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Touchpad & Mouse Both Working Erratically in Xubuntu

I recently set up an old Dell Latitude C510 laptop using Xubuntu 10.10 for a friend of mine.

Everything was working fine for about a week or so. Now the built-in touchpad seems to be all screwed up. You can minimally use it to move the mouse, but the mouse pointer always ends up dropping down to the bottom of the screen. It is almost impossible to control the mouse to get anything done. The mouse pointer seems to have a mind of its own.

I tried plugging in both a serial mouse & a USB mouse and this continues to happen. This seem to me to point to a software or driver issue. But I don' t understand why it was fine for a full week and now it royally messed up?
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anuneznyc
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anuneznyc
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asiduCommented:
The problem could be due to software or a hard ware issue.
You should try to determine if its the problem with the hardware or
software.

Get into the BIOS of the machine while booting up.
Disable the mouse pad in the BIOS.
Then use an external mouse and see how it goes.
If external mouse is OK...it could be your touch pad is causing an
issue.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Thanks asidu. Yes, I did disable the touchpad in the BIOS and the problem continues when using a USB mouse. So this seems to point to a driver issue, I think.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
I'm going to have access to this laptop again on Thurs so I will investigate further.
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asiduCommented:
I would run the knoppix live CD and test the mouse. If the problem is cleared it confirms that its a software issue.

When you run knoppix the driver etc are taken from the CD and it does not access your harddisk drivers.

However, if you get the same problem it clearly will proof that its a hardware issue.

You can download knoppix live CD from http://www.knoppix.net/
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Great idea,asidu. I will download & create a Knoppix CD and test out your theory.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Now the keyboard is acting erratically as well. Could be some kind of electrical short.This is a very old laptop and I was hoping to be able to keep it around as a test system, but looks like it's time to send it to electronic recycling.
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asiduCommented:
Its a hardware failure keyboard and touch pad. Over the years this problem due to happen.
You could disable the keyboard and touch pad in bios if you have the option.

If not you could just dislodge the keyboard and touch cable form the mother board.
You can get a cheap replacement it could solve the issue. Try ebay.

OR

You could use an external keyboard a PS2 or USB.
It should work. Worth giving a try.
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