Troubleshooting Microsoft and Compatible Mice in Windows

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 88543
This article was previously published under Q88543
Expand all | Collapse all

On This Page


This article discusses troubleshooting the Microsoft Mouse and Microsoft- compatible mice in Microsoft Windows and Windows for Workgroups. This article has the following two sections:
  • Mouse Does Not Function in Windows
  • Mouse Pointer Movement Is Erratic


Before troubleshooting, determine the following:
  • Is it a Microsoft Mouse or a Microsoft-compatible mouse?

    NOTE: A "Microsoft-compatible" mouse is not a Microsoft Mouse.
  • How is the mouse connected to the machine? Is it a bus mouse, PS/2-style mouse, or a serial mouse?
  • If it is a serial mouse, to which COM port is it connected?
  • Some BIOS problems result in a non-functioning serial mouse in Windows (usually on COM2) and can be resolved by a BIOS upgrade. You may want to check the Microsoft Windows Resource Kit for version 3.1 to see if your system BIOS could be the problem.

Mouse Does Not Function in Windows

  1. Load the MS-DOS Mouse driver to enable the use of a mouse in MS-DOS-based applications.

    If you are having problems using the mouse in MS-DOS-based applications under Windows, make sure the mouse functions in your MS-DOS-based application before starting Windows. If it does not, then the mouse probably won't function in an MS-DOS-based application running inside of Windows. Consult your mouse manufacturer for assistance configuring the mouse so it will run in MS-DOS-based applications outside of Windows.

    If you are using a Microsoft mouse, you can test this by running MOUSE.COM and then running an application that uses the mouse such as the MS-DOS 5.0 Edit program or MS-DOS Shell.

    Version 8.2 of the mouse driver should be used if you are using a Microsoft Mouse. This driver comes with Windows 3.1. If you do not have the correct MOUSE.COM or MOUSE.SYS file on your hard disk drive, expand MOUSE.SY_ and MOUSE.CO_ from the Windows disks to the hard disk drive as MOUSE.SYS and MOUSE.COM. For more information about expanding files, refer to page 61 of the "Getting Started with Microsoft Windows" manual for version 3.1.
  2. Make sure the correct Windows mouse driver was installed.

    To determine if the correct mouse driver was installed during Setup, exit Windows, change to the C:\WINDOWS directory and type setup at the MS-DOS command prompt. If "No mouse or other pointing device" or an incorrect mouse is selected, select the "Microsoft, or IBM PS/2" option.

    Some "Microsoft-compatible" mice are more compatible with the Mouse Systems driver or another mouse driver listed in Setup. It may be necessary to try other mouse driver selections. Some "compatible" mice may come with a driver disk that contains both Windows and MS- DOS mouse drivers. These should be tried in place of the Microsoft drivers.

    NOTE: The MS-DOS- and Windows-level driver may need to be from the same vendor (that is, use both the Microsoft drivers or both the vendor-supplied drivers). Microsoft MS-DOS drivers are only licensed for use with the Microsoft Mouse and only guaranteed to work with the Microsoft Mouse.
  3. Look for multiple MOUSE.DRV files.

    Search the drive for multiple MOUSE.DRV files. If you find multiple mouse driver files, rename them to something else, except for the one in the Windows SYSTEM directory. To search for multiple mouse files, choose Search from the File Manager File menu, or type the following command at the MS-DOS root directory command prompt:
    dir mouse.drv /s
    You can also check for other mouse-related files by typing:
    dir mouse.* /s
    NOTE: This DIR command only works if you have MS-DOS version 5.0 or later.
  4. The MOUSE.DRV file located in the Windows SYSTEM subdirectory may be corrupted or damaged. Rename the file and then expand MOUSE.DR_ from the original Windows disks to the Windows SYSTEM subdirectory by typing the following at the MS-DOS command prompt and pressing ENTER after each line:
    ren c:\windows\system\mouse.drv mouse.old
    expand a:\mouse.dr_ c:\windows\system\mouse.drv
    Make sure the file is the correct size and date. The mouse driver supplied with Windows 3.1 is:
         MOUSE.DRV     10672 03-10-92   3:10a
  5. Make sure the correct mouse driver entry is in the SYSTEM.INI file.

    For the Microsoft Mouse, the following line should be in the [boot] section of the SYSTEM.INI file:
    No additional path to MOUSE.DRV should be indicated in this line.
  6. Clean boot the system without loading an MS-DOS mouse driver.

    For more information about this procedure, query on the following words in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    what and clean and boot and windows and tsr
  7. Check the communications port (COM), I/O address, and interrupt (IRQ) being used by the mouse. Consider the following:
    • You cannot use a mouse on COM3 or COM4.
    • All hardware devices need a dedicated I/O or base address.
    • The mouse should not share an interrupt (IRO setting) with another installed peripheral device.
    If there is a conflict, make the appropriate changes to the hardware settings and then retest the problem in Windows.

    Standard IRQ and I/O information for the Microsoft Mouse:
          Device                  IRQ         I/O
          COM1                    4           03F8h
          COM2                    3           02F8h
          PS/2 port               12          060h
          Microsoft Bus Card      2,3,4,5     23Ch-23Fh or 238h-23Bh
    To test this hardware information, use the Microsoft Diagnostics utility (MSD) after loading an MS-DOS level mouse driver, or use the MS-DOS DEBUG command. For more information on using Debug, query on the following words in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    debug and serial and mouse and prompt and displayed
  8. Choosing a different port to test the mouse.

    The Windows mouse driver searches in the following order:
    InPort, Bus, PS/2, COM2, COM1
    If a mouse is on COM1 and one of these other ports exists and is incorrectly identified as having a mouse connected, the port may trick the Windows mouse driver into thinking the mouse is located on the wrong port. If the mouse is on a PS/2-style port, you may want to try it on COM1 or COM2. If on COM2, then try COM1.
  9. Some third-party applications replace the Windows mouse, keyboard, or communications drivers. The normal values in the SYSTEM.INI file for these drivers are:
    Check the size and dates of the MOUSE.DRV, COMM.DRV, and KEYBOARD.DRV drivers to make sure they are the correct drivers. The following versions of these driver are supplied with Windows 3.1:
          COMM.DRV          9280 03-10-92   3:10a
          KEYBOARD.DRV      7568 03-10-92   3:10a
          MOUSE.DRV        10672 03-10-92   3:10a
    If necessary, expand these files from the original disks.
  10. Check the MOUSE.INI settings:
    • Make sure there is only one MOUSE.INI file and that it is located in the Windows directory or where the MOUSE= environment variable is pointing. To search for multiple MOUSE.INI files, choose Search from the File menu in File Manager, or issue the following command from the MS-DOS root directory command prompt:
      dir mouse.ini /s
      NOTE: This DIR command only works if you have MS-DOS 5.0.
    • Make sure the MouseType= line in the [mouse] section of the MOUSE.INI file is pointing to the correct port for your mouse:
            Line           Description
            Serial1        For the mouse on COM1
            Serial2        For the mouse on COM2
            PS2            For the mouse on a PS/2-style mouse port
            Bus            If you are using an earlier bus card
            InPort1        If you are using an InPort card:
                           - Jumper 3 set to primary
            InPort2        If you are using an InPort card:
                           - Jumper 3 set to secondary
    The Bus setting is for the earlier Microsoft Bus mouse; the InPort setting is for the later Microsoft InPort mouse.
  11. The Bus setting is for the earlier Microsoft Bus mouse; the InPort setting is for the later Microsoft InPort mouse. Try running in standard mode. If the problem only occurs in 386 enhanced mode, try starting Windows with the /D:X parameter (WIN /D:X). If the mouse works, add the following line to the [386Enh] section of the SYSTEM.INI file:
    If this solves the problem, you should continue to troubleshoot in this area, either forcing the mouse driver to load low, or determining where there is an address conflict.
  12. The Bus setting is for the earlier Microsoft Bus mouse; the InPort setting is for the later Microsoft InPort mouse. Try using the standard video drivers that ship with Windows (either EGA or VGA).
  13. The Bus setting is for the earlier Microsoft Bus mouse; the InPort setting is for the later Microsoft InPort mouse. If you are having trouble using a mouse from a third-party vendor that supplied its own mouse driver for Windows, if possible, try another brand of mouse that uses a driver supplied by Windows. If this mouse works in Windows on your machine, contact the manufacturer of the non-functional mouse for technical support.

Mouse Pointer Movement Is Erratic

  1. If the mouse is jumpy, lower the Sensitivity value in the Mouse section of Control Panel.
  2. If the mouse is jumpy in Program Manager group windows, lower the granularity settings in the Desktop icon of Control Panel.
  3. If you are using the MS-DOS-based mouse driver MOUSE.COM or MOUSE.SYS version 7.04 or later, add the /Y switch to the end of the mouse command line as follows:
    c:\windows\ /y
  4. Follow the troubleshooting steps in the above section, "Mouse Does Not Function in Windows."
  5. It is possible that the erratic mouse movement you are experiencing is highly specific to the application, video card, machine BIOS, keyboard BIOS, or machine type you are using. For more information about these specific issues, query on the following words in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    mouse and erratic or jumpy or wild or jerky


"Microsoft Windows Resource Kit" guide for version 3.1, pages 13, 14, 18, 26, and 398

README.WRI, Microsoft Windows, version 3.1, Disk 3


Article ID: 88543 - Last Review: September 24, 2011 - Revision: 3.0

Give Feedback


Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from