Fix for unstable cursor in Windows XP


Unstable cursor in Windows XP and Windows runs extremely slow in that any click will bring up the Hour glass (sometimes for several seconds before giving you what you want) .

Troubleshooting Process and the FINAL FIX:

This issue seems to be dominant in Outlook and in Word. A further detailed description of the issue would be during typing a line of text the cursor would suddenly jump back to the beginning or the middle of the line and your text would be inserted at that point (almost impossible to complete a line of text in an Outlook Email message). I've run into this issue on two different occasions. The first time failing to resolve the issue after two days (which included running the Windows Task manager and unloading all the tasks in memory one by one). At this point I gave up and saved all my client's personal data to an external drive and restored the entire hard drive from a previously created Acronis image file, and copied the data back to where it belonged (there is absolutely nothing like a full image backup to save the day).

The Second time I ran into this issue (about a year later) I didn't plan on being very patient but I did go into Windows Services and one by one methodically disabled each service, reboot the computer, open Outlook, and test to see if the issue was still there. When I finally got to "Terminal Services" (near the bottom is the very long list of services) the issue disappeared. I ran multiple tests and the issue was truly gone. I then ran several Google searches concerning "the disabling of Terminal Services" and it seems this will not have any negative effects on a stand-alone "XP" Desktop machine. I digress to wishing that this text will hopefully save somebody from incurring serious brain damage (guess it's too late for me). If anyone has the answer as to why this issue exists in the first place please ring in on the subject.

Comments (2)

Mark WillsTopic Advisor
Distinguished Expert 2018

Fantastic - thanks - fixed my old computer (which I still use from time to time).

Voted "Yes"
BillDLGeneral Factotum

Good and concise article.

The "Terminal Services" Service on Windows XP is required for Remote Desktop Connection (RDC - remotely connecting from one computer to another to access it as though you were sitting in front of it), and for the Remote Assistance functionality whereby a user can sent out a request for somebody to connect to their computer and access it as described above or to initiate the connection to another computer for the same purposes.

These areas can be seen as potential vulnerabilities as they leave ports open and can expose your system to unwelcome intrusion, so if these functions are never used it is a good idea to disable Terminal Services.

The "Fast User Switching" Service is dependent on the "Terminal Services" Service, but this is only a feature that does what the name implies, and allows quick swapping between different users while retaining access to running programs.  This function should never be needed on a home computer where users should be fully logging out between different user sessions and thereby terminating access to running processes.

So yes, good finding and hopefully will help others with the same hourglass issue on XP.


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