troubleshooting Question

FreeDos - Using middle mouse button on USB mouse

Avatar of edz_pgt
edz_pgtFlag for United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland asked on
Microsoft DOS
3 Comments1 Solution754 ViewsLast Modified:
Is it possible to get middle mouse button support for USB mice in FreeDOS?

I have a client who has a very old DOS-based program that controls factory equipment via a serial port.

They need to develop pattern files on one computer and transfer them to another computer. These computers are not network enabled.

Historically, they have used floppy disks to transfer these files but, as we know, floppy drives are becoming rare and so are the media. This has led me to looking at an alternative way of transferring the files.

To cut a long story short, I've formatted a USB stick with FreeDOS. This way, the design PC can save files to it and these files can be read on the other machine that does the processing. However, in order for the OS to see the USB stick, we have to boot from the stick itself. This means I've had to find an OS that I can install onto it reliably in years to come. Hence FreeDOS.

Everything works with one tiny exception. The DOS program relies on the middle mouse button. Without it, the program won't work as we can't get to the menus.

I've done some digging and I get the impression that the middle mouse button is only supported on PS2 mice. I'm using a USB mouse and I think it's only working because the BIOS is helping it using legacy support for USB.

Yes, I suppose I could get a PS2 mouse and install a PCI card of some description but I'm looking to the future. We have no way of replacing the software without replacing the factory machinery which would cost £thousands so we need to future-proof what we have. In future, PS2 mice will be difficult to come by and the interface cards, too.

So, my question is this: Is it possible to get middle mouse button support for USB mice in FreeDOS?

Our community of experts have been thoroughly vetted for their expertise and industry experience.

Join our community to see this answer!
Unlock 1 Answer and 3 Comments.
Start Free Trial
Learn from the best

Network and collaborate with thousands of CTOs, CISOs, and IT Pros rooting for you and your success.

Andrew Hancock - VMware vExpert
See if this solution works for you by signing up for a 7 day free trial.
Unlock 1 Answer and 3 Comments.
Try for 7 days

”The time we save is the biggest benefit of E-E to our team. What could take multiple guys 2 hours or more each to find is accessed in around 15 minutes on Experts Exchange.

-Mike Kapnisakis, Warner Bros