012, 07:21 AM   #1
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Computer Question

I have a year-old Dell Inspiron laptop. There just started to be a problem with the pointer. Drop down menus just flash and disappear - you cannot scroll and select. Slide bars immediately go to to minimum or maximum settings - you can slide them but they just go back to min/max. It doesn't work with the mouse or the touch pad, or any browser - IE/Firefox/Chrome. The pointer selections are identical to my older Dell Latitude which works fine. It makes my newer laptop unusable, as most sites have drop downs, especially for selecting you State. The pointer speed went to minimum so it takes forever to move it across the screen.

Anyone ever encountered something like this?

TIA
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:24 AM   #2
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Why not call Dell or perhaps they have a forum. Even if you don't have a maintenance contract they might talk to you about it.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:58 AM   #3
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my guess is that your system is compromised...

Do you have an antivirus software installed? If not I'd recommend getting AVG (free)... don't let them talk you into paying for the 'better' version, because it really is just the same thing.

Also, download a program called MalwareBytes(also free) (the download link is green on the left side of the screen... CNET has gotten sneaky about trying to get you to click on advertising instead of the real download link lately)

Those should track down any viruses or malware you might have on your system. They are very simple to use.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:06 AM   #4
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I assume your operating system is Windows. If possible, use the Control Panel to access the Mouse settings. Look if the various settings are either way high or way low and change them to something in the middle.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:46 AM   #5
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Also try the trackpad with the mouse unplugged. Sounds like it could be a stuck or auto-repeating button. The trackpad settings may allow you to disable the trackpad and use only the mouse to see if it is the trackpad causing the problem. I'd be a little surprised if it wasn't one of them causing it.
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:22 PM   #6
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If the data on the Dell Inspiron laptop is moved off the laptop and the antivirus and anti-malware scanning doesn't work, you may be able to do a factory restore from an image on a partion.
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvrClrx311 View Post
my guess is that your system is compromised...

MalwareBytes[/URL](also free) (the download link is green on the left side of the screen... CNET has gotten sneaky about trying to get you to click on advertising instead of the real download link lately)
+1
I deal with malware infections a lot. It can be very time consuming. I am talking about hours or days of scanning and re-scanning. You may have to make a bootable USB flash drive or CD (and boot from it) to get rid of some of the rootkits. See Trend Micro's RootkitBuster etc. Just don't give up!
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:16 PM   #8
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Here's how I solve problems like this. I think about how someone would describe it, and google that. For example, in this case I'd google "dropdown menu won't stay open." when I did that I saw that many have had that problem, though there doesn't seem to be one simple solution.
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Sometimes it is H/W
Old 02-21-2012, 06:40 PM   #9
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Sometimes it is H/W

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
.... when I did that I saw that many have had that problem, though there doesn't seem to be one simple solution.
+1
Sometimes it is H/W - here is one solution I found:

Does this happen if you disable the touchpad in the BIOS/software?

I have found Dell laptops in particular seem to be very sensitive and lots of folks inadvertently trigger a mouse click via the touchpad. I keep mine disabled and use an external mouse because it saves me a lot of aggravation. (If this is the case I would complain to Dell, big time)

Try using a wired mouse in place of wireless in case of crosstalk with nearby wireless devices. Change batteries.

Here is an other:
...running XP by the way. I went to control panel, then system, clicked the "Hardware" tab, and then clicked on "Device Manager". I went down and clicked on "Mouse and other pointing Devices". What I found when this tab was expanded was that I had two "Logitech HID-compliant Cordless Mice" installed. I right clicked on the lower one and went to "Properties" then to the "Driver" tab and then to "Uninstall" at the bottom. After it was uninstalled everything worked fine. Hope this helps someone!
Drop down menus won't stay open...Help! - Windows-XP-General-Discussion - Windows-XP
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:16 PM   #10
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Perhaps a silly question: Have you rebooted?

Also try:
  • Press and release all "alt" "shift" "control" and "windows" keys a few times
  • press and release all the arrow keys, numeric pad keys "home", "end" and page up/page down keys
  • Removing and/or adding external mouse, keyboard
  • Boot into safe mode and see if behavior is different

Hard to remotely diagnose, but smells like a stuck key or software/driver issue.

But seriously, have you rebooted?
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:39 AM   #11
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Many Thanks!!

What a great forum for help with most anything. There was a compatibility problem with the wireless mouse I had been using as Animorph suggested. When I removed the cordless mouse stick and used the trackpad, that resolved the issue. Then I attached a wired mouse, that worked fine too. I previously did have both the trackpad and mouse enabled. I do have Norton protection through our ISP. I'll probably use the wireless with the backup Dell. Again thanks for everyone's help.
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