Erratic Mouse Movement Problem

DELL Optical MouseI have been experiencing erratic mouse movements using my DELL Optical Mouse. Every so often, the mouse will jump from where it was to either the 4 corners of my LCD screen.
For the life of me, I could only think of 2 reasons why my mouse was behaving in such manner:

  1. My mouse is possessed (insert Twilight Zone soundtrack here)
  2. Someone is taking control of my laptop remotely 😯

Some details of my mouse:
Brand: DELL (duh!)
Model: MO56OU
Product No.: 0C8649
Leaning towards reason (1), I did a search on the Internet looking for mouse exorcists but to my surprise, someone else halfway around the world had the same exact problem as me using the same exact model of mouse. Here’s what I found:

Walt Stoneburner had wrote an article on this exact same problem but he did extensive testing compared to me. After reading his post, I proceeded to send an email to DELL support detailing the problems I am facing and even gave Walt’s article link as a solution.

Surprisingly, DELL reverted after a couple of hours to ask me if the erratic pointer movement happened without attaching the DELL mouse. I replied the email saying “No” since I was able to use my touchpad and pointing stick with no problems in lieu of my mouse.

Within 30 minutes, DELL replied that a logistics partner will get in touch with me to replace the mouse. Woohoo! As simple as that. DELL’s technical support is truly awesome. I’m expecting my replacement mouse to arrive on the 3rd January 2006.

Update: 3-Jan-2006. Received my replacement mouse in the morning and the mouse (Model: M-UVDEL1, apparently a Logitech OEM) have been working diligently and flawlessly. 🙂

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  1. Walt Stoneburner said,

    March 15, 2006 @ 3:05 am

    Glad this helped out. Now here’s the weird part…

    I offered to ship my MO56OU mouse back to Dell, but they didn’t want it.

    Turns out this mouse works fine in other non-Dell machines. In fact, it works great on a laptop as well as on a Linux system. However, when connected to the Dell Precision 470, it doesn’t behave at all.

    No one’s been able to tell me why, though I suspect it’s something to do with XP now. When I run live Linux CD on the same machine, the mouse works fine. I’m thinking this is less a hardware problem and more of a Windows + Cheap Mouse = Bad problem.

  2. amos said,

    March 15, 2006 @ 7:18 am

    Hi Walt,
    DELL without much question replaced my mouse with the Logitech OEM. Either DELL is aware of such flaw or your article did the trick. 😆

    Going by the statistics I see on this blog, there are many others in the same boat as we are. Obviously, DELL would have had some news that their mice are misbehaving.

    Love your quote “Windows + Cheap Mouse = Bad problem” :mrgreen:

    Thanks for dropping by.

  3. Walt-O-Matic » Blog Archive » Jumping Optical Mouse: This Is Gross said,

    June 5, 2006 @ 7:22 am

    […] In the least common case, there’s actually a hardware problem, and you can often get the vendor to replace it.  This exhibits itself as the slightest touches sending the mouse pointer rocketing to one of the screen corners. […]

  4. Larry Christensen said,

    August 5, 2006 @ 5:59 am

    I am having the same problem but it is with a HP MODEL# MO42KOA. So maybe HP and Dell both have this problem with the jumping mouse pointer. I called the support line and they told me to reinstall the driver which did nothing so I guess I’m off to the mouse store!

  5. eprime said,

    June 29, 2007 @ 8:58 pm

    Hi. I have the same problem on my Dell Latitude. The same dance-and-disappear problem happens with my Touchpad (ALPS Touch Pad). I reloaded the driver, and no go. Any ideas?

  6. amos said,

    June 30, 2007 @ 9:55 pm

    Hi eprime,
    I used to have the problem on my touchpad when I first used a laptop. Later I discovered that it was my 2 fingers (unknowingly) touching the touchpad simultaneously. 😮

  7. Wendy said,

    November 24, 2007 @ 6:22 pm

    The mysterious jumping mouse problem will happen a lot if you are using a multicolored mouse pad or something with bright alternating colors, also if you are on a glassy surface it may not move at all. If you try a blank sheet of white paper as a mouse pad, you will find your troubles disappear for that particular problem. The light can’t track evenly on varying surfaces so you see the jumping happen when it finally moves to an area it can track on. Amos the two finger touch is also right on – causing shadow moves. This problem is not specific to Dell – it is specific to the optical mouse.

  8. Erik said,

    May 6, 2008 @ 9:16 pm

    Glad to hear that I was not the only one experiencing such problem. I am using Dell optical mouse DP/N:0C8639 on Dell Dimension 5000. I will now get the mouse replaced.

    Wendy: The discussed problem happens even with no movement of the mouse, but coincides rather with the machine performing some task. The mouse jump is “spontaneous”. I don’t see how it could relate to the mouse pad.

  9. Gavin Weeks said,

    December 22, 2008 @ 10:44 pm

    Is this problem limted to Dell computers and laptops?

  10. Jay Tench said,

    July 31, 2009 @ 8:50 am

    I have a custom built machine and I am experiencing the same problem. Windows XP MUVDEL1 OC8639.

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