Topic: Macs/Apples-Mouse Freezes

Expert: Jeffrey J. Wrobel
Date: 12/31/2004
Subject: Mouse Freezes

Question
I have an iMac g4 operating on OS 10.3.7. Lately the cursor just freezes. There seems to be no pattern to the problem. It happens in any program and sometimes I go days without a problem and other times it happens several times in one day. Most times disconnecting the mouse from the keyboard gets it going again but sometimes I have to shut off the computer and start it up again and then every thing is all right for a while. Any suggestions as to what may be causing my problem?

Answer
Dear Bob,
Sometimes, the USB controller on the keyboard goes kaput and that causes occasional freeze ups from the mouse being plugged in. It also can be related to mucked up PRAM settings. Did you try zapping the PRAM? Just hold down the OPTION, APPLE, P, and R keys at once as soon as you turn on the computer. You will hear the startup chime, keep holding the keys down until you hear TWO MORE startup chimes, then let go of the keys and let it start up. If it happens again, take the mouse OUT of the keyboard plug and plug it directly into the USB port in the back of the machine. If it unfreezes and starts being happy again, then it may be time to replace the keyboard. Before you do, do one more thing:

Shut down, then disconnect everything except your keyboard and mouse and power on, holding down the Apple, OPTION, O, and F keys. Then when the Open Firmware command line comes up, do this:
Type in the following (not the directions in parentheses) and just follow the directions in parantheses:

reset-NVRAM (hit return)
set-defaults (hit return again)
reset-all (hit return again and it should restart)

Try all again and see if the freezing keeps up. If it does, there is one more option and that is an OS X Archive and Install:

Startup the install process with the OS X disk #1 and go through the first few windows of the install process until you get to the window that asks you to choose your installation disk. There will be a button called OPTIONS there–click it and choose ARCHIVE and INSTALL. THis will install a completely new system and import all your old settings so you get a nice clean start without having to reregister and reinstall all your programs, etc. Go through the install process–this will eliminate a software problem.

One last thing before you replace the keyboard. Try another mouse. If you’re going to buy one, go to MacMice.com and buy THE MOUSE. It is a great little mouse, very much like the Apple Pro Mouse, but with THREE buttons and a WHEEL. OS X Panther makes good use of the RIGHT CLICK (Control-CLICK on a mac mouse) and the wheel saves much time on the web and scrolling through folders. I love mine–it is very cool.

If the problem still persists, NOW you can get a new keyboard. Try the Apple Pro Keyboards for sale on EBAY. You can get them for around $35 or $40 (better than the $70 that Apple charges for brand new ones). Anyway, good luck and don’t hesitate to ask a followup if you have any lingering questions!
Thanks for choosing me and for using ALL EXPERTS!!!

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Published in: on December 4, 2005 at 1:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

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