random mouse clicks and movements in ubuntu, fedora linux

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I have a gateway notebook, model LT3119u. (specs: http://www.gateway.com/systems/product/529668744.php)

It came with Windows 7 original. No problems there. Mouse works well.

However, all linux distros that I tried (fedora 12; ubuntu 10.04, 10.10; mandriva) have the same problem. Mouse initially works well, but will suddenly jump around, click on its own, and simply go random.

This does not happen when I'm typing (I don't accidentally touch the touchpad when I'm typing). It happens only when I'm touching the touchpad. A slightest touch can cause the mouse to click on 20 different things, or jump around the screen in completely random speed and direction.

The only way to stop it, is to plug in a USB mouse. Then it goes back to normal and I can use the USB mouse. The trackpad will continue to misbehave.

Also, sometimes the computer boots up and the mouse works fine--until the machine goes to sleep. When it wakes up--mouse starts jumping and clicking again.

Please let me know what I can do. Linux is my primary work environment, mainly because of it's security and stability--and I would prefer to use it on the notebook more so than Windows 7.
Thank you!

PS. Currently I have Fedora 12 installed, however, this happens in Ubuntu as well.
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Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
Try a bootable Linux CD
If it does the same thing in that environment then I suspect you've a hardware problem & you might need to replace the touchpad.

Author

Commented:
I tried bootable CDs and USB drives--the same problem.

However, I'm inclinded to say that hardware is OK, since it works perfect with Windows 7. So far I used Win7 for 3 days and it never had a problem with touchpad, regardless of numeber of reboots and sleep/hibernations. Also, this problem apparently also affects some Dells, as I found similar threads in UbuntuForums.

This brings me to the point that it must be a linux thing. Perhaps Xconf? Faulty mouse autoconfiguration? How would I check for that?
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
Oops - yes I kinda skipped the Windows 7 bit :)
Looks like it is an issue with the multi-gesture ability of the touchpad which sends info that the Synaptics/generic Linux drivers can't interpret.
Not fixed in Maverick
http://www.mail-archive.com/ubuntu-bugs@lists.ubuntu.com/msg2553621.html 
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Commented:
Can you disable the touchpad in BIOS?
I'd suggest to do that, then use just the USB mouse.

Unfortunately, Linux users sometimes have to live with the fact that revolutionary new hardware, especially when only used in a small segment of the market and not yet mainstream, will take a while to be supported. This is not the fault of Linux, rather that of the hardware manufacturers. If you wish to avoid this risk, only buy hardware that has proven to work 100% well together with Linux.

You are running Fedora 12, so you may already be lucky without knowing. The current Fedora version is 13, and Fedora 14 is on the way, due to be released in 18 days. May be they get along better with that touchpad. But before upgrading first run the test whether or not you can live without it.

Author

Commented:
It's a standard synaptics [I assume] mouse with multitouch capability--nothing out of the ordinary.
I read up on forums that this could be due to faulty auto-configuration of the mouse as PS/2 instead of "Auto" in Xfree86 configuration. Could anybody please point me where I could find that file? I've been looking everywhere on my hard drive with no luck.

Author

Commented:
I'm nearly convinced that "ImPS/2 Generic Wheel Mouse" in /proc/bus/input/devices is wrong. Could anyone tell me what should I type instead of that? How could I change that configuration file (is there a utility for configuring mouse, or "nano" and type everything by hand and hope it works?)? Any suggestions? Please see the output of "at /proc/bus/input/devices" below:


I: Bus=0019 Vendor=0000 Product=0001 Version=0000
N: Name="Power Button"
P: Phys=LNXPWRBN/button/input0
S: Sysfs=/devices/LNXSYSTM:00/LNXPWRBN:00/input/input0
U: Uniq=
H: Handlers=kbd event0
B: EV=3
B: KEY=100000 0 0 0

I: Bus=0019 Vendor=0000 Product=0005 Version=0000
N: Name="Lid Switch"
P: Phys=PNP0C0D/button/input0
S: Sysfs=/devices/LNXSYSTM:00/device:00/PNP0C0D:00/input/input1
U: Uniq=
H: Handlers=event1
B: EV=21
B: SW=1

I: Bus=0019 Vendor=0000 Product=0003 Version=0000
N: Name="Sleep Button"
P: Phys=PNP0C0E/button/input0
S: Sysfs=/devices/LNXSYSTM:00/device:00/PNP0C0E:00/input/input2
U: Uniq=
H: Handlers=kbd event2
B: EV=3
B: KEY=4000 0 0 0 0

I: Bus=0019 Vendor=0000 Product=0001 Version=0000
N: Name="Power Button"
P: Phys=PNP0C0C/button/input0
S: Sysfs=/devices/LNXSYSTM:00/device:00/PNP0C0C:00/input/input3
U: Uniq=
H: Handlers=kbd event3
B: EV=3
B: KEY=100000 0 0 0

I: Bus=0017 Vendor=0001 Product=0001 Version=0100
N: Name="Macintosh mouse button emulation"
P: Phys=
S: Sysfs=/devices/virtual/input/input4
U: Uniq=
H: Handlers=mouse0 event4
B: EV=7
B: KEY=70000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
B: REL=3

I: Bus=0011 Vendor=0001 Product=0001 Version=ab41
N: Name="AT Translated Set 2 keyboard"
P: Phys=isa0060/serio0/input0
S: Sysfs=/devices/platform/i8042/serio0/input/input5
U: Uniq=
H: Handlers=kbd event5
B: EV=120013
B: KEY=4 2000000 3803078 f800d001 feffffdf ffefffff ffffffff fffffffe
B: MSC=10
B: LED=7

I: Bus=0003 Vendor=062a Product=0003 Version=0110
N: Name="MosArt Optical Mouse"
P: Phys=usb-0000:00:13.0-1/input0
S: Sysfs=/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:13.0/usb2/2-1/2-1:1.0/input/input6
U: Uniq=
H: Handlers=mouse1 event6
B: EV=17
B: KEY=70000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
B: REL=103
B: MSC=10

I: Bus=0019 Vendor=0000 Product=0006 Version=0000
N: Name="Video Bus"
P: Phys=/video/input0
S: Sysfs=/devices/LNXSYSTM:00/device:00/PNP0A08:00/device:1d/device:1e/input/input7
U: Uniq=
H: Handlers=kbd event7
B: EV=3
B: KEY=3f000b 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

I: Bus=0011 Vendor=0002 Product=0005 Version=0000
N: Name="ImPS/2 Generic Wheel Mouse"
P: Phys=isa0060/serio2/input0
S: Sysfs=/devices/platform/i8042/serio2/input/input8
U: Uniq=
H: Handlers=mouse2 event8
B: EV=7
B: KEY=70000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
B: REL=103

I: Bus=0003 Vendor=04f2 Product=b175 Version=1357
N: Name="CNF9011"
P: Phys=usb-0000:00:13.5-4/button
S: Sysfs=/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:13.5/usb1/1-4/1-4:1.0/input/input9
U: Uniq=
H: Handlers=kbd event9
B: EV=3
B: KEY=100000 0 0 0 0 0 0

I: Bus=0001 Vendor=10ec Product=0272 Version=0001
N: Name="HDA Digital PCBeep"
P: Phys=card0/codec#3/beep0
S: Sysfs=/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.2/input/input10
U: Uniq=
H: Handlers=kbd event10
B: EV=40001
B: SND=6
Commented:
The only time I had a problem similar to this was with using a KVM switch with a linux box.  Every time I switched back to the Linux box, the mouse would act like yours for a while.   The different modes you can try to add to the kernel line when booting are:

1. psmouse.proto=imps
2. psmouse.proto=exps
3. psmouse.proto=raw
4. psmouse.proto=base
5. psmouse.resetafter=10  (Tries to reset the mouse after so many bad packets. )

For my problems with the kvm switch adding the switch "psmouse.proto=exps" to the kernel line on boot worked.

You might try the same to see if it works for your situation.

(Some more information and background can be found here: http://www.idevelopment.info/data/Unix/Linux/LINUX_ErraticMouseBehaviorwithMouseFedoraandBelkinKVM.shtml)

Commented:
Great find, mccracky. Will add this to my knowledgebase.

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