6 Replies Latest reply: Jan 14, 2009 11:03 AM by motc
motc Level 1 (5 points)
Recently we replaced our iMac's stock keyboard with one of the newer, thinner aluminum keyboards. (The old one had some sticky keys.)

No problem with the keys sticking anymore, but we're having some strange behavior with the mouse now: occasionally the pointer movement is not fluid, moving in a jerky fashion; also sometimes clicking on an object to select it has no effect. This never happened with the old keyboard.

Has anyone else encountered this?


iMac Intel Core 2, Mac OS X (10.4.11), 2GHz,1GB,160 GB. Also iBook G3:900 MHz,640 MB,40 GB
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 (102,825 points)
    First, go to System Preferences/Keyboard&Mouse/Mouse and check your settings.

    Next make sure the mouse is free of dust/link/fingerprints... you'd be surprised how this can effect control of the cursor. If this is a Mighty Mouse go here: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1537

    Might be a good idea to eliminate a hardware issue by running the Apple Hardware Test also:

  • motc Level 1 (5 points)
    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I checked the System Preferences/Mouse settings, though nothing's changed there.

    Cleaned the mouse, as described. Used some canned air as well, and in addition, a bit of DeOxit on the mouse to keyboard & keyboard to computer USB connections, in case there was any corrosion.

    Did the hardware test - no trouble found. But interestingly, when the test concluded I couldn't restart because the mouse was totally acting acting up: the same jerky cursor movement, and clicking on the restart button (or anything) had no effect. Plugged in the old keyboard - same problem. Finally got "lucky" and clicking on the restart button worked. Once I logged in again, it was acting normal.

    I'm wondering if the problem is with the mouse at this point. Do you know if there's a way to take the mouse apart to clean it more thoroughly? (Doesn't seem to be from what I can see.) Also, should the lens on the underneath side be cleaned as well?

    What's weird is this has been an occasional, intermittent problem, and it seems odd that when in the hardware test screen, the mouse wouldn't work at all, and then behaved normally when I logged in again.
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 (102,825 points)
  • motc Level 1 (5 points)
    Thanks for the link to the detailed video on cleaning the mouse. Boy, the older Apple mouse was a lot easier to clean. Seems like they ought to redesign the "mighty" mouse, as this is periodic maintenance, and we shouldn't have to break the thing apart to clean it.

    One last thought: cleaning the mouse should take care of any scrolling issues, but I wonder if the problems I'm having (jerky cursor movement when moving mouse across pad; not being able to select something when clicking on it), might be due to something else? Guess I won't know till I try. As a test, I plugged the mouse into the back of the computer (instead of the keyboard), and so far, I haven't had the above problems...

  • den.thed Level 7 (25,650 points)
    Hi motc

    If there are strands of lint wrapped around the rollers then the only way to get it going is to crack it open. But be for you do that try wetting and rubbing the ball with some rubbing alcohol on a lint free rag and then blow real hard around the ball with canned or compressed air.

    For the jumpy/jerky cursor movements try a plain matte finished mouse pad instead of that glossy printed one.

  • motc Level 1 (5 points)
    I do have a plain mouse pad, not a glossy one.

    Just curious: isn't the movement of the cursor, as you move the mighty mouse across the pad, triggered by the red light underneath, and the scroll ball on top controls vertical and horizontal scrolling only? And if that's the case, cleaning the dust off the rollers, whether taking it apart or not, would only affect scrolling? Again, my problem is occasional jumpy cursor movement and not being able to select an item when clicking on it.

    Interestingly, with the mighty mouse plugged into the back of the computer, I haven't had any of the above problems. I wonder if the mouse needs more power than the keyboard can deliver? That doesn't make sense though, because the USB connection on the keyboard is typically where you would plug in the mouse.