We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

We've partnered with Certified Experts, Carl Webster and Richard Faulkner, to bring you two Citrix podcasts. Learn about 2020 trends and get answers to your biggest Citrix questions!Listen Now


Crazy Cursor

LaPlant asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-27
I am having an intermittent problem with my cursor.  On occaision, it begins to flicker between the pointer and hourglass view.  It still works, in that I can click on things, etc.  but the flickering makes it difficult to use.
I can get it to stop only by rebooting the system.
I have tried removing and, with the help of a neighbor who knows more than I, re-installing the mouse.drv and msmouse.vxd files.  This did not correct the problem.  I then tried using a different mouse and had no problems for nearly a week until tonight, when my mouse decided to act up once again.
I have a Packard Bell Microsoft compatible
ps/2 port mouse on a Packard Bell Axcel 455cd with a 14.4 modem,850 HD and 16MB RAM. This problem first began after I upgraded from 8MB to 16MB RAM. (Which my neighbor installed for me.)
This problem sometimes goes days without occurring then, other times, occurs several times a session.
If you can help, please be specific, as my neighbor has moved away.
Thanks, Pam
P.S.  I posted this question once before but then to a computer glitch on your end, I could not get into the sight untill my question was reduced to 15 points with an unsatisfactory answer.
Watch Question

verify that the speed of both simms are the same, you would have to do this by taking them out, and looking for a number, usually the last number, you should see a number of either 60 or 70, these should be the same.  This problem could be a number of things, check in the control panel..mouse... look there and be certain that all settings are correct.  You may also have a conflict somewhere...It's hard to diagnose a problem such as this, when you can't check out first possible solutions.

There are a number of things that could be wrong.  If you have
the courage to open your computer, you might check if the belts
(wide silver) are touching anything that they shouldn't. This
could cause an undesirable electric field that can disturb your

This is most likely a hard drive problem.  Hopefully you have
some other friends that have the experience if you feel uncomfortable with opening you CPU.

There are also some books in the library that can help, one
I suggest is "Upgrading and Maintenence of Your PC.  

Hope this helps...
(P.S) If this answers your problem, sure, I'll accept it as
an Answer....heh!  This is an easy one and should only be given
about 50 points.

Take care..
Contrary to the previous comments, this is not too trivial.  I have had simular problems in a school situation where I had to maintain 120 PCs.  Particurarly on PS-2 Mice.  
FYI:  The only difference between the ARROW cursor and the HOURGLASS coursor is just one bit in the cursor setting somewhere.  For that reason, The answer could be as simple as reseating your memory, reseating any IO cards that may have been bumped during previous installations.  The solution is easy, the diagnostics is not.
I need some more specifics.  What system are you running under WIN95, WIN3.x? What CPU 286, 386, 486?? Are you running with the DOS, WIN or DOS+WIN mode in the mouse??  If you dont know the answers to these questions, take heart.  There is a solution.  I have a very tenatationoius nature, I dont ever quit.
... wayne ...    mailto:wsmith@cts.com


Additional info:
I am running WIN95
Speed 75Mhz
I am not entirely certain if my mouse is Win or Dos+Win mode since I never enter Dos.  Tell me how to let you know.
I do not know how to verify the speed of both simms since I do not know what simms are.  I would imagine they are fine since the mouse worked fine for a year and only began acting up after additional Ram was added, which is the only time my CPU has been opened.
Tell me what's next.
If you have ANY doubts about anything suggested, STOP! and take the computer to a dealer/repair shop.

When the ram chips were put in, the PS2 port was probably knocked loose..Try opening the computer and check all the cables for fit..(tight and secure to the ports)

Second, the sims are in the upper part of the big board, (motherboard), and are about 2 inches long, and about 1 inch high with small black chips, on them all in a row..

Get a good magnifying glass and read the lettering on them, they should be the same last two digits  (60 or 70)..

Also check that they are in the slots fully, and are tight, (will not wobble)..

Please if you have any doubts seek help from someone you trust or a reputable dealer..

I'd also borrow a PS 2 mouse from someone, or take your to their computer and use it..there could be a loose cable on your ,mouse, but thids is remote as it worked until the upgrade.


I got someone to help me and we opened the computer.  The simms are fine...in the slots tight and they all end in 60.  No cables are loose, everything is tight.  I tried another mouse but the problem still occurs.  It is very sporadic...I may go several days with no problems then one day it will happen every single time I try to use it.  Any more thoughts on the subject?

I had a similar problem and the cause was old video card drivers. What V.C. do you have? Are the drivers up to date? Have you installed PLUS!? Do you use animated cursors?

Look in your C:\CONFIG.SYS and C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT files for lines describing a DOS mode mouse. Something like:


etc. (You get the idea.)

For any lines you find about the MOUSE, add a REM statement to the beginning of the line. For EXAMPLE:


"REM" stands for remark, which prevents the DOS mode mouse driver from loading. This should not affect the Windows mouse driver.

Does this fix the problem?

If it does, you probably have an out of date DOS mouse driver and possibly an out of date Windows mouse driver also.

Hope this helps,



I read all the comments and think:

- Autoexec.bat will not solve the problem since it is not used in W95
- video drivers may be, but why only after upgrading
- Harddrive: Maybe your computer is busy with the harddrive and turns the hourglass on. Maybe it is because the HD fails. In any case you should see the HD-light or hear any HD access while your problem is on.

-RAM's: Why not? But if the RAM's are bad the whole computer should hang. You can make some tests with the RAM'S:
- Get a RAM-check programm loke "checkit" and test the RAM's (for this you nee to start in DOS-Mode).
- Enter BIOS-Setup and slowdown your RAM's (depending on your BIOS there are DRAM timings which can be changed).
- Exchange your RAM  with one of a friend.
- Swap the 2 SIMM modules you have. If one is faulty you should get some other problem.

Does your Problem go away when you remove the "new" SIMM module?
BTW: On a Pentium you need to install always 2 modules at a time.
If you start with 8MB and upgrade to 16MB you have in the begining 2 modules a 4MB and can either add another pair of 4 MB or remove the old 4Mb and insert 2 modules a 8MB.
What configuration do you have?


Windows 95 DOES INDEED use AUTOEXEC.BAT. Don't believe it? Try the following:

Create C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT with the following line:


Now boot your PC.

Any mouse drivers loaded in CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT will be used, even with Windows 95.

Yes I know. This way you can configure e.g. your soundcard. But within W95 DOS-drivers are NOT active. Only if you go to DOS, maybe also if you are opening a DOS-Box (I am not sure about that).

Depends on the device...

If Windows sees a DOS device driver (like the mouse), then Windows may call the DOS mode driver from Windows to perform its mouse functions.

Depends on the version and make of the DOS driver.

Some Windows drivers know how to turn off the DOS mode driver and some don't.
1. Try pressing Alt-Ctrl-Del to see if there is any -unknown to you- app running.
2. Try disabling any TSR programs like Virus checkers.
3. Try to change the two wait cursors to another scheme.
4. Upgrade yoyr video card drivers.

Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts


Changing cursor schemes does not make a difference, I've tried.  I do use animated cursors but the problem began before that and changing to stationary cursors does not make a difference.  The only virus checker I have came pre-installed on the computer.  How would I disable it and would that really make a difference since the virus checker has not changed?

The video card driver again came with the computer.  I have Cirrus Logic GD-54xxvga
video bios date 1/18/95
I have not installed PLUS!
 I will try ALT-CTRL- DEL

BTW:  When I upgraded the RAM I went from 8MB to 16MB ( adding two 4MB, installing 2 modules as directed)


Did you check for DOS mode MOUSE drivers? (See my previous comment).

Also, nobody else can answer this topic until you evaluate stratari's answer.

I would remove the additional 2x4MB RAM and see if the problem is gone. Then try to swap modules or exchange with a friend.

     Have you recently had any new software installed that may have caused your machine to process tasks in the background (i.e. IE4.0.)  Have you installed anything with Active-X that may have altered drivers for your video/sound/pointer/etc. ?  Also, just a comment about AUTOEXEC.BAT.  Win95 *can and will* use drivers loaded in AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS if they are loaded (This is to provide backward-compatibility.)  However, loading these drivers may cause the processor to work harder, in turn slowing the system down slightly.  Possibly even causing the problem you have.

Hy, LaPlant !
[1] --> A known problem may arise by installing an ODD NUMBER OF SIMMS in pentiums motherboards !
Now, if you have an odd number of simms, you must convert they to an even number (I.E. by splitting a 8 Mb simm in two simms of 4 Mb each, or by combining two 4 MB simms to one 8 Mb simm, depending on your configuration).
[2] --> check the motherboard manuals, and check the possible simm's configurations allowed. Note that, because of the point [1], even if the manual reports a good configuration with an odd number of simms, you have not to consider them.
[3] --> take a good diagnostic software and check the simms with a repetitive (burning) test for a night long.
[4] --> You can easily test all i said by lowering the simms to an even number and see for a while if the problem arises again.
The problems are often for this reason (odd simm's number) and you must not return the simms as defective!
Let me know about my advices!!!!!
Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.