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Win98 stopped responding to mouse clicks

Posted on 2006-11-27
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Last Modified: 2013-12-29
Hi,

After some time (several days), my Win98SE stops responding to mouse clicks. But what's funny, it still does some things with the mouse:
- the mouse moves are okay, just clicking doesn't work
- clicking outside a window will remove the focus from that window
- if I activate Start (Ctrl-Esc), all mouse operations work! (but only for the Taskbar)

It might be caused by the anti-virus software Avira, it seems to need a reboot after having been updated. But, AFAIK, the update doesn't run automatically, so it shouldn't cause these problems.

Any clues??
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Question by:Sjef Bosman
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15 Comments
 
LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:jvuz
ID: 18018735
Did you try the mouse on another pc?
Did you try anohter mouse on your pc?
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LVL 46

Author Comment

by:Sjef Bosman
ID: 18018759
Im'm convinced it's not the mouse, because it works  
- after activating Start (with Ctrl-Esc), I can move through the available Programs etc. and click them as well
- when I reboot the system

Both right and left click don't function in all other windows.
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:jvuz
ID: 18018789
Check for viruses
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LVL 46

Author Comment

by:Sjef Bosman
ID: 18018848
None found, Avira does a great job...
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:jvuz
ID: 18019079
Try with disabling Avira, reboot and see if you keep getting the problems
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LVL 46

Author Comment

by:Sjef Bosman
ID: 18019286
Ah, no, too tricky, I'll be bombarded with all sorts of hackers and viruses, no thank you. :-))

In between proper firewalls and routers (hardware), this particular PC is my current firewall/router for my home network, so I need it on-line all the time and I want it to be safe as well.

I'm not making this easy for you am I? I think it's a tough problem, that's why I posted my question...
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
ID: 18022897

Then try an alternative AV like Avast Home Edition (Free):

http://www.avast.com/eng/download-avast-home.html

Install, update and run it.

Turn off Avira and test.

Zee
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 18025993
try running ALL these, updated :
     adaware :      http://www.lavasoftusa.com/
     Spybot :        http://www.download.com/3000-8022-10122137.html
http://housecall.trendmicro.com/                                                               online scan for trojans
http://www.spychecker.com/program/hijackthis.html                                   download
http://www.hijackthis.de/index.php?langselect=english                                check the log
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Accepted Solution

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BillDL earned 1000 total points
ID: 18037432
I'm not sure if you have considered this, but graphics cards and drivers often have an effect on the mouse.  Perhaps you have a problem with the graphics driver.  Have you looked at the driver downloads page on the graphics card manufacturer's support site?  Sometimes they provide details of bugs fixed in more recent drivers.

Your description in your original question is actually fairly typical behaviour of the way Windows 98 can get choked up after continual or heavy use over a prolonged session.  One of the acknowledged problems is the way it fails to release DLL's loaded into memory, but it can be addressed by the registry modification detailed here:
http://www.winguides.com/registry/display.php/667/

I reckon that you should also completely disable all power saving settings in the CMOS (BIOS) Setup, and from within Windows.  Win98 has always had problems trying to waken things up when they try to go to sleep.  A bit like me after a hard shift.

In fact, I would aim to disable ALL unnecessary startup programs using MSCONFIG, and also try to disable all fancy animated menu and windows effects, set sound scheme to "no sounds", etc, etc.  Try and streamline the computer so it is doing only what it is being used for ie. a front-end router/firewall.

There is also the issue of Temporary Internet Files and Temporary files which must be emptied on a very regular basis.  It all depends how you have this system set up.  Perhaps it is in such a way that it doesn't cache any of those files, but you should look anyway.
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Jeff Perkins
ID: 18062019
First thing to do is make sure it's not a mouse problem, or a port problem with your ps2 port.  Try the mouse on another computer, if that works then try another mouse on your computer.  This eliminates the obvious.
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LVL 46

Author Comment

by:Sjef Bosman
ID: 18062812
Please see http:Q_22073181.html#18018759 : "I'm convinced it's not the mouse"

In the meantime, as suggested by Bill, I removed the mouse-driver and reinstalled it from the CD. Until now the problem didn't reappear.

By the way, the system isn't heavily used, it's a gateway and occasionally I use it for some Word or equiv. No screensaver, nothing really fancy although the disk is 90% full. For the rest, it has LOTS of small programs in the system tray: Task Scheduler, router s/w, time synchronizer, anti-virus, DynDNS updater, ADSL comms. It's just that they've always been there, and I never had the "deaf" mouse before. I've ordered a proper ADSL-modem/router/firewall/Wifi, so I don't need the W98 system any more. A pity though, it's been utterly reliable... A new era has arrived...
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 18065536
Depending on the capacity of the hard drive, 90% full may or may not be an issue.
Put it this way, 10% of a 10GB hard drive is only about 1.5 CD's worth of free space, but 4GB of free space on a 40GB drive is plenty overhead for virtual memory.

My feeling still is that you have a problem with the system (memory and virtual memory) just getting bogged down after a period of continual use. Even a "small" program sitting in the system tray and running in the background is likely to have loaded a few of its own processes into memory, and may well spawn more processes as it works away doing whatever it does.  Windows 98/98se isn't terribly good at handling memory.

Did you try the AlwaysUnloadDLLs registry setting to see if it changed anything?
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LVL 46

Author Comment

by:Sjef Bosman
ID: 18067115
Ehm, it's a huge 8Gb disk split into 2 partitions of 4 Gb each... I've moved some of the content away to a server (Linux + Samba), and I'll move a lot more in the near future. The daily Avira update is my main suspect: the PC used to need a reboot but now it seems it can do without. Just checked the system, the mouse still works as it should.

AlwaysUnloadDLLs is set. I used FreshUI to set it.

Thanks all for your suggestions! In a few days, I'll tell you whether the mouse needs other "hearing" aids...
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LVL 46

Author Comment

by:Sjef Bosman
ID: 18145637
Mouse can still be clicked. I suppose it's the refresh of the mosue driver that did it. Points awarded accordingly.

Thanks!
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 18150691
Thank you sjef.  Glad you have it running without glitches now.
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