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Last response: in Components
March 12, 2001 10:58:50 PM

I'll try to make this as simple and quick as possible, even though it's quite an elaborate problem.
I got a MS IntelliPoint ball-less mouse. The problem is whenever I have it plugged in a USB port, my keyboard doesn't work anymore. (it's a standard keyboard)

You may say "Get a PS/2 adapter and plug it there" which I did. The problem is that the sample rate for the mouse cursor is 1/3 that of the USB port (meaning the refresh rate of the cursor is of 40 hertz instead of the 120 I get with USB). You may ask me why I give a rat's ass about that? Simple : movements when plugged in the PS/2 port are inaccurate at best. Working and gaming like this is impossible.

Therefore, I need to find a way to make my keyboard work while I have the mouse plugged in the USB port (I tried both, no go). Now, I even have the retarded keyboard language-switching system tray icon stuck there. The options to take it out are greyed out as well.

Great product, Microsoft!

I desperately need your help. Thanks!


More about : impossible problem

March 13, 2001 12:34:57 AM

Thats total crap. No one would use up a USB port if they had an availible PS/2 port. The refresh rate difference is unnoticeable at best when pluged into USB. I am an Unreal Tournament champion with my logitech optical mouse which also has the option to plug into a USB port. There is no noticeable difference! Just use the PS/2 port like everyone else in the world, it is just as accurate. Sheesh.

- I don't write Tom's Hardware Guide, I just preach it"
March 13, 2001 12:45:20 AM

First of all, I wish to say that not only was your post rude, it was also quite insulting. I asked for help, not to be lectured by ignorant and arrogant twits!

There *is* a noticeable difference to *me!* Everything is relative. My friend cannot discern the difference between a monitor refresh rate of 75 hertz and 80 hertz, and from 80 to 85 hertz, but I sure can!

If you are happy using the PS/2 port with its inferior cursor refreshing capabilities, fine. Just don't insult me by telling me that *you* are more aware of my visual perception than I am and that I should convert to your way of doing things, simply because you settle for less.

It just so happens that with the PS/2's inferior cursor refresh rate, whenever I move the mouse quickly, the trajectory of the pointer does not reflect the movements I have made with the actual mouse. With it plugged into the USB port, however, the problem disappears, albeit with the rather frustrating fact that my keyboard is not available. That was the whole point of my 1st post. I want the best of both worlds : to have an accurate cursor, as well as having an operational keyboard.

I thought the whole point of having a forum like this was to simply help those in need, to share the knowledge. It seems to me that people like you pollute such forums as this, therefore discouraging users such as myself to potentially get involved with other conversations and/or problems other users may experience.

Hopefully, you are simply the exception that will disprove the aforementioned rule and you will reconsider the manner in which you will reply to future posts, whether they be mine or somebody else's.

That is all.

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March 13, 2001 12:49:01 AM

Wow, thats how things work on this forum. Aside from that, my apologies, rudeness was not my intention.

Hmm....What is your keyboard plugged into?

- I don't write Tom's Hardware Guide, I just preach it"
March 13, 2001 12:53:54 AM

Well if it's truthfully the way things work in this forum, I really find that to be a shame.

Anyway,... my standard keyboard is plugged into the rgeular ol' PS/2 port reserved for keyboards.

If any of this helps, I noticed that even my keyboard's NumLock light stops working as soon as my PC finishes detecting all the devices. The mouse seems to be the last one to be detected, since it's the most recent one I have installed. As soon as this step has been taken, the NumLock light switches off and the keyboard is no longer operational.

What gives?

March 13, 2001 5:30:37 AM

Does your bios list an option for an USB mouse under advanced setup or something like that. I know mine has an option to enable USB mouse support and USB keyboard support. I would start checking around your bios for a setting like this. My M/B is an Abit SE6 with award Bios, check in integrated pereferails or advanced setup for those settings. Good luck.

A mime is a great thing to waste! :lol: 
March 13, 2001 11:21:50 AM

Thanks for your reply. I own an Abit BP6 mobo and it does include a feature that allows the PC to automatically detect whether it has a USB keyboard plugged in via the BIOS or the OS. It does not, however, feature such a setting in respect to USB mice.

I even assigned an IRQ for USB and nothing works.

March 13, 2001 2:09:35 PM

Wow, I'm impressed you can see the difference in 80 and 85Hz, I know I can't stand anything less than gives me headaches.

Regardless, you still shouldn't be able notice that much of a difference in control of the pointer on PS2 versus USB (and I say that because I'm a USB developer). All USB mice are low speed HID compliant which means under perfectly ideal conditions (which never happens on Windows systems) the fastest you can query the mouse is every 10ms for a refresh rate of 100Hz. Realistically, you might get 60-70Hz depending on system load. Now, if you really can see 85Hz refresh on your screen, then you would see the pointer update 3 times in 4 refresh cycles which could seem jerky and certainly has no solution except to wait for your eyes to go bad :) 

Since, you mentioned that your pointer's trajectory doesn't seem to follow your movements accurately, I would experiment with the acceleration setting in the mouse control panel. I know I've had lots of trouble controlling mice on my friend's machines when they change that from the default.

BTW, if you've installed any mouse drivers that came with your mouse, I would suggest removing them. Again since all USB mice are compliant with the USB HID specification, they will work with the default USB mouse drivers that come with Windows. (even the scroll wheel and optical mice will work). I've never installed any mouse software and have never had any trouble on any of my systems.

I'm afraid I really can't help with your keyboard problems.
March 13, 2001 2:12:23 PM

Well there's nothing in the MS knowledge base about this (not that I could find, anyway).

Mind you, looking at some of the entries, USB can sure cause some weird problems.

You could always buy a USB keyboard I suppose!
March 13, 2001 5:13:25 PM

Well, since I'm a student and already in debt, I would like to prevent spending of any kind. Regular keyboards don't cost that much, but unfortunately, USB keyboards cost an arm and a leg (well, it's all relative, but paying more than 12$ CAN for a keyboard is too much).

Thank you for your reply.

March 13, 2001 5:18:13 PM

Actually I can see where he is coming from. I got an intellimouse in my ps2 and a optical marble mouse in my USB and I am able to see a difference but only if i really really look for it at high resolutions. My suggestion is wipe it all out and put Linux on it, just kidding. If all else fails, reinstall windows.

<b><font color=blue>If you can't dazzle em' with brilliance, then baffle em' with BS!</font color=blue></b>
March 13, 2001 5:19:38 PM

Thank you for your post.

Strangely enough, I get an average cursor refresh rate of about 120 hertz, as opposed to the abysmal PS/2 rating of 40 (although mysteriously, the cursor refresh rate under PS/2 has now doubled to 80 hertz, after a couple of reboots). However, an additional 40 hertz would always add to the accuracy of the pointer's trajectory.

BTW, the settings for the mouse are all at default, except for the speed setting (I didn't feel like rolling the mouse on the pad a couple of times in order to end up to my cursor's destination). Apart from that, everything is at default. I also tried using the flat surface of my table (made of wood, no pattern, nothing of the kind) and it didn't change a thing. Ever since the cursor's refresh rate has gone to 80 hertz under the PS/2 port, it has gotten much better precision-wise, although I must admit that under USB, it was far smoother.

And yes, I can see the difference between the refresh rate. Believe me, it's a curse more than anything else. Nobody else apart from my best friend have any good monitors and/or graphics cards, so I always end up having a headache at the end.

Anyway, thank you very much for all your help.

March 13, 2001 5:22:26 PM

Well, yes. I can definitely see the difference. I guess I should have mentioned that I work at 1280x1024 at 86 hertz (I have a 4-year old .25 dot pitch Viewsonic Professional Series 17-inch 17PS monitor). I haven't tested this at lower resolutions, but frankly, I'm not ready to compromise the resolution I'm most comfortable at for the sake of not noticing how much my mouse cursor flashes, which gives me headaches. In any case, it wouldn't fix the accuracy problem I seem to have as well.


Thanks for your reply, friend.

March 13, 2001 6:44:25 PM

I'm curious how you're measuring the mouse cursor's refresh rate. I think it would be interesting to test my own setup and see what I've got. After all, my previous comments were based on theory.

I agree that being able to notice the refresh rate is a curse. Everytime someone asks me for help with their computer and I see they are running at 60Hz I just have to show them how to up the refresh rate. Unless it's a really old system, I can knock it up to 70-75Hz without any trouble. The usual response is "wow, my eyes don't hurt as much". It's truly amazing how many people get headaches from their computer and don't think to ask anyone how to prevent them!
March 13, 2001 7:35:50 PM

I use a utility such as PS/2 Rate Plus to measure the refresh rate of my cursor. You can download it here :

There are two EXE files within that installation. The first one is a utility that measures the refresh rate of your mouse cursor, while the other one can change the refresh rate up to 200 hertz and trust me, it has to be seen to be believed. The difference is phenomenal and I can't imagine not living with that. Unfortunately, that utility does not have any effect with the MS IntelliPoint optical mouse.

As for the refresh rate, I just don't know how anybody who uses a PC for more than sending e-mail once a month cannot take the time to educate themselves if only a bit for them to be able to troubleshoot their tiny problems. And why doesn't anybody talk about refresh rates, anyway? To me, having a high refresh rate is my priority. Nothing short of 85 hertz is my norm. Heck, even at 85 hertz, I can still notice the screen flashing a bit. VERY little, but I can still see it and that can get quite annoying.

Now that you have a link to PS/2-Rate Plus, give me a shout as soon as you have given it a shot.