no mouse pointer, but mouse driver ok

When I start up my Win 98 machine, I have no mouse pointer. The mouse drivers seem OK in device manager, but I tried removing them and restarting anyway - the computer re-detected the mouse and automatically installed the drivers for it. This rules out a hardware problem with the PS/2 port or the mouse. I have also tried USB and serial mice - again drivers are installed ok but there is still no pointer.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Aidan Holmes
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Check for adware and sypware

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Dear aidanjamesholmes,

Check to see mouse pointer is not turned off

Online Scanners

 Norton Web Services  
Go to this page and click on Scan for Viruses

It needs to download a few file so as to activate the scan so you may see a message like this.

"The Scan for Viruses uses an ActiveX program to scan your computer. The download is approximately 1.5MB and can take about 10 minutes over a 28.8 modem.

The scan can take more than 20 minutes depending on the speed of your computer and the number of files that you have. Please do not browse away from this page unless you intend to abort the scan.
Downloading Scan for Viruses controls. Please wait...
During the download, you might see one or more messages asking if it is OK to download and run these programs. Click Yes when these messages appear.
Note: Scan for Viruses does not scan compressed files"
 Trend Micro HouseCall
"Trend Micro's free online virus scanner
In order to better serve our customers, we ask HouseCall users to register before scanning their computer.  By registering, you will receive virus alerts from our team of Virus Doctors. You will be able to unsubscribe when you receive your first email. You can also scan without registering"

PC Pitstop Virus Scan
Our free Web-based virus scan uses Panda Software's award-winning technology and virus list. We're checking against the "wildlist," the roughly 200 viruses that are most prevalent in the world in a given month
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Oops you might not be able to that use this instead

F-Prot Antivirus for DOS

F-Prot Antivirus for DOS is free for personal use

Does it work in safe mode?
aidanjamesholmesAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your suggestions,
Firstly- how can you turn the mouse pointer off and can you re-enable it???

Secondly, I forgot to mention in my first post that I  get the following error occur when windows first starts.

This program ahas performed an illegal operation and will be shut down..................blah blah blah.........

does this have anything to do with it?

Have you tried reinstalling windows 98 ?  If not try that

msmsgs is msn messenger service

go to control panel and uninstall it

or check this


Boot to safe mode and...

Sart > Run msconfig
Click on the tab marked "Startup"
unckeck all the items except System Tray and Explorer.

If the problem no longer persists then one of the items in the starup is the culprit you just need to track it down.

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aidanjamesholmesAuthor Commented:
I ran adaware, found and removed 25 counts of spyware. Then I restarted and no difference.

The computer hangs consistently when trying to enter safe mode.

I have tried to do an "over the top" installation but it crashed both times I tried. I'm unwilling to do a clean installation at this time as there is too much important data on the hard drive.

I did notice something else on one of the the computer loads the mouse driver, the following line appears underneath.
software for multiple dynamic resolution is off
Darn this must be the Win98 just doesn't want to cooperate day. Just for kicks and if you have time take a look here and you know what I mean.
Do a parellel install. By that I mean reinstall windows but have install in a different folder. this is like a fresh intstall but everything stays intact with regards to your files.
Ummm you said you ran adware so are able to navigate a little bit. If so then

Sart > Run msconfig
and on that General tab use the arrow keys to land on "Diagnostic Starup" then exit out reboot and see what happens
aidanjamesholmesAuthor Commented:
Thank you thank you thank you.
When I ran msconfig (from normal mode) everything was unticked already. so i ticked system tray only as explorer did not exist and I restarted. Now I have my mouse back.

Should I be worried that explorer did not exist?? and would this have anything to do with the fact that I cannot change my colour depth (16 colours) or screen resolution (640X480) despite having the correct drivers installed for my video card??
>>>Should I be worried that explorer did not exist

No Win98 wouldn't fire up if without explorer

Reinstall the video drivers
aidanjamesholmesAuthor Commented:
using the selective startup in the system config utility, I have traced the problem down to the system.ini file. When I open this file up, the following message appears:

This file was created by the System Configuration Utility as a placeholder for your SYSTEM.INI file. Your actual SYSTEM.INI file has been saved under the name SYSTEM.TSH.

When I open SYSTEM.TSH with notepad, there is a whole heap of gobbledy-gook.

any suggestions from here?

You say that you "cannot change my colour depth (16 colours) or screen resolution (640X480) despite having the correct drivers installed for my video card".

When you open MSCONFIG, click on the "Advanced" button and ensure that the checkbox titled "VGA 640 x 480 x16" doesn't have a checkmark in it.  If so, uncheck it, click "Apply", close down MSCONFIG, and then reboot.

aidanjamesholmesAuthor Commented:
Thanks all for your help,
Turns out the system.ini was the culprit. All I had to do was:    "copy system.ini system.tsh" to dump the entire (and correct) system.ini file into the System Configuration Utility

Now I am able to leave the "Normal Startup" button selected and all runs fine (re: the mouse)

Plus now that I have finished stuffing arround in the  System Config Utility I have been able to delete the video drivers, restart and have windows re-detect and re-install them. I now have 24bit colour and 800X600 resolution (15 inch monitor).

Thanks again
Glad we could help you. :>)
Your expression "stuffing around" sounds a little bit like an Australian Systems Technician's vocabulary to me  :-)  Am I right?

CrazyOne, I'm about to post an easy Q in XP if you care to jump in.
aidanjamesholmesAuthor Commented:
Sorry BillDL, I missed your post last night!

You're right I am Australian, not too sure about systems technician though.
I'm the local computer repair man in a small country town  :-)
Yeah, I lived in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) most of my youth, and we shared many similar expressions.  "Stuffing around" isn't heard as a regular expression in most other countries.

"Small country towns" in your part of the world normally involve 3 day round-trips to drop off and then pick up the goods again.  Gives you a bit of breathing space to consider the problem :-)

Regards, Bill
Another confused small town Australian has a query.

Win98 mouse pointer works ok in safe mode but disappears in normal mode
Autoexec, winini, et al look ok.
in diagnostic startup still happens

Regards Ron
Hi, RICKP.  You antipodeans are certainly gregarious :-)

I see by your profile that you are a fairly new member.  Experts Exchange works on the principle of requiring members to ask separate questions (even if related) in their own unique question.  This is for a number of reasons, but primarily because experts offer suggestions here as volunteers and participate in a "league table" according to expert points accrued through accepted comments.  New questions within a question opened by another user confuses the issue.

This question has now been closed, and the comment of CrazyOne was accepted by the questioner.  You should see a green entry to the right of his comment 14 comments above indicating "Accepted Answer".

The following links may help you with the processes used here:

or, for a complete index,


Whoops, change the "oldlook" in the last 2 links to "www":
Hi, I had the exact same problem with my pc - Windows ME and same problem with my mouse driver just overnight: a code 8 in the device manager. I used diagnostic startup, copied the system.ini over system.tsh, reinstalled my video drivers and now its working fine - I just wanna say a big thanks to you guys, experts exchange is great! :)
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