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USB device detection normally works well, albeit mysteriously. The mouse is a critical Windows component, so if your USB mouse is not detected, an error results.

Sometimes, but not always, my USB mouse will not be detected at startup. It is plugged into a 4 port hub. When Win98 loads it gives me the no PS2 mouse detected. I can continue to load Windows. After Windows has finished loading, I unplug and then replug the USB mouse, at it is detected and I'm good to go. Why is it not being detected? I have found no rhyme or reason to when it is not detected. Usually, if the mouse is not detected, it starts up like that several times in a row, then I am OK for a few weeks, and then back to several days of nondetection.

Problems that come and go like this are some of the hardest to resolve.

I don't have a magic bullet for you, but there are some things we can look at.

The very first thing I would try is removing the hub from the equation, and plugging the mouse directly into the PC. For various reasons (not the least of which is Win98 itself), I give this the highest probability of resolving the issue. If it does, you might want to try another, different hub, or seeing if you can arrange things such that no hub is required for the mouse.

If your PC has more than one USB port, try a different one - both without, and with, the hub.

"Unfortunately, Windows 98 is now past end-of-life, and Microsoft's support for it has ended."

I would visit the computer manufacturer's web site for updated drivers for the computer's BIOS, the USB ports, and for the mouse itself.

Normally I'd say make sure that Windows is up to date, particularly since Win98's USB support was never all that great. Unfortunately, Windows 98 is now past end-of-life, and Microsoft's support for it has ended. (Naturally readers with later versions of Windows should make sure that it's up to date by visiting Windows Update.)

As a last attempt, it might be interesting to find an old PS2 mouse and plug it into the computer's mouse port and see how that changes things, if at all. If nothing else, it should provide you with a reliably working mouse.

Article C2740 - August 2, 2006 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

August 4, 2006 8:32 PM

I ran into a similar problem when I had my Canon CanoScan 5000F scanner connected to my system through a D-Link 7-port USB 2.0 hub, running in Windows XP Pro. Sometimes it would be detected, other times not. And occasionally, the scanner would start to scan all by itself, even when not being addressed. I was advised to skip the hub and connect directly to one of my PCs USB ports. That solved the problem immediately.
Other peripherals have worked perfectly through that hub for years, but not the scanner, so proper functioning may just be a crapshoot.
D-Link tells me that it is aware of such anomalies, but offers no explanation beyond a peripheral not being totally "compatible."
So, my advice is the same as Leo's -- skip the hub for your mouse and connect directly to your PC as a start.

August 5, 2006 8:02 PM

Why not try a USB to PS2 converter? Mice used to come with them in the box.

August 14, 2006 4:20 AM

I had this problem with 12 computers running XP - they all exhibited the problem but only occasionally. No USB hub either, directly plugged in. USB->PS2 was the only solution I could find.

Sea Jaye
March 25, 2008 7:41 PM

You are THE MAN!!!! I have had major USB mouse trouble. I forgot all about the converters. I had one in a box so I used it for my mouse (win XP pro). Now it works like a charm. I may actually finish my project tomorrow.
Sea Jaye

Neil Russell
September 13, 2008 9:26 PM

I've got a similar problem, I recently acquired a Gateway 566C that ONLY has USB ports, no PS2 at all. I reset the BIOS and was able to get the thing to see my keyboard and mouse during bootup and in Safe Mode, but when I go to the regular start up of Win 98 it can't see either.
Is there some setting in Safe that I could use to get the thing to work when in Normal?

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