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Windows 7: Windows 7 start menu & desktop suddenly goes bezerk - very strange

09 Dec 2011   #1
Windex4Windows

Windows 7 Ultimate x32
 
 
Windows 7 start menu & desktop suddenly goes bezerk - very strange

On not so infrequent occasion, my Start Menu and Desktop, without warning, will suddenly experience the equivalent of an epileptic seizure. The Start Menu will start flickering really fast and windows will be slightly moved, resized or closed. The episode will occur for maybe 10 - 20 seconds and then the fireworks stop.

Afterwards, the fallout may result in some applications/windows that still remain open, they may (but not always) no longer respond to mouse clicks.

To be honest, I'm having difficulty figuring out what triggers this event. The best I can gather it happens when I move the mouse (nearby?) to click the Start Menu, but am not absolutely sure. It does not always happen and when it does, it occurs super fast and I lose complete control until this wacky (and very disruptive) behavior stops.

I searched google and could not find this problem documented. I am using Window 7 Ultimate, 32 bit, with the latest updates. My computer is a Dell Dimension 8300 (old), which means I am using a generic settings which include the mouse driver and video display (no Aero). The Windows Event logs do not reveal anything of interest. I have no security issues either - no viruses and spyware. Simplifying troubleshooting -I try to run the bare minimum of processes does not seem to help, either.

What else should I be looking at? Thanks for your help.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Dec 2011   #2
seavixen32

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Welcome to Windows Seven Forums.

The only thing I can suggest is to try another mouse to see whether that has the same effect.

Not responding to mouse clicks suggests either the Windows in question don't have the focus or your mouse is faulty and/or dirty.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2011   #3
gregrocker

 

Start working through these troubleshooting steps to look for errors in logs at time of event, and use System Resources to find clues or fixes.

In addition I would update my Display driver, perhaps reinstall Video card if you have one, or at least the Display driver in Device Manager>Driver tab>Uninstall driver>reboot to reinstall.

But you'll also need to clear the hardware and other possibilities most of which are covered in the steps in above link.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Dec 2011   #4
Windex4Windows

Windows 7 Ultimate x32
 
 

Thank you for the replies.

The display driver used is the generic/native Microsoft Windows 7 (version 6.1.7600.16385) "Standard VGA Graphics Adapter" display driver. Likewise the same generic/native Windows driver is used for the PS2 compatible mouse driver.

I replaced my mouse with a new one. Hopefully that will correct the problem. In the meantime, I will review the troubleshooting steps.

Thank you again for your interest and taking the time to reply.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2011   #5
gregrocker

 

Standard VGA display driver is a placeholder driver given by the installer until you can find a suitable driver, normally delivered by optional Windows Updates soon after install.

However on hardware this old it takes some detective work to find even a Vista driver - which always work on Win7 - and you might need to find one of the latest XP drivers and install it in Compatibility Mode if it won't install normally.

After finding the exact display device using Specs, Everest Home edition audit or Hardware Identification, search for a driver on manufacturers site.. Then move on to the Dell 8300 downloads page to try those display drivers, first normally then in Compat mode if necessary.

I do many installs to old hardware and never settle for Standard VGA display driver because it doesn't support Sleep or Hibernation which are key modern features in Win7. However if those are not deal-killers for you then you can keep it if your instability problem is solved another way.

If performance is otherwise spunky and you want to keep the Dell you might consider a new video card after making sure the PSU can support your choice.

Do you still have the Dell partition so that Dell Diagnostics might be able to run from boot? Try it's key given on first boot screen.

Manual/specs here: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...1o8Y174ZFrrk_g

After confirming you have Intel 875P chipset, I would also update that from here: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Sear...E+875P+Chipset
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Dec 2011   #6
Windex4Windows

Windows 7 Ultimate x32
 
 

After a few more days of usage, it appears swapping out the mouse solved the problem. The original mouse is > 10 years old; one that I brought back from Japan. The appeal is that it has a small form factor which I find much more comfortable and so do my kids. At such time, I could not find a compact mouse in the USA (now they exist).

I always made sure to keep the internals, including the track ball clean. I guess one of the circuits finally went bad.

Anyway, I can live without Sleep and Hibernation and even Aero on the system, now that I have a stable system. I'm afraid it will take a considerable amount of time to hunt n peck and then test and hope, fingers crossed, that I do not run into any compatibility problems. That's not to say I wont be tempted to give it a go in the future though.

Thanks again, gregrocker for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Dec 2011   #7
wds7

WDS 7 Home Pre.x64
 
 

I only let my mouse live for 5 years ... then kill it ...get another nicer one ...LOL
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Dec 2011   #8
gregrocker

 

Good call, SeaVixen!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Dec 2011   #9
Windex4Windows

Windows 7 Ultimate x32
 
 

Yes, indeed! Thank you, too, seavixen32! Have an awesome day!!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Dec 2011   #10
seavixen32

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Thank you very much, both of you, your sentiments are appreciated.

I've just had an awesome day too as we took the train to London to do some Christmas shopping in Regent Street and Oxford Street - my credit card took a pounding, but who cares - 'tis but Christmas once a year.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 7 start menu & desktop suddenly goes bezerk - very strange




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