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Q: Mouse pointer disappears ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Mouse pointer disappears
Category: Computers > Operating Systems
Asked by: ray1954-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 24 Nov 2005 15:21 PST
Expires: 24 Dec 2005 15:21 PST
Question ID: 597239
I have A HP pavillion model ze4547 lap top with windowsXP Home. My
mouse pointer disappears and flicker in and out. When it does it my
computer runs very slow and sometimes hang up, also when its in this
state my taskmgr,exe is running between 85% to 97%. Is the problem in
my computer or my operating system.
Subject: Re: Mouse pointer disappears
Answered By: sublime1-ga on 24 Nov 2005 15:45 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

This can sometimes happen when a program is tying up resources,
as is indicated when you run Task Manager and can see that your
CPU is 85-97% utilized.

The next step is to switch to the Processes tab of Task Manager,
which will show the % of CPU cycles being used by each program
running on your computer, in real time. By clicking on the column
header that says CPU, the list will be sorted by the applications
which are using the most CPU cycles. Find out the name of the
process which is overloading your CPU by looking in the Image
Name column to match the name to the high percentage at the top
of the list.

One other possiblity is that the process which is using the
CPU is not listed on the Processes tab. This most often occurs
when it is a java program which has engaged the Java Virtual
Machine. If you're using a Sun Java Virtual Machine, you should
be able to see the little coffee cup in your System Tray at the
bottom right of your Taskbar when a java program is running.
If you're using Microsoft's Virtual Machine, you won't see the
cup, and I'd recommend that you install a Sun Java Virtual

Java programs, and sometimes javascript running on a web page
can cause the flickering pointer syndrome. Most of the time,
these programs are running in a web page, and closing all the
sessions of the browser will end the consumption of resources,
so you can tell that this was the problem.

Another possibility is that there is a trojan or other malware
on your computer. If this is the case, it should show up in the
Processes window of Task Manager.

Let me know what you see on the Processes tab in Task Manager,
and where this takes you. I'll continue to work with you until
you get this resolved.


Clarification of Answer by sublime1-ga on 24 Nov 2005 15:47 PST
I just noticed that this is your first time on GA, so you
may not know how to engage in a dialog using the Request
for Clarification process.

A user's guide on this topic is on skermit-ga's site, here: 

Request for Answer Clarification by ray1954-ga on 25 Nov 2005 07:03 PST
Thanks  answering my question. I had sougt the help of several
experts, All of which had no idea what was causing my problem. They
did however check the processes tab of Task Manager, And as you stated
in you answer, The process which is using the CPU is not listed on the
processes tab. I,m A novice, Please explain To me what is java Virtual

Clarification of Answer by sublime1-ga on 25 Nov 2005 11:44 PST
Hi ray...

The Java Virtual Machine is a software "engine", as it were,
that allows a certain type of 'applet' to run on you system,
called Java, which is a rather commonly used type of script.

It is mostly called into play when your web browser lands on
a website which uses that kind of script, and your browser
is where to look for the type you have.

In an Internet Explorer browser window, click on Tools ->
Internet Options -> Advanced tab, and scroll down about 
half way through the alphabetized list. You'll see a
heading for Microsoft VM. If you have Sun's Virtual Machine
you'll have another heading just above Microsoft VM that
says Java (Sun). It's possible that you have both installed.

Make a note of which headings are there and what is checked
under them to report back to me here.

Whether or not you have the entry for Java (Sun), uncheck
all the boxes under Microsoft VM. This will disable the 
Microsoft Virtual Machine. If you do see Sun Java there,
make sure the box is checked next to 'Use Java 2 v*.**
for <applet> [requires restart]'. Then click Apply and OK
to end the dialog, and close all sessions (windows) of
the IE browser which are open (this is what is meant by
'restart' - shutting all browser sessions and restarting
the browser).

If you didn't see an entry for Java (Sun), you'll need to
install the Java Virtual Machine, or Java Runtime Environment,
which you can download and install from Java's page, here:

I recommend the first button, which is an automated online
installation for Windows. You can go back to that page after
it's installed and check to see that it's working by clicking
on the 'Verify Installation' button to the right.

Once it's installed and running, you'll see a little coffee
cup appear in your System Tray (far right side of your Task
Bar) which will indicate when a Java applet on a web page
has activated the Java Runtime Environment. When you click
on the 'Verify Installation' button and you receive the 
message telling you what version you have installed, take
a look at your System Tray, and you'll see the coffee cup.

Also notice that the cup will remain, even after you've 
left the page which had a java applet on it. To close the
Java Runtime Environment entirely, you need to close the
browser session (window) that was used on the page with
java applet (evidenced by the disappearance of the cup).

Now, the next time you notice your cursor flickering,
take a look and see if Java is active in your system
tray. If it is, you can close the browser session that
is using Java and see if your cursor returns to normal
(and Task Manager indicates a lower CPU usage) after the
cup disappears.

If that turns out not to be the case, we'll have to 
start looking at other possibilities.


Clarification of Answer by sublime1-ga on 25 Nov 2005 23:04 PST

I've just been informed, by an esteemed colleague, crabcakes-ga,
who owns a laptop (whereas I don't), that another possiblity is
that your laptop is overheating, which, she says, can cause the
same phenomenon of cursor flickering. While this would not seem
to explain the higher CPU usage evidenced in Task Manager, she
swears by the use of a laptop cooler, which sits beneath your
laptop, whether it is resting on a desktop or on your lap, and
provides cooling to the laptop and insulation for your desktop
or legs. This is certainly something to consider, especially if
the flickering phenomenon only occurs after your notebook heats
up, but I would still be at a loss to explain why the CPU usage
increases as a result of the temperature increasing. Still it's
worth mentioning.


Request for Answer Clarification by ray1954-ga on 26 Nov 2005 08:28 PST
          I installed java jre-1_4_2(version)-windows-i586-p-iftw.exe.
After getting your feedback I went to the site that you recommended
and noticed that the virsion ofered on that site was an updated
virsion,(1_5_0). I went to internet options and found that microsort
VM was installed. There are three heading, java console enable, java
logging, and Jit compiler for virtual machine enable. The last which
was checked. I unchecked it. I noticed while in internet options that
java required restarting. Doing the download process this was not
requred. After downloading, the cup did appear on my task bar.It later
disappeared, However while in this site my pointer started flickering
badly, And I could not fininsh this message, And I had to shut down.
So far this morning everything is going well. My pointer has't
flickered and the cup has not appeared. It will take A few days to
verify that that the problem has been solved as there are times when I
will not have any problems for several days. In response to your last
message (overheating). There is no pattern to when the pointer
flickers. Its usually flickerng when I first boot up, Sometimes it
will stop after bootup, And than sometimes its intermitting. I Thank
you very much. Hopefully this will solve my problem, If not, It has
been suggested to me that I Have A new operating system installed.
What are your thoughts on this.     Ray

Clarification of Answer by sublime1-ga on 26 Nov 2005 11:29 PST
Hi Ray...

It sounds like you followed my directions perfectly, and
hopefully that will make a difference for you.

You noted that your pointer flickers during bootup, which
suggests that it's not related to overheating, since the
unit wouldn't have had sufficient time to become hot. It
also suggests that the cursor flickers during intensive
hard drive activity, which occurs during the boot-up
process. I noticed that your laptop comes with 256MB RAM,
or Random Access Memory. For Windows XP, I would normally
recommend 512MB of RAM.

Simply put, the more RAM your system has, up to the needs
of the system, the less the system will need to use the
hard drive to store and access data, which it does by way
of the Paging File. The less it accesses the Paging File
on your hard drive, the less flickering you are likely to
see. So increasing RAM might help, if that's feasible.

When you say "have a new Operating System installed", I'm
not sure if you mean re-installing the XP Home OS you're
currently using or actually trying a different OS. Either
one has the potential to be helpful in resolving the issue,
though the inconvenience tends to make it the last resort
for most people. It's also possible that it will resolve
nothing. It might be the best suggestion if the cursor is
flickering because of a trojan program of some sort, as it
would be simpler than trying, as a relative rookie, to 
troubleshoot and eliminate the bug. If it were a trojan,
however, I would expect to see it listed under the Processes
tab in Task Manager.

Before trying a reinstall, there are a couple of other 
things you can try. One is to see if there are updated
video drivers available for your video card. If you right
click on My Computer, select Properties, go to the Hardware
tab and click on Device Manager, then look under Display
Adapters and you can see the manufacturer and model of 
your video card. Right-click on the entry for your card
and select Properties, and then go to the Driver tab,
and you can get the version number of the driver you're
using for that card. Google their name and go to their 
website and see if you can locate an updated driver.

Another simpler intervention could be going to Start ->
Settings -> Control Panel -> Keyboard. On the Speed tab,
play with the Cursor Blink Rate, hitting apply after
setting it to a slower rate, and see if that makes any
difference. Making this adjustment while the cursor is
exhibiting the flickering behavior would be best.

You might also try using a different Refresh Rate with
your monitor. Right-click on your Desktop and select
Properties. Go to the Settings tab and click on the
Advanced button. Go to the Monitor tab and, making 
sure that the box is checked next to 'Hide modes that
this monitor cannot display', select a slightly higher
or lower Refresh Frequency for your monitor. Click
Apply and see whether that makes any difference for

ray1954-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $20.00
       I Am completely satified with the help that I have recieved.
After several months of dealing with this problem you are the first
one to lead me in any kind of direction. Your answers also increased
my knowledge of how my system operates. If I have any more problems I
will try the other options that you sent me. Thank you very much for
your help and patience.     Ray

Subject: Re: Mouse pointer disappears
From: sublime1-ga on 26 Nov 2005 14:27 PST

Thanks very much for the rating and the generous tip!
Feel free to ask for my by name in the subject line...  ; )

Best regards...


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