So today I came across an unusual problem. Probably very rare as I was unable to find any useful forum posts. Basically, a customer reported to me that when they print [to a shared printer] the mouse stops moving until the printer is done. My first thought was that the spooler service must be causing user input to freeze/hang.I first looked into my spooler suspicion. The keyboard was unaffected when the printer was active, however, the mouse locked up pretty much from the time paper was pulled into the printer until the printer shot the paper out. The mouse was wireless/USB. The computer was sitting side by side to the printer. The printer was hooked up with a USB cable to computer B and was shared over the network to aforementioned computer.
I hooked up a USB mouse just to rule out another piece of the mystery. Not to my surprise, the USB mouse was unaffected while the wireless mouse froze. What was really fishy was that even if I printed from computer B [the host computer] the mouse on computer A would still lock up. This lead me to believe that the problem was obviously coming from the printer itself. My assumption was that some electrical noise was coming from the printer and the USB mouse receiver was getting interference and causing the mouse to be useless. I plugged the receiver in to a back USB port putting it at least a foot away from (rather than 1 inch) the side of the printer and this resolved the problem permanently.
Just thought I’d share this likely rare occurrence with other techs. Anyone with a similar experience or a technical explanation feel free to comment. Thanks for reading.
Today I visited a customer who had emailed me earlier this week with an odd problem. Her computer had automatically installed updates the night before (she got the successful update installation message the next morning) and immediately noticed that when in Word 2007, her pointer rapidly flashes between a regular pointer and the “spinning circle” symbol. Upon digging into this, I could not figure out which update related to the cause of the problem, but I finally did figure out that it had something to do with her network printer. If I went to the print screen in Word and changed the current printer the pointer went back to normal immediately. As soon as I chose the network printer again the cursor flashing started immediately. Once Word is closed, the cursor flashing stops immediately as well.
So how did I fix this? Well, I first started trying to remove updates. There were about 15-20 updates, and after the first 2 or 3 I gave up and decided to play with the printer driver instead. First things first, clean installation of the print driver.
I deleted the network printer and set a local printer as the default printer. Pointer was fine when I opened up Word. I then opened the “Printer server settings” and deleted the driver package from the Drivers tab. I also deleted the port that the network printer was using. Basically, I wanted to set the printer back up as a new printer, ensuring that no registry keys got left behind.
After complete removal of the printer and it’s associated drivers and ports, I re-installed the printer using the latest driver from Xerox. I think it was actually the same version as was previously installed. After reinstalling the printer and setting it as the default printer again, I opened Word 2007 and…Wa La! Problem was resolved. Just to check, I opened the print dialog box in Word to make sure that the selected printer was in fact the system default network printer, and it was. So feel free to try this if you have encountered similar issues.
Comment if you have any problems or questions. I intentionally did not give step by step directions as this is more for advanced users.
Thanks for reading and hope this tip helps you out!
Notes: System was Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, Microsoft Office 2007, and all available updates from Microsoft had been installed.