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Mouse tweak guide

One of the most overlooked components of a PC is also the most common. That device is the Mouse. Getting tired of your current mouse & itís rather lack lustre handling? Well, donít replace it just yet. You can do a surprising amount of things with your mouse to make it feel like itís new once again. Be it improved scrolling, better responsiveness to input or just more customized to your requirements.

Cleaning

Those of you still using ball based mice, such as the an Intellimouse Pro may find that after a few weeks of use your mouse tends to get less responsive than it used to be. This is most likely due to dirt on the rollers (not a problem with optical mice). To clean your rollers & get that smoothness back in the mouse you should use the following procedure.

1.       Turn your mouse over & remove the plastic mouse ball cover (It should only need to be twisted until it drops off).

2.       Remove the mouse ball after the cover comes off, you should clean & dry this, water should do just fine. Make sure you dry the ball thoroughly however. Place it to one side after its been cleaned.

3.       Check the space where the mouse ball used to be located; there should be a number of rollers here. These will need to be cleaned of any built-up dirt.

4.       Depending on whatever tools you have available e.g. A small knife or cotton bud, use it to remove any built-up dirt on the rollers (generally it will form a thin film around the centre of the roller). Do this until all rollers are clean once again.

5.       Blow/Shake out any dust from inside the mouse, this will clear out any of the dirt that may have fallen back inside the mouse during the roller cleaning.

6.       Re-insert the cleaned mouse ball & re-screw the mouse ball cover on tightly. It may be a good idea to clean your mouse pad now too (Depending on the material itís made from).

7.       You should make sure no dirt is stuck to the tabs underneath your mouse also; clean this dirt off as required. This will further improve tracking smoothness.

8.       The cleaning is now finished, depending on how dirty the mouse ball rollers were in the first place you should see a noticeable improved in mouse responsiveness.

Repeat this procedure every month/few weeks or so, this should keep your mouse movement ultra smooth.

Mouse pads

Almost all of you out there will be resting your mouse on a mouse pad (Expect some of you with optical mice, perhaps). A mouse pad plays quite an important part in how well you mouse can be used. Although with the advent of optical mice the mouse pad is slightly less important than it used to be.

From my own experience I can highly recommend the Everglide Giganta Mouse pad. Having a good mouse pad can significantly improve your ability to navigate the desktop or improve aim (or rather accuracy) in games & such.

Drivers

For starters you should update your mouse drivers/software. Microsoft Mouse owners can download the latest Intellipoint software from Microsoft, the latest Logitech Mouseware can be downloaded Logitech & the latest Razer Boomslang drivers here. These generally contain improved functionality &/or various bug fixes.

To ensure the latest drivers are actually installed you should use the following procedure. Right click on My Computer select Properties then;

If you are using Windows 2000/XP select the Hardware tab, then Device Manager. Open Mouse and other pointing devices then select your mouse & hit the Properties button. Select the Driver tab.

Select the Update Driver button & run through the Update driver wizard. Select the x:\WINNT\INF folder (Substitute x with the appropriate Driver letter) as the location to search (Inf driver files are stored here, although will need to be installed in order to update your Mouse driver). If an updated driver is found, install it, then reboot for the changes to take effect.

If you are using Windows 9x/Me select Device Manager. Open Mouse then select your mouse & hit the Properties button. Select the Driver tab.

Click the Update Driver button & run through the Update driver wizard. Select the C:\Windows\INF folder (substitute drive letter & Windows folder as necessary) as the location to search (Inf driver files are stored here, although will need to be installed in order to update your mouse driver). If an updated driver is found, install it, then reboot for the changes to take effect.

 



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