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My dead mouse story

This is the setup: I have an HP Pavillion zd7000 laptop. It's getting old. Attached to it I have a Microsoft IntelliMouse Optical USB mouse.The OS is Windows XP with SP2 and later SP3.

For the past few months (yes: months!), the mouse has been driving me nuts. How: at seemingly random intervals, the mouse disconnects, then reconnects. Maybe once, maybe multiple times in rapid succesion. If I'm lucky, the "Unrecognized USB Device" bubble pops up.

I have lots of USB ports, some on the laptop and some on the docking station. It does not seem to make any difference where the mouse is connected. The error happens randomly.

My first approach was to reinstall drivers, check the status of the USB bus, tell the device manager to rescan for new hardware devices, etc, etc, etc. Nothing worked. And today, I found this site:

http://www.deadharddrive.com/deadmouse/

Ha! Finally somebody described exactly what I was seeing. It ended up being a hardware issue with the mouse, more specifically with the USB wire itself. The link above shows how to fix the problem by opening the mouse, identifying the failing section of the cable, cutting it out, re-splicing the cable and putting everything back together.

Unfortunately I was at work without a wire cutter nearby. So instead I identified the bad section and laid it down inside the mouse case in a position that does not make it fail, then closed everything up and my mouse has been working fine for at least 8 minutes! Bliss.

Once again the collective wisdom of the Intertubes comes to the rescue.

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