We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

XP Start Menu: Does not respond to Mouse - Sometimes

Scenario:

    * A Windows XP SP3 machine using the Classic Start Menu sporadically does not respond to mouseover motion or clicking.  This started about a week ago, before applying this month's MS patches.
    *  I have not observed it to fail to respond to the keyboard.
    * When the Start button is clicked the Start Menu opens and displays correctly, however moving the mouse over the menu items does not highlight the menu item as it should.  Also clicking the menu item even when not highlighted does not work.
    * If the Start Menu is open and the mouse is over a menu item, the right and left arrow keys can be used to select the item and it will highlight.  The up and down arrow keys can not be used to navigate the menu.  There is no way to launch the selected menu item.  Pressing enter, space, or clicking do not work even if the menu item is highlighted.
    * The Start Menu cannot be opened using the Windows Key and cannot be navigated or tabbed to using the keyboard.


Attempted fixes so far:
- Reboot does not affect the issue
- Malwarebyes scan (only one issue found and quarantined.)
- Ccleaner run, including reg cleaner
- attempted to run sfc /scannow, but even when using original CD too many files are not found (CD slipstreamed to SP3)

Comment
Watch Question

Try adjusting your visual settings to a lower setting for higher performance. you can do this by right clicking on "my computer" and click properties, click the advanced tab and click settings under performance and there are 3 options to adjust your visual settings I would select performance and see if that helps.

Commented:
run chkdsk. open my computer right- click on the OS drive c:\ prolly. click properties click tools tab. Click "check now" button.Check both boxes click OK. click ok that it needs to schedult it then reboot and let it check the os.
Quid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.
Commented:
May be faulty mouse.  

Borrow another mouse and try that or take your mouse to another machine and test it there.

Author

Commented:
@ MyComputerTech:  same monitors, same resolution for at least a year now.  

@ Roads_Roads: I'll try the reg keys

@ dbrunton: you might have a point; I've been using this same mouse for years and years.  Maybe it's time to swap.  

Will try these things this evening and report back.


thanks all!
Have you installed ANY new hardware recently. If so remove it and reinstall it. Also just try a friend's mouse and see if it works!

Author

Commented:
Didn't get a chance to purchase a new mouse yet, but I do have others around that I an use.  (Good enough excuse to move to a wireless and get rid of one wire across the desk.)

No luck with the reg edits, though with something that's intermittent it seems like something that varies is most likely the cause.  

Author

Commented:
@ demarkot: none.  The system relatively unchanged other than MS patches for some time.
the comment I made about changing the visual settings had nothing to do with the monitor but the workload the computer has to undergo for visual featured like windows fading in and out or shadows on windows ect. My thinking is that under higher load the whe the mouse is moved over "active objects" that it may delay or not respond. So by lowering the visual settings can help a computer run a little faster and become more responsive.

Author

Commented:
Sorry, I missed your point at first.  I keep most options turned off except for font smoothing.  I'm fairly well versed in system optimization.  My point was that this same configuration has been relatively unchanged for quite some time but problem is new.  

It could be the mouse dying, I've had it for years, though I've never heard of a laser mouse going south.  The pointer always responds to movement input; it's just the highlighting that's not working.  I'm more inclined to think OS, driver conflict, or something of that nature.
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.

Commented:
>> though I've never heard of a laser mouse going south.

They do.

I've gone through two in the last two years but that may be because of a motherboard fault.  You could also have damaged wires in the cable that are cutting out intermittently.

Author

Commented:
I've got two pointing devices connected to the system, but the issue hasn't reoccurred yet...

Author

Commented:
It's like taking your car to the mechanic.  It never makes the noise that you brought it in for.

Author

Commented:
Not sure what to do with this one.  dbrunton's solution wasn't it.  No solution found.